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Thanks to Sunderland fans who backed charity match campaign

Sunderland fans have been thanked for supporting a charity campaign in honour of a well-respected coach who died earlier this year.

A charity football match in memory of David Tulip – the man who brought Shaun Elliott to Sunderland’s attention in the 1970s – took place on Sunday August 29.

The match, at Haydon Bridge in Northumberland, was a great success, and is close to reaching its revised target of £2,500 in aid of the Northern Oesophago Gastric Cancer Fund.

David established the Haydon Bridge U18s team in the 1970s and helped two of the village’s youngsters on their journey into professional football.

Shaun Elliott captained Sunderland and also played for Norwich City, while George Hope went on to score for Newcastle United against Manchester United.

Last year, David fondly recalled how he wrote to Sunderland about Shaun Elliott back in 1976, and went on to exchange several letters with Chief Scout Charlie Ferguson, who came to the Tyne Valley to watch the youngster play.

Leicester City v Sunderland Photo by Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty Images.

David died on May 1 this year, aged 85, after a long battle against ill health.

The match saw the present day Haydon Bridge Sunday morning team take on a ‘Golden Select XI’ put together by David’s son, Joseph.

Shaun Elliott, who lives in Norfolk, was unable to attend but phoned Joseph to express his best wishes beforehand. Shaun was represented on the pitch by his nephew, Mark Elliott, who has played for Haydon Bridge teams over the years. George Hope was represented by his brother, Barry Hope, on the sidelines.

It began with a minute’s applause for David – a former footballer and coach who played a leading role in the development of young players.

Joseph, whose side lost 10-7 in a thrilling, encounter, said: “It was a fantastic day. We had a good turnout of local people and from further afield. Sunderland fans came along and also generously donated to the campaign.

“We’re incredibly grateful for everyone’s kindness – it also shows the key role Roker Report has in terms of communicating with fans and the remarkable community we have as football supporters.”

Back in 2007, lifelong Sunderland fan David underwent lifesaving surgery at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) to remove a cancerous polyp from his gullet.

Every year, he donated to the Northern Oesophago Gastric Cancer Fund, which is part of the Newcastle Hospitals Charity. The fund supports the regional campaign ‘Oesophagoose’ to raise awareness of the early symptoms of cancer.

Son Joseph, a fellow Sunderland fan, added: “It was a competitive game, played in a lovely spirit, with many memorable moments.

“Players for my team, with connections to both myself and dad, travelled from near and far and it was amazing that they were able to make this occasion to remember my dad.”

Dan Macmillan, who organised the event alongside Joseph and Sunday team manager Phil Sim, scored an emotional equaliser early in the game.

“It wasn’t about the score,” said Joseph. “There were many moments to treasure including Dan’s goal and a superb goalkeeping appearance from my half cousin Jake, 12, in the second half.

“I am very grateful to Dan and Phil for their hard work, to Haydon Bridge Football Club, Haydonian Community Lounge and Bar, and Top Signs for supporting the event, as well as Roker Report and the Hexham Courant. Thanks to everyone who has contributed.”

Joseph didn’t play in the match due to a bad dose of cold, but came on to score a penalty at the end.

The fundraising page will remain live for another week. To donate visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joseph-tulip2

Born in Prudhoe on October 22 1935, David was the eldest son of farm worker Johnny Tulip and his wife Mary.

David’s love of football was evident from childhood, as the talented two-footed youngster scored goals for teams including Barrasford and Stocksfield. The skilful winger later went on to play for Haydon Bridge.

A lover of cricket, David also captained the Haydon Bridge second team in the late 1960s and 70s. The long-serving postman also played golf, bowls and chess, overcoming numerous disabilities to succeed.

Sport remained a constant throughout as his life as an avid Sunderland fan, David regularly travelled to games at Roker Park, the Stadium of Light and beyond with Joseph, as well as other well known characters, including friend and fellow Haydon Bridge coach, the late Johnny Heslop.

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