SPORTING rivalries will be put to one side at a South Tyneside school during a fundraising football auction.
Signed Newcastle United and Sunderland shirts, and other memorabilia including photographs and programmes, are on offer at Jarrow’s Epinay Business and Enterprise School.
The public auction, at the Clervaux Terrace school, aims to raise cash for the school and generate goodwill between supporters of both clubs ahead of the Tyne/Wear derby, on Sunday March 4.
The Football Fever event, next Wednesday, will include merchandise donated by TV newsreader Jeff Brown, who lives in Jarrow.
Julia Haggerston, chairman of the Friends of Epinay School group, which is organising the auction, said: “We are always looking for fun and innovative events to attract pupils, parents and carers, and the local community, and we hope it will be a success.”
Dianne Mountain, the school’s business development manager said: “We’ve had quite a few football-related items donated for the auction from pupils’ families.
“People are starting to talk about the derby match because it’s just around the corner, and we thought this would be something positive for fans of both Newcastle and Sunderland.”
The event will also include a football picture quiz, raffle, and a choice of pie and peas, or fish and chips. Mrs Mountain said pies were included on the menu to offer football supporters the traditional half-time snack.
Mr Brown, who is a familiar face on BBC Look North, said: “I’ve lived in Jarrow for 19 years and I know all about the passion in the town for the North East’s big football teams.
“Epinay is a good local school and the work that goes on there is fantastic.
“I am sure this auction will help pupils and the rest of the community to prepare for the big derby match.
“I am happy to play my part by donating a few bits and pieces, and hopefully it will help raise some funds.”
The Football Fever auction takes place on Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm.
Tickets, which include refreshments, cost £4 for adults and £2 for children.
For more information, contact Dianne Mountain on 4898949.
Epinay Business and Enterprise School caters for pupils aged four to 16, who have special educational needs.
The Friends of Epinay School is a group made up of parents, carers and teachers, which works on fundraising and other projects to support the school.