Leeds United star Jack Harrison has helped to raise over £30,000 for the club’s official charity Yorkshire Cancer Research after hosting an online raffle for his hat-trick winning shirt.
The 25-year-old scored his first ever Premier League hat-trick against West Ham United earlier this month, and to help celebrate the occasion and give something back to the loyal fanbase, Jack decided he wanted to start a raffle for the match-worn shirt, with all of the funds being donated to the local charity.
On Friday afternoon, Jack was able to hand over the cheque for £30,874 to a number of representatives from Yorkshire Cancer Research at Elland Road. Juliet Glendinning, Director at the charity, was joined by Sara Williamson, who is currently being treated for breast cancer.
During the handover, Jack Harrison said: “I have had some unfortunate experiences with cancer and unfortunately know some people that have sadly passed away. I think the latest one was a young boy who lived in Holland. He had been writing letters to myself and my mum, so we communicated with him.
“When we played Ajax in pre-season we managed to get in touch and invited him to the game, and I was actually able to meet him which was incredible. He’d had his leg amputated, but you could still see how happy he was, and it really touched my heart to see that, because he had been through so much but despite all the setbacks, he found a way to remain happy and enjoy football, supporting Leeds as well and it was really inspiring for me.
“I’m really happy to help raise so much money, I wasn’t expecting it to be that much, and it’s just incredible that everyone has shown so much support for such a good cause."
Juliet added: “We're so thankful to Jack for choosing to support Yorkshire Cancer Research through the raffle of his hat-trick winning shirt, and all those who have supported him by making a donation and helping to reach such a fantastic total.
“It's brilliant that Jack has been able to celebrate his achievement in such a positive way and acknowledge all the fans and supporters across Yorkshire who are affected by cancer. The money raised will help fund life-saving research that will help to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer in Yorkshire."
The winner of the raffle, Rebekah Sheldon, was also in attendance at Elland Road today along with some of her family members, who are all huge Leeds United supporters. After being able to meet one of her heroes in person and receive the signed shirt that had been personalised for her, she said: “We’ve always come and watched Leeds play and when I saw this come up on Twitter, I thought I have to donate for such a good cause.
“I think unfortunately cancer can affect anyone, my grandad died when he was just 53 from cancer, so I knew when I saw it that I wanted to get involved.
“I couldn’t believe it when I won. When we got the email, I thought it might have been fake at first, I was that surprised - I’ve never won anything in my life. It was so great to meet Jack as well, you don’t often get to see them (the players), so it was lovely that I got the chance.”