Farrell aims to “brighten a day, create a smile” with return of NEGU Crew in 2024

Andrew Farrell and Owen Humanitarian of the Year

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A two-time New England Revolution Humanitarian of the Year, Andrew Farrell has long been a pillar of the local community. Often recognized for his unwavering support of Special Olympics Massachusetts and the Revolution Unified Team, the veteran defender has also consistently lent his time to the Animal Rescue League of Boston and the Revolution’s Kick Childhood Cancer efforts.

This year, Farrell will be adding to that list by taking the reins for one of the New England Revolution Foundation’s signature programs, “NEGU Crew,” which returns for the 2024 season after a significant pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic. NEGU Crew – which stands for “Never Ever Give Up,” a phrase adopted from the partner Jessie Rees Foundation – provides a unique and memorable matchday experience for pediatric cancer patients.

Former Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe launched NEGU Crew in 2015 before the program was passed on to goalkeeper Matt Turner in 2019, and with both Rowe (retired) and Turner (Nottingham Forest) no longer with the club, a new leader was needed for the program’s return.

Farrell didn’t hesitate.

“It’s important, following in Kelyn and Turner’s footsteps,” Farrell said. “Those guys and how they went about it, and how special it was – it was very organic. You could see how much they put into it and how much it meant to be able to support the families and the kids going through such a hard time. It was a very easy yes for me, and I’m sure a lot of [teammates] will help and assist with it.”

NEGU Crew Matt Turner and Kelyn Rowe

Each child that is part of Andrew’s NEGU Crew will meet Farrell field-side prior to warmups, when they will be presented with a customized Revolution jersey. After watching the match from their own private suite, families will be escorted back to the field, where they will enjoy a Lap of Honor with Farrell and some of his Revolution teammates. Each family will also be provided with a $500 Gillette Stadium gift card to cover all food and beverage expenses, while leaving enough left over to outfit the entire family in Revs gear.

“It’s such a special thing,” Farrell continued. “If we can help brighten a day, create a smile, create an experience that can be unforgettable, then that’s what we’re here to do.”

There are four NEGU Crew visits scheduled for the 2024 season, beginning on Saturday afternoon when the Revolution will host a 13-year-old cancer patient – fittingly named Andrew – for their meeting with Chicago Fire FC.

Andrew and Family NEGU Crew

Andrew, a native of Salem, Mass., is a huge soccer fan who has bravely battled multiple illnesses throughout his childhood. Diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease at birth, Andrew received a kidney transplant (from his mother) at age seven, before years later being diagnosed with Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder, a lymphoma brought on by immunosuppression. The fantastic news is that Andrew’s tumor was successfully removed, and after eight rounds of chemotherapy to ensure there were no more PTLD cells present, his post-scans have been all clear.

Joining Andrew for his special experience on Saturday will be his parents, as well as his older sister, Isabella, and his younger brother, Jonathan.

“I’m excited to meet Andrew,” said Farrell. “You always get a little antsy to meet the family, and you want it to be as special as possible. I’m looking forward to that, and I think the team is looking forward to delivering a good performance and a big day for them.”