South Shields are to host Northern Premier League East Division side Dunston in a pre-season friendly at Mariners Park.

The match will take place on Saturday, August 3 and will be a farewell game for club legend Barrie Smith, who retired at the end of last season.

Smith is expected to pull on the claret and blue shirt one last time in the match, which will kick-off at 3pm.

South Shields joint manager Graham Fenton said: “Barrie has been a magnificent servant for the club and we are delighted to be hosting a farewell match for him.

“It will be an opportunity for all South Shields supporters to show their appreciation to Barrie for his tireless efforts over the last nine years.

“We’re very much looking forward to the occasion and it is sure to be a very competitive game against a good Dunston side.”

Smith made 323 appearances for the Mariners, scoring 20 times, and won six trophies with the club.

He will also be fondly remembered for staying with Shields during a hugely difficult two-year spell when the club was forced to relocate to Peterlee.

The match will see the Mariners come up against a Dunston side which won promotion from the Northern League last season.

The two sides last met in the semi-final of the Durham Challenge Cup last season, when Shields ran out 3-1 winners.

Striker Jason Gilchrist has become South Shields’ latest summer signing after joining on a permanent deal from National League North side Southport.

The 24-year-old has been a prolific goalscorer throughout his young career to date, and was the National League North’s top scorer in the 2017-18 season, when he netted 26 times.

South Shields joint manager Lee Picton said: “We are delighted to bring Jason to the club.

“He is someone we have tracked for a while and he has a proven goalscoring record at this level and higher.

“We feel he is a great fit for what we are looking for moving forwards at the club.

“We’re really confident he will suit our style of play, and have been very impressed with him as a person during the conversations we have had with him.”

Gilchrist came through the Manchester City youth system and played for the club for 10 years after joining at the age of six.

He then moved on to Burnley, scoring over 50 goals in three seasons for the Clarets’ development teams.

Senior football followed for the striker at Droylsden, Accrington Stanley and Chester before FC United of Manchester swooped to sign him in the summer of 2016.

He scored 29 goals in 15 months before moving onto Southport in November 2017, a season which he would end as the league’s top goalscorer.

Gilchrist spent the tail end of last season with Stockport County, who won the National League North title during his time at the club.

Welcome to South Shields, Jason!

Picture courtesy of Southport FC.

South Shields Football Club is deeply saddened to announce the passing of club vice-president Gerry O’Reilly at the age of 91.

Gerry was a Mariners Park stalwart who will always be remembered fondly by those who were fortunate enough to know him.

He volunteered as a member of the ground staff for many years and continued to help out at Mariners Park until well into his late-80s, earning himself the nickname of the bionic man.

Gerry’s efforts also led to him being named as a life vice-president of the club, a title which he richly deserved. He was among the friendliest, most honest, hard-working people you would ever be likely to meet, and took a huge pride in his work.

His service to the club will forever be appreciated but more importantly than that, it was simply a pleasure for us to know Gerry and we will always cherish the time spent with him and his tales of yesteryear which never failed to entertain.

Our thoughts are with Gerry’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Rest in peace, Gerry.