Gemma Lee Charity Game
Hartlepool United stars from the past will get their boots out and line up together again at the Suit Direct Stadium next month in a specially organised charity match against some household names.
A team of Pools legends, including Tommy Miller, Adam Boyd, Dimi Konstantopoulos and Mark Tinkler, will wear blue and white shirts to raise money for former team-mate Graeme Lee’s wife, Gemma, on Monday, May 2.
That Hartlepool team will take on a Legends’ XI selected by Graeme, the current Pools boss, that will include former England star Jonathan Woodgate as well as former Middlesbrough and Sunderland midfielders Grant Leadbitter and Lee Cattermole.
Other big names such as Neil Maddison, James Coppinger, Neal Bishop and Graham Kavanagh will also play and more names will be confirmed in the days ahead.
Ian Clark and Michael Barron, two of Graeme’s ex-team-mates at Hartlepool, have organised the event with the support of the club’s chief operating officer Stephen Hobin and kit supplier Motif8, who will provide the strips for both teams on the day.
All money raised will go towards helping Gemma, who has an inoperable brain tumour and has reacted well to drugs being trialled in Germany that is costing £5,000 a month.
Stockton-born Ian, who played for Hartlepool between 1997-2001, said: “Football has always played a massive part in our lives and is the reason I met Gemma through Spike (Graeme). We have been friends for over 25 years and both have been at each other’s side at our weddings.
“Spike and Gem are godparents to my two eldest children, so to be able to be involved in something to try to help in some way is the least I can do. I couldn’t imagine what Gem goes through and the worry of raising these funds is unthinkable.
“We want this to be a fun, competitive game with all proceeds going to Gem’s fund, all players have given up their time to support Gem. This is a fantastic opportunity for people to see their Pools heroes and some fantastic names in football.”
Gemma was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2019 and at one point was given 12 months to live. She is focused on raising awareness of the illness during her own personal battle.
Earlier this season Graeme and Gemma thanked Premier League club Crystal Palace and football fans for donating more than £80,000 which had been raised before the Eagles met Hartlepool in the FA Cup.
Michael Barron, who played for Hartlepool from 1997-2008, said: “We have known Graeme and Gemma for a long time and wanted to do something to help Gemma raise money for the medicine to keep her alive.
“We tried to organise something before but Covid spoiled our plans. We just want to do our bit to show the Lee family how much we all love them and want to do everything we can for them all.
“We are organising squads and have managers lined up. We will wear a kit we are hoping to raffle or sell after the game to help the fund.
“We want to make it a fun, family day and one that we can all enjoy. A lot of ex-players are really keen to play and make it a memorable day – in fact it’s like they all want to play No 10 and score goals!”
* The Hartlepool United Legends v Graeme Lee’s Legends game will kick-off at 2pm on Bank Holiday Monday, May 2 at the Suit Direct Stadium.
Tickets are priced £7.50 for adults, £5 for Over-65s and £2.50 for Under-16s.
To purchase tickets send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and how many tickets you would like to purchase.
Instructions will follow. Once payment is complete e-tickets will be emailed to the buyer.
There will also be tickets available on the day at the gate but buying in advance is recommended.