A call has gone out to the wider Far North football community to help Russell FC stalwart Steve Hatch battle cancer.
Northland Football Federation spokesman - and good friend - James Coleman noted Hatch had recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and was currently undergoing treatment down in Auckland.
Despite this setback, only three days after his initial diagnosis, Hatch was travelling alongside his 12th grade Russell Team to play Kerikeri on a recent Saturday morning, an impressed Coleman noted.
"Steve has been involved with Russell FC for many years as a past president and also as a coach ... [and his] commitment to junior football and Russell FC has never wavered. It is quite possible that without Steve's input and commitment Russell FC might not exist today."
Coleman noted Hatch had been doing a lot of travelling to and from Auckland for treatment, and asked Far North football clubs and individuals to consider making a small donation into a bank account set up to help with the costs involved in his treatment.
"Football in general and, particularly in rural areas such as the Far North, is about bringing people together and all of us working towards getting as many people as possible playing the game. It is also about supporting each other.
This is a chance for local clubs to contribute a small amount to a person who has put many years of work into his little part of Far North football."
* Anyone interested can donate directly into ANZ account 06-0350-0065824-28 using their club name as a reference.