MLA auctions off ticket for NI v Switzerland game

John Stewart.
John Stewart.

An East Antrim MLA has given a local charity a boost after auctioning off his ticket for tonight's Northern Ireland v Switzerland game.

UUP Assembly member John Stewart raised £220 for Megan's Wish after offering his ticket to the highest online bidder, with a further £50 in donations.

A post on his Facebook page read: "Megan’s Wish is a charity set up by Megan Fleming. She is a very brave young lady from Carrickfergus who will soon be travelling to Turkey for critical surgery on her spine. The charity was set up to help fund the operation and all the associated costs that her family would have to cover. It will also continue going forward to support other young people across NI affected by scoliosis of the spine."

Speaking to the Times this afternoon, the long-time NI fan said he had taken the somewhat "mad" decision to auction one of the sought-after tickets despite not having missed a home game in years.

"But it's all for a great cause," he added. "I'll still be watching the match on TV at either [Carrick] Cricket Club or, if I have time to get there, at the fan zone on Boucher Road."

Thanking John for his support was Megan's mum, Karen Fleming. "[He] has supported us from the night we went public and has been amazing throughout; he went to every media interview with me, he stood beside me and supported me every second, when I felt like no one was listening he took it to the next level," she said.

"He has managed to raise the profile of scoliosis and will continue to advocate for all kids with this condition."

Donations to Megan's Wish can be made at the GoFundMe page.