A kit-man whose remarkable life inspired the BAFTA-winning television film Marvellous is set to make a youth club fund-raiser as good as his film’s namesake.
Neil Baldwin will be the star of a Q&A session, to top off a golf day event, being held to raise funds for Blackpool Boys and Girls Club, in its 80th year.
Nello’s story warmed hearts in the BBC film
The youth club is raising money to support its work with disadvantaged children and young people aged from seven to 17 at its bases in Layton and Mereside, on the fund-raiser on Wednesday, September 9, at North Shore Golf Club.
Mr Baldwin, ‘Nello’ to his supporters, who worked as a circus clown before being taken on by his dream team, Stoke City FC, to be kit-man in the 90s, even making an appearance for the side in a testimonial match in 1993.
Former manager Lou Macari, who took him on, described Mr Baldwin as “the best signing I ever made.”
Organiser Matt Hughes said: “To have someone who brought such joy and spirit to the sporting world as the headline name of a sports-filled day is a great coup for our club.
“Nello’s story warmed hearts in the BBC film and is one that resonates with our club’s members and supporters as he triumphed in the face of adversity, so we’re confident he’ll be an excellent ending to a day on the golf course.
“We hope lots of golfers, and non-golfers for the dinner, will come to support the club.
“Your donations mean we can continue to work with hundreds of fantastic children across Blackpool, offering them art, music, cooking, outdoor pursuits and sport.”
Blackpool Boys and Girls Club, a registered charity, runs a curriculum of activities with children in safe, affordable and accessible locations.
The day tees off at 12.30pm at North Shore Golf Club, with a 1pm shotgun start. Prizes will be up for games along the course, including longest drive on the 10th hole.
An evening dinner, hosted by entertainer Joey Blower, will be held from 6.30pm.
Mr Baldwin will be joined on stage by Terry Conroy, to take part in a Q&A with the ex Stoke City player and Ireland international.
And later comedian Lea Roberts, will take to the stage. An auction to end the evening includes prizes of specialist golf clubs, signed by sportsmen Tommy Fleetwood and Darren Clarke, entry into Billy Beaumont’s classic at Hillside Golf Club, a framed shirt signed by Gordon Banks, and a tour around the Houses of Parliament and dinner in the Strangers Dining Room.