South Shields football match raises £4,000 for Alzheimer’s Society
After the success of the first charity match, organiser Stephen Reynolds is already planning next year.
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Friends who set up a charity football match for Alzheimer’s Society, are already planning a return fixture next year after raising £4,000 for the charity.
The idea for the charity football match was from 55-year-old Stephen Reynolds, whose mam Susan is living with dementia.
Stephen said: “The match was arranged between friends and family and we were able to put it on at South Shields FC’s ground in front of around 150 spectators, which was amazing.
“Then we had an evening event at the Westoe pub, where we raised more money thanks to some fabulous raffle prizes donated by local businesses, including a football boot signed by Jack Grealish.
“It was such a success that most of the people who took part want to organise a return match next year, so watch this space.”
Stephen has fundraised for charity before, participating in the Great North Run many times over the years.
However, as he felt he couldn’t do the Great North Run this year, he decided to arrange the charity football match.
Stephen explained: “The last one just about did me in. It’s like Mo Farah once said, you know when your body has had enough.
“But although I couldn’t do that, I still wanted to fundraise, and that’s when I had the idea for the charity football match.”
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Stephen’s mam was diagnosed seven years ago, as Stephen explained: “We first realised all was not well with mam when she and dad came on holiday to Benidorm with me and my wife Jackie.
“Me and Jackie had lived there for several years previously but mam kept asking if we’d been here before, so that rang alarm bells.”
“Dad took her to see the doctor not long after we returned, and the diagnosis came within months.”
Siobhan Marsh, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society in the North East, said: “We rely heavily on our incredible fundraisers to support our vital work, so I can’t thank Steve and his friends enough for organising the charity match and raffle.
“One in three people born today will go on to develop dementia in their lifetime – it is without doubt our biggest health and social care issue.”
He continued: “But Alzheimer’s Society is here to bring help and hope to those affected by providing support, advice and information, as well as campaigning for change, and funding vital research.
“For anyone wishing to support us, there’s still plenty of time to sign up for our biggest event of the year in South Tyneside – South Shields Memory Walk on Saturday, October 7. Just visit memorywalk.org.uk for details.”