Match nets £1,000 in memory of fisherman Alan

A SPECIAL fund-raising football match played in memory of an Amble fisherman has been hailed a success.

The community turned out in force on Saturday to support the Alan Gair Memorial Trophy, in honour of the much-loved 37-year-old father-of-three who was killed in a crash on the A1 in 2008.

The charity contest – the third of its kind – was played at Amble Welfare and was once again raising money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, which attended the scene of the fatal accident.

More than £1,300 has been raised for the cause since the memorial game was launched in 2009, but this year’s event is expected to raise more than £1,000 alone.

Morpeth Sunday League side River Coquet were victorious on the day, beating Amble Fishermen 6-2 to retain the trophy.

But it was the charity that was the real winner.

Carl Stewart, River secretary and a friend of Alan, said: “The day was successful.

“The weather was good to us, people turned out to support it, and we expect to raise over £1,000, which we would be over the moon with.

“The day was perfect. It was a success in my eyes.”

In a fitting tribute, a minute’s silence was held on the day and Alan’s parents John and Betty kicked off the game.

Alan’s brother David played in the match, while Alan’s eldest son also featured.

River went 1-0 up with Lance Burton netting, but an own goal from Row and an effort by ex-River man Marco Robson saw the Fishermen go into the lead.

But River hit back and goals from Row, Roper, Thompson, Burton and Fairbridge saw them take the honours.

Carl said: “River won the Alan Gair Memorial Trophy for the third year running but the real winner was the Great North Air Ambulance Service as all proceeds from the day went to this well-deserved charity.

“Special thanks must go to the RNLI lifeboat men who also put a few lads in the fishermen team, to Alan’s family and friends for turning up and supporting this event, DJ, Susan and Rachel at the Schooner for putting on a fantastic spread once again, the Stewart kids – Casey, Jack, Bobby and Kalum – for going round with the buckets and of course everyone for putting money in and donating prizes to the cause.”

Fishermen man-of-the-match picked by John and Betty: Kyle Armstrong. River man-of-the-match: Carl Stewart.

l River Coquet are back in league action this weekend, when they travel to Morpeth Chantry in Division Two of the Morpeth Sunday League.

Kick-off is at 10.30am. Players should meet up at the boys club at 9.15am on Sunday.