A prized football shirt is going up for auction to help raise funds for a youngster battling cancer.
Family and friends of three-year-old Frankie Sherwood, of Dudley, have been left devastated after traces of neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer, returned at the base of his skull, just weeks before he was due to end his treatment.
A fundraising campaign has been launched to help raise £550,000 for Frankie to receive lifesaving treatment in America.
And to help, Mark Carruthers has donated a signed Blyth Spartans shirt – worn during the club’s famous 2014/15 Emirates FA Cup run.
The auction is part of a Race Night For Frankie event he is hosting at Blue Flames Sporting Club, Benton, on Friday, November 25.
Mark said: “I took part in the Walk for Frankie back in March, when we walked from Blaydon to Tynemouth on Easter Sunday. Since then, I have wanted to do more for Frankie and for his family.
“Frankie is exactly a year older than my son, William, and I can’t imagine what his family are going through. He was in his final week of treatment for neuroblastoma, then they found he had relapsed.
“The strength of his family, their bravery and that of Frankie himself are inspiring. I want to do all I can to help them reach their goal.
“It should be a cracking night and, hopefully, we will be able to raise as much money as possible.”
The Spartans fan added: “On face value, it may seem a hard decision to let the shirt go and I guess, in some ways, it is. They were special times.
“Seeing what Frankie has been through – showing unwavering bravery – brings perspective though.”
“Those cup run memories will last a lifetime and nobody can take them away from me. However, if I can use this shirt to help him get the funds he needs, then it isn’t difficult to part with it.”
Spartans fans keen to get their hands on the item of memorabilia can submit their bids via direct message to @MarkNLDaily on Twitter or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark, now the editor of NonLeagueDaily.com, said: “There is no figure in mind, although I’ve said that if someone gives me £300 then they can have it without it going to auction on the race night.
“If it doesn’t get to £300, it will go into the auction on the night and the highest received bid will be the starting price for it.”
In addition to the ex-press officer’s signed Spartans top, there are a number of other items up for grabs on the auction night. These include signed Leeds United shirts, signed Newcastle United footballs, a signed England rugby shirt and much more.
Tickets are priced at £5 each and can be requested and purchased via the Race Night for Frankie Facebook page or by searching for Race Night for Frankie on the social media network.
Frankie’s family have already raised over £110,000 and more information on his fight can be found on their @HelpFrankie Twitter account and GoFundMe donation page – www.gofundme.com/28mzxuk