11 Nov 2018 in General News
By Brian Bennett
A need to flag up more awareness about the disease Motor Neurone – a charity close to Ashington Football Club’s hearts – was a major factor behind the Colliers decision to incorporate the Motor Neurone Disease Association logo on the front of their new strips which were launched against Newton Aycliffe on Saturday.
Brian Shotton - who was recently installed as the new chairman at Woodhorn Lane, taking over the reins from Ian Lavery - said: “Our club is richly associated with the charity Motor Neurone Disease Association through our late stalwart Les Alderson and the decision to emblaze the logo was made a few months ago. However we had to put things in place and also needed a game where the new kit was going to debut. As a board, we thought the Newton Aycliffe match – which was the only home fixture we had at that time in November - was the perfect time for that to happen. I think it is a charity which is close to a lot of people’s hearts and it needs a lot more exposure. As a club we have supported the MNDA for many years.”
He continued: “My own grandfather passed away through it and I had to watch that as a child - and you see how the disease affects people as well as people with families. We need to support this - and I think it is an excellent thing for the football club to do.”
Colin Hardy MNDA Northumberland group campaign contact said: “I think it is absolutely fantastic that Ashington FC are incorporating MNDA on their shirts. Motor Neurone is an horrendous disease which once a family or friend has been affected by it, leaves a mark for the rest of your life. We are trying to raise awareness and through it we hope to raise more money which can be used for research and hopefully one day find a cure. We have a hotspot in this area in Northumberland with people affected by MN disease and the history behind it means that we can spread the word wider and bring in other charities that are related to the disease to deal with people in later life such as Marie Curie. It’s not a stand alone charity - although we very much are an association in our own right but it’s the awareness it creates for everyone. At the present time we are involved in trying to change the law on terminal illness and we are rallying the support of councillors and MP’s.”
Graham Murdie, owner of Miner Wear based on the former pit heaps at Pegswood Colliery said: “The shirts include the Miner Wear and Ashington FC logos and the goalkeeper’s home top has a sunset. We thought it best to incorporate landmarks of Ashington within it so on the ‘keepers shirt is the pit wheel which is down at Woodhorn; the statue of Jackie Milburn which is at the Leisure Centre and also the mining statue which is down at Woodhorn and represents the 13 miners who passed away over 100 years ago. We spoke to the club about this and they were really on board with it and what is better than to have a strip which represents the landmarks of Ashington. That’s what it is about – the club are nicknamed the Colliers and it’s going back to the mining town. Ever since I formed the company it was always the intention to work with Ashington FC. We have been trading over four and a half years and this is a milestone for us.”
Pictured is Ashington FC chairman Brian Shotton (centre) alongside Graham Murdie from Miner Wear with the new strip. MNDA representative Colin Hardy is on the extreme left.
Photograph: Keith Saint
Proceeds from the gate of Ashington's match when launching the new strip have been donated to the MNDA, and since 2013 the total raised in memory of Les Alderson now stands at nearly £20,000.