The remarkable bravery and noble self-sacrifice of a lifelong Leeds United fan drew plaudits over the Christmas holiday, when a deal was agreed which will benefit Wakefield Hospice to the tune of an additional £400 on top of cash already raised. The extra money will be welcomed by the charity – but it will be very hard-earned indeed. For Darren Forsyth, 38, landlord of the Hammer & Stithy in Ossett, West Yorkshire, has had to agree to wear a Man U baseball cap for this coming Sunday evening’s five hour bar shift. Coincidentally, this weekend also marks the fifth anniversary of Leeds’ famous victory at the Theatre of Hollow Myths – when as a third-tier team, they knocked the then-champions out of the FA Cup.
The bizarre charity deal was struck after a Boxing Day raffle in Mr Forsyth’s pub raised £400 for the Hospice. Big-hearted Darren has notable form for fundraising, having helped raise over £10,000 for several charities over the past couple of years, since he has been in charge at the Hammer & Stithy. After the success of the Boxing Day raffle, Darren’s friend – scum fan Phil Hemingway – offered to double the £400 total if Mr. Forsyth would agree to wear a Pride of Devon shirt. Darren was not prepared to sell his pride that cheaply though, and remarked that wearing such a despicable shirt would cost his friend £1,000. An agreement was reached that five hours under the scum cap would be worth £400. Mr. Forsyth is pictured above, with Mr. Hemingway, as donations are handed to Samantha Wood of Wakefield Hospice.
The mind rather boggles at such an outstanding display of self-sacrifice and nobility. Mr Forsyth knows that his ordeal on Sunday will earn him some ribbing from the regulars – but he’s quite prepared to put up with this in such a good cause. “If wearing the hat raises more money for charity, then I’m not bothered,” he said, courageously. ““Me and (Man U fan) Phil always have a bit of rival football banter!”
Rumours that Mr. Forsyth will spend Monday having his head completely shaved and thoroughly disinfected are not be confirmed, but clearly cannot be discounted. It has also been claimed that an additional sum of money might have been raised by the Man U fan Mr Hemingway’s agreement to wear a Leeds United shirt for the duration of Darren’s cap ordeal. Sadly, however, the shirt in question allegedly rotted away the instant it touched the gloryhunter’s skin, so that deal had to be called off.
Those who admire and appreciate Darren Forsyth’s singular act of courage and sacrifice can support his efforts by making a donation to the Wakefield Hospice here.