Freddie puts his name to fundraiser!

Cricketing legend Freddie Flintoff will be bowling over fans at a summer fundraising dinner for EVO-STIK League Marine.

The former England skipper and Ashes winner turned broadcaster and TV personality is making good on a promise to support the EVO-STIK League Premier Division club’s on-going ground development appeal after agreeing to be the guest of honour at the Marine Travel Arena on Friday week, June 15.

Crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year after England’s famous Ashes win in 2005, the 40-year-old MBE has been a Mariners supporter since his close friend and former Lancashire County captain Patrick McKeown signed a new stand sponsorship deal last season and he teamed up with him to sign a shirt for auction.

Patrick McKeown Wealth Management are sponsoring the dinner and thrilled Mariners officials are expecting to sell out the limited number of £50 tickets still available within days after Flintoff confirmed his attendance this week.

Marine vice-chairman Dave McMillan said: "This is a real coup for Marine to have Freddie as our special guest on 15th June. He is a bona fide cricket legend and very much in demand as a TV star with a very busy schedule. Our thanks to Freddie for agreeing to come to Marine and to Paddy McKeown for making the arrangements.”

He added: “As a cricket fan I’m really looking forward to this dinner, it will be great to meet him and I’m sure he’ll have some fantastic anecdotes about his glittering career at the very top of the game.”

Former batsman McKeown said: “I’m really pleased that Freddie has agreed to the dinner, he’s a great mate and I’ve been telling him how much I enjoy it here after taking on the stand sponsorship last year. He’ll really make sure everyone has a great night, the ground appeal will benefit from the proceeds and as a Marine fan I’m pleased that I’ve been able to make this happen.”

Now a successful broadcaster with a radio show on BBC 5 Live and probably best known for his appearances on ‘A League of Their Own’ with co-stars James Corden and Jamie Redknapp, Flintoff played in 79 Tests, 141 ODIs and seven T20 internationals, scoring eight centuries and 44 half centuries while taking 400 wickets at international level before captaining England in 2006.

He holds the record for the most number of sixes scored for England, 177 in all formats, and is one of only eight players to be on the honours board at Lord’s for batting and bowling, awarded for 100 runs or five wickets in an innings.

Most memorably, he was instrumental in England’s famous Ashes win in 2005 after a 16 year gap, winning the England Man of the Series accolade before being crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Marine are looking forward to upgrading their historic home during the EVO-STIK League club's milestone 125th anniversary season in 2018-19 after getting the green light from town planners earlier this year for the major makeover to the main stand at the College Road to start in the summer of 2019.

Submitted by Crosby-based architects Tony Diaz Associates, the scheme will see a complete re-modelling of the facilities behind the stand following the demolition of an old timber building built in 1929.

The upgrades planned to coincide with the club's foundation in 1894 by South Road traders at a meeting in the former Marine Hotel, now the stadium's Champs Bar, include a matchday snack bar, stewards control room, spectator first aid treatment room, club shop, matchday office, kit store and a new spectator hospitality suite.

Donations payable to 'Marine FC Ground Appeal' should be sent to Marine club secretary Richard Cross at 74 Elvington Road, Hightown, Liverpool, L38 9AN. Alternatively, donations can be made securely online at www.groundappeal.co.uk.

For more information on tickets, email learymarine@aol.com.

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