Ian Lavery hails Les Alderson Memorial game a huge success

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Ashington FC chairman Ian Lavery hailed another success story on Sunday after a Bedlington Terriers XI had won the Les Alderson Memorial Cup with a 4-1 victory over a Stephen Harmison Ashington XI at Woodhorn Lane.

He said: “It’s been a fantastic success supported by the community and a lot of people from this area and Bedlington football clubs as players both past and present came together for a great cause – Motor Neurone Disease.

“Ashington Cricket Club has staged a fundraiser this afternoon with a six-a-side competition, and although a lot of things are said about this community in today’s society, here in Ashington and on a sunny afternoon, we have got charity events at two venues.

“People give a lot of thought to others in this region and it’s good that we can get together and have a great game of football as well as having an enjoyable day to raise money for a much needed cause.

“We have got to make sure the event continues – it’s primarily about Les Alderson - a man who devoted his life to Ashington Football Club.

“We remember Les, who was a tremendous man, very fondly but also the other sufferers of this awful and horrendous disease, and if we can in any small way help people who come into contact with Motor Neurone – whether it’s the people themselves who unfortunately get the disease or their families and friends who also need support - that’s what this afternoon is about.

“It is also a great sense of togetherness, with people coming together to support those less well off than ourselves.

“Thanks to Stephen Harmison because he is behind this venture – and it’s got to be an ongoing event.

“It’s not just a football match, because there are a lot of kids who have enjoyed face painting; there are cake stalls and we again have been blessed by sunshine – and it does take a lot of organising.

“Things like this don’t just come together. People put there spare time and a lot of hard effort and commitment into it – like Nicola Shotton who has been fantastic and led the event from the club.

“However, I’d also like to sincerely thank all of the volunteers and everybody who have turned up including the players and officials.”

The MP for Wansbeck also praised match officials, Michael Oliver, Mick McDonough and Adam Nichol.

“Michael is a credit to this fantastic area,” he said.

“He is at the head of the referees list, not just the Premier League, and I think he is an outstanding referee.

“He was at Goodison Park 24 hours earlier for the Everton v Arsenal clash where he was fourth official, and after our charity match was going to take charge of the Manchester City v Liverpool Premiership game on Bank Holiday Monday.

“Mick McDonough was assistant referee at Everton on Saturday and for him and Michael to be at Woodhorn Lane the following day speaks volumes, whilst Adam Nichol is another local lad who has been a great ambassador for sport in general in this area.

“We have got a lot to be proud of and it’s an honour to be the representative of this great area.”