Football legend Alan Shearer is to appear on a television programme about the Northern League.
And the man behind the North East Football Show is in the processing of organising two charity games involving ex-professionals and celebrities at Morpeth Town’s Craik Park ground.
Anthony Rutherford, originally from Bedlington, has already achieved success as a professional dancer.
That includes being crowned British team champion in Latin and ballroom dancing and working on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing as a backing dancer and cover for one of the pros during rehearsals.
The 32-year-old is also passionate about non-league football in the North East and Northumberland and felt there was a market for a show mainly covering the Northern League.
As well as club profiles, former professionals are featured on the programme, presented by Rutherford and Les Langley, and England and Newcastle United legend Shearer appears in tomorrow’s episode.
Rutherford said: “I don’t think there is enough publicity from Northern League clubs, given the excellent standard and the good attendances for a lot of the clubs.
“I took the idea to the people in charge at Made in Tyne & Wear, and they loved it. The first run of episodes went well, and we are building up followers on social media.
“I have connections with ex-pros, but others such as Peter Beardsley have got in touch after being impressed with what they have seen.
“It was great to meet Shearer at the official opening of refurbished facilities at South Shields FC, and the interview is included in tomorrow’s episode, which starts at 9.30pm.
“The increased profile has helped clubs to generate more sponsorship and we’ve had messages saying that groups of players have met up to watch an episode together when their team has been featured.
“We have strong links with Ashington AFC. Our very first show featured the club and we were recently there to cover the opening of its new stand.
“We have also built up a good relationship with Morpeth Town chairman Ken Beattie, and the charity football games at Craik Park are set to take place before Christmas and at the end of the season.”
He added: “The good causes to benefit will be North East ones that the teams themselves will choose.
“Ex-pros who are on board include Steve Howey and Gary Bennett and former England cricketer Steve Harmison has also agreed to play.
“There will be a range of celebrities such as Kevin Clifton and Aljaz Skorjanec from Strictly Come Dancing.
“We also do a few things people would not expect from this type of show. For example, we had an interview with the Chuckle Brothers.
“I know Paul well and when they were in the North East in late summer, I asked him if he and Barry they would appear on the programme as they really know their football and they are honorary life presidents of Rotherham United.
“We’re also starting to film links for the show from well-known North East landmarks.”
For more information about upcoming episodes, visit the North East Football Show Facebook page or search @footballshowne on Twitter.