Little Sheffield lad Charlie leaves a lasting children’s legacy

SHEFFIELD UNITED V STEVENAGE  28.4.12'pic : Martyn Harrison'   - Sheffield United &   - Stevenage''''� BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
SHEFFIELD UNITED V STEVENAGE 28.4.12'pic : Martyn Harrison' - Sheffield United & - Stevenage''''� BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

FUNDRAISING in memory of a young Sheffield United fan who tragically died when he was run over by a car has paid for a lasting legacy which will help his favourite football club’s work in city communities.

A minibus paid for by Charlie’s Trust, the charity set up in memory of seven-year-old Charlie Liversidge, has been donated to the Blades’ United Initiative.

Charlie died after being knocked down in a neighbour’s drive in Dore, Sheffield, in 2008.

There were poignant scenes as more than 100 family and friends gathered to watch Charlie’s parents - Andrew and Jo Liversidge - hand over the keys to Sheffield United owner Kevin McCabe before kick-off at Bramall Lane on Saturday.

A poem dedicated to the youngster was also read aloud.

The 16-seater vehicle will be shared by Penny Acres Primary School in Holmesfield, where Blades fanatic Charlie was a pupil.

Mark Todd, community development manager for the United Initiative, said: “The United Initiative will use the new minibus, in conjunction with Penny Acres Primary School, to provide sporting and educational opportunities for youngsters of all ages.

“It will be a huge asset to the club’s community division, helping to transport children and young people between training grounds and to matches.”

The club has pledged to meet the ongoing costs of the minibus, which has been decorated with Charlie’s Trust logos and badges. The United Initiative aims to forge links between the Blades and communities through sport.

Dave McCarthy, managing director of Sheffield United, said: “We are delighted and honoured to be working with Charlie’s Trust. It is a fantastic charity with a poignant message, set up in the name of a true Blades fan.”

Beverley Webster, Charlie’s aunt and trust chairwoman, said: “Donating this minibus through money raised by Charlie’s Trust will mean that many children and young people will benefit for years to come through the fantastic work of both the United Initiative and Penny Acres Primary School.

“Charlie was a massive Blades fan, so this is a fitting tribute and a great way to keep his memory alive.”