COUSINS of David Longhurst are taking on a fundraising walk in the 30th year following the former York City striker’s tragic, untimely death.

On September 8, 1990, as York’s game against Lincoln City approached half-time, 25-year-old David collapsed on the Bootham Crescent pitch and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Thirty years on, on November 21, cousins Karen McCluskey, 43, and Liam Flanagan, 23, will set off on foot to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

The 12-mile walk will take the two around Northamptonshire, from Corby to Rockingham and back via Middleton. It is part of CRY’s 12-a-week challenge, which references the number of young people the charity report die from an undiagnosed cardiac condition each week.

Karen and Liam are aiming to raise £600, two-thirds of which they have already accumulated.

Brought up in the town of Corby, David was one of a large, close family.

Since David’s death, his late dad Vic Longhurst campaigned to introduce mandatory screening of young athletes. His efforts received further visibility after Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane.

Liam and Karen say they are keen to support CRY "so that no family experiences the loss of a loved one like David".

Born six year’s after David’s passing, Liam - who has also raised money for Lakelands Hospice, the Bee-lieve Foundation and through the Race for Life - said: “I am proud of my cousin’s achievements, never more so than when I visited York City FC and staff welcomed me as I stood in front of the magnificent David Longhurst Stand.

Meanwhile, Karen was 13 when David died and remembers vividly the shock and grief that followed.

“David was a much-loved family member,” she said. “My mum Anne was a single parent and when David bought his house, rather than pay a decorator, he paid Anne to do it to help her out. He also ordered a lot of his trendy clothes from Anne’s catalogue so Anne could earn the commission.”

“I remember him bringing us an old tent he had and put it up in the garden for us to camp out. While Anne was decorating his house, he picked up my younger sister from primary school in a pair of joke glasses - she was embarrassed but David thought it was hilarious. He was definitely a joker.

“David’s death absolutely blew our family to bits - the shock was indescribable.

“I have fond memories of attending matches around the country with my mum and David’s mum to watch him play. I remember seeing him score a goal with a bicycle kick.

“David also hated losing a game. I remember him coming in Anne’s house with a miserable face and in a mood if he lost a game.

“David really was a true family man, he loved us all, we all knew it, and we all loved him. He was always so much fun.

“The first family wedding he had been able to attend in years was a week after his death. We were all so excited he would be there since he was usually playing a game.

“The day before the wedding was David’s funeral. He never got to the wedding.

“His loss is felt deeply to this day.

“It felt right to do this for CRY to commemorate his 30th anniversary and raise much-needed awareness.

“Twelve young people die a week of undiagnosed heart conditions, so screening is imperative.”

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