The Ducks are set to make their first round debut against Mansfield Town in the lunchtime kick-off in a special cup kit bearing the name of The Daniel Wilkinson Foundation after taking delivery of the strip at Sheerien Park on Friday.
Supplied by Kitlocker.com, the kit was being hailed on social media on the eve of the biggest game in the EVO-STIK League Premier Division club's short history by fans using the hashtag doitfordan and asking whether it would be going on sale.
The Daniel Wilkinson Foundation was set up by the family and friends of the late Shaw Lane defender to fund the purchase of defibrillators for clubs and heart screening for players in the wake of his sad passing on September 12 2016 aged 24 after collapsing on the pitch during an Integro League Cup clash at Brighouse Town.
Since the start of the 2017-18 season and the inaugural Daniel Wilkinson Memorial Trophy match between the Ducks and Brighouse in August, the EVO-STIK League’s clubs have been backing the charity’s efforts with adverts and flyers in all Integro League Cup programmes.
In an interview this week, his proud parents Gillian and Barry said more than £40,000 has been raised for the charity's mission as they prepared to attend the tie and see their son's former teammates in action wearing the kit.
Shaw Lane chairman Craig Wood is a trustee of the foundation and on Friday he told the Yorkshire Post the day that it would be an emotional occasion remembering their late player after his sad loss just over a year ago.
He told yorkshirepost.co.uk: “I remember it like yesterday. The game was into the second half and we were 2-0 up, and playing really well. They were on the attack, but we cleared the ball. Like everyone else, I followed play and it was only when I turned back towards our half that I saw Dan was on the floor.
League loss: The late Dan Wilkinson
“The game was abandoned and we all followed the ambulance to the hospital in our own cars. We were all sitting around when the doctors told us he had passed away. It is one of those horrible moments in life you will never forget.”
Looking ahead to the tie against the League Two club and their manager Steve Evans, Wood added: “This is what the FA Cup is all about, a fairytale and dreams hopefully coming true. One thing for sure is Mansfield will know they are in a cup tie.”
After knocking out Radcliffe Borough, Blyth Spartans, Lancaster City and Barrow to reach the first round proper and bank more than £25,000 in prize money alone, Craig Elliott's side have been in the media spotlight all week in the build-up to the 12.30pm kick-off making headlines in the press and appearances on shows from Look North to Sky Sports and the BBC.
On Friday, Barnsley's head coach Paul Heckingbottom singled out the cup achievements of the Championship club's neighbours as a "great boost for the town" where he was born and bred.
If they can overcome the Stags, last season's EVO-STIK League South champions will bank another £18,000 in prize money to add to the £25,000 plus they've already collected and the £67,500 television fee they'll receive from the Football Association before going into the hat for Monday's second round draw.
Find out more about The Daniel Wilkinson Foundation via the charity's social media channels and website:
Email contact@ thedanielwilkinsonfoundation.org
To donate, visit: mydonate.bt.com/charities/thedanielwilkinsonfoundation.
Images courtesy of @SLAquaFC/Twitter
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