Pools legend Brian Honour’s brother to be immortalised in new book

John Honour on a recent visit to Horden.
John Honour on a recent visit to Horden.

A new book about the lesser-known footballing brother of Pools legend Brian Honour is set to be released.

John Honour was an apprentice at West Bromwich Albion before playing for Hartlepool United and Workington Town in the Football League.

John Honour during his playing days.

John Honour during his playing days.

‘Man of Honour – the forgotten footballer’ tells the story of John, who grew up in Horden and eventually went on to represent the likes of Horden, Blackhall Colliery Welfare and Chester-le-Street.

The book has been written by retired probation officer John Riddle, from Hartlepool, who worked at HMP Frankland and HMP Durham, and has since become the sports editor of an English language newspaper in Tenerife, Spain.

Mr Riddle weaves into John’s story, from the muddy fields of Horden to the hard life in the local colliery and losing out on an apprenticeship at Newcastle Unied.

He said: “It is many young lads’ dream to become a professional footballer, but these days the chance of becoming the next David Beckham, Harry Kane or Jamie Vardy is becoming even more remote.

These days the chance of becoming the next David Beckham, Harry Kane or Jamie Vardy is becoming even more remote

John Riddle

“Many will try, some may succeed, but many more will fail, but not for the want of trying.

“They, like John Honour, will disappear from the game into the mists of time until some ageing hacker shares their story.”

John Honour worked in industry before moving to Puerto Colon, in Tenerife, where he is the landlord of the Hop and Grapes.

The book will also tell the story of how he named his son after one of his West Brom team-mates, Asa Hartford, and how he was asked to ‘keep an eye’ on another North East youngster, Bryan Robson, who would go on to captain England.

Author John Riddle during his time working at HMP Durham.

Author John Riddle during his time working at HMP Durham.

John eventually languished in the lower leagues and non-league football, barely able to make a living from the game.

His younger brother Brian is often referred to as Mr Hartlepool United, having spent 10 years playing for the club, while he is still involved with the club as a pundit.

The book will be released in time for Christmas, with Mr Riddle having also written ‘The Life of Brian Honour’ in the past.

‘A Man of Honour – The Forgotten Footballer’ is available direct from the author or at the Hop and Grapes in Puerto Colon, Tenerife.

Brian Honour on the pitch at The Vic.

Brian Honour on the pitch at The Vic.

Contact Mr Riddle by email on: johnriddle12@yahoo.co.uk.