STAUNCH Colchester United supporter Daniel Whymark says he is 'overwhelmed' with the support after Harry Pell auctioned his U's shirt for charity in memory of their son Lucas.

Daniel, who is a huge U's fan and season-ticket holder at the JobServe Community Stadium, and his wife Katie tragically lost Lucas last October, after he was born but sadly died unexpectedly the same day.

The couple's decision to name their son Lucas very much had a U's influence, with three of the current squad named Luke.

In addition, Lucas's arrival came shortly after Colchester had famously beaten Spurs on penalties in the Carabao Cup, with Lucas Moura missing one of the Premier League side's spot-kicks.

Daniel and Katie have recently been raising funds for baby bereavement charities in memory of Lucas - and their efforts have now been boosted by U's midfielder Pell's decision to auction his shirt from the club's Carabao Cup quarter-final at Manchester United last December.

Daniel, 38, said: "On what would have been Lucas's six-month birthday, I opened up a page for raising money.

"People might know me from the U's fans website and I posted it on there.

"Harry Pell's future father in law saw my post and out of the blue, I was doing some gardening and my wife said 'Harry Pell is on the phone!'

"Harry is the Karl Duguid of our generation - every club needs a Harry Pell.

"For Harry to give up his shirt from what was such an iconic game against Manchester United was fantastic.

"The minute that people heard about it, the messages started coming in.

"The support that we've had has been overwhelming.

"With the fundraising that we've been doing, the end date would have been Lucas's first birthday.

"One of the charities that we're raising money for is the Baby Loss Counselling Service.

"It's about raising awareness about these charities.

"For example, we didn't even know that there's a specialist unit at Colchester Hospital to help people who have lost babies.

"We've learnt to not expect people to be so supportive because they don't know what we've been through.

"But Colchester United has always very much been a community club and we all look after each other."

"You have to get on with your life but it's still there," added Daniel, whose first U's game was their 1992 FA Trophy triumph over Witton Albion, at Wembley.

"Lucas was our first child.

"Football was a hard thing to get back into, after what happened.

"I'm a Colchester United season-ticket holder and I rarely missed a game - I went 15 seasons without missing a match.

"Lucas would have been a Colchester supporter and I think he would have wanted me to go to football again but the first game I attended after it happened was a gut-wrenching experience for me.

"I would see other fathers with their children and hear announcements from parents wishing their sons a happy birthday, so it was tough.

"Lockdown has been a weird experience but it's given me a breather from daily life.

"Saturdays have been a bit odd but this period is a bit like our close season now."

To donate to support charities in memory of Lucas, visit