Top darts stars Colin Lloyd and Wayne Mardle will appear at a fundraising event to mark the 16th birthday of a little boy who died of a rare heart condition.
Ben Dickinson died in 2003 of myocarditis, a virus that spread to his heart, when he was three.
Mum and dad Becky and Ian, who live on Manchester Road in Accrington, are hosting the now sold-out event in aid of the British Heart Foundation later this month to commemorate the landmark birthday and hope to raise £6,000.
The event is the latest in a series of fundraising efforts that have already raised around £8,000 for the charity since Ben’s death.
Ian said: “The event is for everyone, not just those interested in darts. There’s never been something like this in Accrington before so I thought it would be something different.”
The event, which is a 280-ticket sellout, will include an MC, walk-on girls, charity auctions and raffles, with the chance to win a leg of darts with the players, and to bid for a signed dartboard.
There will also be a question and answer session with Mardle, the colourful player and commentator, and Lloyd, a former world number one.
Ian said he thought the event was appropriate as it would have been something Ben would have really enjoyed.
He said: “Ben was a sporty little boy for the short time he was with us.
“He came to the football with me and had a go at playing golf.
“We were blessed to have Ben and now we want to raise these funds so that other families never have to start the journey we’re on. It was a very distressing time for us when Ben died.
“We thought he just had a virus of some kind but the GP couldn’t diagnose what it was so sent us to the children’s assessment unit at Blackburn Infirmary. All the tests came back normal but he stayed the night in hospital and passed away the morning after.
“It was only in the postmortem they diagnosed the condition, linked to a virus that usually presents itself as the common cold but that, in Ben’s case, got to his heart.”
The event will take place on Saturday, January 30 at Poplar Social Club on Wellington Street.
Anyone who would like to donate money or raffle prizes may do so via Facebook page The Only Darts is Essex or by phoning Ian on 07919 212905.