Black Cats backing Team George

by Sunderland AFC

Club helping to raise funds for youngster.

A campaign which began in the north east bidding to raise funds to help a three-year-old receive life-changing treatment has received a huge boost with the announcement of a special fundraising football match and gala dinner.

Team George has been set up to raise funds for George Bertie Johnson, who has an undiagnosed motility condition, meaning he cannot feed, drink or swallow. Now with the devastating news from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) that attempts to obtain a diagnosis have been exhausted, George’s parents are seeking funds to visit a special consultant in America.

Fundraising for the vital trip to America has been boosted with the announcement of a charity game at the Academy of Light, Sunderland AFC's training base, as well as a gala dinner at the club’s Stadium of Light.

Naturally the club is delighted to support such a worthwhile cause and we hope to raise as much money as possible for Team George

- Gary Hutchinson

A spokesperson at Team George said: “This is a unique opportunity to play on the pitch where Sunderland’s first team train and be part of the action as two teams battle it out, whilst raising vital funds which will go towards further tests and investigations into George’s condition.”

Participants will get the chance of choosing to play for either George’s father’s home city of Sunderland or Everton - his mother’s favourite team. They will also receive their very own kit before preparing for the match in the players' dressing room.

This unique playing experience will take place on Sunday 9th February and will also include individual prizes for man of the match, best goal, best team member, best craic and worst player. 

Packages cost £100 per person with all proceeds from the game going to Team George.

SAFC’s commercial director Gary Hutchinson said: “Naturally the club is delighted to support such a worthwhile cause and we hope to raise as much money as possible for Team George who do such a wonderful job in helping children and families.”

Tickets are also available for spectators who wish to support the fundraising match, priced at £5 per person. This includes access to the Academy of Light and priority on tickets for the gala dinner on the same evening at Stadium of Light.

The gala dinner in aid of Team George includes a drinks reception, a three course gala meal with coffee and entertainment from Kevin Ball and a comedian. Guests will also have the chance to try their luck with a raffle and pick up that special piece of memorabilia at auction on the night.

Tickets are priced at £50 per person with sponsorship packages at £1,000 per table (10 guests).

To secure your position in the fundraising football match please contact Neil Johnson at

To book tickets for the charity match visit the Stadium of Light Ticket Office or call 0871 911 1973

For tickets to the gala dinner, call 0871 911 1555 or email conf&