SF0001_Shane_Ferguson_Newcastle_United_NUFCMany of us football fans are so passionate that we can easily identify with the famous Bill Shankly quotation: “football is not a matter of life and death, it’s more important than that”.  Sometimes, passion can lead us to trenchant criticism of our club’s players, particularly when as is the case with NUFC, the club is going through a rocky patch.

That means it is always refreshing when your club heroes step outside of the goldfish bowl of football, and are able to contribute to the other things that matter in life.  That is often easier to do once you are retired, as Robbie Elliott showed in his gargantuan European bike ride this year, raising money for the very worthy causes of cancer research and the Bobby Robson Foundation.

So it is all the more admirable when our active players are able to get directly involved in helping support the causes that are close to our own hearts, and which really are a matter of life-and-death.  The North East cricket community was therefore hugely grateful to first team squad player Shane Ferguson for his help with charity fundraising associated with the sudden illness of one of our dearest friends.

North Eastern cricketers were shocked last summer to discover that one of the long-standing stalwarts of the local midweek league, Jon Robinson, had been diagnosed with secondary cancer at the young age of 47.  When it was clear in early December that this would be terminal, both his clubs, Genetics and Mallards, together with South Northumberland Cricket Club, decided to organise a charity fundraising evening to mark his life.

This was held at the South North sports centre in Gosforth on 21st December this year, and involved an indoor cricket tournament by way of a last testimonial for Jon, including a charity raffle.  Unfortunately, a last minute deterioration in Jon’s condition meant that he could not be present, but he was kept up to date with regular texts and calls from the organisers.

pic 1We were delighted that Shane gave his full support to the evening.  He managed to arrange the full Newcastle United squad to autograph a NUFC shirt, that was raffled on that evening, as well as being present for the first three matches to provide his vocal encouragement.

Around 50 members of the north east cricket community were present, including a large number of NUFC season ticket holders. The fundraising evening raised a total of £1300, which, in accordance with Jon’s wishes, is being split between donations to Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie Hospices.

All involved were extremely grateful to the financial support provided by both SNCC and Genetics in arranging the evening, as well as to Shane for providing his valuable time and personal support for two very worthy causes and a very dear friend.

Jon passed away shortly after, on New Year’s Day after, spending his last days in hospice care.  He was delighted and greatly moved by the contributions from all concerned, and for the last testimonial that his sporting colleagues were able to provide.

We would like to record our own thanks to Shane for getting involved here with something that we have to admit, matters more to us than NUFC.

(Photo: the signed shirt arranged by Shane Ferguson – pic courtesy of Jez Greenwood)

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16 comments
CMRowley
CMRowley

I don't see any problem with this? It would be stupid not to. The only downside I see is if the lad signs it.

TonnekToon
TonnekToon

Looks like he may be getting the chance to break his brother's longevity record , it must be something to do with the name Ameobi

toon tony
toon tony

Great news. !!!! It'll be more money in the FCB ' s war chest when he goes on his spending spree. !!!

Roberts Grey Pants
Roberts Grey Pants

You make it sound like wanting to get money for him rather than nothing is a bad thing?? What makes that even funnier is the people criticising this are the ones who probably want to see Sammy out of the door anyway.


I actually think he gets a lot of unfair stick and whilst I won't lose much sleep if he goes I think he is certainly worth having as a squad player.


He is contributed more to the club this season than the likes of Cabella for starters.

wor monga
wor monga

So what if money is the reason…they offer him a contract, and it’s up to him if he wants to stay or go…why give him away for nowt?… 


...when he’s already shown he has some good football ability, and is young enough to improve somewhere.

nufcslf
nufcslf

@wor monga You seem to like watching overpaid Cashley arse licking headless chickens. Good for you!!!

Kevin Halliday
Kevin Halliday

Surely he will cost more in wages than we will recoup because we won't play him enough to put him in the shop window.

TimBoddy
TimBoddy

I don't think there is anything massively controversial about giving a relatively young player a couple of extra years, nor do I think it's overly cynical to do that just to ensure that the club gets some form of return from a player they have spent money developing. Just reasonable business sense to me.  If he comes good in his first few games next season, great. If not, sell him on for as close to break even as possible.

JLawls91
JLawls91

Does that principle not go out the window if he signs for a club abroad though?

toonterrier
toonterrier

If he is being offered a deal no matter how poor it is he will snap it up as I cant see any other half decent club will want to take him on. Don't they watch him on the pitch running for ten yards then stopping for a rest. He's not a kid but a twenty three year old who should have proven his worth by now. What will the club say next, He's a late developer and should come good over the next few years. Worse player than Obertan and as much use as his brother. If we keep him it will show us how much ambition the club has. Get shot of him and the other dozen players who aren't up to the job.

Porciestreet
Porciestreet

@toonterrier He will always be needing a breather because he is asthmatic and can only work in short bursts anyway. It's a great shame. He went to school with my Godson and was always a standout player but alas, was never going to go much further than he has . A pity also because he has enormous talent but circustances won't allow him to release it.

toonterrier
toonterrier

@Porciestreet @toonterrier I know he has medical problems but unfortunately it doesn't mean we have to take it into account when he's playing premiership football.

I also realise he comes from a decent family but again we need players to work their socks off for ninety plus minutes and the lad isn't up to it.