Irish team will honour Magherafelt teen who lost battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Marc Bigger from Magherafelt
Marc Bigger from Magherafelt

The Irish football team will pay tribute to Magherafelt teen Marc Bigger at one of their international games in March, the MAIL has been told.

The 19 year-old, who was a member of Ireland’s U18 Powerchair Football team in 2014 for the EDF/FIPFA International Trophy in Paris, died following a brave battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Marc Bigger with his mum Marina Lupari and James McCann from Magherafelt District Advice Centre in 2015

Marc Bigger with his mum Marina Lupari and James McCann from Magherafelt District Advice Centre in 2015

A devoted Arsenal fan, Marc has been described as “inspirational” by his friends and family for overcoming the physical challenges of his condition.

In November last year, he realised his dream of going to university when he earned a place at the University of Ulster to study computers and games development.

Marc’s sporting achievements on the international stage will be marked at an Irish game in March, a spokesman for the FAI told the MAIL.

Meanwhile, Marc’s school, St Pius X College in Magherafelt, say they are “absolutely devastated” at the news of the passing of their “highly gifted and talented” former pupil.

Principal, Jackie Bartley, said: “It is with deep sadness that St. Pius X College announces the passing of our past pupil, Marc Bigger. Marc joined the college in September 2008 and completed his studies in October 2015.

“Marc was a highly gifted and talented pupil who achieved outstanding success in his time with us. Having gained

exceptional GCSE and A Level results, Marc took up a place at Ulster University, Coleraine, studying

BSc Hons Computing (Games Development).

“Marc made a valuable contribution to all aspects of college life. He used his exceptional skill in ICT to support the college in gaining regional and global recognition as a centre of ICT excellence. Alongside this he found time to participate in many clubs, societies and fundraising events.

“Marc was a true inspiration and a selfless ambassador for St. Pius X College. He was the central figure in his year group, the Class of 2015.

“His motivation and determination to persevere has provided us with a lasting legacy. Marc will be sadly missed by all of us as he has touched our lives in so many ways. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this very sad time.”

Marc’s wake will take place at his home, 17 Hazelbrook, Magherafelt, BT45 6AJ. His Funeral Mass will be on Sunday 17 January at 12pm in the Church of the Assumption. The family home will be private on the morning of his funeral.

Marc’s journey to university, which was reported in the MAIL at the end of last year, can be followed by clicking the link in this story.