WHAT would you bid for a brick?

This particular brick is rectangular and red, and is going under the hammer on Tuesday.

The Northern Echo: The brick which was salvaged when the iconic Darlington landmark was demolished in 2013

And although it just looks very brick-like, it is a piece of local sporting history.

It is one of only three bricks that were retrieved from “the Wembley of the north” when the twin towers at the entrance to Darlington FC’s Feethams ground were demolished in 2013.

Indeed, as Wembley’s twin towers were not built until 1923, the smaller ones at Feethams (well, really there were four of them), which were built in 1913, must surely have been the inspiration for London’s great footballing landmark.

The Northern Echo: The twin towers of Feethams in their heyday

The Northern Echo: PA Library photo dated 7.5.97 : Wembley Way with the twin towers of the stadium. Wembley's Twin Towers may be torn down as the world's most famous stadium is given a drmatic face life, it emerged today (Sunday).  See PA Story SPORT Wembley. PA

The twin towers of Darlington (although there were four of them) and the twin towers of Wembley

Just as Wembley Way – proper name Olympic Way, as it was built in 1948 by German prisoners of war for the Olympic Games – was the grand, mile-long boulevard leading to the gleaming towers 124ft high, so Feethams South was the 100-yard approach leading to Darlington’s towers which must have been a skyscrapping 15ft at least.

The Northern Echo: Fans queue to get into Feethams in 1982

Fans queue to get into Feethams in 1982

But not even Wembley had the ambience of Feethams’ towers: the push through the clanketty turnstiles and then the unique walk around the cricket pitch, underneath the scoreboard and then into the football ground, with the Tin Shed on your right, the East Stand in front of you and the men’s urinals on your left.

Happy days.

Wembley’s twin towers were demolished in 2003, whereas Darlington’s lasted until 2013.

The Northern Echo: The Feethams twin towers coming down in 2013

The Feethams towers are demolished in 2013

Football club chairman George Reynolds said he was dismayed to discover that the cricket club, which owned Feethams, had sold the clanketty turnstiles before he could take them to the new ground to use as a feature, but Rotarian Tony Marshall was passing as the towers were felled and was allowed to remove three bricks as souvenirs. He has since given one away, is keeping the other but the third is to be auctioned at Thomas Watson’s in Darlington on Tuesday.

The first 28 lots in the sale have been donated by members of Darlington Rotary Club and every penny of the hammer price will go to St Teresa’s Hospice.

Google StreetView's record of the entrance to Feethams before and after...

The Northern Echo: Google StreetView's record of the entrance to the football ground in 2009

The Northern Echo: The brick which is under the hammer on Tuesday

Auctioneer Peter Robinson, who will be conducting Tuesday's sale, writes...

I REMEMBER Feethams and Darlington Football Club in the late 1960s well.

Why? Because my father, the infamous Harry Robinson, was a director and chairman of the club, and he dragged my sister and I along to many matches, and not just the home fixtures!

The Northern Echo:

Former Darlington Football Club owner and former Mayor of Darlington Harry Robinson with his wife Paddy Robinson in London in 1976

In addition to attending games, we’d often find ourselves in the summer school holidays helping paint fences, turnstiles, and generally cleaning the place. Can you believe it? I’d be calling Esther Rantzen if it happened today!

Such was the family’s passion for Feethams that when the show came to a close, when a certain person had bigger visions for this small club, the final nail in the coffin was the demolition of the ground.

This included the iconic landmark Wembleyesque quadruple tower entrance.

The event didn’t cause quite the stir of the fall of the Berlin Wall, but a Rotarian, Tony Marshall, took the initiative to rescue three bricks from the rubble, with permission of the workmen. He has since given one away, is obviously keeping one as a souvenir for himself, and we have the final one going under the hammer in our next sale on Tuesday.

This might sound light hearted, but it is a serious matter.

St Teresa’s Hospice in Darlington is a vital asset for our community and needs our support, all of us, all the time. So the first 28 lots of Tuesday’s sale have been brought together by the Darlington Rotary Club for the 100 per cent benefit of St Teresa’s. We at the saleroom are fully on board to get the best result we can.

But… a brick.

It’ll be a first for me but I’m assured there will be bidding. The estimate is £30 to £50. The sale is on Tuesday at 10am, with viewing over the weekend and on Monday.

Peter Robinson, Thomas Watson Auctioneers, Northumberland Street, Darlington

Further info: thomaswatson.com

The Northern Echo: An aerial shot of Feethams showing the cricket ground in the centre with the overgrown site of the football ground at the top. At the bottom of the picture are the "twin towers", shortly before their demolition in 2013

An aerial shot of Feethams showing the cricket ground in the centre with the overgrown site of the football ground at the top. At the bottom of the picture are the "twin towers", shortly before their demolition in 2013