A YOUNG cancer sufferer received a special visit from Darlington Football Club players and manager David Hodgson during a fund-raising event to send her on holiday.

Donna Long, 20, from Billingham, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February, is undergoing treatment, including chemotherapy, to beat the illness.

Mr Hodgson, together with Quakers players Curtis Fleming, Brian Close and Sam Russell, attended a social event at the Merlin pub in Billingham last night to help raffle off club memorabilia.

A charity football match involving players from the town's King's Arms pub took place 24 hours earlier to raise funds for Donna to go on holiday.

Last night, the Quakers boss and his players - who all used to play for Middlesbrough - mingled with Donna's friends and family in the Merlin, on Marsh House Avenue.

Mr Hodgson presented a cheque to Donna for £2,000 and said he was only to happy to lend his support to such a worthy cause.

He said: "I jumped at the chance to come and see Donna with the rest of the Darlington lads. There were more people there than who come to the football ground.

"She's obviously very popular and hopefully the cheque and raffle will go a long way."

Donna said she was delighted with the turnout. "I would just like to say thank you to everybody who turned up. And also to the players and manager from Darlington who have taken the time to come across," she said.