RIVAL footy fans have teamed up to support a teenager battling cancer – with a crazy race to Benidorm.
Four Sunderland fans are taking on four Newcastle United supporters as they compete to be the first to get to the Spanish resort in cars painted in their team’s colours.
North News and Pictures Rival football fans are putting their differences aside to support a teenager battling cancer
The charity car rally – called ‘Benidorm or Bust’- has been organised by friends and family of Joe Hardman, 19, of Brandon, near Durham, who is battling leukaemia.
This week marks a year since the teen had a stem cell transplant, following a donation by his younger sister Grace, 13. He was diagnosed when he was 17 in October 2017.
The rival fans have had football shirts made from both club’s colours for the event and Joe’s dad Darren – a keen Sunderland fan – is one of those taking part.
Family friend and Toon fan Neil Carr, of Brandon, Co Durham, said: “Joe and his dad support Sunderland and the rest of us support Newcastle but we’re bringing the teams together.
‘WE ALL JUST WANT TO HELP’
“It’s all about raising money for the children’s cancer ward at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where Joe had most of his treatment.
“We all just want to help. People have done it for Joe and we will be doing it for the people who need it next.
“We’ve always been to Benidorm on a plane and come back on a plane so we don’t know what to expect.”
Joe had just started a plumbing course when he was diagnosed and had to put his studies on hold for treatment.
He is now recovering and is hoping to go back to college in September.
His mum Joanne said: “It’s just giving something back for everything they’ve done for us and to make it a bit easier for other families and children if they end up in there, like we did.”
The family have already raised thousands for charity and hope to raise another £5,000 with the Benidorm rally.
just giving Joe Hardman, 19, is battling leukaemia and was diagnosed two years ago in October 2017
North News and Pictures The two teams will compete to be the first to get to the Spanish resort in cars painted in their team’s colours
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