Former Hartlepool United manager is looking for charities to share out six-figure sum

A former Hartlepool United manager and his wife are set to bring an end to 12 years of fundraisng in memory of their young son they lost in a tragic choking accident.

Friday, 14th December 2018, 10:00 am
Colin and Julie Cooper at Middlesbrough FCs Riverside Stadium with Finlay Cooper Fund trustees, (from left), Nick Waites, Graham Fordy and Lee Bramley.

Colin Cooper and wife Julie set up the Finlay Cooper Fund in 2006.

Since then the fund has raised more than £600,000 for children’s causes across Teesside including hospices and paying for vital equipment for local children.

Finlay Cooper tragically died in January 2002.

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The couple have now decided with the fund’s trustees to bring the fundraising to an end.

But they are keen to go out on a high and are looking for a permanent children’s project in the area to support with a six-figure sum that will stand as a lasting legacy to much-missed Finlay.

Julie said: “Finlay would have been 19 now and we started the fund in his name as a charity for children, so we all feel that the time is right to bring the fundraising to a close.

“We are sad about it but we are really, really proud of what we’ve achieved, of this area and the way local people have supported us.”

Colin managed Hartlepool United from May 2013 to October 2014.

During his time at the club he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling, Craig Hignett and the fund’s trustees Nick Waites and Graham Fordy raising more than £100,000.

Colin added: “We are a small charity of just five people, each of us doing what we can in our spare time, so we couldn’t be prouder to have raised £600,000 in our son’s name.

“We’ve done it with the help of so many people out there but most of all our three loyal trustees – Nick, Lee (Bramley) and Graham – without whom we wouldn’t have been able to achieve a fraction of what we have.”

Last year the fund donated around £32,000 towards a caravan to allow disadvantaged local families to enjoy short breaks in Filey.

Colin added: “But we want the charity to go out with a big bang so we’d like to fund something bigger to create a legacy that carries Finlay’s name on it and the charity’s dragonfly emblem that our family has adopted in Fin’s memory.

“That would be a fitting tribute to Finlay and all that’s been achieved in his name over the past 12 years.”

Charities and organisations interested in applying for funding to support a long-term legacy project should email [email protected] by the end of January 2019.