Memorial match for popular South Shields footballer after his shock death

A memorial match is to be played to remember well-known amateur footballer Clive Wilson, who has died at the age of 48.
A memorial match is to be played to remember well-known amateur footballer Clive Wilson, who has died at the age of 48.

The sudden death of a popular footballer and familiar face around South Shields has prompted a tribute match in his memory.

Clive Wilson was a popular and well-known character around the town, and his sudden death in May left family and friends devastated.

Clive Wilson was a stalwart of South Shields football team Toledo FC. He's pictured third left in the back row.

Clive Wilson was a stalwart of South Shields football team Toledo FC. He's pictured third left in the back row.

The 48-year-old, described as a caring, happy, funny person who would always bring positivity to everyone he knew, had contracted sepsis - a life-threatening condition which can be triggered by an infection.

Over the years, Clive, who was from West Harton, represented a number of football teams, playing in both Saturday and Sunday local leagues. 
And it was his love of the game for which former team mates will remember him for.

On Friday, 40 players will pull on their football boots and take to the pitch at Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare for a memorial match.

The majority of the players have come from Clive’s old team Toledo FC. The teams will play in the colours of England and Brazil - due to Clive often being likened to Brazil’s Pele as a youngster for his eyecatching ability.

This is the first event we have held for Clive and we have had some great support. It is something we are hoping to do on an annual basis.

Jim Hunter

The 11-a-side match aims to raise funds for a replacement headstone for Clive’s final resting place at Harton Cemetery.

Jim Hunter, who has helped organise the event and who played alongside Clive, said: “Clive was just a popular man and when we all heard he had died, it was such a huge shock to us all. 48 is no age.

“He was well known at the Welfare and it was something we felt we needed to do.

“Clive was buried in the same plot as his grandparents and we wanted to help the family to pay for a replacement headstone for the plot.

Clive Wilson was involved in local football for many years.

Clive Wilson was involved in local football for many years.

“A lot of the people playing are from Clive’s old football team Toledo FC, which goes to show just how much he was loved and liked by everyone.”

Those taking part have donated cash to buy their own kit, which has been supplied by Bolam Premier Sportswear.

The event has also been supported by Green Baize Snooker & Pool Club, Paul Davis Aerials, South Tyneside Bathrooms, Bbeautiful and David Hopper Physiotherapy.

A golf day has also been organised by close friend Steve Hutchison to help boost funds further.

The strips which will be worn at the game in memory of Clive Wilson.

The strips which will be worn at the game in memory of Clive Wilson.

It is hoped £600 will be raised towards the cost of the headstone.

Jim added: “This is the first event we have held for Clive and we have had some great support. It is something we are hoping to do on an annual basis.

“We’d also like to thank the chairman and the committee of the Welfare for donating the use of the pitch.”

Clive had been a former groundsman at the old welfare site before part of it was sold to Persimmon Homes.

He had been the last one on the site, refusing to move until he was given what he deemed to be “appropriate” accommodation.

The football game will kick off at 6.30pm on Friday at Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare in Low Lane, South Shields.

SEPSIS: WARNING SIGNS

Sepsis can be triggered by an infection in any part of the body and can be deadly if left untreated.

It can create flu like symptoms, gastroenteritis or a chest infection.

There are a variety of symptoms which present differently in each person.

Sepsis can affect both children and adults - but can be treated with antibiotics if caught early enough.

According to The UK Sepsis Trust, it kills 44,000 people every year in the UK, however, better awareness could save 14,000 of those lives annually.

Warning signs in children can include pale skin, or skin that looks mottled or bluish, a rash that doesn’t fade when you press against it, feeling lethargic or hard to wake up, or when a person is abnormally cold to touch and breathing rate is fast. 
Sepsis and its effects was featured in Coronation Street storyline involving Jack Webster. The condition led to the youngster having his foot amputated, after he contracted the illness following a cut to his knee.