Canary legend Darren Huckerby has thrown his support behind the EDP and Evening News’ New Blood campaign, which aims to recruit 750 new blood donors during December.

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The regular blood donor has called on people to roll up their sleeve this winter and help to save a life.

The former Norwich City winger played for the Canaries from 2004 until 2008.

Darren, 36, said: “I fully support the campaign. I started donating blood around two-and-a-half years ago. As soon as I finished playing football I decided I would do it.

“I thought it would be a good thing to do and I could do it at Carrow Road so it was pretty easy to fit in and I have given blood ever since.”

He has donated eight units of blood – enough to save nearly 25 lives.

“If one donation can save three lives then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give blood,” he said.

“The staff are always great. When you get to know them you always have a bit of banter with them.

“It’s just a few minutes out of your day.

“You can save a life and it’s not hard work,” he said.

In 2010 he launched his own charity, the Darren Huckerby Trust, which supports community groups and people in need in Norfolk.

He said he always donates blood at his former football ground in the Jarrold Stand.

“The first time can be a bit daunting but after you have done it once it’s not really a problem.

“It only takes about 20 minutes. It’s worth it just for the biscuits.”

But now he is calling on more people to sign up and become a blood donor this Christmas.

“I try and encourage people to do it but a lot of people are scared of it,” he said.

“There’s really nothing to be scared of.

“They need as many people as they can get.

“It costs you nothing. It’s a nice thing to do. It’s always pretty busy and long may it continue.”

Darren said he would encourage his children, who are 11 and 13, to donate when they were old enough.

“You are only ever an accident away from needing blood,” he added.

lucy.wright@archant.do.uk

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