Runners in the region planning to take part in the London Marathon are being urged to raise sponsorship for the Hartlepool and District Hospice.

Sponsored runners will receive a T-shirt and money raised will help provide free specialist services for people with life-threatening illnesses. Help the Hospices is applying to become an official charity for the marathon and the more sponsored runners it can attract, the greater the chance that the application will succeed. For sponsorship forms, call (01429) 288252.

BORO ACHIEVEMENT: Middlesbrough Football Club has been recognised for its anti-racism stance. Chairman Steve Gibson received an award from Show Racism the Red Card before last Saturday's home game with Southampton. Ged Grebby, of the initiative, said: "Middlesbrough are only the second club in the UK to receive our award. They got their reward for staging more than ten events in support of our campaign during last season."

MAN IDENTIFIED: Police have confirmed that a man's death in a house in St Luke's Terrace, Sunderland, was not being treated as suspicious. The body of Colin Metcalfe, 43, was found at lunchtime on Monday after concerns were expressed about his well-being. A file has been passed to the coroner.

WITNESS APPEAL: Police have appealed for witnesses to a fatal crash near the Asda supermarket in Whitley Road, Benton, Newcastle. A spokesman said a 20-year-old cyclist, from Wallsend, North Tyneside, who has not been named, was killed in a collision with a Ford Mondeo at 11.20pm on Monday. Anyone with information is asked to call 0191-214 6555.

MAN INJURED: A 19-year-old driver of a Nissan Micra suffered serious chest and leg injuries when his vehicle and a single-decker bus collided head-on. The accident happened on the A690 Durham Road, in Sunderland, near the junction of Broad Meadows, at 10pm on Monday. Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to call 0191-454 7555.

FANS' NIGHT: Fans of Hartlepool FC have a chance to quiz the Division Three leaders' new manager, Mike Newell, face-to-face tonight. Blackhall RAFA Club, opposite the Co-op store, in Middle Street, Blackhall, east Durham, hosts the question and answer session, from 8pm. Admission is free.

BOOK FAIR: Books galore will be on sale at a fair at Durham Town Hall this week. The even takes place on Friday, between noon and 6pm, and on Saturday, between 10am and 4.30pm. Admission is £1.

FARMERS' MARKET: The January Farmers' Market will be staged in Durham Market Place tomorow, from 9.30am to 3.30pm.