A BARNSLEY dad-of-two has organised a charity football gala to raise money for diabetes research after both his sons were diagnosed with the life-threatening disease.

Eden Powell, who volunteers with Redfearns JFC and Barnsley Boys, says he hopes the event on August 19, at Redfearns, will raise some much-needed cash for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

It comes after both his sons, Keano, 18, and Kienhan, 13, were diagnosed with type 1 of the illness within a week of each other.

Eden said: "They were both diagnosed about three years ago but we came very close to losing our eldest lad as the doctors said it was asthma.

"He was 15 at the time and he was coming to training and really struggling, a few people commented saying how unfit he was but I thought that wasn't right.

"He lost a stone in weight really quickly and was guzzling water all time time. It turned out his pancreas had packed in - we were lucky we took him to the hospital when we did because you can die from it."

Both boys have to be permanently attached to an insulin pump and have their blood sugars monitored regularly.

Eden said the gala was as much about raising awareness as it was about raising money.

He added; "This isn't type 2 diabetes which can be managed by diet, this is a serious illness. My lad is 18 now and he can't do what I did, going out with my mates on a night out. He always has to watch his blood sugars and me and his mum are up in the night every two hours checking on them both. 

"If it's not controlled right they could end up in a coma. People need to realise it's not just about saying 'oh give them some chocolate, they will be fine.' It's a serious condition that people die from."

The football gala will feature food and entertainment as well as penalty shoot outs and a kick up competition.

Teams are welcome to enter for the under 8s, under 11s, under 13s and under 14s categories. Entry fees range from £25 - £35.

They are also recruiting volunteer referees to help out on the day.

If you think you can help, contact Eden on 07590315651.