The day ITV's Saint and Greavsie came to Hartlepool to support minibus fundraising drive

The death of former Liverpool and Scotland striker Ian St John has sparked memories of the time popular football pundits Saint and Greavsie came to Hartlepool.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 12:54 pm

The Liverpool legend, who died this week at the age of 82, and former England striker Jimmy Greaves visited the town’s Warren Road Adult Training Centre for people with disabilities at the height of their fame in March 1987.

At the time, local DJ Paul ‘Goffy’ Gough was organising a week-long series of after dinner shows for the massively popular duo at venues throughout the North East.

Saint and Greavsie, whose ITV show attracted millions of viewers, made a surprise visit to Warren Road where Goffy’s brother Liam worked and which was raising money for a minibus so users could go on daytrips.

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Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves hand over the keys for the new minibus to Warren Road Adult Training Centre Manager Kath Spellman in March 1987.

BBC Radio Tees presenter and former Century Radio host Goffy said: “Their live shows were the hottest ticket on the football after-dinner speaking circuit and it was great to bring them to venues in the North East.

“When ‘Saint & Greavsie’ heard about the appeal, they decided to organise their own fundraiser at one of the dinners, held at the Mayfair Centre, Seaton Carew.

"They then took time out to make a surprise visit to the training centre during a special fun day, organised to raise money for the new minibus.”

Ian St John at the funday in Hartlepool.

The fundraising was instigated by Warren Road centre manager Kath Spellman and included raffles, disco nights and prize draws.

During the day St John and Greavsie handed over the keys to the new minibus.

Word soon got around Hartlepool that the TV stars were in town resulting in a big queue forming and Saint and Greavsie staying another two hours chatting and posing for photos.

Goffy added: “It was a fantastic day with the pair joining in with everything and having their photos taken with everyone.

Ian St John (left) pictured with Paul ‘Goffy’ Gough (centre) and Jimmy Greaves at one of the after-dinner football shows.

“The excitement when ‘Saint and Greavsie’ arrived was brilliant and they loved the way that Kath and Liam had inspired everyone to fundraise for the new bus.

"When the keys were handed over for the bus everyone present was ecstatic.

“I am sure that the many people who were with us on that day will be very saddened to hear of Ian St John’s passing.

“He was a great footballer, a master of punditry and a true gentleman.”

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