A Blackburn community has raised £18,000 to help the family of a young dad who died after contracting Covid.

James Murphy, affectionately known as Peach, was the loving partner of Keli Bell, and a caring dad to Arthur, seven, and Matilda, five.

He died from complications of Covid-19 on February 16, having already been diagnosed with Crohn's disease.

The Shad Chefs, a Blackburn community group, have spoken about their plans to raise money for the family - having already raised £18,000 in just a couple of weeks.

Shane Calvert, a member of the group, said to LancsLive: "James was a top lad and very well-liked in the Shadsworth and wider Blackburn community.

"If anybody needed help he was always up for helping out so we had to do something for his family. "

The Shad Chefs have organised a walk to take place on June 12, with many people already gearing up for the event. The aim is to have a walk from Blackburn to Liverpool FC's Anfield stadium, of who James was a staunch supporter.

On the GoFundMe page, £18,000 of the £22,000 total has been raised. The money will go towards helping James' family.

"The way the Blackburn community as a whole has come together for the family has been amazing," Shaun added. "We've got close to 70 sponsors from businesses up to now which, to our knowledge, has never been done before in Blackburn. It's brought the town together. We hope James is looking down with pride.

"We have around 40 people so far doing the wall or ride that will take place on June 12, so a lot of people are training already for it. It's going to be hard, but we'll do it for Peach's family to give them something to look back on and say, 'they did that for us. They did that for our dad."

You can speak to the Shad Chefs about getting your business involved here: https://www.facebook.com/ShadChefs/

You can donate and find out more here: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/in-memory-of-james-murphy

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