A BELOVED baker has celebrated keeping football fans on their feet for over a decade.

Baker Johnny Hall has worked at Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park Stadium for the past 13 years.

He has kept the Toon Army marching by providing the rolls for hot dogs and hot beef sandwiches to the 50,000-strong crowds on Newcastle matchdays.

He is solely responsible for all of the baking on site at the stadium.

The baker makes everything from cakes and scones to traditional North-East fan favourite stottie cakes.

The 37-year-old originally from Boldon Colliery, trained as a chef before deciding he preferred working with dough and switched to the art of baking.

Following stints at Asda and several hotels, pubs and cafés in the North-East, he joined the catering team at St. James’ Park as an assistant baker before climbing the ranks.

Now head baker, from his kitchen – one of 16 at the stadium – he works flat out to make, from scratch, the 2,000 bread rolls, 300 stottie cakes and 54 lemon drizzle, carrot and coffee cakes that are needed on match days alone.

He said: “I like making stotties, which is just as well because when St. James’ Park was one of the chosen venues for the 2012 Olympics I ended up baking 35,000 of them.

“There’s nothing to beat the buzz around match days.

"It never seems like work because I can set my own pace and I just get on with it.”

The stadium is one of the region’s leading conference and event venues meaning Mr Hall has to bake anything that visitors or delegates may require, from gluten free breads and cakes to breakfast croissants and pastries.

He said: “I just love bread, though.

“In fact, I like anything sweet and I don’t get lonely because my kitchen’s next to the others so there are always people to talk to.

“People are always surprised when I tell them what I do – I think most people assume venues as big as this just buy everything in.

"It’s quite unusual for a stadium to have its own on site baker, so I’m very lucky.

“There’s always something going on here as well, so each day brings a new challenge.”

If you would like further information about conferencing and organised events at St. James’ Park – based in Newcastle – call the events team on 0191-2018525 or e-mail events@nufc.co.uk