AT Heritage Park, appropriately named, Bishop Auckland FC last week opened a permanent photographic exhibition showcasing the club’s uniquely successful history.

Though digitally bucked up, most were from an age when photoshop sold flash powder and a pixel was first cousin to a fairy.

The 18 images had been widely sourced, from the dear old Auckland Chronicle to the Durham County Record Office and from an open day in 2010 that seemed a bit like one of those constabulary amnesties on offensive weapons.

“Quite a few people had gone away from our old Kingsway ground with stuff,” said Bishops’ director Terry Jackson. “We didn’t look after things very well.”

The photographs date back to the 1890s. A wonderful picture from 1900-01 shows the team in Sunday best – “the posh ones have chains on their watches, the others are miners,” someone said by way of dubious social history.

Another recalls the visit of the barefoot Nigerian team to Kingsway in 1949, another portrays the 1939 FA Amateur Cup winning side, a young Bob Paisley standing almost shyly at the back.

Among guests at the launch were former England international David Thomas, now back in Teesdale, whose grandfather – formally David, forever Ticer – is best remembered for his part in West Auckland’s World Cup exploits but who played for the Bishops for many years before.

Young David, now registered blind, is working on his autobiography. October, he reckons.

There, too, was the lustrously names Dehenna Davison-Fareham, prospective Conservative candidate for the now-marginal Bishop Auckland constituency, with her husband who’d been Lord Mayor of Hull. Two Blues meet True Blues, no doubt – but more of them below.

The exhibition’s accompanied by a brochure, sometimes quirkily putting each picture in its context. Did we know, for example, that Hendon were the first team to play under the Wembley floodlights – a trial match – or that five of the ten most capped England amateur internationals were Hendon players.”

The brochure’s adamant: “There was, however, NO southern bias in selecting players for the England amateur team. Definitely not in any way at all. Ever.”

ON the centenary of his birth in Hetton-le-Hole, Bob Paisley was affectionately saluted in last week’s column, too. It reminded Peter Wilkinson of the time that they bumped into one another at Manchester Airport.

David Johnson, the Liverpool striker, had had some unfavourable press. Paisley, recalls Peter, virtually never left his side. “I don’t think he had the greatest respect for tabloid journalists.”

Peter also remembers when Liverpool signed Avi Cohen, the Israeli defender. Seeking a story, a reporter asked Paisley if he were aware that Cohen was an Orthodox Jew and mightn’t be able to play on Saturdays.

“We’ve got a few buggers like that,” said Bob. “That’s the reason we bought him.”

BISHOP AUCKLAND FC secretary Tony Duffy anticipates a conflict of interests. The Ebac Northern League’s annual meeting on June 15 coincides with the Spice Girls concert at Wembley – and Tony, a bit hot on the Spice Girls, already has tickets next to the fan club card in his wallet. Sporty or Scary? “I think the annual meeting might come second,” he says.

BACK to Dehenna Davison-Fareham, still just 25 but already having fought general elections in Hull North and Sedgefield, where in 2017 she increased the Conservative share of the vote by 9.3 per cent.

It wasn’t for that that she made the tabloids last year, however, but for the couple’s appearance on a Channel 4 documentary about marriages which faced opposition.

John, the former Lord Mayor, is 35 years her senior and only eight years younger than her grandfather.

“I asked her for a coffee and when she hadn’t got back to me four months later, I asked again,” he told the Mirror last year. “We went clubbing my style – to the Carlton, the Athenaeum and the Garrick.”

Finally he’d gone down on one knee. “At my age its not so much getting down as getting back up again,” said John.

Dehenna – pronounced as in Vienna, apparently – lists her enthusiasms as muscular cars, baseball and fluffy animals and is training for her first half marathon. Were she to overturn Helen Goodman’s slim 502 majority, she would become Bishop Auckland’s first Tory MP.

The documentary, apparently, chiefly concerned misgivings from her grandfather. It was called Bride and Prejudice.

LETTING the side down, he fears, former Echo photographer and cricket nut Ian Wright – long in the USA – was disappointed to see England’s players leave the field at the end of the Antigua test without properly acknowledging the victors. No such disrespect from the enthusiastically applauding lads behind the suitably emblazoned Saint George's Cross – “Darlington Harrowgate Hill WMC on tour.”

DON COWAN, in Guisborough via Motherwell, noted the reference in last week’s column to the death of the great sports writer Hugh McIlvanney, Kilmarnock boy, believes that rumours of McIlvanney’s bias towards his homeland were unfounded.

Here’s what he wrote, for example, about former national team manager Ally MacLeod. “If, as every Englishman suggests, the Scots ingest a measure of hyperbole with their mother’s milk, Ally MacLeod must have been breast-fed until he was 15.”

STILL faithfully following, former Darlington FC director Peter Ellis was impressed to find outside the Curzon Ashton ground a couple of weeks back a trio of statues of World Cup winners born in the Borough of Tameside.

One was Sir Geoff Hurst, another the late Jimmy Armfield. The surprising identity of the third – and definitely not a West Auckland man – a little later in the column.

NO cameras at the Shildon v Consett Durham Challenge Cup tie last week, but referee John Matthews had been on telly just a couple of nights earlier.

Now a manager at Holme House prison in Stockton, John worked at Durham jail at the time Channel 4’s warts-on-the-wall inside story was shot.

Did you see him on the box? “I was the one getting filled in,” he said.

THE column a fortnight back had cause to recall Chris Matthews, the fast bowler who played his cricket for Shildon BR in the summer of 1987 and for Australia against England two months later.

It stirred painful memories for our old friend Ralph Ord, coincidentally now in Australia himself but playing 30-odd years ago for Crook.

In the bar after a game against Shildon, Ralph and his team mates were comparing “fearful” cricket ball-shaped bruising to the ribs. “I distinctly remember Chris saying that they didn’t hurt so long as you won the game,” says Ralph. “If only he knew.”

TAMESIDE’S third World Cup winner was Simone Perrotta who spent most of his career with Roma and whose 48 Italian caps included being a member of the 2006 World Cup winning team. He was born in 1977 in Ashton-under-Lyne, where parents Francesco and Anna Maria kept a pub, and survived until he was five before heading back to warmer climes.

….and finally, the number of points after which the serve changes in table tennis (Backtrack, February 2) is two. Still playing in his mid-70s, Eric Smallwood knew at once.

On the Railroad to Wembley, Gary Brand wondered if we knew what Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had achieved this season which no Gunner had achieved before.

More high achievement next Saturday.