HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds raised in memory of a former Black Cats goalkeeper are set to help boost facilities at a special school.
The sudden death of Tim Carter, an ex-player and coach with Sunderland AFC, shocked the world of football and inspired a major fund-raising drive, backed by fans and fellow professionals.
The aim is to build a hydrotherapy pool at Percy Hedley School, which his son attends.
The pool, which will give a better quality of life to disabled people in the North East, will be named in honour of Tim.
Today, three years after his death , the Percy Hedley Foundation announced the appeal had raised more than £400,000.
Des Bustard, director of fund-raising and marketing at the foundation, said: “Our aim is still very much to build a new hydrotherapy centre in memory of Tim Carter and over £400,000 has been raised to date.
“However, we are also planning to build new educational and therapy facilities to complement our existing schools and academy for disability sports and are now seeking full planning permission to build this alongside a hydrotherapy pool as a campus development.
“This will create a truly regional centre of excellence with a hydrotherapy centre at its heart and we will be relaunching the Tim Carter Appeal to complete our target.”
The foundation is one of the largest regional disability charities in the UK, providing specialist services for children and adults with cerebral palsy, sensory and communication impairments and other complex needs.
Tim’s wife Gina, whose young son Jensen attends Percy Hedley School in Newcastle, said: “My husband was overwhelmed and humbled by the determination and achievements of the children and adults at Percy Hedley School.
“It was close to his heart as our son has Cerebral Palsy and is a pupil at the school.”
Tim played 50 games for Sunderland between 1987 and 1992, later becoming the first-team goalkeeping coach and then academy coach. He was also part-time coach for the Estonian national team.
During his career, he also played for Bristol Rovers, Newport County, Carlisle United, Birmingham City, Hartlepool United, Millwall, Oxford United and Halifax Town and made three appearances for the England youth squad.
Donations can be sent to the Tim Carter Appeal, Freepost RSRS-TTYK-YZKG Fundraising Office, Percy Hedley Foundation, Station Road, Forest Hall, Newcastle, NE12 8YY.
Cheques should be made payable to the Percy Hedley Foundation.