In 2009 a group of Boro supporters played in a charity match at Conyers School in Yarm and raised £2,500 to help in the battle against cancer in the North East. Three years later, on May 11th 2012, a fourth and final match will be played at the Riverside Stadium with the money raised so far already totalling over £30,000. Former Boro Stars George Boateng, Ugo Ehiogu, Craig Hignett, Colin Cooper and Neil Madison are confirmed with Fabrizio Ravanelli, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Bolo Zenden and Gaizka Mendieta poised to return as well to play alongside Boro fans on a magical night. I hope that by the end of the night the fundraising has smashed the £40,000 mark....
This year, the match will be played in memory of two very special people who are sadly no longer with us.
Tom Gardiner, the mascot in the 2011 charity match, recently lost his brave battle against an inoperable tumour but his strength and character touched all who met him on that day. He was a credit to his Dad Ian and all his family and was a very special little boy.
Sadly, Grant Harrison, a very great friend of mine who played in the last two charity matches was tragically killed whilst on holiday in Thailand with his grilfriend Debbie in January. This year, as well as honour the passing of Sir Bobby, raising as much money as possible to help in the battle against cancer, I'd like to honour the memories of two very special people who won't get the opportunity to be with us on what I hope will be a very magical evening.
I hope that they will both be looking down and smiling on everyone on the Riverside Stadium on Friday May 11th on what I hope will be an amazing night. Please help meet the target and let's make this the best charity football match that has ever been.
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