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Ex-Norwich City stars set to play in football fundraiser for seriously ill five-year-old

PUBLISHED: 11:10 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:20 12 July 2019

Five-year-old Benny Pitcher (front, centre), with dad Kevin and mum Julie and siblings (from left): Ruby, Brannigan and Rosie. A fund set up to support the seriously ill youngster has almost topped the £10,000-mark.
Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Five-year-old Benny Pitcher (front, centre), with dad Kevin and mum Julie and siblings (from left): Ruby, Brannigan and Rosie. A fund set up to support the seriously ill youngster has almost topped the £10,000-mark. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

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Two former Norwich City stars will be guests of honour at a sports-themed family fun day being held at Sheringham Football Club on July 21 in aid of a youngster with an inoperable brain tumour.

Norwich City legend Darren Eadie, who will be putting in an appearance at a footbal-themed family fun day taking place at Sheringham Football Club on July 21 in aid of seriously ill East Runton youngster Benny Pitcher.
Picture: IAN BURTNorwich City legend Darren Eadie, who will be putting in an appearance at a footbal-themed family fun day taking place at Sheringham Football Club on July 21 in aid of seriously ill East Runton youngster Benny Pitcher. Picture: IAN BURT

Canaries legend Darren Eadie will be joined by ex-midfielder Mike Milligan at the event, which has been organised to raise funds for five-year-old Benny Pitcher, who was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer three months ago.

After hearing the devastating news, family friend Martin Watts decided to set up an online crowdfunding page with the aim of raising the £2,500 needed to send Benny, his three siblings and his parents Julie and Kevin on their dream holiday to Disneyland Paris.

Norwich City legend Mike Milligan, who will be putting in an appearance at a footbal-themed family fun day taking place at Sheringham Football Club on July 21 in aid of seriously ill East Runton youngster Benny Pitcher.
Picture: ARCHANTNorwich City legend Mike Milligan, who will be putting in an appearance at a footbal-themed family fun day taking place at Sheringham Football Club on July 21 in aid of seriously ill East Runton youngster Benny Pitcher. Picture: ARCHANT

His target was met within 24 hours and, thanks to donations, as well as a string of events including a golf day and a fishing match organised by family and friends, nearly £10,000 has since been raised, meaning Mr and Mrs Pitcher will also be able to adapt their East Runton home as Benny's illness progresses.

"My son Leo is the same age as Benny and three weeks before I heard the news they had been playing together, it felt as if I had been smacked in the head," Mr Watts said.

"We just wanted to know what we could do to help and I've been overwhelmed, people's generosity has been incredible."

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More than 40 people have signed up to take part in a football match being held as part of the latest event, with Mr Eadie and Mr Milligan also promising to play.

Mr Watts, who has been helped by friends Jason Trett and Amy Goodger, is hoping Benny will be well enough to blow the whistle to kick off the match.

"It has just been incredible, we have had so many people wanting to take part that I think we will have to split the game into 30 minutes slots so that everyone gets a chance to play," he said.

Other attractions at the event will include appearances from Norfolk police and fire service, stalls, fairground rides and games, a raffle with prizes including a holiday in Devon, a bouncy castle, a cake stall, a vegetarian food stand and a hog roast from the Norfolk Pie Man, with all proceeds going to Benny's appeal.

Benny's football fundraiser runs at Sheringham FC, Weybourne Road, from 12pm-6pm on July 21.

To make a donation, visit www.justgiving/crowdfunding/bennytoeurodisney

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