Another December day is upon us and with it, the 19th installment of our SSFC Advent Calendar feature.

Throughout the first 24 days of the month we are attempting to spread a bit of festive cheer, and today’s feature was due to be started with a video message from George McLaughlin, but technology let our popular kitman down.

George would like us to pass on his very best wishes to all supporters for the festive season.

Over the first 24 days of December, you will be able to enter a range of competitions to win prizes courtesy of the club and several of its sponsors.

The latest item up for grabs is a South Shields FC matchday hospitality package package.

To enter this competition, supporters must wait until four questions have been asked, with the fourth to be published on Sunday. Supporters will have until 9am the following day to submit all of their four answers together via email to info@southshieldsfc.co.uk.

The first question was: Sam Hodgson made his senior debut for South Shields on the same day as Mathew Wade and which other Academy graduate?

The second question was: Which club is Will McCamley currently on loan with Shields from?

Today’s question is: What was the final score when Shields played against FC United of Manchester in March 2020?

Remember, don’t submit your answers until the fourth question has been published on Sunday.

We also have another competition running in partnership with our sponsor Freeman Butchers, with a £25 voucher up for grabs.

TO ENTER VIA TWITTER:

1. Like and retweet the below tweet

2. Make sure you are following the following accounts on Twitter: @SouthShieldsFC, @SSFCFoundation, @SSFCAcademy, @ShieldsLive

TO ENTER VIA FACEBOOK:

1. Like, share and tag three of your friends on the competition posted on the South Shields FC Facebook page on Friday morning.

2. Make sure you like the following pages on Facebook: South Shields FC, SSFC Foundation

We would like to thank Freeman Butchers for their continued support.

We also now highlighting our fifth charity of the month, the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust.

The Trust honours teenage sweethearts Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry through what they loved most and aims to inspire others to follow their dreams in sport or performance.

To find out more about the Chloe and Liam Together Forever Trust, click here. To make a donation, click here.

Over the month, donations will also be encouraged towards the club’s charitable Foundation, which works with hundreds of children each week and does such fantastic work within our community.

To support the Foundation with a donation, please click here.

Thank you for your continued support and keep an eye out for Day Twenty tomorrow!

Following advice from health and safety experts, South Shields kitman George McLaughlin has been banned from partaking in celebratory post-game fist pumps with immediate effect.

George’s celebrations have become the stuff of folklore at Mariners Park.

No victory is complete without his fist pumps on the sidelines as he shows his delight at another win.

However, health and safety chiefs stepped in after it was revealed George’s fall on the Wembley steps – which resulted in him suffering a ruptured quadriceps tendon – was caused by him carrying out the action.

Mariners physio Andrew Morris was among those who broke the news to George.

He said: “We all love to see George celebrating after games, but unfortunately we have to listen to the experts.

“One expert in particular, Lira Lofop, said she believed the fall at Wembley was caused by George performing a fist pump, so it’s just not worth the risk.

“George has also suffered a number of fist pump-related injuries over the course of the season, and I’ve actually spent more time treating him than the players.

“The risk of further injury to himself and fans he gets close to is clear, and just not worth it any more.

“Plus, this gives him the chance to carry out his true kitman duties!”

The club’s matchday programme, The Mariner, has included a new feature in the most recent two editions.

‘On The Spot’ sees an individual at the club – whether they’re a player, staff member or volunteer – asked about a host of things, ranging from the highlights of their time in football to favourite things in their life.

First in the hotseat was kitman George McLaughlin.

Here were his answers – keep an eye out for future installments of this feature in upcoming programmes!

George McLaughlin – On The Spot

Role: Kitman

From: Washington

First joined SSFC: 2013

First club played for: Sunderland Hospitals

Most enjoyable thing about your role: Watching the lads win!

Least enjoyable thing about your role: Getting the blame for everything!

Tell us something we don’t know about you: I was in the Merchant Navy between 1969 and 1973.

Favourite food: Fish and chips

Favourite holiday destination: Whitby

If you could attend any sporting event in the world, what would it be and why? I actually did attend it! It was the Melbourne Cup while I was in the Merchant Navy. I was asked to walk around the racecourse before the event carrying a banner with the word ‘Malta’ on it, alongside some lads carrying the Maltese flag. It was quite fitting, as one of the patron saints of Malta is St George!

Favourite band: The Beatles

Most embarrassing moment: Falling over doing the Dizzy Penalties challenge (below) last season!

Most memorable moment at SSFC: Winning the league last season.

Who’s the funniest person in the dressing room? Wayne Phillips is a scream. He’s always the life and soul of the dressing room.

If you could go for dinner with three people, alive or dead, who would they be? My partner Ann, Ringo Starr and Nelson Mandela. That would be an interesting evening! I’d have loved to have met Ringo and Nelson.

Nickname: Kitman and general dogsbody.

One word to describe you? Does happy-go-lucky count as one word?