WATCH as stars including David Beckham, Ant and Dec Jordan Pickford, Paul Collingwood and Chris and Rosie Ramsey send messages of support for mother battling cancer

David Beckham, Ant and Dec, Chris and Rosie Ramsey, Paul Collingwood and Jordan Pickford were just some of the stars wishing Houghton mum Ann-Marie Sproston well in her battle to overcome ovarian cancer and quest to raise thousands of pounds for cancer charities close to her heart.

By Neil Fatkin
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 4:55 pm

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Stars of the TV and sporting world sent special video messages during Ann-Marie’s Gala Dinner at the Ramside Hall Hotel.

David Beckham congratulated Ann-Marie on “raising so much money for charity” and wished her “good luck” for the event, while former Sunderland and Newcastle skipper Bob Moncur, himself a cancer survivor, wished her “all the best for what’s a great cause”.

Ant and Dec described the mother of two as “an inspiration” and urged her to “keep smiling and enjoy your special night”, while former England and Durham cricket captain Paul Collingwood talked of her “amazing work” and stressed “people like you don’t go unnoticed”.

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The final message of Saturday’s (June 11) fundraiser came from former Sunderland and current England keeper Jordan Pickford, a friend of the family.

He said: “You’re a truly remarkable and inspiring woman and I know how proud your family are of you. Keep up all the good work, keep positive and keep fighting.”

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There were also messages from Newcastle United chief Amanda Staveley and podcasters Chris and Rosie Ramsey, who donated two tickets to their Newcastle Arena show, and Dolly-Rose Campbell, who plays Gemma in Coronation Street, one of Ann-Marie’s favourite shows.

Ann-Marie Sproston with husband John Sproston.

Ann-Marie, 44, initially thought the messages were from members of her family in the USA.

She said: “When I saw all the messages of support from all these famous people I was absolutely gobsmacked. It was surreal to see all these people you normally see on the television wishing me well.”

However Ann-Marie, who’s due to start a new period of gruelling chemotherapy after her cancer took an aggressive turn, was just as moved by the messages of support from the 330 friends and family who attended the red-carpet-event.

She said: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the support for me and my family as whatever I’m going through, they are as well. It was a real boost and a fantastic night which everyone enjoyed.

Ann-Marie Sproston with CEO of Connor Solutions, Dermot Guerin who has pledged to match the money raised on the night.

"I’m blown away by the support – it’s what keeps you going.”

The event, which included a raffle of luxury goods, collectables and holidays donated by local businesses, raised £8,295 on the night, which added to ticket sales raised a total of £27,403, which will be divided between Macmillan Cancer Support, Maggies Centre Newcastle, St Benedict’s Hospice in Ryhope and Ward 21 and the Chemotherapy Ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where Ann-Marie has been undergoing treatment.

Dermot Guerin, CEO of Houghton-based electronics manufacturer Connor Solutions, has pledged to match the £8,000 raised on the night. The selfless mum has now raised close to £60,000 for charity.

The Gala dinner was a "real boost" for Ann-Marie.

Ann-Marie’s sister, Siobhan Forster, 34, said: “The night was brilliant and the support everyone gave her shows she can overcome this.”

Ann-Marie was first diagnosed with cancer in August 2018 and has since undergone a hysterectomy, chemotherapy and a range of pioneering drug treatments.

After initially being given the all clear, Ann-Marie was devastated when the cancer returned. She has been told the cancer is incurable but treatable in terms of prolonging her life.