Whitley Bay FC reunion match raises money for former player’s family
Past and current players came together to remember a former teammate and mark the tenth anniversary of winning the FA Vase.
Whitley Bay Football Club marked the tenth year since they won the FA Vase at final – the first of three consecutive final wins at Wembley.
A special reunion was held at Hillheads last Sunday when around 40 players from all four of their victorious FA Vase sides took part in a charity game with all the proceeds going to the family of Robbie Livermore, who died tragically earlier this year,
Chris Neil, Andy Dugdale and Ian Chandler, members of the 2002 squad, took part alongside players from the 2009-2011 hat-trick winning side and there was a guest appearance by Callum Livermore, Robbie’s son.
The north of the Tyne squad, managed by Steve Cuggy, defeated Ian Chandler’s south of the Tyne side 4-2 to claim the Mark Taylor ‘Ten Years On’ trophy, awarded by Mark Taylor.
Mark’s career was ended after the 2009 Vase Final when he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease
Although most of the players involved have retired from football, among those still playing was current Bay defender Craig McFarlane, who recently played his 350th game for the club.
Goalkeeper Terry Burke, whose last game was the 2011 Final against Coalville, is now aged 47 but has retained his agility and fitness, pulling off one particularly impressive save, while Lee Picton, now South Shields joint manager, partnered Brian Smith in a strong central defence for the north side.
Goal scorers were familiar names from Whitley’s Vase winning years, Phill Bell, Chris Fawcett, Paul Robinson (2) and the legendary strikers Lee Kerr and Paul Chow who wrote their names in the history books by scoring in three consecutive Wembley Finals.
The event raised £1,500 for the Livermore family and further reunion fixtures are planned for the next two years, to mark the tenth anniversary of the 2010 and 2011 Wembley victories.
Striker Paul Chow, who scored after 21 seconds at Wembley, said: “I was really looking forward to the ten-year FA Vase reunion.
“It was great to catch up with all the lads again and share a dressing room with so many top Northern League players. Although I was excited to pull on my boots at Hillheads, playing in Robbie’s memory made it very special.”