DIY SOS for Clarets superfan Rocky

Rocky in hospital
Rocky in hospital
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Clarets fans have been issued an emotional DIY SOS to help out one of Burnley Football Club’s most dedicated fans, ‘Rocky’ Mills, as he faces the difficult task of caring for his terminally ill wife.

Rocky, real name Derek Sylvester Mills, has been struck down with pneumonia while looking after his loving wife Jean (77) who is battling terminal cancer, prompting daughter Nyree to ask fellow fans if they can help bring a smile to their faces at this worrying time.

Jean and Nyree

Jean and Nyree

Away from football, 75-year-old Rocky has lived on a small-holding at Woodend, Reedley Hallows, for more than 40 years with a large collection of horses, chickens, ducks, geese, cats and dogs.

Nyree, the couple’s only child, said: “Mum and dad live in a very rundown old cottage, which is in desperate need of a facelift.

“They are both very poorly at the moment, and so I thought it would be a nice idea to ask Clarets fans if they could pull together and help to clean and improve the house.

“The house is cold and damp and the surrounding land is full of rubbish. I want to try and make their lives easier by cleaning the land up and redecorating the house.

“It would mean so much to both of them at this really difficult time.”

Nyree posted her appeal on a Burnley supporters’ forum on Facebook and has since had an “overwhelming response”.

A colourful character, renowned for his very vocal support from the terraces, Rocky is one of Burnley Football Club’s best-known supporters who for decades has followed the club home and away, including this season’s matches in Europe. He also sells the Golden Gamble tickets at Turf Moor before matches.

However, his and Jean’s recent illnesses means he has recently missed his first games in years.

Nyree added: “The response to my appeal has already been overwhelming. I’ve had offers of help from electricians and plasterers, as well as people just wanting to make a donation.

“Dad was crying on the phone from hospital when he saw all the amazing responses from my posts.

“I am planning to set up a Justgiving page for those that want to make donations. I am thinking the next international break would be a good time for any work to be done.”