FOOTBALL fans from across the country will turn out in Prudhoe to pay tribute to a legend of the game who died 90 years ago.

West Wylam-born William (Billy) Callender took his own life after the death of his fiancee to polio.

Fans and history enthusiasts will lay tributes at Billy's recently restored grave in the town's Old Edgewell Cemetery. Funds were raised by Crystal Palace fans for maintenance work.

The event has been organised by Crystal Palace Football Club fan David Jemison and Prudhoe historian Len Franchetti. Coun. Angie Scott has also been involved.

Born in a typical miners one up, own down, Billy was raised in Mickley and his early footballing career saw him turn out for local teams Wylam Methodist Chuch and Prudhoe Castle FC.

He was scouted by Crystal Palace and was signed by the London club where he was to play for nine years, making some 225 appearances and becoming a club legend and firm favourite with the fans.

While playing in London, the talented goalkeeper became engaged to Ella Margaret Leslie, who contracted polio and was confined to a wheelchair.

After Ella died, Billy went to the Crystal Palace football ground and took his own life aged 29.

His funeral was the biggest Prudhoe had witnessed, with thousands lining the streets to pay tribute.

The tribute ceremony will take place at 1:30pm on Sunday, July 24 -one day before the 90th anniversary of Billy's death.

The event had been due to take place earlier this year but was reschuelded.