It was Joseph, wasn’t it, who had all those vivid and meaningful dreams? Him and me – he and I – anyway.
The idea from the Northern League Club came to me in a dream. In dreamland it would have stayed but for the inspiration and the dedication of Martin Haworth – and all in Northern League football know that “Martin and Denise Haworth” is almost a singular noun.
They have been as inseparable as they have been invaluable. Martin, a former Durham City programme editor, became Club secretary from its unforgettable launch by Sir Bobby Robson in 1999. Denise was officially treasurer, but also nursed and developed the website which, in time, became the league website.
Those two dragged the Northern League, and its chairman, kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
Martin’s official involvement ended when the Club wound up last summer. Now I hear that Denise is to step down as webmaster at the end of 2017-18.
None knows, nor probably could comprehend, the unpaid hours which those two have devoted to the Northern League. The midnight oil tanker has been awfully busy around Morpeth. Their contribution has been immense, their patience extraordinary, their know-how invaluable and their dedication unique.
In the past season they may not have been sighted quite as much around the grounds – “but those who say they haven’t seen us weren’t watching Match of the Day2 on April 30,” says Martin.
Goodness knows they’ve earned a break.
*Searching for something else entirely, Ray Ion in Newcastle comes across a 1960 edition of The Journal, recording the Northern League management committee’s embarrassment at having congratulated Penrith on winning the Cumberland Senior Cup.
The committee had made the mistake of believing all that they read in the papers. One of them – “not The Journal” the paragraph added, rather smugly – had reported a 2-1 victory. In truth it was Gretna who’d won 2-1.
Back then it was billed as an honest mistake; today it would be fake news.