FORMER Newcastle and England football star Peter Beardsley will be the special guest at an ice rink's closing party.

Mr Beardsley, Newcastle United Football Club's under 19 academy coach, will be among those taking part in the Black and White Bonanza, at the Baltic Square ice rink, in Gateshead, on Sunday.

The skating spectacular, with the club's young supporters and Metro Radio, will start at 4.30pm, and will include competitions with spot prizes including two tickets to the following Saturday's game between Newcastle and Manchester City.

There will also be the chance to win family tickets to the opening night of Holiday on Ice at the Telewest Arena on April 9.

The event will begin with an ice dancing display, then Mr Beardsley will be joined by NUFC mascots Monty and Maggie to launch the ice rink's last evening by cutting a black and white ribbon.

Tim Cantle Jones, managing director of Polar Productions, the firm behind the ice rink, said: "Over 10,000 visitors to date have enjoyed the skating experience at the Baltic Square rink.

"We are expecting another 3,000 to 4,000 before it closes on January 12.

"Thanks to sponsorship from Holiday on Ice and Sportsmatch, we have been able to subsidise a learn-to-skate programme, and have attracted many youngsters to a sport which they can continue at established rinks.

"I have been absolutely delighted to be working with Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council at what we feel has been one of the best ice rinks in the country."