Burnley man's fantastic efforts to raise cash for research into disease his dad is battling

Matt on his wedding day with his dad, Paul
Matt on his wedding day with his dad, Paul
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Rival football clubs have banded together to help a Burnley man raise cash for research into a devastating disease that his dad was diagnosed with last year.

Signed shirts and balls have been donated by Burnley, Blackburn Rovers and Accrington Stanley for an auction at the charity match at the Prairie Sports Village on Saturday, March 23rd, in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Matt with his bride, Melissa.

Matt with his bride, Melissa.

The event has been organised by Matt Simm whose dad Paul was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018.

And Matt, who initially set a fundraising target of £500, has so far raised the grand sum of £2,580.

Matt said: "The response and support from the people of Burnley and surrounding areas has been fantastic.

"It is also good to see rival football clubs coming together in times like this."

Other raffle and auction prizes include signed kits from several top football clubs including Chelsea, Liverpool.Leicester, and Watford.

Several local businesses have also made donations of vouchers and Marsden Park Golf Club have given a year's membership worth £550 and the club's professional, Neil Reeves has donated six free lessons.

Matt (28) who lives in Harle Syke, would like to raise as much awareness as possible of the disease which is one of the UK's biggest killers.

Matt is an inspector at Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick, where his dad also worked before his illness.

Matt has roped in family and friends to be in his team against his colleague Phil Taylor and a group of his pals.

Players signed up for the match within a couple of hours of Matt announcing details of the game.

The first match, which will be Simms v the Taylors kicks off at 12-30pm and after this it will be the Simms v veterans who face each other on the pitch.

People can buy raffle tickets on the day and it will be drawn at 3-30pm followed by the auction.

Affectionately known as Zac, after he played a character by that name in a school play while a student at the former St Joseph's Primary School in Nelson, Paul has lived all his life in Brierfield with his wife, Melanie.

The family, including Matt's sister Becky Holroyd, her husband Nick and their baby daughter, Olivia will all be at the match to give their support.

And by Matt's side will be his new wife, Melissa. The couple tied the knot a couple of weeks ago and are settling into married life.