23rd Sep, 2020

Rubery family heartbroken by loss of late Darron Harford's signed Pele shirt are given replacement

A HEARTBROKEN Rubery widow who launched an appeal to find a signed Pele shirt belonging to her late husband has been given a replacement by the charity Sense.

The family feared the framed Brazil shirt, belonging to Darron Harford, had been given away to a charity shop.

The shirt was one of Darron’s most prized possessions as it was a gift from his wife Karen and their two children on his 30th birthday.

It had hung in the family’s home since Darron’s tragic death in January but during building work, the shirt signed by Brazilian legend accidentally ended up being removed by builders and is understood to have been put among items set aside for charity donation.

Among the potential charity shops that could have received the signed shirt was the Sense shop in Kingstanding, which raises money to support children and adults with complex disabilities.

Sense confirmed it had not received the shirt, but spread the word with its network of supporters to see if there was anything they could do to help.

An appeal was launched and was featured in the Bromsgrove Standard and on our website.

One generous supporter, who has requested to remain anonymous, was so touched by Karen’s story, he organised a replacement shirt, signed by Pele.

Sense representative, Adrian Darkin presented the new short to Karen at Sense TouchBase Pears, a centre which provides specialist support for disabled people and offers services to the Selly Oak community.

Karen said: “It’s hard to find the words to describe our appreciation for the support and determination shown by Sense, and for the generosity shown by their supporter.

“It’s comforting to know that there are people out there with empathy, compassion and kindness.

“Getting through each day when grieving is hard enough, then to realise the shirt was missing left us feeling deflated and saddened as it meant so much to Darron and had great sentimental value.

“Myself and my children are really looking forward to having the frame back with us.”

Adrian Darkin, Director of Trading at national disability charity Sense, said: “The team at Sense were incredibly touched by Karen’s story and were determined to help.

“We reached out to our network of supporters and were blown away when one of them said he’d be able to help.

“We hope that the shirt will help keep the memory of Darron alive and provide some Christmas cheer for the family.”

Visit www.sense.org.uk for more on the charity.

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