The royal train descended upon York Station on Friday, February 20, 2009 to allow then Prince of Wales – now King Charles III – to officially name Tornado.

Press were gathered as Tornado – built in Darlington – chugged briefly through the station, giving the assembled masses a preview of what was to come.

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Then, on time, at 10am the royal train pulled alongside the platform and the familiar brown-coated figure of Prince Charles stepped out to meet the gathered dignitaries before working his way to the head of the train to officially name Tornado.

Mark Allatt, chairman of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the organisation behind the £3m locomotive, said: "Nineteen years ago we set out to build and operate a mainline steam locomotive.

"We have now completed the mission and it's the ultimate honour for the A1 Trust to have the Prince of Wales and her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall to name our locomotive.

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"It's the dedication, vision and generosity of our thousands of supporters that have made today happen."

It was what Sir Bobby Robson described as a "perfect day" – the day on which he saw the culmination of a year-long campaign to build a cancer research centre in his beloved North-East, on February 21, 2009.

Having raised more than £1.2m – his original target of £500,000 was exceeded in only seven weeks – he was joined by England coach Fabio Capello to open the cancer research centre in his name.

Capello and a host of other football stars joined him at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, to hand over a £75,000 contribution from the Football Association to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

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At the opening of the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, the then-76-year-old, who was diagnosed with cancer for a fifth time in 2008, talked about his battles with the disease and the inspiration he has drawn from his fellow patients.

The Northern Echo became the sponsor of the Darlington Arena. Darlington FC's stadium was renamed The Northern Echo Darlington Arena as part of a partnership between the club and the newspaper, in February 2009.

The organisations aimed to work together to raise the club's profile, stimulate sales and increase awareness of non-matchday events at the stadium.