Thank you to our long-time supporter, Ian Payne, for going above and beyond the call of duty this summer.

Ian Payne (centre) with Lady Elsie and our Patron, Alan Shearer

Not only is Ian undertaking both the Great North Run and Great East Run to raise funds for us and The Graham Wylie Foundation, he’s also created a way for people sponsoring him to be entered into a raffle to win a very special match day experience at Newcastle United, too.

We’re extremely grateful to Ian for his wonderful support, not just this summer, but consistently over the years. And thank you to everyone kind enough to sponsor him.

Information from Ian’s donation page is below (and please click here if you would like to sponsor him):

Hello folks,

Thanks for showing an interest and getting this far – please keep reading, there’s the chance of winning a great prize if you make a donation! …

Here’s the deal – I’m, er, nearly 50.

And 30 years ago, in 1987, when I was 19, I ran my only two half marathons: The Great North Run, and the Ipswich Half Marathon.

So, I’ve decided that before I turn 50, I’m going to try to run them again. Except 30 years ago I was a Sports Degree Student and very fit. And now I’m not!

The Great North Run is on Tyneside on Sunday September 10th – and, just two weeks later, the first ever Great East Run is in Ipswich on Sunday September 24th.

I’ve decided to try to help two charities along the way.

The Graham Wylie Foundation hands 100% of donations to deserving causes – every single penny raised and donated goes to helping, inspiring and educating children across the whole of the North East for projects which will benefit underprivileged or vulnerable youngsters for years to come.

And, tying in nicely with my Newcastle and Ipswich links, and because of my friendship with the great man and his family, I’m running the Great East Run proudly wearing the vest of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

If you’re inclined to spur me on and able to donate a small amount then I’d be extremely grateful for your support. And here’s an extra incentive for you …

• Any donations greater than £10 will gain you entry to a raffle! (multiples of £10 = multiple raffle entries, e.g. £30 donation = 3 entries to the draw)

• The prize will be two places, to join me & ex-Newcastle star John Beresford at a Premier League game or Cup game at St James’ Park this season.

• Full hospitality will be included, with food and drinks – an informal, fun afternoon or evening – and Bez & I will keep you entertained even if the footy doesn’t! All ages welcome – young or old!

I can’t promise a specific game at this stage, but I’ll arrange it with the winner and do my best to accommodate their preference, depending on availability.

Many thanks!