FOOTBALL fans, players and officials clubbed together to help one of their own as he rebuilds his life following a devastating stroke.

The Northern League community was rocked when Willington AFC chairman Richard Tremewan suffered a life-changing stroke and a bleed on the brain whilst watching his team in action at Chester-le-Street in February.

Mr Tremewan, a partner in a windows firm. was just 48-years-old at the time and was left unable to walk or talk.

To aid his recovery, friends from throughout the footballing world have rallied round to raise funds towards his therapy.

On Saturday, ten people completed an old railway line walk between Willington’s Hall Lane ground and Heritage Park– home to Bishop Auckland FC where Mr Tremewan was previously chairman.

The team received support along the route and stopped at The Merry Monk, which sponsors BAFC this season, for a break and refreshments before the final stretch to the ground at Tindale Crescent.

Among the walkers who completed the seven mile route were former Bishop Auckland player and manager David Bayles and the club’s current chairman Steve Coulthard.

Dean Maynard who has done PR for both clubs and Nathan Haslam manager of Whitley Bay– Bishop’s opponents on Saturday in what proved to be a lively 4-4 draw– also took part.

The fundraisers were welcomed onto the pitch before kick-off and the £2,700 already raised by the sponsored walk was topped up by donations from the crowd.

Mr Coulthard said: “Richard does so much for so many people.

“So when he went through this life-changing experience just over nine months ago lots of people were shocked.

“We don’t know when and if he will get better but we’ll do anything we can to help.

“Raising money is something we can do to show our support and we thank everyone who has got behind us.”

Mr Bayles, who managed the Two Blues when Mr Tremewan was chairman about five years ago, said: “When Richard had the stroke, it was a tragic occurrence.

“He was a young man, fit, he cycled a lot, had no problems in the past so for this to happen knocked everybody he knows sideways.

“He is so popular throughout the game because he would help anyone or any club and work hard for them.

“When one local football club suffered vandalism he was round straight away putting new glass in the windows.

“He’d loan out equipment to help other teams out and when he was watching a Shildon game once he even got changed to run the line after a linesman got injured, mind he wasn’t very good.

“At these two clubs and around the league as well, people know and respect him so want to help him now.”

The money raised in aid of Mr Tremewan will go towards his therapy needs.

The two clubs set a target of £4,000 which they are hopeful of reaching.

It is likely that money will go towards a MOTOmed bike to enable Mr Tremewan to strengthen his core and to improve movement in his legs from his own home.