Category: General

JACK CHARLTON MEMORIAL CUP

Aidan Brett (YBIG team manager), Liam Murray (founder of YBIG and captain), Pat Charlton and Carina O’Brien (Vice-Consul General of Ireland for the North East of England representing the government of Ireland).

By Brian Bennett

The ‘You Boys in Green’ from Eire won the Jack Charlton Memorial Cup which was held at Ashington’s Woodhorn Lane ground on Saturday.

The match – which was preceded by the playing of the National Anthems of both countries followed by a minutes silence – saw EnglandFans FC hold a half time lead but the YBIG hit back in the second half scoring twice to lift the Trophy which was presented by Jack’s widow Pat, who was the guest of honour.

The game was arranged to celebrate the life of Jack – a World Cup winner with England in 1966 – who sadly passed away in 2020.

Aidan Brett, manager of YBIG said afterwards: “I was delighted with the win but to be honest it was more important to have two groups of fans enjoying a lovely game of football with great character and friendship. It was a good encounter and the result could have gone either way with both goalkeepers Guy Morton (England) and Darren Brady (Eire) pulling off some fine saves. However the score can be very much secondary as it’s about the spirit of football.”

He continued: “Pat Charlton is such a lovely lady and it was fantastic to celebrate the life of such a great man as Jack who we’ve so much respect for. Certainly he’d have loved it today.”

Englandfans FC boss Garford Beck – whose squad came from various parts of the country – was hoping for a change in fortunes after his side had lost three previous games against YBIG – but it wasn’t to be and he said:  “We got our noses in front through Toby Dawkins on 21 minutes and had a couple of other chances – but so did the visitors as well. Our goalkeeper Guy Morton kept us well in the game with two good saves and we went into the break 1-0 up but second half the YBIG wanted it more than we did. For a fans match it was very competitive and the standard was good. They (YBIG) are a much younger team than ours and it told in the end as they looked the sharper and deserved to win.”

Liam Murray – who founded YBIG in 2005 said: “It’s good to be over here in Jack’s home town of Ashington. It was pretty special to meet Pat and their son and it was great to be taken to see the house in Beatrice Street where Jack used to live.”

Ms Carina O’Brien – the Vice-Consul General of Ireland for the North of England representing the government of Ireland said: “After seeing the pictures of Jack on the walls inside Ashington FC resonates so much as an Irish person. It takes me back to a very special time in my life as a person who followed and grew up in the Charlton era of football and it was quite emotional.”

She continued: “Jack Charlton was a very special man to us, personally, professionally and in our country and it was great to come to his home. It’s been an all round great-feeling day, a proud day for the people of Ashington, a proud day for English people because he was an English hero. Jack did win the highest accolade in the world in football and it was a very proud and privileged moment for Irish people here today.”

The proceeds from the match were being shared between the Jack Charlton Disabled Anglers Association and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

ASHINGTON TO HOST CHARITY MATCH FOR LATE JACK CHARLTON

By Brian Bennett

Two sets of football fans from England and Ireland are to contest a charity match at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday July 9 to honour one of Ashington’s favourite sons.

EnglandFans FC will take on ‘You Boys in Green’ from Eire to celebrate the life of Jack Charlton, one of England’s 1966 World Cup heroes and adopted son and legend of Republic of Ireland, who sadly passed away in 2020.

The match – for the Jack Charlton Memorial Cup – was to have been staged earlier but was deferred due to the Covid19 pandemic and organisers are hoping that the event will attract a bumper attendance.

Kick-off is 3pm and admission will be £5 for adults with children allowed in free and all gate proceeds will be shared between the Jack Charlton Disabled Anglers Association and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

Jack’s widow Pat will be Guest of honour at the game whilst Ms Carina O’Brien – the Vice-Consul General of Ireland for the North of England representing the government of Ireland – is to attend along with Jeff Barnes the President of EnglandFans FC, David Carrick the Chairman of the Jack Charlton Disabled Anglers Association and former professional player Andy Woodward.

Garford Beck – the founder and team manager of EnglandFans FC – said: “Jack passed away on July 10, 2020 so the fact that the match is taking place on July 9 means it will be held virtually two years to the day.”

He continued: “We have played ‘You Boys in Green’ on three occasions – in the Diplomatic Cup and two international friendlies – and have lost all three so we have a bit of a score to settle with them! Our friends from the Republic of Ireland, are really up for this game and anticipate bringing a sizeable support with them.”

He went on: “As well as paying homage to one of England’s greatest players in Jack Charlton, it promises to be another memorable event with, we hope, a sizeable crowd in attendance.”

In the dugout alongside Mr Beck will be his assistant and former secretary at the Woodhorn Lane outfit – Ashington based Brian Robson who said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to hold this event at Ashington FC to celebrate the life of Jack Charlton and I’m really looking forward to it especially with the game being on my doorstep.”

A full colour souvenir programme will be available to purchase on the day.

Pictured (Left to right): Brian Robson (Assistant Manager, EnglandFans FC) and Garford Beck (Manager, EnglandFans FC)

WALKERS DO IT AGAIN

By Brian Bennett

One of the organisers behind a drive to raise funds for Prostate Cancer via an annual walk said they will continue with the event ‘as long as people want to do it.’

North Seaton based Stevie Baptist has now completed five walks in as many years alongside colleagues labelled as the ‘Wor March for Men’ and the group are heading towards a grand amount of  £20,000 for Prostate Cancer UK – which includes this year’s total which was in excess of £4,000.

The participants covered a distance of 25 miles setting off from South Shields Football Club and walked back to Ashington FC via stops at North Shields FC, Whitley Bay FC and Blyth Spartans FC. They arrived during the half time interval at the Ashington versus Newcastle Benfield match in the Ebac Northern League and were warmly applauded for their efforts by the fans as they took a bow on the pitch: “On the day, the conditions were windy but dry,” said Mr Baptist, “we just do our own time and to be honest the banter keeps us going.”

He continued: “We are delighted to be on the verge of the £20,000 mark and we have already begun discussions about what route to take next year – and we’ll continue to do the walk as long as people want to do it.”

Seren Evans, Head of Events and Community Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We’d like to give a massive thanks to everyone for their tireless efforts over the past five years and an incredible fundraising sum of around £19,000.”

“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, and the Covid-19 pandemic has made living with a diagnosis only harder. Thankfully, the support of everyone involved in ‘Wor March for Men’ and so many other wonderfully generous people has allowed us to continue funding research into better tests and treatments, to stop prostate cancer being a killer.” “When the future is uncertain and the choices are tough, we stand for men with prostate cancer. We thank all those involved with ‘Wor March for Men’ for going that extra mile.”

STORM ARWEN WREAKS HAVOC AT FOOTBALL GROUND

By Brian Bennett

Ashington FC’s home match against Guisborough Town was called off on Saturday morning – after Storm Arwen had wreaked havoc on areas of the Woodhorn Lane ground.

Large parts of fencing were blown down whilst the home dugout – which had been secured to a concrete base – was lifted over the pitch barrier before resting near the main clubhouse entrance.

Ashington Football secretary Gav Perry said: “The Chairman and I arrived at the ground at around 7.30am to assess the situation after being informed of some damage within the ground but at the time we were not aware of the extent of the damage. On seeing the home dugout beside the turnstiles some 30 meters from where it should be, we immediately realised that the damage was going to be more than we initially expected. On a wider inspection of the ground, several sections of fencing were damaged including a 25-meter section being completely down as well as damage to the away dugout. We immediately knew that the safety of players, volunteers and spectators was our number one priority and that the game would not be able to go ahead in the afternoon.”

He continued: “As the winds were still very strong, it was impossible to fully assess the damage and works which would be needed, so we returned on Sunday to get a full picture of this. We have put the wheels in motion for some temporary measures to ensure we can continue to play matches at the ground, whilst permanent repairs are identified and planned in. We have also had several offers of support from our magnificent fans to support us with any clear up and repairs and we are hugely grateful for this. We will be in touch with those making offers of support as soon as we identify when we can get the repairs undertaken.”

Following Saturday’s postponement, Ashington have been informed of two fixtures changes. The home game against North Shields has been brought forward from March and will now be played on Tuesday January 4, 2022 whilst the clash with Guisborough Town at The dwmedia Stadium has been rescheduled for Saturday March 19. Meanwhile Ashington have been drawn away to Bishop Auckland in the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup after being given a bye in the first round. With the tie to be played in the midweek preceding February 19 it means the two sides will face each other twice in five days as they are due to meet in their Ebac Northern League first division clash at The dwmedia stadium the following Saturday.

ASHINGTON AFC SUPPORT WANSBECK VALLEY FOOD BANK

Ashington AFC have supported the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank for a number of years now and once again are looking to help boost their supplies by running a food drive at our next home game against Guisborough Town on Saturday 27th November.

On the day, we will act as an extra collection point for the Food Bank and take in donation to forward on.

The Wansbeck Food Bank run a “reverse advent calendar” on the run up to Christmas, accepting donations to further support those families at need over the festive period in addition to the support they give throughout the whole year.

Donations of tinned or dried foodstuffs plus toiletries are essentials which everyone need, and are always gratefully received, whilst Christmas treats are also an added bonus for those who may need to use the service.

If any of our supporters feel that are in a position to make a donation, we will have a drop off area available at our game on Saturday 27th November, and we will then deliver the donations to the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank in the days after the match.

More information on the Wansbeck Valley Food Bank can be found on their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Wansbeck Valley Food Bank is a Registered Charity No. 1177303

UPDATED MATCHDAY FOOD & DRINK OPTIONS

From Saturday’s home game with Consett we will be changing some of our food at drink options at the Football Club.

Please find below availability at each outlet:

Bar

Serving Draught or Bottled Beers / Ciders, Soft Drinks & Snacks

Bar Kitchen

Chicken Creamy Masala Curry & Rice £3.50

Beef Chilli Con Carne & Rice £3.50

Beef Burger or Veggie Burger £2.50

Extra’s: additional burger £1, Cheese 10p, Bacon 35p

Sausage Meatballs in a Smoky Tomato Sauce with Rice £3.50

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry & Rice £3.50

Soup of the day £2

Hot Drink (Tea, Coffee, Bovril) £1

Ground Floor Kitchen

Hot Dog £2.00

Pie £2.00

Sausage Roll £2.00

Beef Burger or Veggie Burger £2.50

Cheeseburger £2.60

Hot Drink (Tea, Coffee, Bovril ) £1

Chocolate Bar £1

Canned Lager, Beer or Cider £2.20

Can of Pop £1.00

CLUB UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2021

With a frantic start to the 2021-22 season it’s a good time to update everyone of where we are currently at as a club.

It has certainly been a positive start for the lads sitting in fifth place in a very tight league table and we played our part in very entertaining yet desperately disappointing cup games against Benfield as well as a thrilling Northumberland Senior Cup tie against Blyth Town.  We have already played eighteen league games and three cup games. It has undoubtedly been a heavy schedule though and we have suffered with injuries and unavailability as well as this time of the season being notorious with players moving clubs. We have certainly all been entertained so far with lots of goals and four 4-0 home wins in the books. Well done to Ian, the backroom staff and of course the players. We have lost a few key players in the last couple of weeks but the club are working hard to secure the immediate and long term futures of the current squad as well as looking to add players where we need to strengthen.

Our crowds have been unbelievable having had three games this season over 500 in attendance. We have an excellent season ticket base of over 220 and that is staggering progress compared to just under three years back when we had just 25. Part season tickets are also on offer at great value. The place has a real buzz about it and it is great to see people enjoying matchdays. The support is right up there with the best in the league and shows the potential this football club has to really move forward and progress. We have also received an excellent draw in the Northumberland Senior Cup hosting Newcastle United Under 23s which will hopefully be a very good night for the club – tickets are on sale now via our ticketshop.

Commercially we are gradually increasing our sponsors and appreciate each and every one of them for what they do for us. Every pound counts at this level and we couldn’t do what we do without their support. We have excellent matchday hospitality packages available too which are now available to book, it’s a great way to enjoy a game, is well priced and the food is superb.

Over the Summer we have invested in our facilities, notably our bar area with brand new furniture, televisions and sound system to improve the experience when people visit us. I am aware how busy it is on matchdays to get served for both food and drink and we are looking at options to reduce the wait times including outside serving areas and a potential fan zone. We are now also offering a menu upstairs on matchdays as well as our usual pies, hot dogs and drinks from the serving hatch downstairs. The options are superb and very reasonably priced, I would recommend that you check them out.

In other areas of the club our Reserve and Junior seasons are also well underway. It has been a challenging time for both sections with player recruitment and retention, but things have thankfully stabilised. It is great to see so many of our Junior players attending the first team games as they are ultimately our potential future players or supporters.

Finally, thanks to all volunteers, players, backroom staff and bar / kitchen staff for their continued superb efforts to keep the club moving in the right direction.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

Brian Shotton

Chairman