Stars of sport, pupils past and present and friends and family came out in support of popular teacher Mick Ennis.
Mick (61) is fighting cancer and former St Theodore’s pupil Nick Palich organised a charity match to say thanks to the teacher they affectionately called ‘Mennis’, with funds going to Pendleside Hospice, where Mick is receiving treatment.
Mick, a former St Theodore’s teacher who now works at Blessed Trinity, came to the match at Burnley Belvedere FC to see the Vintage Clarets, including Roger Eli, Paul Weller, John Deary and ‘Man of the Match’ Jamie Hoyland, take on three teams of Mick’s St Teds’ Old Boys, the latter including the likes of Manchester United class of ‘92 star Chris Casper, former Burnley player John Mullin and ex-Accrington Stanley striker Paul Mullin.
It finished 2-1 to the Vintage Clarets but it didn’t really matter with, so far, around £8,000 raised with hopes that they can get to £10,000.
Burnley star Danny Ings also attended to lend his support on the day and donated his shirt from Saturday’s 2-1 win over Stoke for auction.
“A number of people asked me to come down and it is for a great cause,” said Danny. “It’s been a special weekend for me with my two goals against Stoke and it’s important to help at events like this. You can see how much he meant to people.”
Chris Casper, a former St Theodore’s pupil, organised a signed Manchester United Angel Di Mario shirt to be auctioned off, raising around £250.
“I played in Mick’s school teams at football and cricket and he is a fantastic fellow and was an inspiration to people like me,” said Chris, whose dad, former Burnley manager Frank, also came to the charity match. “He gave me the confidence. He is a general all-round good guy.”
John Mullin now coaches at Manchester City’s Academy and said: “At school, Mick was always enthusiastic for sport and gave up a lot of time to help people like me and other youngsters in the town.”
Paul Mullin added: “It’s great to turn out for someone like Mick. I played in most of his cricket and football teams through school and he brought me to Burnley Belvedere before I went onto play semi-professionally and professionally.”
Organiser Nick Palich said: “It’s been a tremendous. Everyone has been so great in supporting Mick, who has encouraged children to take up sport for more than 40 years. We have also had signed shirts from Phil Neville, Jay Rodriguez and former pupils England cricketer James Anderson and Ollie Norwood, who plays for Reading. William Hill on Brierfield Road, where Mick went, also gave Mick a free £25 bet. He went on to back a 16-1 winner so he was happy with that!”