Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Happy Birthday to a Great Sportsman Who Made a Real Impact

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Happy Birthday to a Great Sportsman Who Made a Real Impact

Article excerpt

WHEN you're young and brim full of optimism, success seems just round the next corner.

So it was when I first joined the Chron as a young whipper snapper before I shot off to Fleet Street and returned to travel with Newcastle United.

I was covering Gateshead in those far-off days as they tried to adapt to life after being cruelly voted out of the Football League.

A player I got close to was Jacky Herron, a big barn of a man who closed the door on the oppoosition with a reverberating bang. Well, this evening at Ashington Cricket Club Jacky is having a party to mark his 80th birthday and I wish him well.

My memories are of the Gateshead team under player-manager Bobby Mitchell - Newcastle's FA Cup-winning hero of the 50s - going to Darlington, who were then a Football League club, and thrashing them 4-1 and then leading 3-1 at Carlisle United in the next round, only for part-timers to run out of steam and get caught 4-3. Jacky signed professional forms with Leeds United many moons ago before the maximum wage was abolished but left shortly afterwards, largely because he could earn more as a miner and was homesick - the girlfriend he left behind, Lexa Watson, became his wife but she sadly died in April 2015. …

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