AN award-winning businessman has earned another “county call-up”, decades after representing Durham Schoolboys’ football team at every age level.

But developer Peter Candler’s latest calling is to the ceremonial role as Durham’s High Sheriff.

The managing director of Durham-based Rivergreen Developments was sworn into office at Durham Crown Court, where his predecessor, Stephen Cronin, handed over the badge of office and later the ceremonial Chief Constable’s sword.

Presiding over the ceremony, Judge Christopher Prince, the Honorary Judicial Recorder of Durham, told Mr Candler they share a common interest in football.

“The only reason I had to become a lawyer and judge was because I was released following a trial at Chelsea.

“Peter was somewhat more successful.”

Judge Prince said Mr Candler also went on to play for England Schoolboys.

The judge agreed with Mr Candler’s suggestion he may the first High Sheriff of Durham to have represented both his county and country at schoolboy football.

“Perhaps, somewhere between the judiciary and the shrievalty we could yet put a decent veterans’ five-a-side team together.”

Describing his company’s recent history as, “one of the region’s success stories” the judge said the High Sheriff’s post has gone to, “a good man”.

He added: “So good, I am told they turned him down for the Sheriff’s job at Nottingham.”