Geordies Vs Mackems match raises thousands for Bradley Lowery Foundation

Thousands of pounds have been raised in honour of Bradley Lowery by football rivals who battled it out on the pitch to show cancer has no colours.

By Poppy Kennedy
Saturday, 27 July, 2019, 17:22

Members of the Geordies Vs Mackems Let The Banter Begin Facebook page met up to play in a third annual game in tribute to the six-year-old from Blackhall Colliery, who lost his fight against cancer in July 2017.

Over the past three years, players and fundraisers have raised more than £20,000 for the Bradley Lowery Foundation in the Geordies Vs Mackems games alone.

Barry Sweeney, who lost his son Liam in the MH17 plane crash as the 28-year-old headed to watch Newcastle in New Zealand in 2014, stepped up to take on the task of referee.

Players had raised more than £5,000 ahead of the match and family fun day, which took place at Nissan Sports and Leisure Complex.

By the end of the day the Geordies took home the Bradley Lowery Trophy after winning on penalties following a 4-4 draw.

The event is organised by David Bygate-Pittiglio, a Sunderland supporter, and Gareth Horsley, a Newcastle fan.

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David, 39, of Washington, said: “We’ve raised so much over the years and the support we’ve had from the players and the people who donated is amazing.

Going head to head before the Geordie v Mackem's football match are Gareth Horsley and David Bygate-Pittiglio at Nissan Sports Complex, Sunderland.

“We have on the back of our shirts, cancer has no colours, and I think the match and the lads coming together really shows that.

“It’s something that we are all really passionate about. Every single person that’s involved – we’re all cut from the same cloth – they’re a fantastic group of lads who just all come together and make a difference for people who need help.”

Gareth, 40, of Newcastle, added: “Previously we’ve raised a combined £20,000 – obviously it’s helping the Bradley Lowery Foundation which is a fantastic organisation that helps children with terminal illnesses and special apparatus and equipment.

“You don’t have to be a great footballer, it’s all about the attitude if they come and they’re really positive about wanting to raise funds that’s what we want.”

Bradley Lowery lost his cancer fight on July 7, 2017.