Northern League club Sunderland West End pays heartfelt tribute to much-loved dad, grandad and fan Dennis Bond

A much-loved father and grandfather has been remembered at a tribute match by the football club he loved.

Saturday, 13th November 2021, 6:39 pm

Dennis Bond, or Denny as he was affectionately known, died on October 18 at the age of 72 following a stroke.

He had struggled with his health following an earlier stroke, which had affected his speech and mobility.

A keen footballer in his youth, Dennis spent the last 17 years following the rise of Sunderland West End from the Wearside Combination League to the Northern League.

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And it was the side's game against Carlisle City on Saturday, November 13 that served as a fitting tribute.

Son Jamie Bond, 37, said: “He loved his local football and has followed the rise of Sunderland West End. He loved the club and would never miss a game both home and away.

"He ended up going into hospital about six weeks before he died but as soon as he got out he got in his car and drove to Carlisle to watch them play.

"He always had a smile on his face and was the best dad and grandad in the world. He would do anything for his grandchildren.”

Reuben and Libby lead the teams out at Ford Quarry Sports Complex.

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It was through his association with the football club that Dennis was discovered following his stroke.

Nephew David Bond said: “He never misses a game and so when he wasn’t at the match last month I knew something must be wrong which is how we ended up going to his house and found out he’d suffered a stroke.

"He was a massive fan and every match he would be waiting for the players to arrive to gee them up.”

Dad, grandad and local football fan, Dennis Bond, sadly died on October 18 following a stroke.

All the players wore Denny Bond t-shirts in the warm-up and a bumper crowd gave a resounding minute’s applause in his honour.

His grandchildren Libby Bond, five, and Reuben Adam, nine, were invited to lead out the teams wearing strips with grandad Denny on the back.

Team manager Stephen Stewart, added: “Dennis was not just loved by everyone at the club but also by the local community. He was a really big character and will be missed not being at the games.”

Reuben Adam, 9, and Libby Bond, 5, in their tribute shirts to grandfather Dennis Bond.

Carlisle City were picked as the ideal tribute match after Dennis’s efforts to drive across the country after leaving hospital.

A memorial cup between the sides has also been set-up.

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A minute's applause in memory of supporter Dennis Bond at the match between Sunderland West End and Carlisle City.