THE owner of Hartlepool United has donated £5,000 to the Finlay Cooper Fund in support of the charity’s Three Peaks charity challenge.

The charity was formed in 2006 by Hartlepool manager Colin and wife Julie and has since raised over £350,000 for children’s charities in the North-East and south London.

Oil company IOR has now donated the money to boost fundraising for a 26-mile sponsored walk across three Yorkshire Peaks on Saturday June 21.

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Last summer Mr Cooper was joined by a team of trekkers – including former Boro captain Craig Hignett and Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling – to scale Mount Kilimanjaro, raising £100,000 for the Finlay Cooper fund in the process.

This time around the challenge is to scale three Yorkshire Peaks which it is hoped could raise £30,000.

“It’s a charity that’s very close to home through Colin and it’s an excellent cause,” said Pools Chief Executive Russ Green.

“To receive the accolades he already has in such a relatively short time that the charity has been up and running is superb and it’s going from strength to strength.

“Since Colin has arrived at the Club, many fans have taken it upon themselves to support the charity and this shows the depth of feeling there is towards the cause.

“To get such a generous donation from IOR towards this year’s project is an enormous shot in the arm for the charity.

“Hopefully it can give more fans the incentive to join this year’s Three Peaks Challenge – I’ve already signed-up and begun some training!”

Colin Cooper added: “It’s fair to say that this donation goes far and away past what I was expecting and we’re very, very grateful indeed.”

For more information on joining Mr Cooper on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge visit the Finlay Cooper Fund website on