FOOTBALLERS and fans paid tribute to a gentleman of the game at the weekend.

The Jackie Foster Memorial Shield was played at Willington FC's Hall Lane ground on Sunday.

A team of players from the Wear Valley League triumphed 7-1 over a Crook and District League side to take home the shield, created in memory of Mr Foster who died two years ago.

Mr Foster, who played on the left, had been with Newcastle United as a junior but when he was released at 17 went on to play for Willington, Bishop Auckland, Crook and West Auckland.

At Willington he played 208 games and the club named a stand after him, under which his ashes lie.

Relatives of Mr Foster, of Witton Park, and friends were among the 100 plus crowd that attended the game which raised money for Cancer Research UK.

Friend Stan Thexton, who managed the winning side, said: "Everybody that knew Jackie liked him, he was a tremendous footballer and a decent, generous man.

"There is a lot of respect for him in football and outside of the game.

"The memorial shield is a tribute to him and each year the venue will be a club he played for."