One small step for the Broomfield Runners, the group marking its fifth birthday will for the first time “take control” – provide all the volunteers – at this morning’s Northallerton parkrun.

Based in the town, the group was formed by Ruth Woodburn, Julie Shuttleworth and Helen Coulthard, the last two of whom had never run much further than to catch the bus. Now they’re tagged Leader 1 and Leader 2.

They’ve around 15 “core” members, the group’s popularity said to have something to do with the unwritten rule that a good parkrun should be followed by a good breakfast. Toby Carvery’s a favourite – something to do with the Yorkshire puddings, apparently.

They now reckon to have completed about 1,500 individual parkruns, upped to 10k events, finished 33 Great North Runs, have a marathon man in Christian Player and in Roberto Davisworth a guy who completed 1,000 running miles last year.

There’s also a junior group, though there are distractions. “While the group has recorded some successes, it has also suffered significantly from the plague of Playstation which severely incapacitates these young folk,” says Christian. They run and run, nonetheless.

On the day that the US president stuck an unwanted oar into the UK general election, a horse called No Trumps – spotted by Martin Birtle – was out at Wetherby. It won at 7-1.

Former Sunderland manager Peter Reid, 63, spoke at the Northern Alliance dinner in Newcastle on Hallowe’en, his vocabulary almost frighteningly four-lettered.

Such his reputation, indeed, that four of us had a sweep – £2 a head – on how many times the ex-England international would use the f-word and, as the most learned of the quartet put it, gerunds and derivatives thereof.

The most hopeful guess was 17, the most gloomy 45. When the Scouser sat down after 31 greatly uninspiring minutes – and not counting other examples of the blasphemous, the scatological and the downright offensive – he had employed the same obscenity on 75 occasions.

The greatest obscenity of all is that he’s likely to have been paid well into four figures.

Darlington RA secretary Alan Hamilton, a companion at the Alliance dinner, had good reason to recall the last time that England played in the rugby World Cup final.

Back then a Quakers season ticket holder, Alan drove down for the match against Swansea City, managed a swift pre-match pint, learned that the match had been postponed and turned around and headed again.

The round trip, he reckons, was 750 miles – “an awfully long way for single pint of Brain’s.”

Last week’s column on watching the Rugby World Cup semi-final at Darlington Rugby Club quoted a chap from Newcastle who said he’d given up on football after Malcolm Macdonald “wound up” Liverpool in 1974 and Newcastle got hammered.

Old Supermac may well have done but it wasn’t his home debut, as we supposed. As distinguished former North-East sports journalist Doug Weatherall recalls, that was in August 1971 when Supermac hit a hat-trick in a “wonderful” 3-2 win against Liverpool.

“I so enjoyed reporting it that I give him the script of my musings for BBC Radio Newcastle,” says Doug.

Recording the reunion between former England footballer Dave Thomas and Joe Noble-Eddy, the man who taught him at St Helen’s Auckland junior school – the column three weeks ago noted that Joe, now 89, had led efforts to create a football pitch from waste land out the back.

Now a retired teacher himself, former St Helen’s pupil Terry Lewins remembers it, too. “We spent days walking up and down with buckets, picking up stones before the seed could be put down.

“I don’t know what Ofsted would have said about that.”

Long homeless after an enforced move from Timothy Hackworth’s crumbling cottage in Shildon, the Durham Amateur Football Trust have at last found a new office and store – in the former caretaker’s house at King James I school in Bishop Auckland. “It’s a massive step forward,” says DAFT chairman Keith Belton.

Last week’s note on former Football League referee Colin Seel stirred memories of the improbable FA Cup tie between Willington and Blackburn Rovers, November 1973 – the Carlisle ref’s first season in the top flight.

Colin took his dad, Seel senior delighted to see what he took to be a replica FA Cup on the table in Willington’s homely little guest room. “Just like the real thing,” he said, which was probably because it was the real thing.

Sunderland were the holders, someone knew Bob Stokoe. Willington held the six-times winners to a goalless draw but lost the replay 6-1. Brian Newton scored.

….which leads us neatly to last week’s question. The record which Sunderland hold and which can never be beaten is that they’re the only club to have lifted a major trophy in every reign since Victorian times.

The clincher is that they won the league in 1936, when Edward VIII was somewhat precariously on the throne, though the 67 years of the new Elizabethan era have added just one pot to the total.

Readers are today invited to name the three top flight football managers who’ve recorded more than 400 appearances as both player and manager.

Top flight or bottom line, the column hopes very much to return next week.