Good sports back together for reunion

Ray Armstrong, Geoff Wade and John Widdowson.
Ray Armstrong, Geoff Wade and John Widdowson.

A REUNION was held for former college staff and students who took part in sports 50 years ago.

The event was held at New College Durham’s Le Nouveau restaurant and attracted 42 people, most of whom had not seen each other for half a century.

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

Following his football success at the college, Geoff became a well-respected player and manager at Horden Colliery Welfare AFC for more than 20 years and subsequently at other local clubs including Ferryhill Athletic and Crook Town.

The event, organised by former students of 1963 John Whitfield and Tom Baker, also included a tour of the college’s multi-million-pound sports facilities.

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

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

Ray said: “We were the fittest team back in the day and could out run any other college team.” The event revived many old memories including a challenge match that Ray organised against Calella in Spain. Mr Widdowson said: “The college isn’t just about buildings; it’s about people. Everyone here is part of our heritage.”