TENSIONS will be running high between identical twins John and James McGee when Newcastle play Sunderland this Sunday.

The football mad pair can only be told apart by the colour of their shirts - James follows the family tradition of supporting Sunderland AFC, but brother John shocked his relatives by asking for a Newcastle United shirt when he was aged four.

Now, at the age of 11, the pupils are referred to by their friends as the 'black and white one' and the 'red and white one'.

Julie Wilson, 42, said: "We don't know what happened, we were gobsmacked."

"John's grandad took him to a Newcastle match when he was really young and he's supported them since then.

"We just thought it was a phase that twins go through, wanting to be different than James, but now he's the biggest Newcastle fan I know.

"We've tried to bribe him and everything, but he wasn't having any of it."

It's not hard to work out which bedroom belongs to which twin when you walk in their home in Mountbatten Avenue, Hebburn.

James has red and white stripes with the Black Cats' crest dotted around his room on his curtains and bed sheets, and John's bedroom is decorated identically, but with the black and white colours and the Geordies' crest.

Needless to say, both refuse to set foot in the other's room.

The boys' step-dad Gary Wilson, 40, a Sunderland fanatic, who helped decorate the rooms, said: "I quite enjoyed doing James's room, but it was horrible doing John's, but it's what he wanted."

The boys both play full back for their school football team - James on the left and John on the right.

The twins, whose 16-year-old sister Sarah Gray also supports the Black Cats, have season tickets for their club, and will both be cheering on their team on Sunday afternoon when Sunderland travel to St James's Park for the local derby.

Mrs Wilson added: "They never argue, apart from when they talk about football.

"It's really weird for us when Newcastle win because we love to see John happy, but at the same time we're Sunderland fans and we're not meant to be happy when Newcastle win.

"But the thing about Sunday is that one of them is going to come home devastated... I'm praying for a draw!"