Stars turn out for tragic Daniel Sirrell

(from left) Peterlee Helford's Jamie Yorke and Sean Ryder, former SAFC stars Daren Williams and Darren Holloway, and Harton and Westoe's Jason Pressling and Gavin Strong
(from left) Peterlee Helford's Jamie Yorke and Sean Ryder, former SAFC stars Daren Williams and Darren Holloway, and Harton and Westoe's Jason Pressling and Gavin Strong

Football stars turned out in force to raise money for the family of tragic Daniel Sirrell.

The former East Durham College student was on a trip to Amsterdam with friends last month when he fell into a river.

A fund was initially set up to help his family with the cost of bringing his body home.

Daniel, from Peterlee, has now been returned and a funeral service was held on Friday, but the fund-raising continues to help his family with funeral costs and any medical bills incurred while he was in hospital in The Netherlands.

A fun day was held at the college in Peterlee today, with a team of former professionals taking on Daniel's Wearside League team Harton and Westoe FC before Harton took on his weekend team, Peterlee Helford.

Former Sunderland star Darren Holloway, who runs a soccer academy at the college, helped organise the event, and drafted in former teammates including Darren Williams, Lee Howey, Thomas Butler and Martin Smith, as well as the likes of Middlesbrough's Alun Armstrong and Hartlepool's Anthony Sweeney, in a team manged by Pools legend Brian Honour.

"Daniel was one of the students here and I had known him for three or four years," said Darren.

"Some of the lads who were with him were also part of the academy.

"When we got the news, people started asking whether there was anything we could do in terms of fund-raising , and could we do a charity game.

"I called in a few favours and twisted some arms so we could get some lads in.

"The money we raise today will go towards his medical costs and the cost of his funeral that his parents have had to pay for."

Daniels' friends Brandon Kirkbride and Dan Mason were among those taking part in the game.

They have been overwhelmed by the public response to Daniel's death.

"We don't know how much Daniel's family are going to need, which is why we are still fund-raising," said Brandon.

"We could not have asked for any more support from people. We did not expect everyone to rally round like they have."

Dan added: "It just shows how nice people really are. So many people have been in touch, wanting to help."