Amanda Staveley sends brilliant message to Newcastle United fans
Amanda Staveley has opened up about her “love” for Newcastle United – and the work it does in the community.
Staveley was speaking at the Newcastle United Foundation’s United As One dinner at St James’s Park.
Newcastle United’s co-owner attended the event last night with her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi, and she presented the United As One Award to Josh Banyard, who was ready to take his own life when a call from his son stopped him.
Banyard sought help through the Foundation, and he’s now an advocate for the charity’s mental health work.
“It's just been the most incredible reception, and hearing Josh's story and all the wonderful stories, have made us think and understand what a special place Newcastle, the Foundation, the club is,” said Staveley, who led the consortium which bought the club last month in a £300million deal.
"We came here four years ago and we just fell, madly, madly in love with this incredible club. I think the Foundation work has been incredible.”
The club’s new owners have pledged to do more in the community through the Foundation, which has been named the North East Charity of the Year.
And Staveley said: "When you look at recent awards, the charity of the year and you’ve done an awful lot of work on your own without a huge amount of support.
"We feel honoured to be part of this incredible team.
"And we want to really help and develop the initiatives in the community and the wider community, but it’s stories like Josh’s, and mental health is such a difficult subject for a lot of us. We all have issues, and it takes a very brave person to reach out to someone else.
"One thing I'd like to say is we have received thousands and thousands of letters and actually many stories just like yours. When I looked at your video, I was really touched and there’s an awful lot of people who need a friend to turn to."
The United As One dinner also saw Shay Given and the late Gary Speed inducted in the Foundation’s Hall of Fame.
Given attended the event, as did Speed’s widow Louise.