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Charlie Crowe: Five years since the death of a Newcastle United legend; The daughter of the cup treble winning hero opens up about getting over the loss of her dad and the legacy he has left helping Alzheimer's sufferers.

Byline: Michael Marsh

They say five years is a long time in football.

A lot can happen in that space in life, too, but time often flashes before your eyes until you question where it has gone.

That's certainly the case with the family of Newcastle United legend Charlie Crowe as today marks the fifth anniversary since the death of the FA Cup treble winning hero.

"It's not as if he died yesterday but it's still very, very close," said daughter Lesley Edmondson, 67.

"I think anyone who has lost someone who is close to them, whether it's family or whoever you've really loved, they're never far away.

"My mum, Ruth, talks about my dad all the time. He's always there.

"Because her memory is failing at times, she often asks me: 'What was your dad's saying? What did he mean when he said such and such?' So he's very much alive, although it is five years."

A favourite on the St James' Park terraces, Walker lad Crowe was the last survivor of the famous cup treble winning team of the 1950s and will forever have a place in Geordie folklore.

After retiring from football, he worked for various charitable causes until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, suffering for the last 10 years of his life.

But, even after his death aged 85, he is touching the hearts and minds of so many.

A pioneering scanner in his name was installed at Newcastle University's Magnetic Resonance Centre (MRC) in August - the outcome of a [pounds sterling]1.5m fundraising drive - and is helping scientists lead the way into dementia research.

Lesley said: "I think originally for us, with dad's name to spearhead the campaign, the idea was to pinpoint cellular changes, because then it could lead to goodness knows what.

"The team at the MRC have got world-renowned physicists, clinicians and fabulous brains so it's a coup for Newcastle that we have this centre."

Beverley Hailstone, MRC manager, hailed the successful campaign and believes it is only the start of what scientists can achieve.

She said: "We opened nine years ago next week and we've now got a two-magnet facility.

"We opened with one, and now with Lesley's dad, the Charlie Crowe Scanner Suite, opening last year we have fulfilled what we wanted to do.

"The research is expanding around the campus and it's an exciting place to be. We can see what potential is out there."

Crowe's anniversary comes in a week where David Cameron pledged to invest [pounds sterling]300m to aid research into dementia.

The Prime Minister outlined the new plans to tackle what he described as "one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime".

He said an international dementia institute will be established in England over the next five years in a bid to make the UK a world leader for research and medical trials.

And the windfall was welcomed by Lesley, of Forest Hall in North Tyneside, who hopes it will help beat the "silent battle" of sufferers.

"I think it is something that has been long overdue," she said.

"We know how damaging Alzheimer's is and my dad's case is just one of millions.

"It's very poignant this was announced this week and I think my dad would be absolutely thrilled.

"He'd be over the moon and probably say 'back of the net'."

Charlie Crowe

Born: October 30, 1924

Clubs: Byker and Heaton (October 1943); moved to Newcastle United for [pounds sterling]10 in October 1944

Debut: v Barnsley (January 5, 1946); final game v Mansfield (February 1957)

Wage: [pounds sterling]700 per year ([pounds sterling]12 bonus for 1951 FA Cup final win)

Honours: FA Cup winner 1951, 1952 and 1955

Management duties: Whitley Bay 1957-59; FA staff coach 1960-67

Did you know? Crowe signed for and left the Magpies on the same day as Jackie Milburn.
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Publication:The Chronicle (Newscastle upon Tyne, England)
Date:Feb 26, 2015
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