TWO England football legends are supporting a £1m appeal to improve the care of cancer patients in County Durham.

Former England and Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan OBE will be joined by Peter Reid, ex-England midfielder and Sunderland boss, at a Gala Sports Evening in Durham on June 13.

The event will be raising money for a £1m appeal to establish a centre of excellence for cancer care at the chemotherapy day unit at the University Hospital of North Durham.

The Excellence In Cancer Care campaign was launched by the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust last month and has been adopted by The Northern Echo to mark the paper’s 150th anniversary in 2020.

The aim is to transform cramped facilities at the chemotherapy unit, where many cancer patients from across County Durham have their initial treatment.

An interview with Keegan and Reid by Sky Sports presenter Pete Graves will be the highlight of the gala evening at Ramside Hall Hotel. Tickets cost from £79.00

The event also includes a three-course meal and music until 1am, as well as a chance to meet the two sporting icons and a ‘pitch-side’ exclusive seat for the interview.

Keegan won 63 England caps, scoring 21 goals for his country. His club career began with Scunthorpe, before a move to Liverpool in 1971 where he won three First Division titles, the UEFA Cup, twice, the FA Cup and the European Cup. Moving to Hamburg SV in 1977, Keegan was named European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979. After a spell at Southampton, he moved to Newcastle United in 1982 and helped the Magpies gain promotion in his second season before retiring as a player in 1984.

Keegan went on to manage Newcastle United, Fulham and Manchester City, winning promotion as champions in his first full season at all three clubs. He also managed the England national team from 1999-2000.

Reid won domestic and European honours with Everton and was voted Professional Football Players’ Player of the Year in 1985. He won 13 caps with England and went on to manage Manchester City and Sunderland.

Pete Graves, said: “I'm delighted to be involved in what promises to be a very special evening, especially as it’s supporting such a tremendous cause. Kevin Keegan and Peter Reid are held in extremely high regard in Newcastle and Sunderland respectively and I can’t wait to take them on a trip down memory lane. They’re also both hilariously funny so I expect there will be plenty of laughs all round.”

Pat Chambers, charity manager at County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This promises to be a very special evening, a one-off chance to meet and listen to two of England’s best-loved and most talented footballers interviewed by one of television’s best known sports presenters.”

The dinner follows a charity golf event at Ramside Hall. For £300, teams of four can enjoy the 18 holes at Ramside, and a two-course lunch. The day will start with a bacon butty breakfast.

To book tickets for the dinner and/or the golf day, call 01325 743781 or email: