Kicking-off in the name of charity

Action from the charity football match between goths and locals. Picture: Gary Simpson
Action from the charity football match between goths and locals. Picture: Gary Simpson

Whitby Town FC’s Turnbull Ground drew a huge crowd on Sunday as the traditional charity football match between goths and locals took place.

More than £1,500 was raised for a trio of good causes as Stokoemotive Whitby overcame Real Gothic 1-0, courtesy of an 88th-minute goal.

Funds raised at the event will be split between the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, the Willow Foundation and SOS Children.

Jon Stokoe, organiser of the fixture, was delighted with both the turn out and the total raised.

“It was a really enjoyable day,” he said.

“Raising such a fantastic amount has seen us smash our best previous total and it’s just nice to be able to help make some money for these good causes.

“There are always a few crunching tackles out on the pitch but this is a game that is played in a good spirit and real fun to be a part of.”

John ‘Pablo’ Thompson, manager of the goth team, echoed his opposite number’s sentiments and praised the generosity of those who supported the event.

“We had a fantastic day. The goths really get behind us and help us make some money,” he added.

“We barely have to ask people to donate raffle prizes any more, they approach us and ask what we need, which just makes things so much easier.

“In terms of the football, I thought that the match was fantastic, it was such a close game this time around.”

With their usual goalkeeper James Shoebridge unavailable, Real Gothic turned to Whitby Town FC gloveman Shane Bland and the young stopper went on to turn in a man of the match performance, making a number of fine saves.

Youngster Cameron Fox went close for the home side with a pair of strikes in the first half, and the locals continued to create chances after the re-start but found Bland in determined mood.

Lee Brennan came closest to scoring for Real with a curling effort, while at the other end Paul Hurworth rattled the woodwork from a tight angle.

With the goth’s defence well-marshalled by centre-half Terry Cummins, a goal did not appear to be on the cards and the game looked to be heading for penalties until Bland was finally beaten with 88 minutes played.

Hurworth was sent clean through on goal and kept his cool to finish from close range and seal a late success.