A YORK couple will mark the second anniversary of their son's death by raising thousands of pounds for a children's cancer charity.

And David Beckham is lending a helping hand by giving them a signed computer game to sell during a charity auction.

Stephen and Pauline Redman's seven-year-old son, Rocky, died in 2001 after battling courageously for three years against a rare form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.

The Woodthorpe couple are holding the auction and casino evening, accompanied by a buffet, at York Racecourse's Knavesmire Stand on Friday, June 27.

Pauline said a similar event last year raised £3,500 for the charity Candlelighters. "This time we are going for £5,000," she said.

She said the choice of a casino to raise funds was symbolic. "Life is a gamble. You don't know what cards you will be dealt, but you can choose what to do with them. We wanted to do something positive to help other children affected by this disease."

Pauline said: "I wrote to David Beckham at Old Trafford. I just told him about Rocky and about it being the second anniversary of his death, and asked him if he could help.

"I said he was obviously a family man and cared about his kids, and said that however famous a person was, I felt that what made them great was the ability to give and receive love."

She said she received a letter back saying the star had been inundated with requests, but that he was happy to donate the computer game to assist with the evening."

Pauline said they were collecting various items of memorabilia to sell at the auction. She had a football signed in 1981 by members of the Liverpool team that beat Real Madrid to win the European Cup Final, including Kenny Dalglish and manager Bob Paisley. She also had a football shirt signed by 1966 World Cup legend Geoff Hurst.

She was hoping to get items from TV presenter Gary Lineker and other non-sporting celebrities including photographer David Bailey.

Tickets for the event, costing £30, including £20 worth of casino chips, can be obtained by phoning York Rock Church, which is sponsoring the evening, on 01904 659475.

Updated: 10:30 Tuesday, May 20, 2003