A North East football legend is coming to town this weekend for a special charity night to raise funds for this year’s Jam Jar Army beneficiary SHAK.
Alnwick Town FC is hosting the event on Saturday evening where the star guest is ex Newcastle United and Hartlepool United player Joe Allon.
And speaking to the Gazette ahead of the event, Joe explained that he got involved due to his friendship with SHAK main man Steve Wylie and also his love of friends of the canine variety.
“Me and the missus, our love after football is dogs,” he said.
“Stephen and his dad followed me from when he was a youngster. They came when I was 17, just breaking into the first team, on the pre-season tour on the Isle of Man, so I’ve known him a while.
“Giving a sanctuary for dogs, I think, is absolutely wonderful so when he got in touch I didn’t hesitate to help out.
“The effort they all put in, because it’s a real team effort, is absolutely fantastic.
“I think he has 49 dogs at the moment which is absolutely magnificent. He has 11 or 12 living with him at home and that shows how passionate someone can be.”
Joe is also returning to Alnwick and the football club after a long gap.
“I’m really looking forward to coming to Alnwick, because I haven’t been there for ages.
“I played at Alnwick in the Northumberland Senior Cup when I was about 16 (for Newcastle).
“Me and a very young Paul Gascoigne played there and it was a great ground. I remember, because we both played in black and white, that we had to toss a coin before kick-off.”
On the night, which starts at 7pm, Joe will be doing a talk and a question-and-answer session, telling some stories that can’t be published here.
“I have done after-dinner speaking for about 15 years. Football is the greatest job in the world and when you leave, you have to invent a vocation. I was always good at talking and I was always the dressing-room joker.
“I don’t talk about myself, I talk about the people and players I have met – it’s people like Keegan, Beardsley, Waddle, Gascoigne and Vinnie Jones.”