SCORES of people turned out for a day of footballing family fun in aid of an appeal to extend a hospital’s chemotherapy day unit.

Fourteen teams of under-7s from across the region took part in five-a-side fun tournament at Soccarena, in Belmont, Durham on Sunday – to raise funds for the unit at the University Hospital of North Durham.

There were four reduced size pitches, and teams will played each other in a mini league, culminating in semi-final, then final matches – with the winning and runner-up teams receiving a trophy.

In the afternoon there was a friendly match between the Durham Constabulary Football Team and members of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust,

The trust’s head of communications and charity, Gillian Curry, said: “It was really a fantastic event. It was really humbling to see so many people turn out for the charity football tournament and to support the Chemotherapy Appeal at the University of North Durham Hospital.

“Everyone enjoyed the children’s tournament. There was some impressive team work and skills on the pitch from them.

“And then during the afternoon we were pleased to see Durham Police taking on the NHS. The police won 11-0.”

Philippa Parsons, charity support officer, at the trust said: “The treatments now available plus early diagnosis have resulted in unprecedented demand on the unit at the University Hospital of North Durham.

“The new unit will be much more spacious, offering patients the privacy and dignity they need to help them through their treatment.

“We’re enormously grateful to Austin Carney, managing director of Infinite Air Durham for his generosity in support of our appeal by offering us the Soccarena facilities for the day.”

Mr Carney said: “We’re delighted to support County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust in their campaign to fight cancer.

“Like many people my family has experienced cancer, my sister Wendy started her journey at the University of North Durham Hospital, and to help in any small way in establishing a centre of excellence in cancer care would mean a lot to us.”

The event has raised about £1,100 so far.

To mark its 150th anniversary, The Northern Echo has joined forces with the Trust’s official charity in a £1m appeal to expand and improve the hospital’s chemotherapy day unit.