By Martin Walker
A stunning piece of English football memorabilia has been added to an auction for a fundraising event in Newton Aycliffe this week.
Northern League club Newton Aycliffe will welcome former England, Arsenal and Middlesbrough midfielder Ray Parlour to the town on Friday night.
And one of the club’s sponsors, family-run steel firm Finley Structures, has donated an old Wembley seat, signed by none other than 1966 World Cup-winning hero Sir Geoff Hurst.
The seat, which is beautifully encased and comes with a certificate of authenticity, will go towards a fundraising auction during the event at Aycliffe Working Men’s Club.
Martin Walker, one of the organisers, said: “This really is a truly stunning piece of memorabilia and something I’m yet to come across, having been to dozens of similar events over the years.
“We’re grateful to Finley Structures for the kind donation, and hope we can do it justice by raising lots of money on the night!”
Hurst famously scored a hat-trick in England’s 4-2 World Cup Final win over West Germany at Wembley in 1966 – as well as the old seat, there are pictures showing Hurt’s goals.
Finley Structures director Gary Finley added: “My father, John, bid for this item a number of years ago and we felt it would be a fitting way for us to help Newton Aycliffe FC raise some much-needed money.
“It’s a special piece of English football heritage and, although we’ll be sad to see it go, we hope it goes to a nice home.”
Meanwhile, Aycliffe also have a string of eye-catching auction items for the Ray Parlour evening tomorrow (Friday).
There’s a VIP day for four people at Manchester United’s Champions League game against Braga, on Wednesday 23rd October. The package, which includes matchday hospitality, players’ lounge access and overnight stay near Old Trafford, is worth well over £600.
Aycliffe also have a 2012-13 Barcelona shirt signed by Lionel Messi, a Manchester United shirt signed by Robin van Persie and a Middlesbrough signed shirt, while Boro goalkeeper Jason Steele has donated one of his signed shirts and a pair of match-worn, signed gloves.
Tickets are still available for the do, priced £25 each, which is being hosted by Sky Sports News reporter David Craig, with entertainment including comedian Gary Skyner.
The club are accepting pre-auction bids for all items – to bid, or to buy tickets, call Dan Lewis on 07581 784726 or email [email protected]