*Amended date - Sunday February 9*

A group of community heroes who've branded themselves 'the council estate food connoisseurs' are urging East Lancashire football fans to put aside their differences in order to raise money for a little boy with cancer.

Shad Chefs, which started as a Facebook page last year, have already raised more than £1,000 for little Tommy Jones, who was diagnosed with cancer just days before Christmas.

Founding member of the community group, Shane Calvert said: “We’ve known Tommy’s grandad for a while and when we found out what had happened we wanted to see if we could help.

"We put a post out about their situation and ever since people have just come forward wanting to see what they can do to help.

"Tommy's fighting cancer and has a heart condition, and after his diagnosis he was moved to Newcastle and has had an operation to remove the cancer and is responding well to treatment.

"They're hoping if he carries on responding well that they won't have to operate on his heart, so fingers crossed.

"We held a raffle last week and raised around £1,200, and now we've managed to get our hands on some official Blackburn Rovers, Burnley FC and Accrington Stanley merchandise that we intend to auction off.

"We're hoping to bridge the local rivalry gap between football fans and bring people together to raise as much money as possible for Tommy, and just like with the raffle, 100 percent of the money will go to Tommy's family to help with anything they need whilst away from home."

The football auction event, which is open to the wider community, will be held on Sunday February 9 at 2pm at The Foresters Pub on Fecitt Brow, Blackburn.

Items being auctioned off include a signed Blackburn Rovers away shirt, a signed Blackburn Rovers football, a signed Accrington Stanley home shirt, and a signed Burnley football.

Mr Calvert added: "The Shad Chefs Facebook page has built up quite a following in just over the 12 months that it's been running.

"The massive plus side of that is that we can use it to do some good and help out families like Tommy's, which we're very happy to do."

To find out more about the auction, visit facebook.com/events/s/football-auction-in-aid-of-tom/237639310576154/?ti=as