Thousands will be raised in memory of much-missed Cumbrian footballer Tony Hopper at an event in Carlisle this weekend.

A black-tie charity ball in the city will see friends, family and former team-mates gather to remember Tony.

And it will be a major fundraiser for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The sell-out event on Saturday is set to be attended by some 230 people, raising funds and awareness in the fight against MND.

Former Carlisle United and Workington Reds player Tony died from the disease in 2018, aged 42.

The Carlisle-born star, during his courageous battle, used his profile to promote the fight against motor neurone disease – and one of the charities that supported him will benefit from Saturday night’s event at the Halston in Carlisle.

It will be hosted by Ian Milburn from IM Events.

He said: “It’s something we first did about five-and-a-half years ago, while Tony was still with us, and it was felt it was time to do another big fundraiser.

News and Star: The black tie ball is being held at The Halston on Saturday nightThe black tie ball is being held at The Halston on Saturday night (Image: Cumbria Life)

“In the last few years we’ve done a lot for Eden Valley Hospice, who were absolutely brilliant with him.

“This time Sue, Tony’s wife, wanted to do something for the MND Association and everything from the ball will go to them.

“The aim at the start was to raise £3,000 but with everything we’re going to do, fingers crossed it will be over £10,000.”

The night will see performances by Carlisle band 3 River City and Studio A Dance Company, while host Milburn will oversee entertainment including a game of Red or Blue – a twist on the former Ant and Dec show Red and Black, in honour of Tony’s years with the footballing Reds and Blues of Cumbria.

There will also be a raffle which has a huge range of prizes, while Cumbrian Properties are sponsoring the event.

Milburn added: “There’s going to be 230 people there, including lots of his old team-mates from his Workington and Carlisle days.

“It’s all in Tony’s memory and hopefully it’s something we could do every year or two.

“Hopefully it will be a good night where everyone will get entertained really well, and remember him.

“He’s still in everyone’s thoughts. He was such an amazing person and he’s a massive miss in everyone’s lives.”