A TROPHY won by a pioneering cycling champion goes under the hammer at a North-East auction house on Friday.

Legendary Tyneside sportsman Jack Green blazed a trail in the fledgling world of cycle racing of the late Victorian era.

The Felling Flyer was presented with the elaborately embossed and inscribed punchbowl after he won the Harrogate Challenge Trophy for the third year running, in 1894.

Newcastle auction firm Anderson and Garland rates it as one of the most impressive sporting trophies it has offered for sale and expects it to attract bids of several thousand pounds.

Partner Andrew McCoull said: "Cycle racing had just come into its own as a major competition activity when Jack began as an amateur, about 1880, and he soon established himself as a rider of international importance.

"In fact, when he retired from racing in 1902 and became a Newcastle publican, a special dinner was held for him at the city's Metropole Hotel, in Clayton Street, to mark the event."

Green's achievements were well chronicled in the regional press of the period.

The Newcastle Daily Leader's report of the dinner said: "For over 20 years, he has stood head and shoulders above his confreres on the track, and all over the world Tyneside has been honoured by him."

The trophy is being sold by Green's great nephew, Joe Burns, on behalf of his elderly mother, who fears losing it through burglary.

Mr McCoull said: "It is their hope that it will remain in the North-East as an important part of the area's sporting heritage."