IN 2011, Newcastle United and England hero Alan Shearer was delighted to see a team in black and white lift a football trophy.

The iconic number nine was on hand to present Ponteland United the championship trophy after they had pulled off the great feat of winning the Northern Alliance Premier Division title.

Ponteland secretary Alan Birkinshaw recalled the momentous occasion.

He said: “Fortunately we had contacts with Alan Shearer with the club and we managed to have words with him - obviously he’s a very very busy person - but he kindly agreed to come and present the cup to the team during the following week and he was brilliant with the lads.

“We did ask if he wanted to lift the cup as he’s never won an FA Cup or anything with Newcastle but he politely turned down that opportunity! But he did hold the cup with some of the lads and myself and that was a great experience and we appreciate Alan for coming along to present us with the cup.”

Mr Birkinshaw fondly recalls the 2011 title winning season, which was won in the most dramatic of fashion.

On a dramatic final day of action, Pont fought back from the brink of missing out on the title.

Ponteland, who were playing Blyth Town needed to win their match, and hope that Alnwick Town would slip up and drop points.

Earlier in the week, Alnwick had gone into their game against Heaton Stannington having led the league by a single point and they also had a game in hand over Ponteland. However, after only managing a 3-3 draw in the midweek fixture, the league was still all to play for on the final day of the season.

“The problem was the Alliance League didn’t quite know who was going to win the championship and they were thinking do we go to Alnwick or do we go to Ponteland?” said Mr Birkinshaw. “So they decided to have the trophy half way up the A1! In our game against Blyth Town as it happened we were 2-0 down I think it was, at half time and we thought this has gone - the opportunity has gone to win the Championship. We’d had a great season but this was it.

“But it was a tremendous comeback in the second half and we managed to win 3-2 and Alnwick missed a glorious opportunity at the end to just draw the game.”

Heaton Stannington, who were playing Alnwick for a second time, would again come to Ponteland’s rescue and this time beat the league frontrunners 2-1, meaning Ponteland’s victory over Blyth was enough for them to win the title.

“We had reports that Alnwick were losing and then the final whistle went and we had secured the championship,” added Alan. “It was an unbelievable experience. It had been a terrific game against Blyth Town and the boys were all elated to have achieved such a success. I always remember Tom McKie - the Alnwick chairman - giving me a ring shortly after the game to congratulate me and I’ll never forget that.”

However, despite Ponteland’s title win, the club were unable to move into a higher division. Mr Birkinshaw said: “What happened from there is history because where do you go? Sadly we were unable to get promoted to the Northern League because the ground criteria didn’t match the conditions of the higher league so we were left at square one and with a big challenge for the lads going into the next season.”