Free admission as football club urges fans to dig deep for air ambulance

Date: Wednesday 31st October 2018

PENRITH Football Club hopes a bid to raise cash for the Great North Air Ambulance Service will take off — at the second attempt.

Last month, the Northern League club announced it would offer free admission to all spectators attending a Division I game against Ryhope Colliery Welfare. Penrith officials asked those planning to attend that game — which was to have been played on national Non-League Day — to dig deep and donate to the GNAAS, which provides vital and swift medical assistance across the North to hundreds of patients each year.

However, the Blues' fund-raising efforts were grounded by heavy pre-match rain which deluged the club's Frenchfield Park pitch and led to a postponement.

But Penrith have refused to be beaten. They are repeating their free admission offer for this Saturday's league fixture at home to Bishop Auckland (3rd November, 3pm kick-off) — and are instead asking for people to pledge money in aid of the air ambulance charity.

The club's senior chairman Billy Williams said: "I would encourage everyone to come down, support your town team and, in turn, give thanks for the invaluable service our community receives from the GNAAS."

Penrith manager Andy Coyles added: "I've got nothing but admiration for the GNAAS. I hope everybody can dig deep — and dig a little deeper — and put something in because anything, even if it's something small, will go a long, long way for that charity."

Tony Duffy, secretary of Bishop Auckland, said: "We hope everyone involved with both clubs will attend the match and contribute to such a vital and worthwhile cause.

"Entry will be free, so we ask for as much support as you are able to give from both sides of the county border."

And a GNAAS spokesman added: "The clubs represent two of the core areas served by our charity. Any money raised will help us continue to save lives and ease suffering across those areas.

"As for the game, we’ve got a foot in both camps, so we are hoping for an entertaining draw.”