Together again - A night of emotion in aid of leukaemia sufferers

TRIBUTES: Former team captains of various Owton Manor Social Club-based football sides, Billy Corbett, Davey West, John Morrell, Jed Dowson, Tommy Price, Bobby Mincher, Bobby Wright, Bobby Gibbon, Allan Martin and John Breward (sitting)

TRIBUTES: Former team captains of various Owton Manor Social Club-based football sides, Billy Corbett, Davey West, John Morrell, Jed Dowson, Tommy Price, Bobby Mincher, Bobby Wright, Bobby Gibbon, Allan Martin and John Breward (sitting)

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FORMER footballers held an emotional reunion which raised cash that will help leukaemia suffers.

Members of various footballing sides which were associated with Owton Manor Social Club’s footballing sides over the years held a reunion at the 53-year-old club, in Wynyard Road, Hartlepool.

It was held in aid of a fund at the University Hospital of Hartlepool that helps leukaemia patients, in memory of former club chairman Allan Martin’s wife Pat and former footballer Steven Tierney, who both died from the disease.

A total of £1,310 was raised for the unit following the get-together and a memorial football match played on Manor College of Technology’s school field.

Around 200 people turned up on the night, and lost loved ones associated with the club’s sides were remembered when an emotional DVD was played.

It featured footage of past prize presentations and a roll of honour of players who have passed away over the years.

Allan, 63, who was the manager of the club’s over-40s team, the first in the town after being set up in 1988, said: “It was excellent.

“Watching the DVD was a bit emotional as it featured people who are not with us now, including my wife Pat and Steven Tierney.”

He said it was nice to see everyone, including Derek Cooper, John Boagey, Tony Boylan and Terry Gaffney, who played under him.

Tommy Price, 65, who played for the club’s fledgling Sunday League team in the late 1960s and was manager of the under-13s side in the 1980s, said: “We even had people who played against us turn up.

“John Breward, who was the committee sports secretary and later went on to be assistant promotions manager at Hartlepool United also came along. “The money raised is going to a worthy cause.” Bobby Gibbon, 64, who was assistant manager with the Over-40s team, said: “We enjoyed it, but it’s a pity more couldn’t have turned up.

“Terry Gaffney, from Billingham, was there, as well as the Keers brothers, Steven, Kevin and Billy, who went from playing for us in the Church League to the Over-40s.

“It was smashing.”

The trio, who organised the event with Davey West, thanked everyone involved in making the reunion possible. Club supervisor Karen Sharp said: “I’d like to thank everyone who turned up and made the event memorable, and the band, From The Hip, who performed free of charge.”

The club also had teams which played in the Hartlepool Sunday League, which was set up around 1967 following an idea by Harry Baker.

This side, whose manager was Philly Ross, ran until last season.

One of its players, John Borthwick, went on to play for Hartlepool United.

There was also a squad in the local district league from the late 1970s.