Sunderland safecracker turned businessman George Reynolds to be buried on St George's Day as Hartlepool celebrity thanks him for charity work
Sunderland-born safecracker turned millionaire George Reynolds will be buried laid to rest today, St George’s Day.
The controversial former Darlington Football Club chairman passed away earlier this month and will be buried in Durham.
BBC Radio Tees presenter Paul ‘Goffy’ Gough was a friend of Mr Reynolds and paid tribute for his role in raising almost £100,000 for a cause close to his heart.
Paul organised a memorial dinner for his late sister Angela O‘Hara in April 2004, which headlined Newcastle United and England legend Alan Shearer talking about his career with entertainment from TV comedian Stan Boardman attracted a full house of 700 people.
George had become a regular on Paul’s show and had also got to know Angela. He would often call to encourage her to stay strong.
"We raised close on £100,000 for the Hartlepool Hospice which was an incredible amount of money back then - and still is,” said Paul.
"The hospice had just moved to a new building and funds were almost exhausted."
George contributed £5,000 and also donated many items for an auction to aid the Hospice.
"George had a big heart and I know that he divided opinion – but I will never forget the support he gave to us as a family in that period and for the massive personal financial boost he gave to the charity event,” said Paul.
"George had relations that lived in Hartlepool and he loved the banter he shared with them through the Pools and Darlo rivalry which was at its height back then.
"My last lengthy conversation with George was the Saturday before he sadly left us – we chatted on the phone for close on an hour as he laid in his bed in hospital.
After raising £80,000 from the dinner, an auction of a separate prize – being guests of Ant & Dec in London on their Saturday night TV show, including flights and a VIP weekend – topped up the fund to close on £100,000.
“When we set the charity dinner project up in January 2014, our target was £30,000 pounds so we were all more than pleased with the end result,” said Paul.
"I know George was proud of playing his part in it all."