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Funds raised in memory of former Hearts captain

 

Marius Zaliukas passed away last month after battling MND

Funds are being raised in memory of a football star.

Former Hearts and Lithuania captain Marius Zaliukas died on 31 October after a battle with MND. He was aged only 36.

The defender captained the Edinburgh side to their memorable Scottish Cup final win in 2012 and also played for Leeds United and Rangers.

A silent auction in memory of the popular player has been created by the Big Hearts Community Trust. It is hoped up to £8,000 can be raised by the sale of a shirt Zaliukas wore on his 29th birthday and a crowdfunder for MND Scotland.

A statement from the trust said: "As we mourn the loss of Marius Žaliūkas, Big Hearts has launched an unique auction with every penny raised going to MND Scotland. We hope fans will take the opportunity to bid for this unique piece of memorabilia whilst supporting the fight against motor neurone disease."

Football supporters have generously contributed to a JustGiving fundraiser set up by Hearts' fan Gary Cowen, with over £5,690 raised so far. The fundraiser said: "Marius played 222 games for Hearts scoring 15 goals. He became a much-loved club legend, captaining the club to its historic 5-1 success in the Scottish Cup Final of 2012. He will always be remembered as one of the overseas players who really understood Hearts and the values which underpin the club. Motor Neurone Disease is a horrible condition and it is vital that research continues into finding a cure for this disease. Please support this appeal in Marius' memory."

 

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