FOOTBALL fans dug deep and raised £2,511.92 in memory of ex-Spireite Dean Holden’s young daughter, who died after contracting a rare bacterial blood infection.
Chesterfield supporters raised the cash during a collection at Tuesday night’s match against Oldham.
Dean’s daughter Cici was just 17 months old when she died in May after contracting meningococcal septicaemia on a family holiday.
The money will be given to St Mark’s Primary School in Worsley, Greater Manchester, which is attended by At the request of Dean and Danielle’s children, Joey, five, and Ellis, three.
Some of the money will fund the construction of a memorial garden at the school.
“It’s a church school and they don’t receive Government funding so we thought it would be nice to help them out,” said Dean.
“Danielle used to take Cici with her when she was fund-raising for St Mark’s so there are memories of her at the school. It will be nice for Joey and Ellis to be able to visit the garden and plant seeds in Cici’s memory.”
Dean, who now plays for Walsall, attended the Oldham match with Danielle and addressed the fans at half-time.
He said: “We were absolutely amazed to hear how much had been raised and I want to thank everyone at the club because the support we’ve had has been overwhelming.
“It’s obviously been a really tough time for us but the support we’ve had from Chesterfield fans has been more than from any club I’ve been at. It really does make a difference because it keeps us going.”
Chesterfield director Ashley Carson, who sanctioned the collection, said: “I can’t thank the supporters enough for their generosity. The volunteers who went round the stadium with collection buckets did a great job because it’s never easy to ask for money.
“To raise that sort of figure is a proud achievement for the club and I’m delighted to hear some of the money will pay for a permanent memorial to Cici. It was an honour to host Dean and Danielle and they will always be welcome at Chesterfield.”