Charity match for dear friend

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It was a pleasure for me on Sunday to be involved in a charity football match and family day, in memory of a friend and comrade who passed away earlier this year.

Most people in Ashington will have known Les Alderson and it was testament to his popularity that more than 650 people turned out to watch an Ashington XI captained by Steve Harmison take on Bedlington Terriers’ FA Vase finalists from 1999, captained by Steve’s uncle Mel.

Junior teams from Ashington and Bedlington took to the field before the stars of the past pulled on their boots.

It was a family affair with Les’ grandson Ben playing in the junior game and his son Les Jnr playing later on in the day.

Premiership referee Mark Clattenburg stepped into the middle, splitting up visits to Villa Park and the San Siro with a trip to Woodhorn Lane.

With the family day and donations from events at the RAOB, Ashington CC and sponsorship from Nicola Shotton’s running, a total of £5,000 was raised for MNDA.

Thank you to everyone who donated time, money and prizes so generously to a wonderful cause and in memory of a true gentleman.