A charity seven-a-side football tournament held in aid of ex-Whitley Bay footballer Mark Taylor, St Oswald’s Hospice and the MND Association (MNDA) took place last week and raised over £4000.
Taking place at Monkseaton High School, the fifth annual ‘United for Mark’ event attracted over 250 local players.
The tournament, which has grown year-on-year, has raised thousands of pounds for Mark himself, St Oswald’s Hospice, the MND Centre at the RVI and the MNDA. Even Newcastle United legend Peter Beardsley donned his boots and took part the previous two years.
Mark, aged 34 from Monkseaton was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2009, just months after playing at Wembley for Whitley Bay FC in the FA Vase final. Mark said:
Every year I’m so grateful for the huge amount of support received. The event just keeps getting bigger and better and it’s fantastic to be able to raise awareness of MND and the charities the event supports. Thank you so much to all of the wonderful people who have been so generous with their time, money and donations. We couldn't hold the day without them all. We raised a huge £4225 on the day and I’ve also topped this up with £400 from the profits of my book – ‘A Brief History of Mine’. The players, spectators, people who donate auction and raffle prizes, 42nd Street in Whitley Bay are just a few of the people who make this event possible each year. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.
Some of the money raised will be donated to St Oswald’s Hospice and the MNDA, both of which have been hugely supportive to Mark.
Last year I visited St Oswald’s for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help me cope with stress and anxiety. This immediately made an impact, even more than medication. By being able to donate a chunk of the money raised to St Oswald’s is my way of saying thank you.
Gemma Ormston, Mark’s sister said:
This year has been a busy year for Mark, he wrote and published ‘A Brief History of Mine’, a book about his battle with MND, which has sold over 1000 copies and he won a Pride of the North East Special Recognition Award! We’re all very proud of Mark and what he’s achieved and this year’s ‘United for Mark’ tournament is another success to add to the list.
If you’d like to donate to ‘United for Mark’ via Just Giving, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/unitedformark2017