Mayor of South Tyneside hosts charity evening with Sunderland legends

From left to right, Mayoress Patricia Porthouse, Julio Arca, Kevin Ball and Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Richard Porthouse. Photo credit: Lauren Gowans

The Mayor of South Tyneside hosted a charity sports talk event at South Shields Football Club on Friday evening.

Councillor Richard Porthouse invited football fans to Mariners Park for a sports Q&A night with two ex-Sunderland players.

Ex-Sunderland AFC footballer Kevin Ball was a guest speaker at the event alongside Julio Arca who currently plays for South Shields FC.

The audience got the opportunity to ask them questions regarding their careers, best footballing moments and how football has changed.

Julio Arca (right) answering questions from the fans with Kevin Ball. Photo credit: Lauren Gowans

One fan raised the issue of how player’s attitudes have changed throughout the years and how they aren’t on a personal level with the fans.

Ball encouraged the fact that players should get more involved with the community. He said: “Players nowadays aren’t exposed to events like this.

“They should go to charity nights and relate the fans.”

After all the questions had been answered, fans took the opportunity to get photographs and autographs with the players.

Coun Porthouse said: “This is a great opportunity for people to meet a local football idol while raising money for worthwhile causes which do valuable work for people across the borough.”

He described how the events have such a “wonderful atmosphere” and how he loves the “togetherness” of the supporters.

The money raised will go towards the Mayor’s Charity which this year is supporting the Great North Air Ambulance, Cancer Connections and the South Tyneside branch of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Those charities are important to the Mayor, as he has had personal connections with them and has seen the incredible work they do in the North East.

Coun Porthouse added: “It is all about raising money for the charities and getting them more recognition.”

Mayoress Patricia Porthouse also said that the night was “fantastic.”

At the end of the night there was a raffle drawn that raised over £100.

There was also a Who’s Who quiz of Sunderland players past and present, where the main prize was a ticket to Sunderland AFC vs Manchester United.

The Mayor also mentioned that he has a lot more events planned for the future.

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