The seventh annual Fordy Cup charity football match takes place on Sunday with another great turnout expected for the game played in the memory of Graham Ford, who sadly passed away in February 2010.
Graham, who ran the Willington Quay Social Club (the Morg) with wife Irene, also founded the Willington Quay Saints football club with brother Trevor and friend Bob Mason.
The game sees a Saints side of under-30s managed by Irene take on the over-30s managed by Trevor, with players from the present and the past putting their boots on for the special day.
Starting in May 2010, the idea for the game came about after years of debate between Graham and Trevor with Graham claiming he could get a team of older players to beat the young Saints side.
Now the game has evolved from a one-off football match to a full day of fundraising with the support and generosity of friends, family and local people showing how popular and loved Graham was.
Irene and daughter Vikki picked the British Heart Foundation as the chosen charity and last year they gratefully received £1,625, which enabled the charity to purchase two brand new defibrillators.
Everyone involved in the Fordy Cup is determined to beat last year’s total and various activities are planned with some already completed, including an amazingly brave 10,000ft skydive performed by Vikki’s mother-in-law Joan Donkin, which has saw this year’s fundraising get off to a brilliant start.
Graham’s sister Denise banished alcohol and went through a dry March to raise money while June Brown and daughter Lauren, Nicola Burn and friends competed in the 5k colour obstacle run last Saturday, adding more money to the total, while both the dominoes and darts teams in the Morg have contributed to the total, which has surpassed £1,000 already.
Numerous activities will take place back at the Morg to try and raise more funds including a tombola, pool and darts competitions and an auction on the day with a football signed by the Newcastle United squad one of the prizes.
Vouchers have been kindly donated by local shops, and thanks have gone to Steve Phillips, Micky Longstaff and the Starbowl for helping out, and Wallsend Cobblers and Key Cutting Services, of Station Road, for engraving the medals.
The British Heart Foundation came to the club not long after last year’s game and were impressed with the efforts of everyone so much so that they have donated British heart medals, balloons and T-shirts for the day, and its mascot, Mr Hearty, will be making an appearance.
It all kicks off at 11am Sunday, May 29, at High Flatworth playing fields.