THE Gateshead v Newcastle Legends match set to be played on 7 April at the International Stadium has been cancelled.
The fundraising match was first announced back in November with tickets going on sale from December 1st via universe.com.
Several former Gateshead and Newcastle United greats were committed to playing in the match, which was organised to raise funds for the Gateshead FC Foundation.
Current Gateshead manager Ben Clark would be joined by fellow legends James Curtis, Micky Cummins, Jamie Chandler, Rob Ramshaw, John Oster, James Marwood, Steve Bowey, Paul Thompson, Keith McNall, Liam Hatch and Rob Jones in the match. Current Heed player JJ O’Donnell was also set to take part in the game prior to its cancellation.
Newcastle Legends confirmed that former Heed boss Steve Watson would play some role in the event along with ex-Magpies Peter Beardsley, Steve Howey, Ruel Fox, Rob Lee, Darren Peacock, John Beresford, Paul Robinson, Lee Clark, Brian Kilcline, Lee Bowyer, Liam O’Brien and Olivier Bernard – with more set to be announced. Toon legend Tino Asprillia had flights booked to Tyneside for the match and an evening talk-in but had to withdraw due to a family bereavement.
Following the cancellation, a Gateshead FC spokesperson said: “It is disappointing for all parties that the legends match has been cancelled as a lot of hard work and commitment had gone into trying to make the event a success.
“However, the decision was made in everyone’s best interests. The Gateshead first team are doing brilliantly and we feel it’s important that everyone has their full focus on the play-off push.
“We have some crucial home matches on Saturday 6 and Tuesday 9 April at the International Stadium so another home match on the Sunday may have been a distraction, especially when our manager and one of our current players were set to take part.
“There was also the risk that the costs and effort required for the match to go ahead would not have justified the revenue generated from ticket sales.
“Apologies to everyone who had purchased tickets and was looking forward to the match. We are currently in the process of cancelling and refunding ticket orders made via the Universe platform. Anyone who purchased a ticket from the International Stadium in person, simply return your ticket and receipt to the stadium office for a full refund.
“Finally, we would like to thank Steve Wraith and Newcastle Legends for their time and commitment to the match and hope to work together again in the future.”
Newcastle Legends Managing Director, Steve Wraith said: “After various meetings and discussions with officials at Gateshead Football Club we felt that it was everyone’s best interests if we cancelled the proposed game with immediate effect.
“We are more than happy to revisit the fundraising game again when the situation at the club changes.”
Please note that all ticket refunds will be for face value only.