A US-based Cliftonville fan has donated a season ticket to a Belfast-based Cystic Fibrosis Family Support group. Bryan Eitz, who understandably cannot attend Solitude on a regular basis, purchased a Family Season ticket for the Reds, which the club decided to donate to the group.
Run by West Belfast woman Lorraine Conlon, the organisation seeks to provide treats and days out for children and families affected by the life-limiting condition.
Lorraine, who suffers from the condition herself, explained more about her family support group.
“I am a wife and mother to two young boys, Finn (5) and Luca (3). I suffer from Cystic Fibrosis and I always thought any reporting of the illness is very negative,” she said.
“I know how horrible the illness is and it is negative sometimes, but I wanted to create something for families away from the illness.
“I wanted families to be able to have fun together without the financial strain. I want families to enjoy making happy memories doing things they enjoy, so I set up a Facebook page called Lorraine CF family fun.”
After some research over the summer, Lorraine got in touch with Cliftonville FC who told her about the kind gesture from one of their fans.
“It was actually a Reds fan, Bryan Eitz, who lives in America who donated the ticket to us. Portadown FC also give us a season ticket for one of our members, Streamvale Farm donated some family passes too. People’s generosity has been amazing.
“The family season ticket means I can offer it to different families every Cliftonville home match.
“People can have a Saturday out at the football and for ninety minutes, Cliftonville will be at the forefront of their minds.
“I struggle putting into words how much it means and how grateful I am.”
Lorraine was last weekend delighted to be the first beneficiary of the family season ticket as her family attended the Reds’ 6-3 victory over Ards in the first match of the new Danske Bank Premiership 2017/18 season.
Cliftonville Football Club said they were “humbled” about the “gratifying initiative”.
“The ticket will be used by different families connected to the the Cystic Fibrosis Family Support Group, who will ensure that – thanks to Bryan’s kind-hearted donation – sufferers and their loved ones will be able to enjoy free days out at Solitude in the year ahead.
“Everyone at Cliftonville FC endorses Bryan’s wonderful gesture and looks forward to welcoming the various families who will benefit from his generosity in the coming weeks and months.”