Football stand named in memory of Sunderland AFC fan Stuart Price

Murton Parish Council clerk Lesley Armstrong takes a photo of Bill Batth of East Durham Signs and Ian Jones, one of his team, in front of the newly-named stand.
Murton Parish Council clerk Lesley Armstrong takes a photo of Bill Batth of East Durham Signs and Ian Jones, one of his team, in front of the newly-named stand.
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A permanent memorial is to be unveiled in the home village of a Sunderland fan who died in a road tragedy.

Cyclist Stuart Price died after a collision on Colliery Lane, Easington Lane, back in February.

Stuart Price, who died after he was involved in a collision with a car while he was riding his bike.

Stuart Price, who died after he was involved in a collision with a car while he was riding his bike.

Now the 24-year-old’s friends and family are preparing to gather at the Welfare Park, in Murton, where its revamped stand will be named in his honour.

Saturday morning’s ceremony will be followed by a game of football.

One team will be led by his brother James, 23, and the other by his mate Michael Rawlinson, 25, who went to Sunderland matches with Stuart since they were 12.

Stuart, who worked in the records department of Sunderland Royal Hospital, played for New Hesledon Club, known as the Top Club, and Murton Colliery Club at weekends.

I’m just overwhelmed, really touched that the community would do such a thing for Stuart.

Deborah Dobie

His gravestone, bought through the £8,000 raised in his name by his loved ones, is being prepared in India before being shipped over, where it will be finished off by Scott Memorials in Seaham.

It will feature a footballer in full Sunderland kit and the cover of the album Battle Born by his favourite band, The Killers.

Many of his friends pulled on their Sunderland tops as they gathered for his funeral at Holy Trinity Church.

Stuart’s mum Deborah Dobie, 52, who is also mum to Jade, 29, and works as an operations manager for Npower, said: “The community raised a lot of money and we put on a charity football match a couple of months ago, but we wanted something more for Stuart and so I went to the council and said ‘what do you think?’

Flowers and cards placed in memory of Stuart Price at the scene of the crash which claimed his life.

Flowers and cards placed in memory of Stuart Price at the scene of the crash which claimed his life.

“We were looking at different things, like park benches and then we started talking about whether we could get the football stand renamed, as they’ve just renewed the roof and done some work to it.

“Then a company said they would do the sign for free.

“Now it’s ready for the start of the season and it went up last week.

“It’s absolutely amazing.

The funeral of Stuart Price at Holy Trinity Church, Murton, Image by chroniclelive.co.uk

The funeral of Stuart Price at Holy Trinity Church, Murton, Image by chroniclelive.co.uk

“I didn’t think the sign would be as big, but it fills up the front of the stand.

“I’m just overwhelmed, really touched that the community would do such a thing for Stuart and I had no idea how many people would come together and raise money for his headstone, which will be so special.”

Deborah added her thanks to Murton Parish Council for all its support in the renaming of the stand and to East Durham Signs, which has covered the cost of the work.

Saturday’s event will begin with the unveiling at 10.45am, followed by a match with 30 minutes played each way.

Also among those to attend will be Stuart’s dad Stuart, 60, and his partner Marion Marley, and Deborah’s husband and Stuart’s stepdad John, 66.