Ashington CFC chairman and Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery lavished praise on Wansbeck’s own cricketing hero Stephen Harmison after the two times Ashes winner had brought a big stage to the area recently with his own Northumberland XI taking on a Newcastle United XI in a testimonial football match as part of his benefit year.
Mr Lavery said: “It was great for Stephen but I think the most important point was that he approached me about holding an event in Ashington – because he is an Ashington lad.
“He had a lot of events within his testimonial year at some prestigious places, but Stephen was determined to have an evening in Ashington for the people of Ashington at Ashington prices.
“He stuck to his guns and we were able as a club to host the match and that is great credit to Stephen and the way he thinks.
“One thing about him, he knows where he comes from and he is extremely proud of it – and great credit to him.
“As it happened, the game took place on the worst night of the year so far.
“But because Stephen is who he is and is much respected in sport and has got tremendous respect in this area as well as being one of life’s true gentlemen, the people were delighted to turn out and support him and basically support the Sir Bobby Robson charity.
“It was a great event in the stormiest weather so far but it culminated in a great night in the clubhouse as well with John Carver and other people from Newcastle United and Stephen himself hosting the event.”