The “phenomenal” fundraising efforts for Eden Valley Hospice at a Carlisle United reunion have been praised.

A memorable gathering of the 1994/5 Blues squad last month raised £10,470.80 for the hospice.

It was held in memory of former United star Tony Hopper.

And event organisers, hospice bosses and Tony’s family have all praised the brilliant outcome.

The sell-out event at Harraby Catholic Club included a major memorabilia auction.

Colin Carter, who organised the event, said: “It’s a phenomenal amount of money.

“High praise must go to the players that turned up and all the people that supported the event.

News and Star: Event organiser Colin Carter, right, with former United star David Currie (photo: Barbara Abbott)Event organiser Colin Carter, right, with former United star David Currie (photo: Barbara Abbott)

“To give the hospice some money to go a long way towards treating those vulnerable people they care for is magnificent.

“There was so much unity in that room on the night – that came from the supporters being united with a team who gave everything for them and more.

“It showed the love for each other.”

Among the items auctions were signed shirts from Mo Salah, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Alan Shearer.

Tickets and hospitality at Champions League games were also up for grabs.

And works of art by United’s 1994/5 boss Mick Wadsworth, accompanied by books by photographer Stuart Roy Clarke, also contributed to the major fundraising total.

Many of the ex-players brought auction items to the event.

The reunion saw former players David Reeves, David Currie, Derek Mountfield, Tony Gallimore, Rod Thomas, Richard Prokas, Jeff Thorpe, Darren Edmondson, Tony Caig, Dean Walling, Jamie Robinson, Paul Murray and Ian Arnold all in attendance, along with director of coaching Wadsworth, in a Covid-delayed celebration of the 25th anniversary of United's title-winning and Wembley season of 1994/5.

They all spoke of their heartfelt affection for team-mate Tony Hopper, who died in 2018 from motor neurone disease.

News and Star: Tony Hopper pictured with his fellow 1990s United starsTony Hopper pictured with his fellow 1990s United stars

His wife Sue, brother Darren and son Daniel attended the event, while Tony’s parents John and Pat watched on a video link whilst on holiday in Portugal.

John said the family was delighted that the hospice who cared for Tony had been supported in such a way.

“It’s very important to support Eden Valley Hospice,” he said.

“They went so far out of the way to help Tony. When he was there, it was the first time I’d ever been in the hospice, and it does leave a lasting memory.

“They deserve as much support as possible.

“We were watching the night on a video link and we saw Darren and the lads getting a bit emotional when they were doing the presentation.

“Me and Pat had a tear in our eye and went for a little walk on our own.

“Certain generations at Carlisle United were special and there was a real bond with that group.”

Patricia Livsey, chief executive of Eden Valley Hospice, spoke of her gratitude at the huge support they received from the Blues heroes - and to Colin Carter for his tireless efforts.

"Everyone at Eden Valley Hospice would like to thank Colin, and those who've supported him, for the incredible amount of money raised recently,” she said.

News and Star: (l-r) Dan Hopper, artist Dale Nicholson, Colin Carter, Mick Wadsworth and Darren Hopper at the fundraising reunion (photo: Barbara Abbott)(l-r) Dan Hopper, artist Dale Nicholson, Colin Carter, Mick Wadsworth and Darren Hopper at the fundraising reunion (photo: Barbara Abbott)

“Colin has done so much over the past few years to raise funds and awareness for the hospice and we are grateful for his ongoing support. 

"The money raised will help us continue to provide specialist care for people in north Cumbria and south west Scotland who have life limiting conditions, as well as their families, friends and carers.

"As many will know, we have to raise the vast majority of money we need to keep the hospice running so we can continue to offer the care and support that's cherished been cherished by so many families for more than 30 years.

"So, it's thanks to people like Colin and all those who support events that we can continue to be at the heart of our community."