Mark Farren's wife pays tribute to Derry City's decision to name stand after him

Mark Farren's wife pays tribute to Derry City's decision to name stand after him

NAMING a stand at Brandwell Stadium after late Derry City footballer Mark Farren is a fitting tribute, his wife has said.

Terri-Louise Farren praised the club’s decision, following Mark's death in February.

The 33-year-old Donegal native had been receiving treatment for a brain tumour when he died.

Mark - who was Derry’s all-time top goalscorer - had been battling the condition for over six years.

A major fundraising event was held last year to fund special treatment for his tumour in Mexico.

During an interview with BBC Radio Foyle today, his wife recalled Christmas Eve 2008 – the day when Mark was diagnosed.

"When we drove up in the car, met the doctor and he just said 'there's no easy way of putting this but you've got a brain tumour'," she said.

"Everything that the doctor said after that, we didn't even pick up. All we took in was that he had a brain tumour and that was it.

"The following December we got married and it was just normal life for us after that. To me it didn't matter if I only had him for two weeks after my wedding or five years, you're in for the long haul and I couldn't picture not having that."

She paid tribute to her husband’s strength when they suffered a personal tragedy in 2009.

Following their marriage that year, Terri-Louise gave birth to premature triplets.

"They were 23 weeks plus five days when they were born but they were just so tiny,” she said.

"We had them for three weeks, they had like a two per cent chance of living and we fought tooth and nail with every bone in our body to try and keep them but it wasn't meant to be.

"Mark was the only reason I got through the girls' situation and I think the trauma of that is what brought us to what Mark had then in the end.

"I used to question my faith every day. Why me...but it definitely made us stronger as a couple."

Derry City Football Club announced their decision to name the stand at the stadium after Mark in late February.

The club has also retired the number 18 jersey in his honour.

"I think he would be absolutely privileged if he was here today," Terri-Louise said.

"When I chat to people three words that come across is the most humble, gentle down to earth person that we'll you'd ever come across.

"I slowly watched my husband die for a year in front of me. I just hope nobody has to feel something like that.

"I know my life's going to move on at some point and I'm happy that I'm able to move on. I've got to keep fighting and fighting."

Mark featured in the Derry teams that won the FAI Cup in 2006 and 2012, having begun his career at the club in 2003.

He was voted player of the year by the Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland in 2005.

In 2008, following his diagnosis, he was forced into an early retirement, but he returned a year later after successful brain surgery.