York & North Yorkshire

Emmerdale stars take on Harrogate fans in charity match

Emmerdale star James Hooton, who plays Sam Dingle, with Archie Image copyright Vicky Flintoft
Image caption Emmerdale star James Hooton, who plays Sam Dingle, with Archie

Emmerdale stars and Harrogate Town FC supporters are taking part in a charity football match in aid of a young fan with a rare blood disorder.

Archie Flintoft, aged three, has Diamond Blackfan anaemia (DBA) - a condition where the bone marrow fails to produce red blood cells.

Archie, who needs a blood transfusion every three weeks, will kick off the game.

James Hooton, who plays Sam Dingle in the ITV soap, is among the players.

An auction, featuring a signed Gareth Southgate waistcoat, an Alan Shearer signed England shirt and an Emmerdale studio tour, is being held after the game.

Archie's parents set up a group called Archie's Army to raise funds for the DBA UK charity.

They have already raised money by taking part in the Great North Run, but are hoping the celebrity match will help them reach their target of £15,000.

Archie's mother Vicky said she had been overwhelmed by the support received so far.

She said Archie was so excited he had been practising for his football game while attending hospital appointments.

Image copyright Vicky Flintoft
Image caption Archie has been practising for his football game while attending hospital appointments

She said the condition affected 125 people in the UK, so the game was also about raising awareness of the importance of giving blood to help those who were reliant on it.

"While Archie generally copes well with his condition he gets tired when he is due his transfusion," she said.

She said Archie wanted the match to help other "poorly boys and girls too".

More than 500 people are expected to attend the game, which kicks off at the CNG Stadium at 14:00 GMT.

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