Published on: 11 February 2022

A football club official has scored a gift to help benefit the ward who helped care for him after he became ill with a rare infection.

Geordie Pearce, head steward at South Shields Football Club (SSFC), was admitted to South Tyneside District Hospital last month and was diagnosed with discitis, an infection between two of the discs in his spine.

He spent a fortnight in the care of Ward 9, a Trauma and Orthopaedics unit, and is now recovering at his home in South Shields.

The 65-year-old retired youth worker, who started volunteering with SSFC in 2016, has now returned to the hospital to drop in a signed club shirt, which will be used to raise funds for the ward.

Geordie was met by ward manager Kelly Kirkbride and ward sister Ruth Linney as he called by to hand over the strip alongside club goalkeeper Myles Boney, defender Jordan Hunter and club sales manager Robert Reed.

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Players Jordan Hunter and Myles Boney, club sales manager Robert Reed, patient Geordie Pearce and Ward 9 Sister Ruth Linney and Ward Manager Kelly Kirkbride.

They also took along another signed top and gloves to donate, which will also be used to raise funds to support the hospital.

Geordie, who was also cared for by the Trust in August after falling ill with COVID-19, said: “I really did feel well cared for and I must say all of the staff, from the domestics to the doctors, nurses and theatre staff, did a fantastic job.

“I want to say a big thank you to them all. I know a lot of the nurses on that ward are supporters of SSFC and they would come and talk to me about the club, which was great and helped keep me going.”

Kelly added: “We are delighted that Geordie is on the road to recovery and are really grateful for this donation. The support we receive from the patients, their families and the public is so important and helps us raise vital funds that can be invested back into patient care.

“It is always rewarding for the team to see patients head home and then hear how they are doing and we wish him all the best as his recovery continues.”

The Trust has its own charity, STS Charity, which works to fund specialist equipment as well as invest in caring for patients in hospital or in the community and support hardworking Trust staff.

More details about the charity and how to support can be found at