Match in memory of pals

RED Row Brick Club have won a special football tournament for the second time, held in honour of two soccer-mad Hadston teenagers who died suddenly.

The Hacka and Shanka Memorial Trophy was launched in 2009 in memory of grass-roots footballers and close pals Paul Mavin, 18, and 19-year-old Liam Shanks, who lost their lives within two months of each other earlier that year.

The defensive twosome, nicknamed Hacka and Shanka, had played together in the same Morpeth Sunday League teams – North End Trap, then East Chevington.

The memorial competition was launched to mark their love for the game.

And on Sunday, the Brick Club – who were winners of the very first commemorative tournament – got their hands back on the trophy by beating Stobswood Welfare 6-2 in the final.

Fittingly, Liam’s brother Adam Shanks netted two goals for victorious Red Row – managed by Liam’s father Stu Shanks – while the 19-year-old also lifted the tournament’s golden boot award.

A Paul Dewson brace and efforts by Gary McDonald and man-of-the-match Craig Keen also helped steer the Brick Club to victory.

Steffan Tweddle grabbed a double for Welfare.

Eight teams took part in the competition, which kicked-off in July and was organised by Liam’s uncle Keith Morley, who managed both Liam and full-back Paul during their time at North End Trap.

Keith was delighted with this year’s tournament and is pleased that the Hacka and Shanka Memorial Trophy has become an annual fixture in both the sport and the community calendar.

“I am absolutely elated with the way that people are turning out for it. It brings the whole community together,” he said.

Keith thanked Ian Maxwell, Darren Wylam, Dennis Borland, Derek Thompson and Paul Conroy for officiating during the tournament, as well as Sandra, Mike and Scott Dickinson from The Trap Inn, in North Broomhill, which hosted the presentation and refreshments after Sunday’s final, which was played at the former Druridge Bay Middle School site.

The Brick Club lifted the 2009 trophy, beating North End Trap on penalties, while Amble Pier 81 took the honours last year, with a 2-0 win over Stobswood.