Joy Bowman and her son James presented Blyth Spartans AFC with a defibrillator prior to the first home fixture of the season against Whitby Town FC on behalf of The Stephen Carey Fund, a charity set up in memory of her son Stephen who tragically collapsed on a football pitch in July 2012.
The donation followed a series of conversations between the charity, the club and the supporters club over recent months.
Fund chairman Scott McEwan said “The club couldn’t have welcomed us any better, extremely warm and grateful from the team on the gates through to the senior officials of the club who took time out to ensure everything was in place prior to the handover”.
On an absolutely sodden Northumbrian summer night the 403 supporters in attendance were generous enough to give a warm round of applause following the pitchside presentation along with a donation of £72.71 collected at the gates with many of those donating taking up the offer of a complimentary wristband or keyring.
The match itself was a cracker featuring two sides determined to play open and attacking football. The home side took the lead on 13 minutes via Arran Wearmouth and looked well worth their advantage before deciding to keep things interested by first conceding a penalty on 24 minutes after a rash challenge in the box and then falling behind on 57 minutes following a free kick the home keeper appeared to have covered only to inexplicably allow it to fall into the net.
Blyth did not disappoint in our first ever visit to Croft Park and stepped up a gear, six minutes later they equalised with a thunderous free kick from local talisman Robbie Dale on 63 minutes. Thirteen minutes later and it was Dale again who rose at the back post to head the home side into the lead and to the vocal delight of the home crowd.
It may have been wet but it was certainly not a miserable evening with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman armed with purchases including two home strips we suspect it won’t be the last time The Stephen Carey Fund are represented at Croft Park.
Many thanks to Colin Blackett, Ian Evans, Tom Wade and Chris Bell along with everyone else who made us feel so welcome on the night.