Sunderland and Newcastle United fans come together to support brave youngsters in charity match
Football supporters put their rivalries to one side as they joined forces to support three brave youngsters.
Newcastle United and Sunderland fans were aiming to raise up to £1,500 after from a match at Southern Area Playing Fields, in Rickleton, Washington.
The funds were raised for the families of Bradley Lowery, Frankie Sherwood and Hope-Louise Feeney - who are all receiving treatment for rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma.
The two sets of supporters went head-to-head before heading back to The Whitehouse pub, in Blackfell Village Centre, Washington, where a raffle was held, as well as further collections.
It was the latest in a series of charity football matches organised by Sunderland fan Steven Whitfield and Newcastle supporter Joe Gray.
Steven, of Concord, Washington, said: “We started doing these matches six years ago, and always try to do two a year to help different charities.
“This year, the stories of Bradley, Frankie and Hope have touched so many hearts, so it seemed fitting that we support their families during what is such an incredibly tough time.
“We’ve had a lot of donations, both in terms of money from individuals and items for the raffle from businesses, and are so grateful for all of the support.
“We’d like to particularly thank all those businesses in Concord Front Street who donated raffle prizes.
“It’s all about raising money, and rivalries don’t count when it comes to things like this.”
Joe, of Hebburn, South Tyneside, said: “We’d like to raise at least £1,500, so that would be £500 for each of the children.
“The more money we raise, the better.
“If we can help in any way, that would be fantastic.”
Bradley, five, of Blackhall, County Durham, is terminally ill with neuroblastoma, and there has been a huge wave of public support for the Sunderland-supporting youngster.
After receiving the heartbreaking news Bradley’s cancer could not be ured, his family revealed the youngster’s wish was to receive as many Christmas cards as possible.
There was an incredible response, and about 250,000 cards were delivered to Bradley.
Frankie, three, from Dudley, North Tyneside, is also battling neuroblastoma, and late last year led out Newcastle United ahead of their Championship clash with Blackburn Rovers.
Hope, five, of North Shields, North Tyneside, has the same cancer, and has undergone gruelling treatment in her battle.
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/fundraiser-for-bradleyhope-frankie