Local sport stalwart's funeral raises key funds for South Tyneside football charity

The legacy of a popular local football stalwart is set to live on following his death after funds raised from his funeral were donated to a South Tyneside charity.

Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 8:06 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:11 pm
Malcolm Henzell's niece, Stephanie Burdis, presents the cheque to South Tyneside Football Trust charity manager Alan Millward.

Malcolm Henzell, 59, died in April, having dedicated much of his life to football in the borough.

At his funeral, Malcolm’s family asked for donations rather than flowers, and have now handed the funds to the South Tyneside Football Trust. The charity works with young players in the borough, providing leagues, coaching and trials with a number of professional clubs.

Malcolm Henzell during his football playing days.

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Malcolm was a footballer himself, having played for South Shields FC, Boldon CA and a number of Sunday clubs.

His family felt that he would have approved strongly of the £500 raised at his funeral going to the trust.

His sister, Elizabeth Burdis, said: “Malcolm was so shy and quiet, and lacked confidence, apart from when he was on the football pitch. He absolutely excelled there.

“He was a bit of a legend in local football circles, having been a very keen footballer from being little. His house was full of trophies from his time playing football.

Malcolm Henzell during his football playing days.

“It was his life, really, and we know he would have wanted the funds to be given to a football charity.

“We asked for donations instead of flowers at the funeral, and always knew we wanted it to go to a good cause relating to football.”

Malcolm was known in football for his pace, but was modest at the same time as being well-liked.

Representatives from some of his former clubs, including South Shields, were at his funeral, with the Mariners laying a wreath in their claret and blue colours.

The cheque from his funeral was greatly received by the manager of the South Tyneside Football Trust, Alan Millward, who knew Malcolm.

Elizabeth added: “Alan said that he knew Malcolm very well, and couldn’t believe that he had died.

“It was a bit of a coincidence, because when we contacted the charity to let them know we were donating the money to them, we didn’t realise Alan and Malcolm knew each other.

“We raised £500, which Alan was over the moon with, and hopefully that will help lots of young footballers at the start of their careers.”

The cheque was handed over by Stephanie Burdis, who was Malcolm’s niece.

She contacted the charity, explaining that the family had been looking for a good cause in South Tyneside involved in football, as that was Malcolm’s main passion and he was well-known by the borough’s football fraternity.

The money raised will now go towards coaching the scholars and transporting them to and from professional clubs, where they will try to win a contract and a place in the full-time game.

The charity’s manager, Mr Millward, said: “Molly was well-known by myself and other members of the charity, and it was a lovely gesture by the family to make a donation to our project. I’m sure Molly would have wanted this, and our thanks go to the family and all those who kindly donated.”