Community turns out for charity football tournament in memory of Jarrow teenager

Football teams have taken to the pitch for an annual tournament in memory of a teenager who died tragically.

The third Aaron "Azza" Todd Memorial Tournament is taking place Perth Green Community Association, in Jarrow.

Karen Rutter with those who organised a charity football tournament in memory of her son Aaron Todd.

Karen Rutter with those who organised a charity football tournament in memory of her son Aaron Todd.

Popular Aaron, who was from Jarrow's Kirkstone Avenue, was just 18-years-old when he died in a road accident seven years ago.

He suffered serious head injures after falling out of a taxi.

The event, organised by Aaron’s old football coach, Chris Thompson, raised about £2,000 last year for the intensive care unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, where Aaron spent the final days of his life, and the community association.

As well as a youngsters tournament for those under 13, Jarrow Boys, Jarrow Select, Castle Scaffold FC and Jarrow Falcons have been battling it out to take home the shield.

Action from the tournament.

Action from the tournament.

Several members of Aaron's family including his loving mum Karen Rutter have been at the tournament, which has brought in big crowds.

A bouncy castle, stalls and other fun activities have also been held at the centre.

Chris told the Gazette: "We've had a fantastic turnout.

"As well as the teams playing here, we've already had some others saying they want to play next year so we might have to have shorter games.

"I can't imagine how Karen feels with Aaron not being here and we just want to give something back and show our support.

"The fact that there are so many people here is to Aaron and how much people thought of him. He was a great footballer too."

Karen, 47, said: "We just want to say thanks to everyone who's helped organise things once again.

"Steve and Paul Deans, Dave Smith, Lee Hughes and Chris have all been brilliant.

"It's very humbling for me as Aaron's mam to see that they are keeping his memory alive.

"I really appreciate everyone taking part."

The tournament comes to a close on Sunday, with the third and fourth place play-off game held ahead of the final.

A game between Jarrow Ex Managers and a team made of Karen's friends and family will also take place.

A charity evening will then be held at Neon Social Club, starting at 7pm, with a raffle, buffet and karaoke.