Washington family to pay tribute to football mad Dad with charity match to mark 10 years since his passing

A Washington family are hosting a charity football match this August bank holiday to raise money for Diabetes UK and mark 10 years since the passing of a local dad.

Colin Thirwell with his son Scott, just after being born
Colin Thirwell with his son Scott, just after being born

The match, which will be played at The Westwood Club, in Washington, will honour the life of a local dad, Colin Thirwell, who passed away in 2011, aged 48, following a heart attack.

The event will raise money for Diabetes UK and is being organised by Colin’s son, Scott Thirwell, 31, along with his sister Sarah and uncle Ronnie.

Colin was a lifelong Sunderland fan and the charity match will pay tribute to his life and memories.

Scott Thirwell said: “Dad loved football and it was such a big part of his life that this seemed like the perfect way to remember him and celebrate his life.”

“It says a lot about how well-loved my dad was that so many people have come forward and asked to play in the match. So much has happened in our lives since he left but I hope this will be a good opportunity to remember the person he was and what he means to a lot of people.”

Collins' younger brother, Ronnie Thirwell, 50, will be taking part in the match and believes the tribute to his brother is fitting.

He said: “Colin was a very popular man in Washington and was involved in local football teams helping out from putting nets up to being the team physio with his magic sponge.

“It is great that some of the lads are getting back together, putting their boots back on and helping us put this match on as most are now retired from football.”

All money raised from the charity match will be going towards Diabetes UK, as Colin lived with type 1 diabetes for most of his life.

Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK said: “We want to thank Scott, his family and everyone involved in organising this wonderful tribute to Colin and in aid of Diabetes UK.”

The charity match will take place on Sunday, August 29, at the Westwood Club, Washington and donations can be made to the families Just Giving page, via this link.

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. The Sunderland Echo has been on Wearside since 1873, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.