ON muddy football pitches across the North-East, the centenary of the end of the First World War will be marked in a special way.

Members of the Chester-le-Street Amazons, representing 11 teams, will be playing their matches  at the weekend wearing woollen poppies lovingly created in memory of a family of war heroes.

Sue Christie, a close friend of award-winning Amazons’ founder, Julie Scurfield, has spent six months crocheting 300 poppies for the Amazons and their parents to wear.

It was a labour of love to remember heroes from her own family, including her father, Douglas Broadway Crane, who was captured as a prisoner of war after dropping into Arnhem with the 1st Parachute Regiment during the Second World War in September 1944.

After liberation, he made his way home, where he was treated in hospital for post-traumatic stress and scarlet fever.

Sue’s grandfather, Herbert Devereux, had been gassed at Ypres in the First World War and, although not expected to live, he recovered to return to active service as a driver,  picking up the wounded from the front-line.

And her great uncle, William Charles Arnold, a private in the London Regiment, was killed at Belleau Woods, in France, in March 1918, and is buried in Arras.

Sue, who lives in Hertfordshire, will be travelling up to County Durham to see her poppies being worn on the Amazons’ strips, before the girls go on to attend the Remembrance parade in Chester-le-Street, and lay a wreath, the following day.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but the North-East,” she said. “I always shed a tear on Remembrance weekend, but this year will be especially emotional – I’ll be bringing a box of tissues with me.”

Julie added: “Everyone is raving about the poppies and the young ones are so excited about wearing them with pride.”

Remembrance is at its most powerful when the generations are brought together, and The Amazons’ poppies are a heart-warming example.

A HEART-WARMING post-script to last week’s column about Joan Lawrence, mum of missing York chef Claudia Lawrence.

Joan went public about how the stress of Claudia’s disappearance has led to her losing her hair, and how she had decided to wear a wig.

The day after the column was published, Joan was contacted by a woman who was also affected by hair loss but hadn’t had the courage to wear a wig. Reading Joan’s story inspired her to go for a fitting.

“I’ve offered to go with her,” Joan told me.

What a star.

IT was a honour to speak at the annual Henry Jenkins Memorial Dinner at Catterick Racecourse.

To my shame, I’d missed out on the story about Jenkins, who was reputed to have lived until 169.

What is beyond doubt is that he died in 1670, and is honoured with a memorial to his longevity at Bolton-on-Swale, in North Yorkshire.

The dinner raises thousands of pounds for national and local charities and will this year benefit those affected by motor neurone disease and strokes, as well as children in Scorton through the extension of a play area.

My fellow speaker was Sam Bratley, a local farmer turned raconteur, and he drew a few raised eyebrows and the odd gasp when beginning a story about a couple who always used Vaseline during sex.

“What do you do with it?” asked a friend of the husband.

“We smear it on the door knob and by the time the kids manage to get in, we’ve just about finished.”

FINALLY, thank you to the members of Stokesley Women’s Network who came out last week to hear me tell a few tales from my lifetime in newspapers.

I’m well aware, ladies, that you all really wanted to stay in for the final of The Great British Bake-off, but your sacrifice is noted.

Unlike all but three members of Witton-le-Wear WI who deserted me for Cliff Richard at Newcastle City Hall not so long ago.