Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Stars' Tribute to Local Hero

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Stars' Tribute to Local Hero

Article excerpt

Byline: By Mitya Underwood

Mark Knopfler honoured at home city event

Rock legend Mark Knopfler got a real local hero's welcome when he collected a tribute award.

Famous fans stood and cheered as the Dire Straits guitarist launched into a rendition of one of his most famous hits, Local Hero.

He was at a ceremony at Newcastle Civic Centre to be honoured by the Variety Club of Great Britain's northern region.

Flanked by friends and fans from the worlds of sport, entertainment and music, Knopfler was given the prestigious Silver Heart.

Guests at the ceremony included former England and Toon star Alan Shearer, actors Tim Healy and Jimmy Nail, The Shadows' Brian Welch, former boxer Glenn McCrory and TV presenter Mike Neville.

Despite Knopfler being presented with a myriad of awards over his sparkling career which began in the early 1980s, he conceded that the Silver Heart outshone them all.

He said: "I've been presented with all sorts of things over the years, including Grammies and gold records, but this is extremely special.

"It's also my mum Louisa Mary's 80th birthday, so I hope it's a good birthday present."

Knopfler heard a variety of tributes at the ceremony, some from his top-table guests and others from stars who had recorded tributes from all around the world.

Alan Shearer, who was at the event with his wife Lainya, paid tribute to the Gosforth-born musician, describing him as the "real local hero".

He said: "I borrowed the name 'local hero' for 10 years, but I think Mark is the real local hero ( he's the real star.

"It's a great pleasure to be here with one of my heroes I grew up with. Mark went to Gosforth High School like me; my teacher always told me to stick in at music. I might have made a few of the quid Mark has done if I'd done that."

Auf Wiedersehen Pet and long-time friend of Knopfler's, Jimmy Nail, also praised the guitarist. …

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