Signed Norwich City shirt donated by Russell Martin to Hemsby couple to raffle for charity

A Norwich City fan was given a signed Canaries' shirt by player Russell Martin to raffle and raise funds to combat the illness they both suffer from.

As reported, Mr Martin has battled ulcerative colitis, which is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and is thought to affect over 100,000 people in the UK.

Emma Brothwood, 22, and boyfriend Michael Church, 29, both from Hemsby, found out about Mr Martin's condition and arranged to meet him, as Mr Church has the same illness.

Miss Brothwood said: 'Michael being a massive city fan and a season ticket holder couldn't believe that Russell Martin, one of his heroes also had it.

'I contacted Norwich City football club and asked if we could meet Russell Martin to help us promote our sponsorship and raise awareness of the National Association for Crohn's and Colitis (NACC) charity, and the disease itself.

'The club and Russell were extremely helpful and we met Russell at Colney, and were impressed with his wonderful attitude, down to earth, humble nature, and being an all round nice lad. He kindly donated a signed Norwich shirt for me to use in a raffle.'

Miss Brothwood has already raised �800 for research and support of any people affected by IBD after she and her mother completed the NACC charity walk in London on May 7.

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Mr Church, who is an engineer, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, after he was admitted to Gorleston's James Paget Hospital in 2008, with blood loss, stomach pains, and vomiting.

Miss Brothwood added: 'This disease was completely life changing. Many things we took for granted like just leaving the house had become extremely difficult as we had to take things into consideration like where the nearest toilet is and whether the painful stomach cramps are going to make an appearance.

'He has struggled with this disease for the last two and a half years, at one point being off work ill for over two months, whilst taking large amounts of steroids and azathioprine, and at one point he was on 18 tablets a day.'

The first prize in the raffle is the signed shirt. The 2nd prize is a meal for 2 at the Olive Garden in Great Yarmouth. The 3rd and 4th prize is a Cut and Finish donated by Fusion hairdressers in Gorleston.

• Raffle tickets are available from the Olive Garden and Fusion or the Old Hall, Caister-On-Sea; alternatively you can email Emma at: to arrange for tickets to be bought and delivered. The tickets are �1 each and the draw is on July 16 at 9pm, at the Old Hall.

• You can find out more information about the charity at