A FUNDRAISING football tournament is being planned in memory of a popular coach, who died last year following a battle with cancer.

Malcolm Turnbull, known as Mally, coached junior teams in Darlington and nearby Middleton St George for almost 20 years.

He died in October after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year earlier.

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The five-a-side tournament, which will see eight teams competing on the playing fields in Middleton St George, is being organised by friends of Mr Turnbull, with the support of his family.

It will take place on Sunday, April 13, from 10am.

Mr Turnbull, who was 56, was a big Hartlepool United fan and Pools boss Colin Cooper has agreed to present the trophy to the winning side.

Funds raised at the tournament will be put towards a memorial bench in the village.

Anything raised over and above that will be donated to the Sir Bobby Robson.

Middleton St George councillor Steve York, who was a long-time friend of Mr Turnbull’s, is among the organisers.

He said: “Mally did a lot for the community, certainly for the young people in the village and the wider community.

“His passing away was awful and we thought, as a mark of respect to him, to try and raise some money for a bench in his honour in the village.

“A few of us have got together and organised the charity tournament, hoping to raise money and get it sorted in memory of a true gent.”