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Bradford and Leeds supporters team up to raise money for popular club stalwart
Two sets of fans have put their fierce sporting rivalry aside to raise funds for a much-loved member of the West Yorkshire football community.
Followers of both Bradford City FC and Leeds United FC have teamed up to form the Friends of Carol McGuinness, who together with husband Tommy, has run the Bradford branch of the Leeds United Supporters Club for more than 30 years.
Mrs McGuinness, 52, of Wibsey, underwent surgery on a brain tumour in November, and the group’s goal is to raise £15,000 to contribute towards the cost of her private operation and post-operative care. The fundraising total so far stands at £5,392.
Two events, one organised by the fans of each club, will take place in Bradford this weekend to boost the appeal further.
Steven Geraghty, known as Gus, is Mrs McGuinness’ brother and a long-term member of Bradford’s Leeds United supporters group.
“The response to the appeal has been truly outstanding,” he said. “Fans know of all the work that Carol has done over the years and they were determined to give something back. I’ve been totally overwhelmed by the reaction. I know my sister is a bit embarrassed that people are doing so much for her.”
The Leeds United supporters group is running a fundraising race night on Friday at Bradford’s Central Club in Clayton Lane. The evening, which starts at 7pm, will also involve a raffle and auction of club memorabilia, featuring items such as a Mark Viduka shirt and a signed photograph of Championship winners Norman Hunter and Mick Jones. Leeds United FC has already made a £1,000 donation courtesy of managing director David Haigh.
Bradford City fans, led by friend of the family Tim Clarke, are holding a ‘She’s a Knockout’ event at the Upper George Pub in Wibsey on Saturday at 2pm.
“Carol is someone that can never give enough time to people, and as soon as we found out about the appeal, everybody wanted to get involved,” said Mr Clarke, also of Wibsey.
“It is very rare that something pulls everyone together in this way. The colours of the two teams have been put to one side for a good friend, which shows the character of the Leeds and Bradford people.”
Mr Geraghty, who said his sister was now recovering from her operation, added: “All the fans have gone the extra mile for this appeal and it is an amazing gesture that speaks volumes for them.
“I can’t thank everybody enough and it proves there’s more to life than football.”
Visit gogetfunding.com/project/now-it-s-your-turn-to-support-carol-mcguinness to find out more.
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