Corby Town assistant-manager David Clarke says he is “overwhelmed” by the response from the footballing community after raising over £4,000 from an online auction.
Clarke was diagnosed with leukaemia in September last year, which resulted in him stepping back from his duties alongside boss and best friend Tommy Wright.
Having been treated at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Clarke decided to start a fundraising campaign in a bid to provide the cancer ward with fitness equipment for patients to use.
An initial batch of 11 items, all of which were donated by clubs and celebrities, raised in excess of £3,000 and, with more items being offered to him, his eBay auction continues to gather pace with the current total standing at a magnificent £4,340.
Within the items already sold was a Leicester City shirt signed by star striker Jamie Vardy, which fetched £580.
But the overall response has left Clarke delighted.
“There is still lots of stuff being sent to me and Tommy has taken a few calls from people he knows within the game who want to help,” Clarke said.
“It’s overwhelming really, especially with auctions because you never really know how it will go but to get £580 for the Jamie Vardy shirt was amazing.
“Fitness is a big thing for me and I think some equipment for the ward will really help.
“I know I feel so much better for getting back in the gym and I have had support from my key worker, Jenny, who wanted to get involved.”
As far as his own health is concerned, Clarke is making good progress in his battle to beat the disease. But he insists he needs to take care of the first-hand issues before thinking about his role with the Steelmen again.
“I have gone from having 100 per cent of cancer in my cells to 4.9 per cent in three months, which everyone is really happy with,” he added.
“There are still side effects from the chemo and meds but my specialists have been surprised by my progress so it’s all good at the moment.
“Football isn’t my full-time job so I have to get back to full-time work so I can pay my bills before anything else.
“You have to put everything into perspective and deal with the immediate things first.
“That’s probably not what Tommy wants to hear! But that’s the way it has to be. Hopefully the time will come when I can come back and help finish what we started.”
A Just Giving page has been set up for those not interested in the auction items but who would still like to help raise money. That can be found by visiting https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/d-clarke