Sheffield United's Oli McBurnie praised for "class" gesture after young Swansea City fan tragically passes away

Oli McBurnie, the Sheffield United striker, has been praised for a "class" gesture after offering to pay for the funeral of a Swansea City fan who tragically passed away after undergoing heart surgery earlier this month.

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 1:36 pm

Mitchell Powell, a popular supporter of McBurnie's former club Swansea, died on February 3 at Bristol Heart Institute while undergoing double heart valve replacement surgery. He was just 26 years old.

Powell was well-known to many at the Liberty Stadium and was dedicated to raising money for the British Heart Foundation. He was once named the charity's fundraiser of the year.

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Sam Rodon, the brother of former Swans player and McBurnie's friend Joe, now of Tottenham Hotspur, shared a message that McBurnie sent to Mitchell's family, offering to pay for his funeral.

"It was devastating to hear of Mitchell's passing, especially leaving behind a young family," McBurnie said.

"Some of the boys who I'm still close with down there [at Swansea] told me of the situation and I couldn't sit back and do nothing.

Oli McBurnie came off the bench in Sheffield United's defeat at West Ham last night: David Klein/Sportimage

"Mitchell was a big Swansea fan and everyone who I have spoken to said he was a lovely guy.

"I felt I could help make it a little easier for his family and friends without too much effort.

"I want to offer my condolences and best wishes to everyone who knew Mitchell."

Mitchell posted a photo of himself outside Bristol Heart Institute before the procedure, captioning it: "The day has arrived".

He was born with a heart condition and underwent more than 20 operations. He was a father of one and engaged to be married.

The striker joined United in the summer of 2019, in a deal that eventually rose to £20m - a club record fee for the Blades at the time.

But he has remained a staunch supporter of Swansea, and often returns to the Liberty Stadium to watch games when his Blades commitments allow.

His gesture attracted praise on socia media. Dylan Hughes tweeted: "You will always be welcomed at Swansea. You truly care about the community."

And Rob Nangalia added: "What a class gesture from Oli McBurnie."