CROWDS turned out in numbers at a special football match to remember a local stalwart of the game.

Players and supporters travelled from across the North-East for the David Tulip Memorial Match, which took place at Haydon Bridge on Sunday.

It began with a minute’s applause for David – a former footballer and coach who played a leading role in the development of young players.

David established the Haydon Bridge U18s team in the 1970s and helped two of the village’s youngsters on their journey into professional football.

Shaun Elliott captained Sunderland and also played for Norwich City, while George Hope went on to score for Newcastle United against Manchester United.

David died on May 1 this year, aged 85, after a long battle against ill health.

The match saw the present day Haydon Bridge Sunday morning team take on a side selected by David’s son, Joseph.

It raised vital funds for the Northern Oesophago Gastric Cancer Fund, which is part of the Newcastle Hospitals Charity, 14 years after David underwent lifesaving surgery at the RVI to remove a cancerous polyp from his gullet.

Overall fund-raising now stands at over £2,000 – and Joseph is hopeful of reaching a new target of £2,500.

“It was a fantastic day,” said Joseph. “It was a competitive game, played in a lovely spirit, with many memorable moments.

“Players for my team, with connections to both myself and dad, travelled from near and far and it was amazing that they were able to make this occasion to remember my dad.”

Dan Macmillan, who organised the event alongside Joseph and Sunday team manager Phil Sim, scored an emotional equaliser in a 10-7 defeat for Joseph’s team.

“It wasn’t about the score,” said Joseph. “There were many moments to treasure including Dan’s goal and a superb goalkeeping appearance from my half cousin Jake, 12, in the second half.

“I am very grateful to Dan and Phil for their hard work, to Haydon Bridge Football Club, Haydonian Community Lounge and Bar, and Top Signs for supporting the event. Thanks to everyone who has contributed.”

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Born in Prudhoe on October 22 1935, David was the eldest son of farm worker Johnny Tulip and his wife Mary.

David’s love of football was evident from childhood, as the talented two-footed youngster scored goals for teams including Barrasford and Stocksfield. The skilful winger later went on to play for Haydon Bridge.

A lover of cricket, David also captained the Haydon Bridge second team in the late 1960s and 70s, where he caught the eye of spectator, Joan Brown.

David and Joan were married in the mid 1970s and went on to have one son, former Courant reporter Joseph Tulip.

A very keen golfer, David, who was also a long-serving postman, played at both Allendale and Hexham, overcoming numerous disabilities to win several accolades. He was also a dedicated bowler and chess player.

Sport remained a constant throughout as his life as an avid Sunderland AFC supporter. David regularly travelled to home games at The Stadium of Light in his later years with son Joseph.