Eric's fundraising football fixture takes off

Published by Jim Entwistle on Monday, December 23, 2013

An annual charity football match held in honour of one of the region’s most long-standing servants to the game has raised another £500 for a good cause.

The Eric Powell Charity Cup is held every year between the winners of the North Riding Football Association Senior Cup and the Durham Football Association Challenge Cup.

This year, the game was contested by Bishop Auckland FC and Pickering Town FC, with Bishop Auckland running out winners.

The £500 gate receipts from the match were donated to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), which has now received around £1,500 from the event over the past two years.

The cup is named in honour of Eric Powell, born in Thornaby but now living in Yarm, who has spent more than 55 years in the game, firstly as a professional player for Derby County FC and then as a talent scout for Everton, Manchester City, Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool.

Among the many players unearthed by Mr Powell include Jimmy Husband, who played more than 150 times for Everton, before moving on to Luton Town and then several teams in the USA.

Former Hartlepool United defender Paul Arnison and former Middlesbrough defender Willie Maddren were also discovered by Mr Powell.

Mr Powell said: “I’ve had a long and happy career and I’m just happy that we can use this match to raise some money for a local cause which helps local people.  Any one of us might need the Great North Air Ambulance’s help one day, so it is important to get behind it.”

Jim Entwistle, assistant director at the charity, said: “We’d like to thank Mr Powell for his generosity, the North Riding Football Association for their work in arranging the fixture, and everyone for supporting the event.

“Our aircraft rely on donations to keep flying, and this money will make a difference to someone’s life.”

To support GNAAS please visit

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