HE’S one of Sheffield United’s biggest fans – and the club he loves are doing their bit to support him too.
Blades fan Karl Darby, 44, suffers from mycolonic epilepsy and is confined to a wheelchair.
And when the club discovered his family were trying to raise £15,000 to pay for a lift to be installed in his home they held a fund-raising match between Sheffield United legends and a group of generous Blades fans.
The fans donated a minimum of £99 each to play against heroes such as Bob Booker, Tony Agana, Carl Bradshaw, David Holdsworth, Peter Duffield, Georges Santos and Alan Wright.
The legends team won 3-1 with goals from Peter Duffield, Carl Bradshaw and Curtis Woodhouse but Karl was the real winner – the game raised £2,000.
Karl’s parents Barbara and Roy Darby, of Cobnar Avenue, Woodseats, were at the game.
Barbara said: “Karl was invited onto the pitch to meet the legends and he was given a shirt by the referees. He enjoyed meeting Tony Agana in particular and although he supported the legends team, he was really pleased the fans team scored a goal too.
“We are so grateful that United hosted this match to raise money for Karl and to everyone that has supported him so far.”
Dave McCarthy, head of operations at Sheffield United, said: “It’s fantastic that United could help raise so much money to help change the life of one of its most loyal fans.”
Mark Davies, managing director of ABC Insolvency Services, played in goal for the fans team.
He said: “It was a fantastic experience being treated like a professional for the day and playing against some famous Blades faces.”
Andy Emsley of Rotherham-based Classic Lifts Ltd has already pledged to donate the equipment needed to install Karl’s stairlift. Sheffield firm Coda Studios will do the design and planning for the work, which will be carried out by city man Tony Miller.