Bradford City v Liverpool play in front of 24,343 in aid of Stephen Darby Foundation

Sell-out crowd of nearly 25,000 at Valley Parade
Almost 25,000 at crammed into Valley Parade, the biggest attendance in 33 years

A sell-out crowd saw European champions Liverpool beat Bradford in a match to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease charity set up by former Reds and Bantams defender Stephen Darby.

The 30-year-old launched the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation along with Chris Rimmer after retiring last September.

Darby gave an emotional speech before the game, which Liverpool won 3-1.

England Women's captain Steph Houghton, Darby's wife, was one of 24,343 in attendance at Valley Parade.

Darby came through the youth ranks at Liverpool and played 239 times for the Bantams between 2012 and 2017, but was forced to retire from football in September after being diagnosed with the disease.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told the Liverpool website: "If you play one game for Liverpool's first team or 400, it doesn't matter - you are one of us."

The highest crowd at Valley Parade since the ground reopened in 1986 saw two James Milner goals and a Rhian Brewster strike put Liverpool 3-0 up before Eoin Doyle netted from the penalty spot for the home side in the second half.

Bradford boss Gary Bowyer told BBC Radio Leeds it was an "unbelievable day".

"It shows the measure of support for Stephen Darby Chris Rimmer and the foundation," he said.

"It's been massive and we have raised lots of awareness."

MND is a degenerative condition that affects how nerves in the brain and spinal cord function. There is currently no cure.

England Women's captain Steph Houghton and Stephen Darby
England Women's captain Steph Houghton and Stephen Darby thanks supporters at Valley Parade
James Milner, Harry Wilson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
England internationals James Milner (left) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain flank Harry Wilson
Stephen Darby
Stephen Darby played for Bradford for five years
Gary Bowyer (left) and Jurgen Klopp
Gary Bowyer (left) felt his side did "brilliantly" against Jurgen Klopp's European champions

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