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Billy Clarke raffling Cesc Fabregas shirt to raise money for Bradford NHS trust

The Grimsby striker was part of the Bradford side that knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup in 2015.

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Former Bradford striker Billy Clarke is raising money for causes in the city. (Dave Howarth/PA).

Former Bradford striker Billy Clarke is raising money for causes in the city. (Dave Howarth/PA).

Former Bradford striker Billy Clarke is raising money for causes in the city. (Dave Howarth/PA).

Grimsby striker Billy Clarke is raffling off Cesc Fabregas’ shirt to raise money for the NHS and those in need in Bradford.

The forward has set up an online raffle from the Bantams’ shock 4-2 FA Cup win at Chelsea in January 2015, which also includes his jersey from the day.

He is raising funds for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Trussell Trust, which has a foodbank branch in the city.

Clarke came on as a substitute at Stamford Bridge, where Bradford recovered from 2-0 down to win, and rather than keep the mementos he wants to help during the coronavirus crisis.

“Bradford is a city I live near and I have a real fondness for it. The people are nice, genuine people,” Clarke, who played 136 games and scored 26 goals in two spells at Valley Parade, told the PA news agency.

“Everyone knows Bradford isn’t an affluent area so when everyone is getting laid off or furloughed there might be people who are struggling to feed their families.

“I’ve had the shirts since the game and I planned on putting them up on the wall but I’ve got first-hand memories.

“If it helps all the charities and if it gives someone a smile that’s good enough for me and it’s the least I can do.

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Billy Clarke (centre) enjoyed his time at Bradford. (Mike Egerton/PA)

Billy Clarke (centre) enjoyed his time at Bradford. (Mike Egerton/PA)

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Billy Clarke (centre) enjoyed his time at Bradford. (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Everyone knows how hard the people of the NHS work and the funding wasn’t and isn’t great. If I can make a small contribution and it helps only a handful of people that’s enough.”

Clarke, 32, is currently furloughed after Grimsby opted to use the Government’s job retention scheme for the squad and staff at the start of the month.

He is keeping occupied by teaching sons Charlie and Freddie while also looking after eight-month-old Ezra with wife Kate.

There is no return date for the EFL with Grimsby 13th in Sky Bet League Two.

“With the family at home it’s been good, I’ve been home schooling the two eldest and that’s a tough task,” said former Charlton and Ipswich striker Clarke.

“I’m looking at their maths books and going ‘oooh, let me just refresh my memory’. It’s time spent with my family I wouldn’t have had.

“Ezra is keeping us busy, when we have been feeling isolated he is just rolling around and making us laugh.

“The players have been given a programme, keeping as fit as possible within the regulations and being kept in the loop over what could happen.”

The link to the raffle can be found here:  ttps://www.gofundme.com/f/bradford-nhs-and-bradford-foodbank?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&rcid=718ac1d84d3648f280451d45d43c007b

PA