Friends, family and footballers came together to help raise funds in honour of a FA Vase hero.
A seven-a-side football tournament took place last weekend at Monkseaton High School to raise money for ex-Whitley Bay FC footballer Mark Taylor, St Oswald’s Hospice and the MND Association.
Mark, 33, from Monkseaton, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2009, just months after helping Whitley Bay win the FA Vase trophy at Wembley.
It is the fourth year in the row that the event has taken place, raising thousands of pounds for Mark and the MND Centre at the RVI in Newcastle.
And this year Mark was keen to help two charities who have supported him over the last few years – with more than £6,300 raised so far.
Gemma Ormston, Mark’s sister, said: “This year we wanted to raise money towards a few causes.
“Mark was very ill recently and was given a tracheostomy. This combined with his deteriorating mobility, means it is now only possible to move Mark using a hoist.
“As you can imagine this is quite restrictive so we would like to be able to buy a portable hoist for him so that he can still enjoy many of the things that he always has.”
More than 200 players, including a team from Newcastle United featuring legend Peter Beardsley, took part in the event.
Mark said: “Every year I’m so surprised and grateful for the huge amount of support received. The players, spectators, people who donate auction and raffle prizes, 42nd Street in Whitley Bay are just a few of the people who make this event possible each year.
“The new hoist will not only make it easier to get out and about, it will also enable me to continue to work at Kenton School, which I thoroughly enjoy and hope to be able to continue to do for a long time yet.
“The remaining money will be divided between St Oswald’s Hospice and the MNDA, both of which have been hugely supportive to me over the last few years.”
As well as the football, the charity day included a bouncy castle, cake stall, raffle and more.
It was followed by an auction, raffle and buffet at 42nd Street in Whitley Bay, and included a football talk-in with Newcastle United legend John Beresford.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gemma-taylor-1