Sunderland RFC have unveiled a new kit to mark the memory of player John Drummond, who died just six weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.
John, a respected teacher, died at home on August 20 last year surrounded by his family.
He had gone to the doctor with a stomach pain when he discovered he had bowel cancer with secondary liver cancer.
Now his team-mates have joined forces with the charity set up in his memory, to unveil an away kit which will carry its name on the shirt he once wore with such pride.
Wife Amy said: “The trust is a charitable trust formed to benefit causes close to John’s heart.
“To that end, we have an objective to advance amateur sport, in particular to support Sunderland RFC due to John’s long-standing commitment as a player on their first team.
“This is why we felt it appropriate to sponsor the strips.
“We are also very grateful to the club as they have also supported the trust immensely in the last year and have helped at many fundraising events.”
The trust have made connections with a school in Kenya and have plans to build a classroom there.
John, known affectionately as “Jeano”, played second-row for Sunderland RFC and taught design technology at Oxclose School Community Academy in Washington, which has also been involved in the charity’s fundraising work.
The trusts aims to support education and amateur sport, as well as existing bowel cancer charities, with money raised has already provided ipads to an aboriginal school in a remote part of Australia.
Team-mate and prop forward Ryan Buckley said the shirts would be made available for general sale, with proceeds raised going directly to the trust.
He added: “As a player to play for your club badge is an honour, but having John’s name on our shirts is on another level and can only inspire us to play like he did.”
The whole club are rallying around the cause as it continues life in Durham and Northumberland Division Two away to North Shields on Saturday.
Further sponsors signed up to support the promising, young Ashbrooke side’s league campaign this season include Dave Nordstrom from Nordstrom Timber, who has family connections to the club and is sponsoring the First XV home shirts.
On Saturday, October 7, the club are holding a fundraising day in honour and memory of former player and club stalwart Tommy Harrison and John Drummond.
Tickets are £10 which will include pre-match food supplied by Diego’s Ristorante, a pint or glass of wine, and entry to the home match v Darlington.
Sunderland RFC will then be looking to put on a performance and after-match celebrations and raffles will follow.
All are welcome to attend. If anyone is interested in tickets or purchasing a John Drummond Trust away shirt (£30), contact Ryan Buckley on email - firstname.lastname@example.org.