United star joins in charity event

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Fundraisers footballers were left starstruck when a former England star joined them in raising money to help an ex-Whitley Bay FC player.

A charity seven-a-side football tournament took place at Monkseaton High School to raise money for Mark Taylor, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2009.

And among those taking part was former Newcastle United player Peter Beardsley, who was joined on his team by former Magpie Ian Bogie.

The event – which attracted around 200 players all paying £10 entry and more than 150 spectators – has raised more than £6,000 for the Newcastle MND Centre, based at the RVI where Mark receives treatment.

A total of 24 teams battled through a group stage then knockout tournament, with Walter Zenga the overall winners.

Afterwards, the fundraising continued at 42nd Street, in Whitley Bay, with a raffle, auction, buffet and music.

Among those taking part in the tournament were a number of Mark’s former football teammates plus a mix of local businesses and teams, including Whitley Warriors, a Whitley Bay Legends and a North Shields Legends.

Mark was diagnosed with MND in 2009, just months after turning out at Wembley for Whitley Bay FC in the FA Vase final.

He is now confined to a wheelchair, needing round-the-clock care, but still works as a teacher at Kenton School in Newcastle.

The 31-year-old was initially told he may have just three years to live but continues to fight on five years later.