Community comes out in force for Chloe and Liam football game
A community turned out in force as a football match in memory of South Tyneside couple Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry was hailed a great success.
Hundreds of people attended the event at Mariners Park today.
Funds were raised for the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust, which supports young sportspeople and performers and aims to help them reach their potential.
It was set up after the tragic deaths of Chloe, 17, and Liam, 19, in a bombing at the Manchester Arena last May.
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Today’s match saw Team Chloe come up against Team Liam, with players including South Shields striker Carl Finnigan and ex-Mariners pair David Foley and Wayne Phillips among those who took part.
Captaining the teams were Chloe’s dad Mark and her brother Scott.
Mark said: “It was an unbelievable day. We didn’t expect the turnout we got.
“So many people came together for Chloe and Liam, which was overwhelming for us as the families.
“It was a brilliant way to remember them.
“Liam loved his sport and Chloe was always there watching him play.”
Mark estimates the trust has raised about £76,000 in seven months as it continues to help people strive to achieve their goals.
Managing Team Chloe was Graeme Brett, who owns Westoe Travel, where Chloe worked.
Graeme said: “It was a great honour for me to be the manager of Team Chloe, because Chloe worked for us and she was so lovely.
“It was tremendous to be able to take part in this amazing event, which was supported so well by the town. It shows how wonderful South Shields is as a town and the support which is there for the trust and the families.”
Among the star attractions on the pitch was Foley, who scored twice at Wembley last May as South Shields won the FA Vase.
On the charity game, he said: “It was a great occasion.
“It was nice to come back to my old stomping ground and hopefully we raised plenty of money.”
His former team-mate Finnigan said: “You could see by the turnout at the game that everyone is supporting the families and doing what they can for the trust.
“Everybody came together and hopefully we’ve raised as much money as possible for the trust.”
As well as the football, there were activities for all the family, including a face painter and a raffle.