The black tie event, which was hosted by sports broadcaster Gabby Logan and took place a specially erected marquee in Exhibition Park, saw Newcastle United Manager Rafa Benitez and his coaching staff, alongside current and former players, join together to support the achievements of some outstanding achievers from Foundation programmes, as well celebrating the Club’s 125th Anniversary.
The night started with the Foundation sharing their vision for the future before guests enjoyed a fabulous meal courtesy of Terry Laybourne, Ramside Event Catering, food partner Bidfood, and drinks sponsor Carling.
Twins Emma and Anna Holman were presented with the Premier League Primary Stars Award by Emma Joussemet from the Premier League and Newcastle United’s Karl Darlow.
Newcastle United Foundation Ambassador Ayoze Perez was joined on stage by Paul Ferris of award sponsors Speedflex to present the Young Leader Award to Ally Ali, an exceptional young man whose passion for football has given him the opportunity to become the heart and soul of his community, in spite of an initial language barrier.
Newcastle United Manager Rafa Benitez and Steph Boulton and Lesley Robinson of Main Sponsors First Class Supply presented the Alder Sweeney Award. This award, in memory of Liam Sweeney and John Alder was presented posthumously to Phil Eadon, who committed his life to grassroots women’s football. His wife Anne, who attended the dinner with their son Christopher, collected the award on his behalf.
The Adult Learner Award was presented by Abu Ali of Baldwin’s Accountants to Ryan Chamberlain – a youngster whose commitment to our Employability programme has seen him go from having no experience of life in the workplace to securing a full time job.
The final Foundation award of the evening was presented to Jack Bell, a deaf teenager who also has Cerebral Palsy. Former Newcastle United legend John Beresford and Suzanne Clarke from Inter-vention presented the award to the youngster whose enthusiasm and passion for the game that has improved his life experience is incredible.
There were also two very special inductions to the Hall of Fame, Les Ferdinand and Newcastle United Foundation Patron Shola Ameobi, whose awards presented by Steve Harper and Bob Moncur, with sponsor Gavin Brydon from Zumtobel Group, respectively.
Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation said: “We are so grateful to every single person and organisation that supported 125 Years United in the run up to the event and on the night. It takes so much goodwill and generosity to raise this amount of money and we are so thankful for the support we have received.
“I would like to thank our main sponsor, First Class Supply, Bidfood, Carling, Terry Laybourne, Ramside Event Catering for their support in delivering a fantastic experience for our guests. To the organisations and individuals that bought a table, donated prizes, sponsored awards or bid for a prize – thank you.
“Thank you to our Patrons and the NUFC Legends for joining us and to our volunteers who helped the event run so smoothly.
“Newcastle United, it’s staff, players and manager, Rafa Benitez are an incredible support to us and we are so pleased to have had the opportunity to celebrate their 125th Anniversary alongside the achievements of our very special award winners.”
Lesley Robinson and Steph Boulton of First Class Supply added: “First Class Supply is proud to once again be the main sponsors of this annual fundraising event. It has always been our ethos to give something back to our community, and we know how hard Newcastle United Foundation work tirelessly throughout our region to help disadvantaged children, young adults and their families. The work they do really does make a difference to so many, and we are delighted to be associated with, and proud to support this fantastic organisation. Congratulations on raising such an amazing amount!”