A FOOTBALL fan is getting ready to go behind enemy lines wearing the colours of his team’s arch rivals in an attempt to raise charity cash.
Sunderland fan Paul Tumility is a regular at the Stadium of Light, but is getting ready to swap the red and white stripes for black and white stripes for Sunday’s Great North Run.
Paul, 36, a pipe fitter from Lancaster Road, will do the 13-mile run from Newcastle to South Shields wearing a Magpies shirt adorned with the name and number of Geordie icon Kevin Keegan.
Paul, who says he “wouldn’t be seen dead in a Newcastle shirt” has decided to bite the bullet as he attempts to raise as much money as he can for Hartlepool & District Hospice.
Paul said: “I put an appeal on Facebook asking if my friends could sponsor me, and someone suggested if I did the run wearing a Mags top he would sponsor me more.
“Everyone knows I’m a Sunderland supporter, so I was a bit reluctant at first as I wouldn’t be seen dead wearing a Newcastle shirt.
“I can’t say I’m over the moon about running in a black and white top with Keegan’s name on the back, but it’s for charity so I’m up for it.
“I’m really grateful to everyone who has sponsored me so far. The Hospice is a great cause, and I’m sure all of us living in Hartlepool know someone who has been helped by the staff there.”
Paul hopes wearing the Newcastle shirt could actually help him complete the race quicker, adding: “The sooner I finish, the sooner I can get it off and get my Sunderland shirt back on.”
Greg Hildreth, Hartlepool & District Hospice’s senior fundraiser, said: “Hats off to Paul for biting the bullet and facing his demons!
“This is a great story and a magnificent sacrifice in the name of charity – hopefully this new look will generate support from both sides.
“Best of luck to Paul and all of the other charity runners at the weekend.”