Tragedy as footballer Mark Farren loses cancer battle

Mark Farren playing for Glenavon
Mark Farren playing for Glenavon

Former Glenavon and Derry City footballer Mark Farren has lost his brave battle with cancer.

Mr Farren, 33, was a prolific goalscorer and whose career had seen him play for Derry City and Glenavon FC.

He had been suffering from a brain tumour.

He had been battling cancer since 2008.

He went on to marry his wife Terri-Louise, and according to the Derry Journal he made a full recovery, before being diagnosed with the disease again in 2013.

During his battle, he travelled to Mexico in order to get treatment at a private clinic.

He died on Wedesday morning.

His funeral is to be held at Ballybrack church outside Moville, Co Donegal, at 11am on Friday.

Glenavon and Glentoran have invited fans to join in a 10th-minute round of applause for Mr Farren at their Irish Cup game at 3pm in the Oval on Saturday.

In 2011 Derry City manager Stephen Kenny said he believed Mr Farren’s story was “unique” in the world of professional football.

He also described him at the time as being in the “prime of his life and in the prime of his career”.

His cousin Sinead Farren wrote on Facebook: “RIP dear cousin. Sleep well until we meet again.”

A wave of others offered their condolences, including the mayor of Derry City and Strabane.

Meanwhile Gary Hamilton, the Glenavon manager who brought Mark to the club in 2013, said: “We have lost a very special person.

“He was an incredible man. Most of all, he was humble and despite being perhaps one of the greatest finishers in our game, he was always trying to improve and get better.

“Terri-Louise and Mark are a special couple. They had a remarkable bond and she has been at his side through this very difficult time.”

He had scored 15 goals in only 10 games at the club during the 2013/14 season, and Mr Hamilton described him as “one of the best” when it came to his finishing.

Before that, he had also enjoyed a “great career” at Derry City.

Mr Farren was originally from east Co Donegal but was understood to have lived in Killea, close to the border.

Elisha McCallion, Sinn Fein mayor of Derry and Strabane, said on Facebook: “I was deeply touched by [Mark and Terri-Louise’s] resilience and determination to do all they could to help Mark battle against his illness and at the positive way in which they coped.

“The support from the public for Mark was truly phenomenal, everyone got behind him and the efforts he and his family made to battle against his illness.”