In memory of Kevin O'Riordan

Help us raise much needed funds for Brain Cancer Research

Fundraising for University of Liverpool
raised of £80,000 target
by 350 supporters
In memory of Kevin O'Riordan
The University of Liverpool's new Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer) Fund has been set up to support ground-breaking research into immunotherapy, a promising new treatment for glioblastoma.



Brain cancer is the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 in the UK, yet treatment has not changed for decades.

In conjunction with The University of Liverpool, we are fundraising for their Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer) Fund in memory of Kevin O'Riordan (affectionately known as Skippy to many).  Kevin died aged just 41 in October 2020. 

As part of the fundraising campaign, the University is creating a PhD in Kevin’s name. 

We need your help!

Kevin was very passionate about science and deeply believed in the importance of research.  We want to raise money in support of this pioneering research investigating the effectiveness of immunotherapy as a treatment for brain cancer. Further research into this disease will help to identify the immune system factors that contribute to longer survival rates in patients and may identify new ways to treat glioblastoma in the future. 

Our fundraising will take many forms, and across many cities - all of which played a key role in Kev's life - some of which you can see in the gallery of photos! Everyone can get involved!

Below are details of our first two events. Keep checking back for further updates on these events or please donate now and help give brain cancer patients further treatment options.

Seven4Kevin 1May - 11 June, 2022

Covering a total of 7,000kms, help us retrace Kev’s footsteps to key milestones in life from Cork -> London-> Swansea -> Leicester -> Milan -> Lausanne -> Anfield -> Altea -> Madrid -> Cork. Run, walk, cycle, swim to help us cover the distance. Anyone can take part, anywhere. 

Check out for all the details!

Skip Cup - Cork - 11 June, 2022

Starting in Kevin's hometown, his former Wilton United Football club team mates will face his Collingwood Cup winning team of 2000 & 2002. This promises to be a showdown like no other - think Liverpool v AC Milan Champions League Final 2005 - a match Kev got to enjoy in person. Fun & festivities will follow the match and all money raised will go towards the Glioblastoma Fund. 

Check out for details on how you can attend!


Kevin's Story

On 31 May, 2019, Kevin celebrated his 40th birthday at the Shard in London surrounded by his family, followed by drinks in Clapham with his closest friends. The next day, he witnessed his beloved Liverpool FC lift the Champions League Trophy in his newly adopted home city of Madrid. Less than six weeks later, and with no warning or sign of any illness, Kevin was cooking dinner when he started having seizures.

An MRI scan confirmed a brain tumour and a subsequent biopsy confirmed the news everyone had feared – Kevin had brain cancer, a grade 4 glioblastoma.

Originally from Cork in Ireland, Kevin trained as an engineer before deciding on a change of career. After completing a FIFA Masters in Sport, he became Head of Partnerships at Liverpool Football Club. Kev described working for his favourite club as “the best years of his life”. Kevin met his wife Maria on a blind date in Liverpool. “As a wife I couldn’t have found a better partner. Kev was very positive and always smiling; just one of those people that are always helping others and not thinking of himself. He was a loyal friend, so much fun and incredibly patient. He made everyone feel special.”

Following his diagnosis, Kevin underwent two surgeries and took every available treatment - chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He remained positive throughout – never once complaining. After spending Christmas of 2019 in the UK with family and friends, Kevin returned to work and enjoyed a normal life. He swam and went running – even signing up for the Madrid marathon and convincing less enthusiastic friends and family to join him!

A further MRI scan however in early 2020 revealed the tumour had spread to other parts of his brain. By March 2020, as the world went into Covid 19 lockdown, Kevin started to experience problems with his speech and facial coordination. A doctor later confirmed this was caused by a new lesion on his brain stem. By the summer of 2020, the seizures had returned and Kevin’s symptoms were getting worse. 

The speed with which the cancer devastated Kevin took everyone by surprise. Within ten months of his initial and totally unexpected seizures, his speech was slurred, he was beset by hiccups, the left side of his face was beginning to palsy and his balance was unstable, leading to multiple falls. The sudden deterioration from February to May 2020 made life very difficult for both Kevin and Maria, but still they persevered with hope and positivity. Unfortunately, the curative cupboard was bare, leading Kevin, a man with great trust in science, to begin thinking about the need for trials and further research. Unfortunately there was none available that could address Kev's need. 

By September of 2020, Kevin’s mobility and independence were quite limited given problems with his eyesight. Maria was six months pregnant by this time and together with Kevin’s family, decided it was time to take him home to his family in Cork. A week later, on 2 October, 2020, 15 months after his original diagnosis, Kevin died in hospital, surrounded by Maria, his parents and his sister. His best friends were waiting outside the hospital – unable to see him due to Covid restrictions. Kevin was just 41.

The impact Kevin had had in his four decades only became evident upon his death, as tributes and stories from all over the world came flooding in, testifying to his loyalty, conscientious character, sense of fun and all-round decency. These testaments provided great comfort to Maria and his family.

“I feel really privileged to have spent time with Kev. It was way too short, don’t get me wrong, we were only together for six years, but I know there are a lot of people who don’t experience this love in their entire life. I’m proud of what we achieved together and I’m so grateful that I will always have a part of him through our wonderful son Liam. He will always be proud of his dad.” - Maria 


Glioblastoma is the most common type of primary brain cancer. Despite intensive treatment with surgery, radiotherapy & chemotherapy, the prognosis for glioblastoma isn’t good; people with glioblastoma on average lose 20 years of life – the highest average years of life lost compared to other cancers.

Immunotherapy is a new type of treatment that is revolutionising oncology by manipulating the body’s own immune system into fighting cancer. Researchers at the University of Liverpool working with The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust plan to study the immune system response in long-term survivors and compare the results with those patients who do not respond to treatment. 

For more details on this amazing research visit,

About the campaign

The University of Liverpool's new Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer) Fund has been set up to support ground-breaking research into immunotherapy, a promising new treatment for glioblastoma.

About the charity

University of Liverpool

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