An annual football tournament organised in memory of a teenager killed in a road tragedy aims to raise more money for charity than ever before.
Aaron ‘Azza’ Todd, of Kirkstone Avenue, Jarrow, died at the age of 18 after suffering serious head injuries when he fell out of a taxi in March 2009.
For the last two years, friends, family and former football team-mates have come together to remember the keen sportsmen with the Aaron ‘Azza’ Todd Memorial Tournament.
The event, which supports the intensive care unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, where Aaron spent the final days of his life, and Perth Green Community Association in Jarrow, raised £1,750 in 2014 and £3,000 last year.
With the tournament set to be held again on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29, organisers are aiming to pull in more cash.
The event is organised by Chris Thompson, one of Aaron’s coaches.
He said: “It’s something that I think a lot of people have in their diaries now, it’s one of their favourite events of the year.
“We’re hoping to get past the £3,000 mark this year and we have lots of ideas about how to raise more money, including selling T-shirts on the day.
“The tournament ran for three days last year and we’re just doing it for two days this year, but we’ve had so many teams wanting to take part that we might need to think about it being longer again next year.
“It’s fantastic to see so many people wanting to get involved and seeing everyone with smiles on their faces during the event is brilliant.
“Aaron’s mum Karen is always touched by the number of people getting involved but that’s all down to Aaron because he was just such a brilliant lad. He’s still a big part of our lives.”
The tournament is being held at Perth Green CA in Inverness Road, Jarrow, kicking off with an under-13s tournament at 9.30am on Saturday.
At 2.30pm that day, four teams will play in a bid to win the Aaron ‘Azza’ Todd Memorial Shield. The contest will run into the Sunday, which will also welcome families to a fun day with a bouncy castle, stalls and games.
A team made up of Aaron’s family members and closest friends will take on a side made up of past managers of Jarrow FC.
A fundraising night will also be held on Sunday at the Neon Social Club in Perth Avenue, Jarrow, from 7pm.
The event will include a DJ, karaoke, raffle and hot curry supper, with rickets costing £5.
All are welcome to go along to watch the football tournament.
Chris added: “Everyone is really looking forward to it and I’m confident we’re going to raise more money this year. Everyone wants to come together to remember Aaron.”