Auction chance for supporters to bring fan home for Christmas

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FOOTBALL supporters can help a fellow fan make it home in time for Christmas by bidding in an online auction.

A charity match between a host of Sheffield United legends and celebrities was due to be played at Sheffield FC last Sunday to raise funds for life-long Blades fan Karl Darby, who suffers from mycolonic epilepsy and is confined to a wheelchair. But a waterlogged pitch made it unplayable.

United refused to let the setback put a stop to their fund-raising efforts and have launched a ‘12 Gifts of Christmas’ campaign, with players, sponsors and friends of the club donating items which will be auctioned online until December 19.

Of special interest is a Manchester-City-themed electric guitar signed by the City squad complete and a Liverpool FC shirt signed by this season’s squad.

Other items include Matt Lowton signed boots, an official Premier League referees’ shirt, signed boots from Richard Cresswell, Ched Evans and Stephen Quinn, Harry McGuire’s shirt.

Sheffield United managing director Dave McCarthy said: “We are all saddened that the match had to be cancelled. The prizes on offer now will make great Christmas presents and all proceeds will be donated to the Get Karl Home for Christmas Fund.”

The game was set to boost the Karl Darby Fund, which is raising money to install a stairlift at Karl’s parents’ home in Woodseats, Sheffield. For the past decade he has lived in supported accommodation but hopes to return to his family home permanently in time for Christmas.