It was the perfect way to end a difficult season for Bedlington Terriers as their most successful manager was in the dugout one final time at the weekend.
Keith Perry’s testimonial saw the 1999 FA Vase team came back for one final time against the Bedlington All-Stars to pay tribute to, what has been, a successful managerial career.
He said: “Saturday was a great day, to see players who, over the years, have been part of a phenomenal success was great.
“All supporters who turned up, and I thank the sponsors for raising funds for the Kidney Research.
“This club was a big part of the community, right back to the heady days when it closed for the day, and when we all went to Wembley, everyone came together and it was a great community spirit.
“I hope things come together in the fight to not be known as the forgotten town. Thanks for the memories, they will never be forgotten.”
Former chairman and brother Dave Perry said: “He fully deserved the day, and I’m proud as punch for him, and I have never been as proud as the day my brother led his home town team out at Wembley.”
All proceeds from the day went to a charity that is close to Keith, Northern Counties Kidney Research Fund, and over £1,700 has been raised with donations still coming in.
To name a few: Ken Beattie Techflow, Joe Thompson Premier Paving UK Ltd, Pringle Building Ltd, Paul Stephenson Lotus Newcastle, Newcastle Cal Forklift Trucks and Billy and Liz Durning of The Riverside.
Raffle prizes were donated by Robin Ramsay of Wills and Probate, Stephen Harmison and Chris Bartlet of Smales Foods.
Keith’s assistant manager and lifelong friend, Tony Lowery, said: “All the players turned up and they all paid tribute to Keith, he deserves all the credit that he gets, it was a great day.
“He deserves a day like Saturday for all the success he brought the club, he put the club on the map, they are known all over the country, he will always be remembered, it was a fantastic day.”
Although it wasn’t important, the score on the day was 7-1, with Keith’s side’s goal coming from John Milner from the penalty spot.