Luton Town’s Ashington born footballer Mark Cullen has certainly not forgotten his roots, as a generous gesture testifies.
The 22-year-old striker was at Newcastle United from an early age until 14 and then joined the Ashington Juniors set up for a two-year stint.
He then signed for Hull City before linking up with the Hatters last season.
This term Cullen won both the Skybet League Two and PFA fans’ player of the month award for October with the prize for the latter being the donation of a set of strips to a grassroots team of his choice.
He said: “When I left Newcastle United as a kid, Ashington Juniors gave me a great chance to enjoy my football again, so when I won the PFA award I had no hesitation in selecting them as the outfit to donate the strips.
“I still know a lot of people who are involved with the set up.”
Cullen said the target for Luton is back to back promotions.
“I scored ten goals last season when the club were in the Conference,” he said.
“This term we have our eyes fixed on going up again.”
After moving down south, Cullen has settled in Bedfordshire alongside his fiancé Shani and son Lucas, who is one-year-old this week.
“I have netted nine goals so far this campaign,” he added.
“From a personal angle, I want to play as many games and score as many goals as I can.
“I am enjoying myself and have set myself a target – but I am keeping that to myself.”
Gary Bell, secretary of Ashington Juniors, said: “We are really pleased. We think it is a really nice gesture from Mark and it’s great that he has remembered his roots after being part of the Ashington set up.
“Junior clubs are always looking for support and a set of strips can be the difference between a team surviving and not.
“Obviously Mark being an Ashington lad we have tracked his career and are delighted that things are going really well for him at Luton and that he has been recognised with these awards.”