Sunderland AFC’s FA Cup winning boss will be remembered with a game to raise funds for a special cause.
The Bob Stokoe Shield will see Sunderland AFC Under 23s challenge Prudhoe Town FC in aid of Ferndene, an NHS inpatient centre on the outskirts of Prudhoe which helps young people with mental health difficulties and learning disabilities.
The entire community is expected to get involved on the night, with bunting up in the town centre, a raffle, and a window display competition for local firms.
Ferndene is run by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), one of the country’s largest mental health and disability service providers and supports children and teenagers with complex health, behavioural, and emotional needs, including those with a learning disability.
Sunderland AFC Football Academy trains its Under-12s Outreach Centre players at Ferndene and it was this link that sparked the idea for a fund-raising football match for the Bob Stokoe Shield.
All proceeds from the match will go towards sports facilities and equipment for the young people at the centre.
Bob Stokoe was born in Mickley, near Prudhoe, and played for Newcastle United for 13 years, including in the FA Cup final victory over Manchester City in 1955 before going on to lead Sunderland to triumph in the 1973 FA Cup final.
Match organisers say his name symbolises the two communities of Prudhoe and Sunderland coming together and his daughter, Karen, has kindly agreed to present the shield to the winning team on the night.
Encouraged by Prudhoe Town Council, local businesses will be decorating their shop windows to celebrate the community’s effort to support the centre. Children at Ferndene will then judge the displays, picking a winner and a runner-up.
The Bob Stokoe Shield match is at Prudhoe’s Kimberley Park on Wednesday May, 17. Gates open at 5.30pm and kick-off is at 6.30pm.
Tickets are only £3 for adults and £1 for children/concessions. They are available from the patients’ bureau at Hopewood Park and the main desk at Monkwearmouth Hospital.