A CHARITY auction is set to feature a unique Barnsley FC prize from their brief time in the Premier League.

The event, at the Holiday Inn, will take place on March 16 to raise funds for hospices in both Barnsley and Rotherham.

An auction will include a special prize – a signed shirt worn by mascot Toby Tyke in 1997 when the Reds enjoyed their only stint in the top flight.

A spokesperson from Barnsley Hospice said: “Businesses can sponsor players for a season – in the one and only season Barnsley FC had in the Premier League Martin Holling, director of Dunstan and Brearley Travel Agents in Wombwell, wanted to sponsor a player.

“But by the time he enquired all his favourite players were already taken, so he came up with a very unique plan – he sponsored Toby Tyke.

“And so, just like all the actual players at the end of season evening event, when the sponsors sit down for a meal and a chat with their player and get a signed shirt from the season, so did Martin.”

This ‘one off’ item was generously donated to Barnsley Hospice to help with their fundraising efforts, and organiser of the ball Claire Jasiok is hopeful it will bring in a crowd.

“This is the third one I’ve hosted,” she told the Chronicle.

“I'm doing this in memory of my dad Vincent McNeely and friend Kellee Harvey.

“My younger sister has recently been diagnosed with a stage four brain tumour and instead of cancelling the event its spurred me on to make it even better as our family will in time need a hospice to help us again.”