Nicola McKeever, wife of former Portglenone and Antrim footballer, Paul McKeever R.I.P. has called upon clubs across the North to light up their pitches this Saturday night in memory of her husband.
Paul’s local club, Casement’s Portglenone started the initiative a year ago and clubs across the country reacted to the call to ‘Light up the Pitch for Paul’ and Mrs. McKeever called on as many clubs as possible to take part this Saturday night.
Paul McKeever, a father of three died three months after being diagnose with a yolk sac tumour – a rare, malignant tumour of cells.
Mr McKeever represented Casement’s and Antrim during a successful playing career which saw him represent Antrim at both minor and under-21 level and was a member of the ground-breaking Sean Stinson’s minor team which won four Antrim minor championships between 1995-1998.
When Paul was forced to give up playing after sustaining a serious injury he took up a very successful career as a referee and became one of Antrim’s top whistlers, going on to referee at Ulster level and appeared to be heading for an inter-county career when his illness struck.
He remained deeply involved with Roger Casements GAC, where he served on the committee and coached underage teams.
A Gaelic football tournament will also be held to raise funds for charities that have helped the family since Mr McKeever’s death. Paul’s son Conor will be on one of the teams taking part in the youth tournament.
On Saturday, eight youth teams will participate in the tournament in his memory and at 7pm, two of Mr McKeever’s children will switch on the floodlights at the pitch.
Mrs McKeever said: “We hope that as many GAA clubs and other sports clubs get involved and light up their pitches, not just in memory of Paul, but for all those loved ones who have died.
“There’s been so many deaths and illness, especially over the last year, we want to remember all the loved ones lost.”
It is the second time a tournament has been organised in honour of Mr McKeever, with all proceeds raised going to Cancer Focus NI and S.T.E.P.S.