Stephen Lyness Fund nears £100,000 almost 10 years after his death

Taking part in the X Factor competition.
Taking part in the X Factor competition.

The Stephen Lyness Memorial Fund is nearing the £100,000 mark almost 10 years after the teenager died in his sleep on his 18th birthday.

Stephen died from SADS (Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome) and was found in bed just three days before Christmas 2004 by

his dad Geoffrey.

Since then Geoffrey and his wife Catherine and their two daughters have raised fund non-stop for research into the mystery illness, as well as providing defibrillators to sports clubs – and training in order to help counteract the

SADS condition.

The six figures is in view after an X-Factor show at the Tunnel Bar – a two-night event that raised £3,200 and provided top-class entertainment.

Said Catherine, “We delighted at the commitment of the community. The X-Factor event is one of many supported by the community in our on-going fund-raising.”

This has included the annual Portadown-Scarva cycle ride along the Newry Canal tow path, the perennial collection by Costcutters at Garvaghy Road, and Catherine’s own efforts at running the London Marathon a few years back.

Fun and fund-raising were the hallmarks of the X-Factor, with harmony duo Emma Hamill and Julie-Ann McCourt (aka ‘Double Trouble’) the winners and Chivers McCourt the runner-up. Five acts reached the grand final and the judges were Stephen Edgar, Geraldine Fry and Colin Prunty. James Dunbar was the MC and the technical expert

was Aaron McIvor.

Said Catherine, “We want to thank everyone, especially the Tunnel Bar for staging the event which drew in great crowd, as well as the sponsors who gave generously for the raffle. £3,200 was a great total and a record for the event.”

The canal tow path sponsored cycle is on Saturday September 13, and the riders are asked to meet at Shillington’s car park at 10am for the mass start. It invariably attracts a large crowd of cyclists and is a fitting annual tribute to Stephen who loved

all sorts of sports.