CORK CITY will play Ringmahon Rangers in a friendly next month to raise funds for Mahon toddler Zac Higgins.
The League of Ireland club announced that the match will be played on Sunday, May 12, in Ringmahon Park. Entry to the game will be free, with donations invited from those who attend.
Two-year-old Zac was seriously injured in a collision while playing in his estate in Castle Meadows in March, and has since been diagnosed with a DAI brain injury.
“We don’t know what the future holds for little Zac, but we do know we will be by his side every step of the way,” his family said. “It’s going to be a very long road to recovery, but we have faith in God and want everyone to continue to pray for a miracle.”
He was transferred from CUH to Dublin in the hours after the accident and remains under the care of specialists in Temple Street Hospital. The local community has rallied in support of Zac and his family, and more than €40,000 has already been raised for his care and rehabilitation.
Cork City FC commercial manager Paul Deasy said the club were keen to add their support to fundraising efforts.
“It is such an important cause to the local community,” he said. “Zac’s father Paul has worked on the ticket stiles for matches in Turners Cross for years and is well known to all the staff at the club.
“So the club really wanted to do something, and John Caulfield was very supportive of the idea for a match.”
Paul Higgins is the treasurer of Ringmahon Rangers, who will be the opponents on the day. Cork City is calling on its supporters to turn out on the day and show their support.
“It will be free entry for everyone and there will be donation buckets at all the gates so people can give whatever they can,” Mr Deasy said.
He also said that John Caulfield has promised to field a strong team on the day, and there may be one or two surprises for fans, with some former club favourites keen to get involved.
This will be the second major event held at these grounds to raise money for the local boy.
More than 4,000 people attended a family fun day on Easter Sunday, raising tens of thousands for Zac’s care.
Zac’s mother Aisling, and siblings Max and Belle, were among those in attendance.
Local councillor Chris O’Leary, who is one of the trustees of the fund for Jack, praised it as a ‘phenomenal event’ and said the family were blown away by the support shown for them.
The match organisers are hoping for a similar strong turnout for their event. Kick off is at noon on May 12.