A legendary goalkeeper who was the first name on Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest team sheet has joined the team of ambassadors at Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.

Mark Crossley played for 24 years as a goalkeeper from 1988 until 2011 at Nottingham Forest (1989-2000), Manchester United, Millwall, Middlesbrough, Stoke City, Fulham, Sheffield Wednesday, Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield. He is one of only three goalkeepers to have saved a penalty in an FA Cup Final (from Gary Lineker in 1991) and is the only goalkeeper to have saved a penalty from penalty taking legend, Matt le Tissier.

Mark signed up as an ambassador on behalf of Walking is Brilliant, a group of ex-football professionals including Chris Kirkland, Dean Windass, Steve Howey and Nigel Jemson who undertake hikes to raise money for charities that support good mental health.

Mark has visited the children’s hospice several times since his first visit in January 2023, returning in June 2023 for a spot of gardening in the sensory garden which his group helped fund. He was back at Forget Me Not for another visit to discuss future plans when Forget Me Not’s Gemma Redford “popped the question”.

Gemma Redford, In Memory Fundraiser at Forget Me Not said, “Every time Mark’s been to the hospice we’ve been really impressed by the way he understands and values the work we do around supporting good mental health with families facing the loss of their child. He’s great with the kids, full of energy and ideas and always keen to see what more he can do to help. We’ve been hoping to work more deeply with him so we’re ever so chuffed he’s agreed to become a Forget Me Not ambassador.”

Goalkeeping legend, Mark Crossley, gardening at Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice with Hollie Shaw

Mark is making plans with Gemma to return with some of the Walking is Brilliant crew for some tree planting in June and to lead some “netwalking” (networking while walking!) with some of Forget Me Not’s business supporters in July.

Mark said, “I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to be asked to be an ambassador for Forget Me Not. These guys do unbelievable work. It has to be seen to be believed, they’ve really touched my heart every time I’ve come. What they do here ties in perfectly with what me and the lads are doing with Walking is Brilliant so I had absolutely no hesitation in saying yes when they asked me to join the ambassadors.”

By becoming a Forget Me Not ambassador Mark joins a select group of highly valued supporters of Forget Me Not, including the charity’s patron HRH Princess Beatrice and ambassadors Paralympic Champion Hannah Cockroft, BBC Happy Valley star Rhys Connah, children’s illustrator Chris Mould, Rugby League player Michael Lawrence, BTCC driver Dan Lloyd, golfer Rochelle Morris and Huddersfield Giants talisman Eorl Crabtree.