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Charity match in memory of popular Sunderland sports fan ‘The Podge’

George Summerside

George Summerside

THE legacy of a popular Wearside sports fan lives on.

Cricket and football supporters were rocked by the death of George Summerside, known affectionately as The Podge, last January.

His family have channelled their grief by throwing their support behind his favourite charity Chance to Shine.

They met Jim Love, regional manager for the charity, to present him with a cheque for £1,300 which was raised at the second annual memorial cricket match in George’s name.

The event was held at Wearmouth Cricket Club in Thompson Road, and featured a team from The Howard Arms and The Jackson pubs, both in Roker.

Paul Summerside, from Roker, said his brother George – part of England cricket fan group the Barmy Army – was inspired to help the charity through his fellow supporters.

He said: “Through them he got really involved with the charity, and when the Barmy Army toured he would organise charity cricket matches against people like the Australian Barmy Army and the press.”

Dad-of-two George, 53, died after falling from Marsden Grotto, and England cricketers paid their respects to the retired firefighter after his death.

England cricket stars Matt Prior and Graeme Swann were among those who took part in a minute’s applause in his honour during the team’s test match with Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Inspired by George’s popularity and passion for cricket his family – including wife Yvonne and daughters Paula and Ashleigh – decided to organise the annual fund-raiser.  

Money raised goes towards helping Chance to Shine’s work in encouraging more schools to get youngsters playing cricket.

 

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