Organisers have hailed last night’s Stephen Darby Appreciation evening a “huge success”.
More than 500 City supporters packed into the McCall and Hendrie Suites as David Hopkin, his squad, fans and former Bantams stars gathered in support of the former club captain.
Ex-City captain Gary Jones, Filipe Morais, Rory McArdle, Tony McMahon, James Meredith and several other Bantams ‘history makers’ were in attendance.
And former City chief executives David Baldwin and James Mason were special guests, alongside the Telegraph & Argus’ Simon Parker.
All monies raised from the event, which was hosted by Pulse Radio’s Jason Thornton, will be revealed tomorrow when combined with other fundraising initiatives. A cheque will then be presented to the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND Association), at Stephen Darby’s request.
Jason McKeown, who launched a new book ‘Who We Are’ on the evening, was a key organiser of event.
He said: “It was a really special night. We raised a lot of money for the MND Association and I am really proud of that.
“There was such a positive atmosphere and it felt fantastic to see everyone come together to support Stephen.
“Hopefully we can use that positive atmosphere as a catalyst for Saturday. I really want to thank everyone who came along, including the guests, the people and the businesses who donated prizes, and everyone at the club who worked so hard.”
Darby was himself unable to attend on the evening but provided a special video message for those in attendance.
In the video, the former City star said: “I am sorry I cannot be there tonight. When I was made aware of the evening, I had already made some plans and commitments - so I apologise for that.
“I am talking to the club at the moment, so hopefully, in the near future, I will be able to get to a game. In the New Year, it would be nice to organise some kind of match as it would be great to get back to Valley Parade and see so many familiar faces.
“I would like to thank you all for putting my name towards the evening and for raising funds and awareness for motor neurone disease. It is crucial we raise awareness and funds, so what you are doing tonight is really special.
“From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank you enough. I hope you all know how much the club and the people of Bradford mean to me. I was fortunate to play for the club for five years and, during that time, we made some special memories.”
City’s relationship manager, Laura Hutchinson, helped organise the event.
She added: “It was absolutely amazing to see so many fans celebrate the legend that is Stephen Darby and hear so many great stories.
“The event reminds us all what it means to work for and represent such a special club.
"It was great to see everyone come together and make the evening memorable for everyone connected to Bradford City.”