Ex-Shay stopper raises money for daughter’s fight

Tache-tastic! Gracie with dad, Lee, centre, and some of the charity fund-raising men who grew moustaches
Tache-tastic! Gracie with dad, Lee, centre, and some of the charity fund-raising men who grew moustaches

A formeR Halifax Town goalkeeper took part in Movember to raise money for his 19-year-old daughter, who suffers from a rare form of cancer.

Lee Butler, 45, who made over 100 apperances between the sticks for the club during three separate stints between 1999 and 2008, encouraged his friends not to shave throughout November to raise money for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity in Sheffield.

The charity treats Lee’s daughter, Gracie, who has cancer in her shinbone.

She was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma, which is extremely rare for people of her age, after complaining of pains in her leg.

She is currently having chemotherapy at the hospital, one of only three specialist cancer hospitals in the UK.

At a later date doctors at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham plan to operate to remove her shinbone.

Surgeons will treat the bone with high-dose radiation before they fit it back into her leg with a metal frame. She will then receive further chemotherapy.

Lee, who lives with his wife Hannah, 42, and has two other children, 21-year-old Mollie and son Jesse, 16, as well as two grandchildren, said: “When Gracie was diagnosed, it was an incredibly hard time for her and the whole family.

“But Gracie has been fantastic, which has helped the rest of us remain positive.”

“We decided we wanted to do something that would not only make Gracie smile, but raise money for a cause which is close to ours and so many other people’s hearts.

“We live in a small village and most people know Gracie and what she is going through, so we already have a lot of support. One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer and everyone knows someone who has been affected by it, so many people can relate to what we’re going through.”

“We feel lucky that we’ve had access to a world-renowned hospital like Weston Park as the facilities and staff are just fantastic. We couldn’t have asked for anything more.

“The unit has also been brilliant, having given Gracie some of the home comforts that are so important to youngsters and it helps keep her upbeat.”

It is hoped the month’s worth of moustaches will raise around £2,000

Rachel Thorpe, director of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, was full of praise for the support Lee has given his daughter.

“Having the support of loved ones when going through cancer diagnosis and treatment is so important and it obvious that Gracie has lots of people around her to support her.

“It’s fantastic to see Gracie has inspired her family and friends in their efforts.”

The ‘taches were being shaved off last night, with the final amount raised to be revealed soon.