Former Sunderland AFC and Rangers player to take part in charity match in South Shields
Police are set to pitch in for a good cause in a football match with a difference at the home of South Shields FC.
A charity match is to take place at Mariners Park, in Shaftesbury Avenue, on Wednesday.
It will see representatives of Northumbria Police who work in South Tyneside take on members of the borough’s Bangladeshi and Muslim communities.
As well as the game, there will be entertainment, stalls and a raffle as funds are raised for South Tyneside Ability FC, which gives disabled people a chance to play football.
Among the star attractions will be South Shields-born professional footballer Martyn Waghorn, who currently plays for Championship side Ipswich Town and has previously played for Sunderland, Leicester City and Rangers.
He is set to line up in the police team for the game, which will kick-off at 5pm.
Pc Chris Howey, who helped to organise the event, said: “South Tyneside Police already has a great relationship with the Bangladeshi and Muslim community in South Tyneside, and I hope that this event can reinforce it. We recognise how important a part of the community they are within South Tyneside.
“It promises to be a really good day and let’s hope the sun shines. We just want to raise as much money as possible to help the charity.”
The event has been funded by South Tyneside Council, who have paid for the trophies and the hire of the main pitch at Mariners Park.
Zeera Restaurant, on Ocean Road, has also volunteered to provide the after-match food for the staff and players taking part.
Pc Howey added: “Everybody is really looking forward to it.
“As the build-up and momentum gathers, people are becoming really excited.
“There’s a real buzz about it, and we just can’t wait to get out there now.
“The fact Martyn is taking part as well gives it that extra edge, and we’re really grateful to him.
“He’d do anything for charity and to help people, and he came on board without even being asked.”