On the ball for hospice

TWO sets of friends will battle it out on a football pitch next week in aid of charity.

The match will take place at Whitley Bay FC’s Hillheads Park home ground on Tuesday as the pals follow in the footsteps of the FA Carlsberg Vase heroes.

Ian Gordon, the game’s organiser, is also taking part in a trek along Arizona’s Grand Canyon in May, along with his fiancée Katie Johnson, to raise money for the Marie Curie Cancer Care hospice in Newcastle.

The couple are doing the walk in memory of Katie’s mum Madeleine. She died in 2009 at the age of 47 after being cared for at the Newcastle hospice in the final weeks of her life.

Ian’s grandad Jimmy Bush was also cared for by the charity three years earlier, and his wife Sarah will be at the game to show her support.

Ian, 25, originally from Whitley Bay but now living in Seghill, said: “We wanted to give something back to Marie Curie because it has done so much for both our families and friends.”

The opponents for Ian’s team will be a team managed by Gareth Patterson, whose wife Joanne, along with her sister Kerryann, are also tackling the Grand Canyon trek.

The match kicks off at 7.45pm. There will also be a raffle for prizes including a signed football.

To donate, go to www.justgiv ing.com/katieandian_trek2011