Vintage Clarets' victory in scorching match inspired by popular Padiham dad who is champion fund raiser for cancer charity

Blazing sunshine brought out the crowds on Bank Holiday Sunday to watch a line up of vintage Clarets take to the pitch in a charity family fun day.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 9:11 am

And organisers topped the £5,000 mark for two very worthy causes, Pendleside Hospice and Bowel Cancer UK.

Held to honour popular Padiham dad, Mark Harrison who is battling bowel cancer, around 500 people flocked to the Barden sports ground to watch ex Clarets, including Gerry Harrison, Chris Brass, John Deary, David Eyres and George Oghani, take on teams from the former Borrowdale Utd, now Burnley Utd, and the Craven Heifer pub.

Mark (35) who is known as Harry, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in July last year.

The 'Harry's Barmy Army' team take to the pitch with Mark (centre holding the football)

Since receiving the news courageous Mark,who has undergone 20 rounds of chemotherapy, has become a champion fund raiser for Bowel Cancer UK and, to date, he he has raised the amazing total of £6,000.

Inspired by his courage, Burnley Utd manager Chris Inckle decided to organise the event. Chris used to play football with Mark at Borrowdale Utd, the team his dad, Ken Inckle, launched. He was helped by Chris Rogers who rounded up a team from the Craven Heifer which is Mark's former local.

Chris said: "I just wanted to do something to help. Mark really is one the nicest guys I know the day was a true representation of the great family and friends he has around him."

"I would like to thank my family, the people who came to support us and also sponsors for the day."

Mark (centre) with the organisers Chris Inckle (right) and Chris Rogers

Dubbed Harry's Barmy Army v Vintage Clarets, the 'home' team played in green and white kits, the Borrowdale colours and each shirt had Harry on the back with number one which was always Mark's number.

Crowds gathered to watch the game which ended in 6-4 to Vintage Clarets and there was a raffle, bar and Burnley Police and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service staged family activities.

Mark cheered on the players from the sidelines with his wife Lindsey, their little boy Joshua who is almost three and dozens of their friends and relatives.

Mark, a detective for Blackburn CID, said: "What a fantastic day it was, I don't think it could have gone any better.

Mark with his wife Lindsey

"I want to thank Chris Inckle and Chris Rogers for organising everything because without them this would not have happened."

The initial total of £4,800 raised, was boosted by a further £590 thanks to a bonus ball draw to win a signed Burnley shirt organised by supporters Ryan Salmon and Darren Crawford.

Dozens of prizes were donated to the raffle and the draw takes places on Friday evening.

And a silent auction is on the cards for a series of signed football shirts and memorabillia, including a pair of gloves signed by Burnley's Tom Heaton.

Vintage Clarets v Harry's Barmy Army are ready to hit the pitch
The Barmy Army football shirts to honour Mark
Mark and his wife Lindsey with his family (left to right) sister in law Kirsty, brother Paul, mum Susan, dad Michael and niece Maddison.