Sheffield football came together on Sunday afternoon to support young Rio Spurr as a Wednesday XI faced a United XI at the Olympic Legacy Park Community Stadium.
Rio, son of the former Owls defender Tommy, was recently given the best possible news – his cancer is in remission.
The four-year-old has been given the all clear a year after being diagnosed with a Wilms Tumour – a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Because the cancer is high risk and anaplastic, there is around a 50% chance of relapse and so the Spurr family are continuing their fundraising to cover all bases… It’s fair to say Rio’s first Steel City derby was a complete success!
Ron Atkinson managed the Owls and Neil Warnock the Blades as a record crowd of 1,472 saw United claim a 4-3 win in an entertaining contest, filled with familiar faces on both sides!
One in particular – Mark Beevers – was a late addition on the day having travelled all the way from Australia to surprise his former teammate Tommy! The ex-Owls defender currently plies his trade for Perth Glory.
In a memorable derby day throwback, it was Spurr and Marcus Tudgay on target for Wednesday in the first half, scoring past Blades keeper Paddy Kenny.
Danny Webber levelled in the second half before it was announced by BBC Radio Sheffield’s Adam Oxley over the tannoy that a new record attendance had been set for young Rio!
Lee Williamson and Mark Duffy scored for United to make it 4-2 before Tudgay fired home from distance to haul Wednesday back in the game.
Richard Wood hit the crossbar late on but the result mattered not and the real winner of the day was young Rio, who raced onto the pitch at full time with his family to thank everyone who showed their terrific support for Rio on the day.
OWLS SQUAD: O’Donnell, Buxton, Coughlan, Wood, Spurr, Palmer, Whelan, McGovern, Brunt, Sedgwick, Tudgay, Beevers, Hamshaw, Miller, Pudil
BLADES SQUAD: Kenny, Cresswell, Amstrong, Butler, Tonge, Quinn, Duffy, Williamson, Webber, Ward, Windass, Bromby, Todd, Collins