FOOTBALL strips have been donated to first schools in Prudhoe after a collection for a late stalwart of the game.

Former Blackpool FC youth player and Prudhoe youth worker Ian Lowery died suddenly aged 45 on November 14, 2020. 

Ian's promising career at the North West club was cut short by injury but he continued to coach youngsters locally.

He was also heavily involved with youth work in Prudhoe at the town's now-defunct East Centre and was highly respected by countless young people.

Ian was also involved with Prudhoe Youth charity shop, encouraging others to volunteer in the town he loved. He was also responsible for sending a group of young people to Burkina Faso.

Mourners lined the streets to pay their respects to Ian - while observing social distancing measures in place at the time. He was laid to rest following a service at West Road Crematorium.

Commemorative seats were installed after his death at Prudhoe Youth FC, the former site of Eastwood Middle School, and Highfield Park after a collection in his name raised £4,000.

Now, pupils at Adderlane Academy, Prudhoe West Academy and Prudhoe Castle First School will all wear new strips bearing his name in a fitting gesture.

Each school had ten strips donated for their school team. 

Friend of the Lowery family, Wilton Holmes, said a fun day was being planned for July to raise even more money. The family event will also be in memory of the late George McCreedy MBE who died on August 8, 2021 aged 76.

Like Ian, there were few community groups in Prudhoe that George did not champion at one time or another.  He was also a major force behind Prudhoe Youth FC, Town Twinning and Prudhoe Youth, especially The East Centre. He sat on Prudhoe Town Council and was instrumental in putting together the very first Prudhoe Town Fair and Christmas Lights display.

The event will see former teams turn out and have attractions for children.