Former football friends reunited

(l-r)Ray Armstrong, Geoff Wade and John Widdowson.

(l-r)Ray Armstrong, Geoff Wade and John Widdowson.

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TEAM spirit was in full flow when former sports friends reunited after more than 50 years.

The former football playing staff and students at New College Durham came together again for a special reunion night.

Class of 1963 reunion, which was organised by former students, John Whitfield and Tom Baker, included a meal in the Framwellgate College’s Le Nouveau Restaurant and a tour of the multi-million pound sports facilities.

Most of the 42 people who attended the event had not seen each other for half a century.

Among the guests were John Bland, a former student and now examinations officer at New College Durham and Sam Stoker, who was a member of staff at the college in 1963 and later taught at Durham University where coincidently he tutored for New College Durham’s current principal, John Widdowson.

During the reunion a trophy was presented for services to college football to former mechanical engineering lecturer, Ray Armstrong, who ran the college football team for 16 years.

Ray, who said he would never forget his time at the college, said: “We were the fittest team back in the day and could out run any other college team.”

Geoff Wade, a student in 1963, was also presented with a trophy for his achievements in football.

Following his football success at New College Durham, Geoff became a well-respected player and manager at Horden Colliery Welfare AFC for more than 20 years and was known for his passion and dedication.