Benefit year for Falcon May

Newcastle star Tom May has been rewarded for ten years’ outstanding service to the Falcons, with the announcement of a benefit year for 2009.

The 29-year-old back has scored 63 tries in his 238 starts for the club since joining a decade ago, playing in all seven back line positions and helping the Falcons win two Twickenham Cup finals in 2001 and 2004.

Part of the proceeds from May’s benefit year will go to North-East children’s charities, for which he has already raised tens of thousands of Pounds this year by cycling from Newcastle round all 12 Guinness Premiership clubs and on to Twickenham.

Speaking at the announcement of his year of events, May said: “A committee has come together and been kind enough to help organise a number of different days, including a clay pigeon shoot, golf day, a dinner and some ladies’ lunches, which I imagine I will get plenty of banter about doing!

“It’s important to me that the children’s charity, Just For Kids, is an integral part of the whole thing, having seen first hand what great work they do in the North-East, and hopefully people will really get behind it.”

Looking back on his decade on Tyneside, May said: “Despite being a Cockney I’ve been welcomed with open arms up here, possibly helped by the fact that I married in to the Geordie race!

“There have been plenty of ups and down during those ten years, the two Cup final wins standing out as the obvious highlights, and also the way in which the fans have responded to me and really helped me along the way.

“I’m not finished yet by any stretch, I’m still the right side of 30… just… but I feel in as good a shape as when I first started. It’s fair to say the mornings are a bit tougher these days nursing the old joints through training every day, but I still have a strong passion for the game and for Newcastle Falcons which will never go away.”

Falcons director of rugby, Steve Bates, said: “Tom has been a magnificent servant for this club, and it is absolutely appropriate that he should be recognised with this benefit year.

“His hunger for the game and the way he conducts himself as a professional is an example to any player, and in my opinion he is currently playing the best rugby of his career. That says a lot about his attitude, and I’m sure the North-East community will come out in support of the events he has planned during the year.”

Details of those events will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

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