A group of Newcastle United fans planning to mark Sunderland AFC’s relegation to the Championship with a flyover banner have decided to donate a share of the money raised to little fighter Bradley Lowery.
The friends, with 49-year-old Darren Curry at the helm, plan to fly the banner over the Stadium of Light during the Black Cats’ clash against Swansea on May 13, the club’s last home game in the Premier League before dropping down a division.
The original idea had been to poke fun at their rivals, but as money poured in towards the £960 cost of the banner, supporters had a change of heart.
They decided to split the rest between five-year-old Bradley Lowery, from Blackhall, who battles terminal neuroblastoma, and poorly Tyneside youngsters Frankie Sherwood and Hope Feeney.
Now many people voting on the wording to be printed on the banner, are hoping that instead of a cheeky message for Sunderland, more fitting words in support of those suffering from cancer will be chosen.
One of the possible options is ‘United by cancer, divided by leagues’. Another has the initials of Bradley, Hope and Frankie with the message “Cancer has no colours”.
We had a couple of options to have a dig at Sunderland, but it would be far more fitting if it is in support of young cancer sufferersDarren Curry, Newcastle fan
Offshore worker Darren said: “This started as just a bunch of lads collecting donations and in tins in pubs around St James’ Park.
“We planned to do a banner as a dig at Sunderland being relegated to the Championship.
“We raised much more money than we needed – over £2,000 in a week.
“We’ve now raised £4,300, and the banner costs just £960.
“We decided to split the rest three ways between Bradley, Frankie and Hope.
“As a result we had Sunderland fans and Middlesborough fans donating and it was becoming quite a big thing.
“We had a couple of options to have a dig at Sunderland, but it would be far more fitting if it is in support of young cancer sufferers.
“A lot of Sunderland fans have donated, so it is only fair that they should have a say.”
Darren and his pals now have a Just Giving page so that people from further afield can take part in the vote and donate to the cause.
This is available at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/darren-curry?utm_id=106&utm_term=BmbbYWwKV