Tyne-Wear Derby: Newcastle legend Alan Shearer joins SAFC's Jermain Defoe in fundraising call for young fan with cancer
Newcastle and Sunderland football fans are in a fundraising face-off to help the plight of a young NUFC fan who needs cancer treatment.
Football legend and Toon hero Alan Shearer has joined Sunderland AFC striker Jermain Defoe in calling for supporters of the two clubs to donate what they can to three-year-old Rocco Troiano, who is fighting stage four neuroblastoma cancer.
Their video messages calling for fans to rally around the youngster were released this week as Rocco’s family work to hit their fundraising total of £230,000.
The money would go towards a pioneering new treatment which is only available in North America.
Speaking in his video, Shearer said: “Little Rocco from Newcastle is fundraising with the Bradley Lowery Foundation for treatment abroad.
"He needs to raise a further £80k in the next few months and we need your help. If you can spare just £2, it can really make a difference.”
Rocco, from the Jesmond area of Newcastle, has the same kind of cancer as six-year-old Bradley Lowery.
A charity in Bradley’s name was established in 2017 after he passed away. Its aim was to support other poorly children with fundraising campaigns for equipment and treatment not available on the NHS.
And the Foundation has been helping spread the word of Rocco’s plight with the “Geordies versus Mackems donate-off”.
In his own video, Defoe said: “So, we’re asking you to show your support, like you did for Bradley, when the whole nation came out in force, and we need the same support for Rocco.”
Lynn Murphy, the charity’s chief operating officer, added: “Thank you to both Alan and Jermain for leading the charge with their respective teams to raise money for little Rocco.
“While SAFC and NUFC have a long-term rivalry on the pitch, we know that fans will put their differences to one side and come together to help a poorly child, just like they did for Brad.
“When fans pull together, they achieve fantastic results. We hope that this appeal will be the push we need to get Rocco to New York.”
NUFC fans are invited to donate here or by texting NUFC to 70480 to donate £5.
SAFC fans can make a donation here or by texting SAFC to 70480 to donate £5.