LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 7, 2008: Liverpool's captain Stephen Darby celebrates with the trophy after beating Aston Villa 3-0 during the play-off final of the FA Premier League Reserve League at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool break donations target for Snowdon climb in aid of Stephen Darby Foundation

The Liverpool academy climbed Snowdown on Friday morning, having already eclipsed their target for charity donations in aid of the Stephen Darby Foundation.

Former Reds defender Darby, who broke through from the youth ranks to make six appearances for the club between 2008 and 2010, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in September of last year.

The 30-year-old was forced to retire as a result, and two months later he announced plans to establish a foundation in his name to raise money and awareness for MND sufferers.

Following the culmination of their respective campaigns, the Liverpool U23s and U18s confirmed they would climb the highest mountain in Wales and England, Snowdon, to support the cause.

And on Friday, Neil Critchley and Barry Lewtas led their players on their ascent, with goalkeeper Shamal George and midfielder Isaac Christie-Davies among those to join them.

The pair took to social media to document the climb, which took them 1,085 metres above sea level in Gwynedd, Wales:

Speaking before the trip, Lewtas explained how Darby served as an inspiration for his U18s on their road to lifting the FA Youth Cup.

“A lot of the images and some of the things that we showed the boys in the FA Youth Cup run dated back to when Stephen played,” he said.

“Seeing some of the pictures of them celebrating and our boys living that as well this year, I think it’s very apt that we try and support the foundation in this way.

“How the club works, it’s one big family really. So when someone moves on and their journey goes elsewhere, they’re never forgotten.”

And the impressive coach took to Twitter on Friday evening to thank those who have donated to the Stephen Darby Foundation, having already surpassed their £3,000 target:

Contributions to the club’s JustGiving page have come from the likes of Paul Glatzel, Adam Lewis and Bobby Duncan, while Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Andy Robertson and The Anfield Wrap all made sizeable donations.

Absent from the climb were Vitezslav Jaros, Rhys Williams and Abdi Sharif due to their international commitments at the Slovakia Cup, as England lost in the final to Spain on Friday.

Those wishing to donate can still do so via the JustGiving page here. You’ll Never Walk Alone, Stephen.