Team mates come together to help inspirational ladies footballer struck down with Motor Neurone Disease

AN inspirational woman who has been left unable to walk or talk in her battle against Motor Neurone Disease is having a football tournament organised to support her plight.

Three former team-mates of Sue Crooke are arranging the special occasion on Bank Holiday Monday next to The Three Horseshoes pub in Turves.

Kelly Green, Gemma Hutton and Clare Osler want to raise funds and awareness to help Sue but also show how much they still care for the battling mother.

“She was the mother of our team because we were all at school,” said Miss Green who played with Mrs Crooke when she was around 15 years old.

“Nobody wanted to go in goal so Sue volunteered and become a great goalkeeper too. It’s just the type of great person she is.

“We were all devastated to hear the news. I didn’t realise just how aggressive the disease is and how quickly it starts.

Motor Neurone Disease is a progressive disease that is currently unable to be prevented. It attacks cells that enable muscle movement and tends to affect people between the ages of 50 and 70. Sue was fit, healthy and still active before the heartbreaking disease struck but now lives at Longueville Court Care Home as she requires continuous care.

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Kelly said: “It must be so difficult for her and the family but they’ve been so strong.

“The family, and especially Sue, are an inspiration to us all. She’s an amazing person who is always smiling.”

“Simon, her husband, used to be our old manager and he’s been great. He has said that Sue has been lifted by this and they’re both looking forward to it.”

Around 30 players past and present from Benwick Ladies team have already expressed an interest in attending the event which the organisers have decided not to open up to other teams.

She added: “It’s a chance to get together and show Sue that we’re all thinking about her and how much we care about her.

“It was an idea to open the tournament up but we wanted to keep it close to Sue’s heart and it makes it more special.

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