Team Oscar hits the big leagues

Published Tuesday, 04 December 2012
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Efforts to continue raising funds and awareness for brave Belfast boy Oscar Knox have reached the big leagues, with three football fans on a mission to take a Team Oscar flag to seven top flight football matches in seven countries in seven days.

Team Oscar hits the big leagues
Three football fans and a flag. (© Baz Devine)

Wee Oscar, as the four-year-old is affectionately known by his legions of fans on Twitter and Facebook, is battling a rare type of aggressive cancer.

Since being diagnosed with neuroblastoma just over a year ago, the little lad has had a very tough time and his family says he's spent more time in hospital than out of it.

Oscar recently made an exhausting trip to the US for life-saving treatment, only for a heart and lung condition to rule it out but still leave his family facing massive medical bills.

Thousands of well-wishers have undertaken all kinds of fundraising projects in a bid to help.

Among the latest is local man Baz Devine, who now lives in Manchester but has been following Oscar's story on Twitter.

"As a former pub landlord, I wanted to organise a fundraiser in Oscar's name - but felt I had lost the contacts to make it a big enough success since moving to Manchester," he said.

Instead, the Everton fan roped friends Jamie and Dean - who support Chelsea and Tottenham respectively - into accompanying him on a football tour armed with a specially commissioned flag.

"I contacted Oscar's family asking if it was acceptable to get a flag made up bearing Oscar's name, to raise awareness via televised games in the biggest stadia in Europe," Baz explained.

The flag has already appeared at Sunday's Hibs v Hearts game at Easter Road and at the Newcastle v Wigan game at St James's Park on Monday night.

Straight after that match, the trio were on the overnight bus to Glasgow for Tuesday's flight to Paris.

Their arrival, at 3pm local time, gives them just four hours to get tickets for Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League clash with Porto at the Parc des Princes.

On Wednesday, they hope to be in Spain to catch the Barcelona v Benfica game before heading to Italy for Thursday's Inter Milan v Neftci match.

Friday should see the boys in Germany for Hamburg v Hoffenheim.

But Saturday is a little less clear. It could be a Dutch game, it could be Belgian - but either way, the trio have to be on a flight back to England at 9am on Sunday.

And just for good measure, they're off to the Everton v Spurs game that night before heading home.

"To catch up on some sleep before work at 7.30 on Monday morning," Baz added.

But they won't be complaining about any tiredness.

This is a once in a lifetime experience for us, which will involve watching some of the best footbal in the world, while seeing some of Europe's finest cities ..." Baz said.

"And the whole idea of this is to do something novel, using a game that unites so many people around the world - using a common interest to promote Oscar's story.

"He really does deserve all the help he can get and his parents are inspirational people as well."

The boys are self-funding their trip and every penny raised will go to the charity Neuroblastoma Children's Cancer Alliance in Oscar's name, while also promoting the Oscar Knox Appeal.
© UTV News
Comments Comments
Keela in rochdale wrote (780 days ago):
Team Oscar flag at Goodison today! Hope you enjoyed the game. All the very best Oscar x
yas in ards wrote (783 days ago):
well done lads, a great idea.
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