Sunderland to provide opposition for Dale testimonial

Blyth Spartans' skipper Robbie Dale. Picture by Bill Broadley
Blyth Spartans' skipper Robbie Dale. Picture by Bill Broadley

Blyth Spartans captain Robbie Dale is to be rewarded for 11 years’ service at the club with a testimonial.

Premier League side Sunderland will provide the opposition for the game on Saturday, August 1, at Croft Park.

Dale has made 451 appearances in over a decade at the club, scoring 144 goals, placing him third on Spartans’ all-time goalscorers’ list.

His list of honours includes winners’ medals in the Unibond Premier Division, Unibond Chairman’s Cup and the Northumberland Senior Cup.

The winger also has two FA Cup third round appearances for the club and made national headlines as his brace against Birmingham City last season gave his side a sniff of one of the biggest giantkillings in the club’s history.

And although it was not to be as the Midlands outfit hit back in the second half, Dale received plaudits from within the national media, even seeing his second goal against the Blues nominated for Match of the Day’s Goal of the Round competition.

On a personal level, Dale had a successful season last time out, winning the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division Player of the Season, the Evo-Stik NPL Supporters’ Player of the Season and he was named in the League Team of the Year.

Current Spartans manager Tom Wade paid tribute to his club captain.

He said: “Robert deserves a big game to celebrate what he has achieved in his 11 seasons at Blyth Spartans. He is a pleasure to work with.”

Wade also thanked Sunderland for their support with the fixture.

“It is a great gesture by Sunderland to give us this fixture to honour a Spartans and non-league legend in Robbie Dale,” he said.

“When we asked them we thought it would be a ‘no’, but they were delighted to help us out and sorted it very quickly.”

Further details of the fixture will be revealed in due course, although kick-off is scheduled for 3pm.