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Walking the walk

Cliftonville Football Club look forward to welcoming Tim Branagh to Solitude as part of his fundraising walk in support of the NI Hospice this afternoon.

Trekking to all Belfast-based Irish League grounds in memory of his Distillery-supporting father Austin, Tim – who sets off from the Maynard Sinclair Pavilion in Stormont at 9am – is scheduled to arrive at Solitude at approximately 12.35pm, when any Reds supporters who wish to greet him are more than welcome to do so.

“My Dad lifted me over at every Irish League ground in the country and I was lucky enough to see Martin O’Neill playing for Distillery, Gerry Armstrong for Bangor, and Billy Hamilton for Linfield, amongst many other stars,” explained Tim.

“Interestingly, Dad supported Distillery; his brother, my Uncle Billy, supported Linfield and his Dad, my Granda Branagh, supported Belfast Celtic! There was always some craic in that house on Saturday teatime!

“My Dad had prostate cancer and was cared for by the team in Hospice for around three weeks in September 2021. He initially only went in to work out a pain management plan, but the cancer had spread into his bones, so he remained there until he died.”

Wanting to give something back to the Hospice for the care they provided, Tim came up with the idea of today’s sponsored walk which will see him visit The Oval, Seaview, the NI Hospice on Somerton Road, Solitude, the sites of Grosvenor Park and Celtic Park before finishing at Windsor Park at 2.30pm.

Lauren Doherty, Interim Director of Commercial and Brand Development at NI Hospice, said: “We’re humbled that Tim has chosen to honour his father’s memory, hosting his own personal challenge walk and raising vital funds and awareness of our charity and the invaluable services it provides. We wish Tim the very best of luck!”

You can support Tim’s fundraising efforts via his JustGiving page.