Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlesbrough veterans hold charity dinner

Julio Arca will be on home turf at Friday's talk-in. Image by Peter Talbot.
Julio Arca will be on home turf at Friday's talk-in. Image by Peter Talbot.

An event for football fans aims to help boost the coffers of a charity helping good causes in South Tyneside.

Sunderland legend Kevin Ball, Newcastle United fitness coach Steve Black and former Sunderland and Middlesbrough star Julio Arca – who now plays for South Shields FC – will be staging a sportsmen’s dinner in aid of the Mayor’s charity.

Kevin Ball receives the award for Steph Houghton with Joy Yates from the Sunderland Echo during Best of Wearside event at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

Kevin Ball receives the award for Steph Houghton with Joy Yates from the Sunderland Echo during Best of Wearside event at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland Picture: DAVID WOOD

The event has been organised by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Richard Porthouse, and will take place in the main function room at Mariners Park, on Shaftesbury Avenue, in South Shields, on Friday.

This year the Mayor’s Charity is supporting Cancer Connections, the Great North Air Ambulance and the South Tyneside branch of the Alzheimer’s society.

Coun Porthouse said: “This is a great opportunity for people to meet local football idols while raising money for worthwhile causes which do valuable work for people across the borough.”

Arca joined Sunderland from Argentinos Juniors in his native Argentina in 2000, and established himself as a firm favourite at the Stadium of Light before moving to Middlesbrough in 2006.

Steve McClaren and Steve  Black

Steve McClaren and Steve Black

After seven years there, the midfielder retired from the game, only to later return on a semi-professional basis when he made a shock move to South Shields last September, aged 34.

He has since become a key part of things at Mariners Park as the club 
pushes for promotion from Northern League Division Two.

Ball, meanwhile, is a former Sunderland captain, who played for the club between 1990 and 1999. From March to May 2006, he was named Sunderland caretaker manager for the last 10 games of the season.

Black is a consultant fitness coach at Newcastle United and has a sporting background covering football, rugby, boxing and other sports, working with 
sportsmen including Kevin Keegan and Johnny Wilkinson.

Those attending will have the chance to meet the men and ask questions.

Tickets for the event are available now, priced £6 from the civic office at Jarrow Town Hall or by calling 0191 424 7256.

Doors open at 7.30pm. A raffle on the night will also raise funds for the Mayor’s Charity.