In memory of Ciaran Reilly
This Sunday (1st May 2022) there will be a very special event held at Duffus Park in Cupar when teams take to the Cupar Hearts pitch to play in a football tournament that will help raise funds for the mental health charity, Back Onside. We have just recorded a podcast that helps to share the story, but more follows on this Blog – including how you can help to support the cause …
Ciaran Reilly took his own life at the end of last year. With the love and support of family and friends, Ciaran’s step Mum, Debbie, and Dad, Kev Reilly, started a campaign to hold a memorial football tournament in his memory – and that will take place on Sunday in Cupar.
The event will help to raise funds for the charity Back Onside – as well as much needed awareness to help those suffering from mental health issues.
The following is from the information Debbie & Kev shared with us to help promote the event …
“Mental health is a widely used term on television and on social media and they are 2 words that we have undoubtedly used without perhaps realising the personal impact that it has on individuals, their families, their friends and the wider community. There’s rarely a week passes that we don’t hear that another person has lost their life due to mental health issues.
Despite mental health and suicide being more widely spoken about there is still a stigma attached to this illness. A broken limb will elicit sympathy and understanding a broken mind rarely sees that level of care from others.
We tragically understand the pain of mental health and suicide very acutely having lost our son aged only 29 years old late last year. He left behind three young children. His loss is felt every second of every day. Whilst we try to keep him ‘alive’ in the minds of his children, nothing can make up for the loss they and we have suffered as a family.
Ciaran was a keen footballer who loved keeping fit and was a happy young father until Covid saw him lose his employment, and after this, the impact of being unemployed with no outlet for his gym sessions and football practice/games hit Ciaran hard and life became too difficult.
We hope to raise money by running a memorial charity football match in Ciarans memory on May 1st this year. We plan that the day will also double as a day of fun where we will have children’s entertainment from face painting to a bouncy castle/slides to family fun and games.
There will be amongst many other things football coaching and raffles/stalls. Family/friends and Ciaran’s former amateur players will take part.
In raising money and awareness for mental health we hope to expand services and help for those in need. If we can help anyone in need to reach out and to ask for help before it’s too late then we feel we will have helped to bring about change.
We are running a charity football tournament and fun day with the proceeds going to the registered charity Back Onside who have helped us from the moment we lost Ciaran and continue to help us on a weekly basis. Without Back Onside reaching out to us at the start who knows where we would have all been right now.
Kev & I hope to raise as much as we can so they can continue to help people who suffer from mental health before they feel they can’t go on.“
In support of the event, we were delighted to be able to record a short podcast with Ciaran’s Dad, Kev, and friend, Lewis. It is only a few minutes long – so please take a listen and feel free to share with others.
You can listen by clicking below or search for the CuparNow podcast on your preferred podcast player.
You can find much more on Sunday’s event and activities via the Facebook page set up to help raise awareness: just click on the image below …
Cupar’s Businesses’ Support
When Debbie and Kev launched their appeal for help and support from the local community, Cupar’s businesses stepped up. Many are featured on the event’s Facebook page but we’d like to mention a few here to thank them …
Pam Smith | Maisie & Mac | Mystic Dragon | Temptations Bakery | Fisher & Donaldson
Cupar Pet Shop | Mint Brows | Alex Thaddeus
And Specsavers – the opticians and audiologists on Crossgate – is sponsoring the tournament’s football kit. Lisa Service, store manager at Specsavers, says: “The pandemic has had a negative effect on mental health for so many. Charities like Back Onside are more important than ever as they support those struggling with their mental health or the families and friends of those like Ciaran, who sadly lost their battle.” She adds: “We are so pleased to have the opportunity to sponsor the football strips for the Ciaran Reilly Memorial Cup and support this fantastic and vital local charity.”
The charity is based in Stirling at Unit 1B, Touch Business Centre, Touch Road, Stirling (FK8 3AQ). Call them on 07528243100 or email them via this link.
You can find more on the support Back Onside provides via their website by clicking on the image below …
Feature image photo credit: Kinross Colts
We are very happy to be able to share this up[date we received from Debbie following the memorial event …
DRUMROLL: The moment we have been waiting on – the breakdown on our fundraising event:
Total raised before expenses was £10,438.39.
We had outgoings on our first year for
- 40 x strips/shorts/socks
- First aiders x 4 at the event
- 18 x Volunteer T-shirts
- 2 x Portaloo’s
- 5m Public liability Insurance
£6000.00 will be sent to BackOnside mental health charity. Then the following money raised on the day to stay local and to benefit the following:
- £1000 donation will be given to The Age Concern, Cupar who has helped with everyone in Cupar’s elderly relatives and who, as a community, we would be lost without.
- £200 donation to Cupar Hearts AFC who without their venue, electric, toilets & pitch the day would not have gone ahead
- £200 donation to Soccer 7’s who provided the second pitch in order that we would be able to host so many teams
- £100 donation to AM Soccer who gave us their 2 dressing rooms to allow 2 teams to use as changing facilities
We would like to thank every single person who has supported this event and I hope like us you enjoyed your day on Sunday and maybe even won a prize or two. Now we are going to have a well deserved rest for a day or two and just reflect on the kindness and support we have received since deciding to do this event. We were in absolute awe when we looked around on Sunday and seen so many people enjoying themselves. The weather was even on our side on the day. We can’t say THANK YOU enough as without each and every person this day would not have been a success. Football Players, local businesses, vendors, family, friends, volunteers, donators, raffle ticket buyers, the list goes on …
Thanks for reading.