Harmison wants memorial match to be annual event

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, Stephen Harmison and the Alderson family after presenting the Les Alderson Memorial Cup to Bedlington captain Mel Harmison. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, Stephen Harmison and the Alderson family after presenting the Les Alderson Memorial Cup to Bedlington captain Mel Harmison. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
0
Have your say

Stephen Harmison wants the Les Alderson Memorial Cup to become an annual event.

The former pace ace, who enjoyed a distinguished career with Durham and England, was dowsed with freezing cold water along with several others as they took part in an ice bucket challenge after Sunday’s contest between his Ashington XI and a Bedlington Terriers XI.

However, Harmison warmed to the question of making it a regular event in light of another successful afternoon.

“It’s been a great day and we have got to turn this into an annual event,” he said.

“There have been a lot of people here that had a connection with Les and hopefully everyone has enjoyed it – I know both sets of players have, although body wise they will be hurting for the next few days.

“Bedlington have got a good core who are all good friends and a few younger lads came into their squad from last year and we had a similar group from last time.

“It’s about getting people back together who are good mates – there are some whom I haven’t seen since last year – and it’s important to meet up with people whom you haven’t seen for a while.

“It was great to see the Bedlington manager Ian Skinner and Terriers captain James Harmison (playing for Ashington) as well as the Colliers skipper Andrew Johnson and James Taylor – the latter who was coaching young kids before the game – showing their respect for a man who meant so much and did so much for Ashington Football Club.

“And I must give a special thank you to Michael Oliver.

“We have had two games now in memory of Les, last year’s was refereed by Premiership referee Mark Clattenburg who was recently in charge of the European Super Cup, and this year has been led by Michael, an Ashington lad who has got a little bit closer links with Les Alderson and the family and who is probably one of the best referees in the country.

“To have two referees of this calibre in consecutive years is fantastic.

“The result is immaterial really; we have raised a lot of money for charity and if you were to ask both sets of players if they would turn out next year then of course there answer will be yes and they will jump at the chance because it’s great.”