Fund-raiser for firework hero Paul soars above £8,000

A fund set up to help a Blackpool FC fan whose hand was badly damaged by a firework has soared to more than eight times its original target.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 3:45 pm

Paul Markham intervened to avoid the firework reaching a group of children as supporters celebrated Pool’s progress to the play-offs on Sunday only for it to go off while still in his hand.

The thumb and two fingers of the 50-year-old’s right hand were detached and Paul – popularly known as ‘Speedy’ – underwent an operation at the Royal Preston Hospital earlier this week to try and repair the damage.

His father Billy says it is likely to be some time before it is known how successful the operation has been.

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Paul Markham
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Former schoolmate and fellow Seasiders fan Jay Latham set up a Just Giving site to raise funds for Paul and after the initial £1,000 target was passed within hours on Monday, by yesterday it had reached more than £8,000.

“It’s a great response – thanks to everyone for their generosity,” said Jay.

“I felt I had to do something to help him. If it affects his work as it looks like might be the case, he’s going to need it to be a good amount and I intend to keep it going for a fair while yet.”

Billy said Paul was in good spirits and is set to spend some time recovering at his parents’ home after being discharged from hospital.

“He’s sitting up and chatting and we’ll just have to wait and see how the hand is when the bandages come off.” said Billy.

“The medics looking after him have been great and we are so grateful for everyone’s support.”

To donate to the fund-raiser, go to

Any witnesses with information about Sunday’s events can contact police on 101 quoting log 0345 of May 9.

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