independent

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Rovers hero is on the ball for brave Leah

Leo Gray

Published 05/11/2013|05:40

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Sligo Rovers fan Leah Duggan (4)

A four-year-old Sligo girl who has Spina Bifida has inspired soccer star, Alan Keane, to embark on a special fund-raising drive.

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A four-year-old Sligo girl who has Spina Bifida has inspired soccer star, Alan Keane, to embark on a special fund-raising drive.

Little Leah Duggan's winning smile and cheerful personality bowled over the Sligo Rovers full-back when she was the club's mascot at a recent game in the Showgrounds.

"Leah came to the game in her wheelchair and she was all smiles and bubbling with fun," says Alan.

"I just thought about all the moaning we all do sometimes and here was this little girl so full of happiness.

"She really was such an inspiration."

Now Alan has put his Rovers jersey up for auction as part of a fund raising initiative for Spina Bifida.

He's also planning to hold a fund-raising night in conjunction with the venture.

Already, he's received donations of over €500 and there's an early bid of €200 for the jersey.

"Some people want to bid for the jersey while others just want to make a donation to the cause," Alan explains.

Bids will be accepted online through Alan's Twitter account, Keano47, up to November 9th.

All bidders will be entered into a raffle for a football signed by the Rovers squad.

Leah's mum, Emma, is thrilled that Alan has taken on the fund raising drive.

"He's such a hero," she says.

"He's Leah's favourite player. She adores him.

"She calls him 'My Keano.

"He's so good to go to all this trouble to raise funds for Spina Bifida."

Last year, Alan organised a similar fund raiser for CONSOLE, a charity which helps families of suicide victims.

His jersey sold for €1,000 and a further €1,200 was raised through donations and a function in his home village in Galway.

"I haven't set a target this year but there's been a very generous response so far," he points out.

Sligo Champion

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