Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

38 Years of Hard Work, Loyalty & Dedication

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

38 Years of Hard Work, Loyalty & Dedication

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Gibson

David Beardall is to retire after almost 40 years in charge of Wallsend Boys Club, arguably the most famous and successful football academy in the country.

And a host of football's biggest names are to pay tribute to Beardall at a special dinner this October.

The likes of Alan Shearer, Michael Carrick, Alan Thompson, Lee Clark, Peter Beardsley, Steve Watson and Neil McDonald - all proteges of Wallsend Boys Club - have already agreed to attend the Beardall tribute night.

Dave, who will be 65 in October, has been a permanent fixture at the famous Tyneside club since its doors first opened in 1965 and has overseen almost 50 players make it into the Premier League and Football League.

"For 38 years Wallsend Boys Club has been my life, so retirement is going to be difficult," admitted Beardall, who is also a former president of the Northumberland Union of Golf Clubs.

"However, it's been a team effort that has made the club so well known. We couldn't function without the dozens of volunteers who referee the five-a-side leagues and manage the 11-a-side teams, some of whom have also been involved for decades."

Chairman Peter Mays added: "The committee have offered Dave the choice to stay on part-time in a voluntary capacity, so thankfully his involvement here isn't likely to end abruptly in October."

Wallsend are now facing the huge task of replacing Beardall as club manager. Secretary Steve Dale, who is organising the farewell dinner, is currently looking for someone "with the ability to work successfully with young people and demonstrate the business and administration skills to manage the club's finances."

Dale accepted: "It's going to be difficult and it may well take two people to cover the hours Dave has consistently worked."

Wallsend are one of the most famous boys clubs in the country, having also been responsible for the development of the likes of former Manchester United skipper and current Birmingham boss Steve Bruce, Leeds and ex-Sunderland striker Michael Bridges, one-time Leeds centre-forward Ray Hankin, and Darlington manager Mick Tait. …

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