Stars reunite for Ernie to raise charity funds

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Nikki Trueman said she was ‘shattered’ but ‘over the moon’ after a long but rewarding day as former and some present day Matlock Town and Belper Town footballers took to the Autoworld Arena on Sunday to raise funds for ‘Team Ernie’.

Nikki’s father, 65-year-old Ernie Moss, is a former Chesterfield striker and former manager of both the Gladiators and the Nailers and has the early signs of Pick’s disease, a form of dementia that once also affected former West Bromwich Albion and England centre forward Jeff Astle.

The weather could not have been better as a perfect sunny spring day greeted players and spectators to a fun day where there was also a tombola and a bouncy castle in the ground plus a raffle.

The gathered crowd watched Belper come out on top 2-0 thanks to a brace from their prolific goalscorer Jon Froggatt in an entertaining game officiated by Chesterfield referee Paul Thompson, ably assisted by Rob Rees and Kevin Marchant on the line.

“We’ve raised a total of £1,025 which is absolutely brilliant,” said a happy Nikki.

“It was a fantastic day and the family and I would like to thank everyone who was there, whether as a worker, playing, officiating or as a spectator. The support was magnificent.

“We’d also like to thank Matlock Town and their officials for their help and kindness in staging the match. Dad really enjoyed himself, it was really great to see all the lads again.”

Former Matlock physio Micky Cunningham took charge of the ex-Gladiators who included the likes of James Lukic, Steve Taylor, Rockie White, Craig Hopkins and Steve Circuit while Paul Bennett, once the Belper kit man, was pleased to field the likes of Steve Warne, Froggatt, Asa Ingall, Dan White and Andy Rushbury in his Nailers line up.