HE’S home at last. Unitedite Karl Darby has reached his goal by moving back to his family home after a 10 year wait – and it’s all thanks to a helping hand from his favourite football club and fellow Blades fans.
Karl, aged 45, suffers myolonic epilepsy and for the past decade has lived in supported accommodation in Totley.
Sheffield United and the club’s fans have been raising money for more than a year to fund a specially-built outdoor lift to enable Karl to return to his family home down steep steps in Norton.
And, now the lift has been installed, Blades’ chairman Chris Steer, managing director Dave McCarthy, midfielders Stephen Quinn and David McAllister, members of Sheffield United Disabled Supporters’ Club, and Lane legend Tony Currie all called round for the grand unveiling.
Also celebrating with Karl and his parents Barbara and Roy were Andy Emsley, of Rotherham-based Classic Lifts Ltd, who donated the equipment needed to install the lift, and Paul Hind from Coda Studios, the company that designed, planned and oversaw the project.
A range of events raised money for the project including an online shirts auction and a superbowl event which raised the final £900 needed to hit the £15,000 target.
Others who gave up their time and resources to ensure Karl could return home included Tony Walker Joinery Construction, Jewson and Bradwell Skips.
Karl attends every home match and many away games.
Dave McCarthy said: “Everyone at the club, on and off the pitch, has done their bit. Our goal was to see Karl back where he belongs – at home with his parents – and it was wonderful to attend his homecoming.”