Leeds United fan's Anfield match in friend's memory against Emmerdale star's team for Once Upon a Smile

A Leeds United fan's football fundraising campaign in memory of his late best friend will continue at Anfield with rematch against an Emmerdale star's team.

By John Blow
Monday, 16th December 2019, 11:45 am
Leeds United supporter Darren Powell. Picture: James Hardisty.
Leeds United supporter Darren Powell. Picture: James Hardisty.

Darren Powell, of Wakefield, travelled to the Whites' home and away matches with Michael Kew, before he lost his cancer battle aged 40 in April 2015.

After his friend’s death, Mr Powell, 34, vowed to raise £100,000 for charities in Mr Kew’s memory.

So far he has fetched £64,000 for a number of causes by organising charity football matches involving his team, The Kews.

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Emmerdale's Danny Miller. Picture: Anthony Farran.

On June 21 next year they will take part in a rematch with Emmerdale star and Liverpool fan Danny Miller's own team for the charity Once Upon a Smile at Anfield, the home of the current Premier League leaders.

It comes after Miller's side - which has featured fellow actor Thomas Turgoose, of This is England fame, and Daniel Jillings, who appeared in Hollyoaks - beat The Kews 7-5 at Ossett United’s Ingfield Stadium earlier this year.

Mr Powell said: "It's absolutely amazing - a dream come true.

"I'm a Leeds United fan but to play at Anfield, it's just special."

Previous fundraising efforts have contributed to the causes of Bradley Lowery and Toby Nye, two young football fans who died of neuroblastoma.

In the last match between Mr Powell and Miller's teams, more than 1,300 people turned out to watch the game, raising more than £4,000 to be split between Macmillan Cancer Support and Once Upon a Smile, which offers emotional and practical assistance to bereaved families.

Mr Powell, of Kettlethorpe, said that if he can raise the £100,000 in his friend's memory "I will die a happy man".

"We're not far off. I won't stop until I raise £100,000" he said.

Even after his total is achieved, he intends to keep on going.

"I've enjoyed the journey," he said.

The Kews also have a fixture against the Chagos Islands international team next year, will appear on Soccer AM on February 22 and have been nominated for a prize at the The Yorkshire Choice Awards, which takes place in March.