Golfers' charity drive lands £37,000

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David Stalker, Gary Alderman (kneeling) and Gordon Graham
David Stalker, Gary Alderman (kneeling) and Gordon Graham

Golfers who compete in an annual drive to raise cash for cancer charities in memory of loved ones have now raised a staggering £37,000.

They played their latest rounds at an event at Brampton Golf Club.

It saw them raise a huge £11,300 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the Teenage Cancer Trust and Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

It's the third time the event has been held in memory of Hughie Stalker and Fliss Graham.

Originally it was one Hughie had been organising himself.

But when he lost his five-year battle with cancer in February 2013, aged 64, his son David, friend Gary Alderman and Fliss's dad Gordon made sure it went ahead.

And they've been overwhelmed by the amount raised over the three years they've held the sporting occasion.

In the first year they raised more than £14,000 and a second charity day in 2014 saw another £12,700 donated to the charities.

This year - which is thought will probably be the last - the donations brought their overall total to about £37,300.

"If you'd told us when we started it would be over £35,000 I wouldn't have believed it," said David, who has been humbled by the level of support.

"We just can't believe how generous everybody's been. It's just unbelievable.

"Unfortunately he (Hughie) never got the chance to do it himself.

"It's so much down to him and Fliss.

"We're lucky we've got the support of such a good golf club."

Hughie, who was responsible for the considerable expansion of his family’s haulage firm Stalkers Transport Services, was a well known figure among the community in Brampton and around the county.

David, who continues to run the family business, said his dad got five years down to the support of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and always felt indebted.

Fliss fought a long hard battle trying to beat cancer but sadly died nine years ago aged just 22.

"Her memory lives on and she will never be forgotten," said her dad Gordon, 62, of Gilsland.

"She was a really well-liked young lass. I don't think she had an enemy.

"It was proof at her funeral, the amount of people who turned out.

"It never gets easier but it's nice to think that people sponsor the Teenage Cancer Trust and the RVI at Newcastle."

Fliss's family have raised thousands more through various other events including a series of Hollywood Balls at the Shepherds Inn and Gilsand Spa as well as golf days in Newscastle.

The trio, who are close friends and regulars at the club, were persuaded to host the event for a third time.

People jumped on board straight away, with friends coming from Newcastle and further afield.

A total of 140 golfers took part in 35 teams.

But the event, which included a raffle and entertainment, is also supported by people who don't even take part in the golf day.

This year an added surprise came from Lady Elsie, Bobby Robson's widow, who donated a portrait of her late husband to show her own support for the event.

Gary Alderman, 57, of Heads Nook, said: "Everybody seems to be touched by cancer and it's because of the people we do it for.

"Hughie and Fliss were so popular."

They wanted to thank Brampton Golf Club for its continued support in making the event a success.

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