South Shields FC supporters thank charity which saved boy after cliff fall

Kind-hearted supporters of South Shields Football Club have hit their fundraising goal in honour of one of their own.
Generous fundraisers pictured with chequeGenerous fundraisers pictured with cheque
Generous fundraisers pictured with cheque

Members of the Mariners' Simonside Branch donated £500 to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) after undertaking various fundraising activities in aid of the charity.

The inspiration behind the fundraising was the help given by GNAAS to Robbie Drew, 16, who endured a terrifying 20ft cliff fall at the Leas, in South Shields, last August.

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This didn’t deter the youngster, however and just four months after the accident he was back on the football field just four months later.

Robbie was at Mariners Park as the supporters along with first-team players Robert Briggs and Josh Gillies handed over a cheque at the culmination of their fundraising efforts.

Simonside Branch member David Nye, who was one of the organisers of the fundraising, said: "The Sima Branch members raise money on a regular basis through various activities including away travel, raffles and blind cards.

"Robbie Drew and his family are South Shields supporters and needed the services of the Great North Air Ambulance after an accident.

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"That inspired us to donate £500. All our monies generated go to club sponsorship or charities nominated by our members."

Robbie, from South Shields, is thought to have been knocked unconscious during the fall last year.

When he woke, he found himself lying on rocks with a severely injured left knee and his screams for help led to a two-hour emergency rescue.

Robbie was flown by the Great North Air Ambulance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where he underwent surgery to his knee and a skin graft.

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The terrifying episode has since been featured on More 4's Emergency Helicopter Medics, where the incredible efforts of GNAAS were aired.

Grahame Pickering MBE, chief executive of GNAAS, said: “We couldn’t keep going without this kind of support.

"The money raised will go towards keeping our service flying throughout the region.

"We’d like to thank all those involved and wish everyone connected with South Shields Football Club all the very best for the rest of the season ahead.”