John’s charity drive

John Appleby with his autographed Joe Allon shirt.
John Appleby with his autographed Joe Allon shirt.
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A FOOTBALL fan is calling on fellow supporters to help him raise thousands of pounds for a friend in need.

Hartlepool United season ticket holder John Appleby will be taking on the 50-mile Durham BEAST cycling challenge early next month in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association after one of his close friends was struck down with the disease.

John, 44, has also organised raffle prizes, including shirts signed by former Pools stars Joe Allon and Ritchie Humphreys, in a bid to raise thousands of pounds to help transform his friend, Derrick Iddon’s conservatory into a wet room.

Derrick, who is in his 40s, was struck down with the disease a couple of years ago.

John, a French polisher, said: “We have set up a Just giving page with a target of £2,000 but we held a fundraising night recently and that raised more than £2,000 so we are doing really well.

“I am raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association to help my friend Derrick and we would love to raise as much money as possible.

“It is a really good cause.”

John, who has previously run the Great North Run for charity in the past, has been supporting Hartlepool United for 24 years and is a season ticket holder in the Mill House seats.

The football shirts and signed football will be raffled over the coming months with tickets, available at £1 a strip, available at the Corner House pub for all Hartlepool United home games for the remainder of the season.

John, who lives in Durham City, also thanked his friend Paul Taft for helping with the raffle prizes.

John, a keen cycler, is taking on the 50-mile BEAST on Sunday, September 8, in Durham and he has been in training for weeks.

People can sponsor John by either texting JATB98 to 70070, which will cost £5, or visit