GETTING on 40 years since first he helped tell the story of West Auckland’s World Cup wins, Geordie actor Tim Healy is reliving the role.

Back in 1982, Healy – now 67 – played “Dirty” Charlie Hogg in the ITV film A Captain’s Tale, alongside Dennis Waterman as Bob Jones, Thornaby-born actor Richard Griffiths as team manager Sidney Barron and David Bradley – Billy Casper in Kes – as David “Ticer” Thomas.

Now he’s providing the voiceover – free of charge – for a new video promoting the club and celebrating the heady days of 1909 and 1911.

It’s called Our Cup of Tea, a toast to tea company magnate Sir Thomas Lipton who put up the original trophy.

“Tim said he had very fond memories of making the first film and he was delighted to help again,” says Russell Howes, managing director of production company Movingadverts which is also working without charge.

“We want to help the club and to make the story known to the modern generation,” he adds.

The video, which they hope will compete at film festivals around the world – “I’m confident it’ll be a strong contender,” says Rob Kilburn, the director –also features contributions from England international Dave Thomas – Ticer’s grandson, featured hereabouts a fair bit of late – and, doubtless much edited, from the former Northern League chairman. My bit was interrupted by a bluebottle.

The video is expected to be released later this month.

GARY LINEKER’S new book recalls England days alongside Gazza at Wembley. Whenever there was a marching band, says Lineker, the Dunston daft lad would try – from a distance – to hit a bandsman with the ball. His dream, unfulfilled, was to land one in the tuba – “he hit the bass drum a couple of times, though.”

AFTER 27 years of living almost literally around the corner, world champion athlete Sharon Gayter has paid only her second visit to Guisborough Town FC’s ground. “It was you to blame that time as well,” she insists.

At the beginning of last month, it will be recalled, the 54-year-old chronic asthmatic sliced four hours off the record for running the 822 miles from John o’ Groats to Lands End, reaching Cornwall’s most westerly point in under 12-and-a-half days.

“I’m even getting folk stopping me in Aldi,” she reports.

Football may not even be her number two sport, however. “Which ones are the red and whites?” she enquired before retiring for a clubhouse blether with another Sharon of the column’s close acquaintance.

Next year, she told a sponsors’ Q&A session, she hopes to break the men’s record for the Northern 500 around Scotland’s furthest extremities– “some people think they’re doing well travelling it in a motor home” – and the world record for a million metres on a treadmill.

That one was first mooted as 1,000k, about 620 miles, but administrators didn’t like the sound of it. Sharon hasn’t yet explained that a million metres is, as they say, equidistant.

Groundtastic magazine, for which thanks to Gary Brand, reports that Bedfordshire club Stotfold – they of Roker Park, about which we’ve written previously – should be playing at their new home by the end of October. Unlike their bigger brother, there’ll be none of this Stadium of Light stuff. The ground will be called New Roker Park.

SEASON run, the Cricket Yorkshire website has published its annual top 50 of “stars from the grass roots game”, from Hanging Heaton to Haworth West End and from Woodlands to Whiston Parish Church.

Among those lauded is Chris Layfield, one of a great Richmondshire dynasty, whose 1,358 runs helped the club to another NYSD League title.

There’s a chap who leads the county’s visually impaired side, a tea lady upon whom deserved praise is poured and there’s the splendidly named Adrianna Darlow of the Sessay Emeralds ladies’ team, near Thirsk.

Sam Drury with five centuries is said to be the toast of Scarborough, “wily veteran spinner” Muhammad Zahid added another 88 victims to his total for Guisborough and Dan Willey of East Harsley, near Northallerton, came within a whisker of both batting and bowling awards in the Langbaurgh League.

One nomination is particularly gratifying however – “his column continues to shine a light on lesser known cricket leagues, providing vital coverage of the grass roots game.”

I’m honoured; thanks, guys.

STEVE McMahon, once said by Vinnie Jones to be the only real rival to his “accolade” of the hardest man in football, did a question and answer at Bishop Auckland Cricket Club last Friday evening.

The audience proved restless, raucous even. That was a bit of a hard shift, too. “You must have been expecting Steve McManaman,” he said.

Capped 17 times by England, best remembered at Liverpool, he played also for Everton, Aston Villa and Manchester City and spent 14 years working on television in the Middle East before returning 18 months ago.

“When you tell people in Liverpool that you’ve been away for 14 years they assume it was in Walton jail,” he said.

He feigned surprise at Jones’s observation – “I thought I was quite fair” – loved Sir Bobby Robson, wasn’t so keen on one or two more.

The man they called Macca is now 58, and here’s the really interesting bit. He remains the last Liverpool captain to lift the top division championship trophy.

….and finally, the five English footballers who’ve played in a European Cup or Champions League final for a “foreign” club (Backtrack, September 28) are Kevin Keegan, Laurie Cunningham, Chris Waddle, Owen Hargreaves and Steve McManaman.

An intriguing question today from last Wednesday’s Stockton Town programme: what was unique about Manchester City’s relegation from the old first division in 1937-38?

Maybe not unique, perhaps a bit different, the column returns next week.