Lavery tribute to the ‘Ashington Express’

The ‘Ashington Express’ may have arrived at the terminus, but a leading light in Wansbeck has paid the ultimate tribute to a great sporting personality.

After Steve Harmison had announced his retirement from professional cricket, Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck as well as being chairman of Ashington Community Football Club and a good friend of the Harmison family, said that the townspeople should reflect on Steve’s ‘fantastic achievements’.

He said: “Rather than being saddened by Steve’s retirement, we should be boldly celebrating his fantastic sporting achievements.

“Here was a young lad from Ashington who excelled not only on a national basis but on the world stage as one of the fastest bowlers of all times.”

Former England and Durham pace bowler Harmison – dubbed the Ashington Express – bows out after a distinguished career.

He played his part in helping his country to win the Ashes against the Australians on two occasions in 2005 and 2009 and Durham clinch their first County Championship title in 2008.

Lavery added: “Not only that, but Steve himself is a true gentleman who is always courteous and supportive of the area in which he lives.

“He has been a credit both on and off the pitch and has made so many people extremely proud, and I speak for thousands of people from this region in wishing Steve and his family the very best for the future and look forward to seeing much more of him here in his home town of Ashington.”