BBC Tees radio presenter Paul ‘Goffy’ Gough has helped make a Darlington man’s 80th birthday party extra special.

Stan Summers recently celebrated his birthday with family and friends at the Darlington Club and Institute on High Northgate in Darlington in November.

Mr Summers has kept a long-running connection with the radio presenter which dates back to September 1994 when Goffy started out on his career at the Gateshead-based regional station, Century Radio.

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Mr Gough said: “Stan and his wife Aileen were some of the very first listeners when I was starting out on the radio across the North East for Century and the messages and connection have remained to this day. After every BBC Radio Tees show these days, up pops a message from Stan and his wife Aileen letting me know they enjoyed my company via the radio.

“We had never met personally and earlier this year Stan messaged me to let me know it was his big 80th birthday bash at the end of the year and he told me it would be great if we could finally meet up after our many years of contact.

“It was very humbling to be thought of in that way as I understood how very personal such a milestone event would be, so I put in my diary and thought it would be fun to go along and surprise them without letting them know ahead of Stan’s big night.”

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Mr Summers said: “It was a lovely surprise when Goffy turned up unannounced at my special get-together. We have listened to him for a long time and kept up a connection during his shows.

“We love radio and have built up a warm friendship with Goffy through the years and love the fun he brings when he broadcasts on air. It was a very emotional evening and it really hit me hard to reflect. We have been through so much together and despite the recent turmoil and devastation of Covid we are still here thankfully.

“It’s so very sad for those that we have lost along the way.”

Mr Summers is a well-known figure in the town and is President of the Darlington Club and Institute, the town’s oldest workingmen’s club.

He spent many years working for Northern Electric as a safety officer and was also a prominent figure for many years in the Amalgamated Engineering Electrical Union.


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