United’s friendly fixture against Kendal last Wednesday evening provided an excellent opportunity to raise more funds for former Town player George Melling, who announced in February that he was suffering from MND.
The 36-year-old spoke recently about the onset of the condition, which had initially manifested itself with slight twitching movements in his left arm just over a year ago.
Support has flooded in from the football family since he went public, and Kendal and United came together last week to add £523 to the coffers, following a raffle and bucket collection held at the game.
Melling, who thanked both sets of fans via his Twitter feed afterwards, was visibly moved when he entered the stadium accompanied by a huge round of applause.
He said: “Thank you so much to Kendal and Carlisle United, to both sets of players and staff for a good night and good game, and a big thank you to both sets of fans for the support.”
His accompanying hashtag #HelpbigGfightMND stands for Help Big George to Fight MND and is the rallying call for the fundraising effort.
United’s SLO Simon Clarkson led the Carlisle contingent on the night, with a donation of a signed shirt and ball for the raffle, and with personnel helping the bucket collection drive.
Director of football David Holdsworth said: “We’d like to thank every supporter, from both clubs, who went to the Kendal game and who made their donation.
“I first made contact with George when I found out that he had MND, and he is an absolute gentleman.
“It really struck a chord because we know what Tony Hopper and his family went through, so as a club we felt we wanted to do something to help.
“When the crowd started to applaud George when he arrived on Wednesday it was so heart warming, and that confirmed that we were doing the right thing by a wonderful family.
“There was a lot of work done prior to the game by Kendal, by our SLO Simon Clarkson and by our media team to make things go smoothly. They deserve a thank you for that, it was handled in exactly the right manner.
“George sent me a really nice message afterwards, because he’d appreciated the efforts everybody had gone to on his behalf, and on behalf of helping the association to fight MND."
George concluded: “I wouldn’t want anyone to get anything like this, it’s a horrible disease. I want to see a cure. The more money we raise, the more chance we have of testing more drugs and funding the MND Association.”
Click HERE to visit and donate to George’s fund.