TEN years ago, this week, a former miner said that his late mother was to thank after he struck gold when he won £1m on the Lottery.

Thomas Harwood, then 72, from Ferryhill, County Durham, spent more than 25 years working down the mine in his home town, as well as in pits in Metal Bridge, near Ferryhill, and Washington.

But his tough working life was a distant memory as the great-grandfather, who overcame throat cancer three years prior to the win, celebrated with his family.

Mr Harwood said that on the day of his Euro Millions win he went to lay flowers on the grave of his mother, Olivia, who lived in Spennymoor.

And on the day of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, fate dealt Mr Harwood a royal flush.

"I definitely think my Mam was looking down on me. I'm sure she's got something to do with this win," he said.

Mr Harwood was joined by his family, including his son, Leigh, as he was presented with his cheque at Hardwick Hall, in Sedgefield, County Durham.

He said he had his eye on a static caravan by the sea near Redcar.

His ticket was bought from a Sainsbury's Local store in Ferryhill.

Wembley joy for Quakers

Meanwhile, Nearly 10,000 Darlingtonians descended on Wembley to witness Chris Senior's extra-time goal secured the club's first major knockout trophy.

After two spells in administration, relegation from the Football League and a mixed first season in the Blue Square Bet Premier, Quakers had returned to the footballing big time.

Some supporters had been willing to travel from the opposite side of the world to see history in the making.

Darlington's players were not exactly quick on the draw, waiting until the 120th minute to score the winner, but it was maybe just as well that a shoot-out was avoided.

As well as being a day for reunions, it was also an afternoon for fancy dress. There was black-and-white headgear in a variety of forms, from mohicans to mullets, perms to panamas.

Bin Laden: Justice served

Meanwhile, the body of Osama bin Laden was buried at sea after the world's most wanted terrorist was shot in the head during a dramatic raid on his compound by an elite force of US Navy Seals.

The US and Britain warned of violent reprisals from al Qaida following the death of the elusive figurehead behind the Islamist violence, which sparked wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and claimed thousands of lives.

The death of Saudi-born bin Laden came months short of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

There was surprise that the 54-year-old was finally cornered not in the lawless tribal areas of the Afghan frontier, but at a luxury mansion complex close to a military academy in the garrison town of Abbottabad, in Pakistan.

Announcing bin Laden's death, President Barack Obama said: "Justice has been done."

US officials said that as well as bin Laden, three other men, including his son and two suspected al Qaida couriers, and a woman being used as a human shield also died.