Why this cancer sufferer was inspired to set-up a football team to help kids in his valley
Grassroots
30 January 2019

Why this cancer sufferer was inspired to set-up a football team to help kids in his valley

Sometimes in their darkest hour, people can be inspired to do amazing things.

And that’s what happened to restaurant manager Mark Quinn, while he was off work fighting cancer.

The McDonald’s  employee decided he wanted to help the children of Afan Valley. His amazing idea was to set-up a junior football club from scratch. And despite the odds, he pulled it off!

He said: “I’ve been working with McDonald’s for about five years as a manager.

“Then I became ill with cancer so I did a lot of reflecting and I had a lot of time off.

“One of the things I noticed was that where I grew up, there wasn’t a football team.

“So when I got better, I wanted to help the children up here and ensure they had a football team.”

Even though he was very ill at times, Mark was determined to get the club up-and-running and

Set-about recruiting his U10 players through local primary schools and convincing volunteers to join-up through social media.

All the while, he completed his FAW Safeguarding award and got the club affiliated to the Port Talbot League.

But, what he didn’t know, was his generous employers were planning a special surprise.

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The Port Talbot and Bridgend McDonald’s restaurants provided grants to buy kit, balls and other vital equipment he needed to get Afan Valley JFC up-and-running.

He said: “McDonald’s were just amazing.

“They started everything off. They helped without me even asking.”

Mark also secured the use of Gwynfi United’s Welfare Ground, which gave them the opportunity to gain affiliation to their local league.

He said: “Affiliation to the league opened so many doors and helped us to grow but without the help of McDonald’s, none of this would have happened.” 

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