A FUND-RAISING football match that has raised thousands of pounds for a Tynedale hospital will be held for the final time this year.

The Bob Stokoe Memorial Cup has been held between Prudhoe United – a team made up of footballers associated with the town’s various teams – and Sunderland’s youth teams for the last four years.

The match, which is set to take place on Monday, May 4, will be the fourth instalment of the competition, named after the former Newcastle United player and Sunderland manager who was born and raised in Mickley.

Sunderland’s U23s were the winners of the first two matches, but last year Prudhoe United finally tasted victory against the club’s U18s, running out 2-1 winners in front of a healthy crowd at the town’s Kimberly Park.

Proceeds from previous matches have gone to Prudhoe hospital Ferndene, which cares for young people with mental health difficulties and learning disabilities.

The previous three matches have raised thousands of pounds for the hospital which has gone towards the development of woodland next to Ferndene to provide physical activities and mindful space for its users.

However, at February’s meeting of Prudhoe Town Council, it was revealed that this year’s match would be the last, owing to the fact that Sunderland will no longer be using Ferndene’s sports hall as a venue to train its U12 academy players from the Tyne Valley.

A planning application has also been submitted which, if approved, would see medium secure mental health facilities operate at Ferndene.

Sunderland AFC and Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, which manages Ferndene, were both contacted for comment.