As Mark Farren posed with the teams before kick-off in last Thursday night’s game, one supporter shouted “There’s only one Mark Farren”.
It was a moment that summed up the evening - two clubs and supporters assembled all for one man who, through his immense character and fight, has caught the hearts of a football community.
Over £7,000 was raised on the night - £3,200 on the gate, £500 from the Glenavon board and the rest from a series of fundraisers during the evening.
As he led the teams out, Farren was applauded with every step by a crowd there to help him make another stride towards treatment in Mexico.
Farren’s Derry team that held PSG to a 0-0 draw in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup featured a plethora of quality players but they started slowly at Mourneview Park.
Glenavon’s ‘Player of the Season’, Kevin Braniff, could have opened the scoring but shot wide before Conor Dillon saw a header held by Patrick Jennings.
Dillon started in central midfield, perhaps boss Gary Hamilton keeping an eye on next season without Shane McCabe.
Andy McGrory managed to get the better of Jennings on 32 minutes as he blasted home a confident finish when Ciaran Caldwell sent him bursting clear.
McGrory went close when he attempted a long-range volley.
Fabio O’Brien netted Glenavon’s second on 44 minutes when he converted Hamilton’s corner.
The biggest cheer of the night then went to Derry’s first goal from the spot. Why? Well it could scarcely have come from a more popular scorer.
It was former Glenavon favourite Eddie McCallion who stroked it home, after the support demanded he be elevated to the position of penalty-taker.
Fabio made it 3-1 with a well-taken drive.
Cliftonville forward David McDaid netted Derry’s second shortly afterwards, blasting over new signing Jonny Tuffey.
McCallion had a major hand in Derry’s equaliser.
His shot came back off the post and Glenavon boss Hamilton couldn’t avoid nodding the ball into his own net.
There was still time for veteran Paul Millar to come on. His audaciously-attempted lob forced a top-drawer save from Jennings.
With time ticking away, Glenavon ran away with it.
A neat header from McGrory and drives from Braniff and the former made it 6-3 on a night that was all about one man - #TeamFarren
Donate to the Mark Farren fund at www.markfarren.com.
GLENAVON: James McGrath, Gareth McKeown, Simon Kelly, David Elebert, Kyle Neill, Andy McGrory, Ciaran Caldwell, Conor Dillon, Mark Patton, Kevin Braniff, Fabio O’Brien. Subs: Rhys Marshall, Andy Kilmartin, David Rainey, Jonny Tuffey, Kris Lindsay, Gary Hamilton.
DERRY CITY: Patrick Jennings, Eddie McCallion, Shaun Holmes, Ken Oman, Steven Gray, Ruairi Higgins, Ciaran Martyn, David Scullion, David McDaid, Ruairi Harkin, Kevin Deery. Subs: Gary Beckett, Stephen Parkhouse, Kevin McHugh, Neil McCafferty.