HARTLEPOOL United manager Colin Cooper was the guest of honour at a five-a-side competition organised in memory of a popular football coach.

The tournament, held at Middleton St George today (Sunday, April 13), was organised in memory of Malcolm Turnbull who died of pancreatic cancer last October aged 56.

Mr Turnbull, known affectionately as Mally, had coached junior teams in Darlington and Middleton St George for almost two decades and many of his past players and good friends joined in the community-spirited competition.

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Middleton St George Councillor Steve York was a close friend of Mr Turnbull’s and helped organise the event.

He praised the efforts of all involved and said: “It was well attended by a lot of people who had a great deal of respect for Mally Turnbull.

“It was the brainchild of the Middleton St George Youth Team, which he had previously coached, but players from lots of Darlington clubs got involved.

“It was all played in great spirit; it was competitive but very friendly, with players switching onto other teams to help each other out.

“Mally would have loved it – he would not have wanted all this attention but I say ‘tough’ because he is a man that deserves it.”

Coun York wished to particularly thank Colin Cooper for using his own time to attend the event in recognition of Mr Turnbull’s lifelong support for Hartlepool United.

He presented the Wilson’s Boys team with the winners’ trophy and spent time chatting with players and spectators.

The tournament’s aim was to raise enough money to have a bench placed in Middleton St George in memory of Mr Turnbull, who left behind a wife Lynn, and a teenage son and daughter, Benjamin and Mollie.

A host of gifts were donated to the cause, including a hospitality day at Middlesbrough FC’s Riverside Stadium and signed Hartlepool and Boro shirts, and an auction will be arranged to sell them to fans in due course.

The bench is expected to cost £500 any excess funds raised will go towards the Bobby Robson Foundation.