Hartlepool United legend Michael Barron happy to be a part of 'brilliant' Gemma Lee charity event

Hartlepool United legend Michael Barron says it was a ‘brilliant day’ after helping to organise the Gemma Lee charity match at the Suit Direct Stadium.

By Joe Ramage
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 12:30 pm

Barron, who made 374 appearances for Pools throughout an 11 year stay, launched the event alongside another of Graeme Lee’s former teammates Ian Clark with the aim to raise funds for Lee’s wife, Gemma, for her medication to help treat her brain tumour.

The drug, which has helped stabilise the condition of Gemma, costs around £5,000-a-month meaning any fundraising events such as the charity game held at the Suit Direct Stadium can only be of benefit.

And Barron, who has been friends with Lee since their time together as teammates with Pools, says he was only too happy to help for a fantastic cause.

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Hartlepool Team (rear left to right) Tommy Miller, Mark Tinkler, Michael Nelson, Adam Boyd, Evan Horwood and Kevin Henderson. (Front left to right) Tommy Butler, Michael Barron, Jonathan Franks and Peter Hartley. in the Gemma Lee charity game played at The Suits Direct Stadium, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

“We wanted to do something sponsored during lockdown but because of lockdown we could never really get it going so when this opportunity came up we thought what better way of doing it than actually having a game,” Barron told The Mail.

“We asked a few people who came along and they really helped us out. Marc Ellison and Motif8 helped provide all the kits and everyone has just been really helpful and it’s just been a brilliant day.

“We’ve even had people donate money and not come, which has been fantastic.

“We’re going to try and raffle the shirts off as well and all the money obviously goes to Gemma and the medication and everything else that she needs.

“It’s a fantastic cause and I think that’s why some really big names turned out in trying to raise as much money as we can.”

Of those names included former Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate and ex-Boro and Sunderland duo Grant Leadbitter and Lee Cattermole but it was the Hartlepool United XI which came out on top.

“There were some good names. Obviously the Hartlepool team I contacted most of them and they were quick to jump on and say ‘of course I’ll come along.’

“But when you see some of the other lads it just shows how high standing that Gemma and Graeme are held in.

“The situation they’re in, everyone wants to do their bit to help them and they’re a lovely family and it just shows that people will turn up to help them.”