CURRENT and former players at Haydon Bridge over the past decade went head-to-head as they said farewell to manager Jonny Flanagan.

Well-known within the village, Flanagan has served as manager of the Sunday League team for the past 10 years and he has helped guide the team to the strong position it finds itself in currently.

The team was re-established after a short absence by resident Joseph Tulip and Flanagan came along to assist a year after the team was reinstated in the Hexham and District Sunday League. He became the team’s leading light and guided the Anchor, as it was known until this coming season, to the dizzy heights of Division One for the first time.

They went up to the higher division as Division Two champions in 2016-2017, and they more than held their own the following year. In fact, after a great start, they were considered as Division One title candidates before their challenge fizzled out.

They very nearly did get their hands on silverware that season as they made the final of the Division One KO Cup, losing to Hexham Phoenix on penalties after the teams were tied at 2-2.

To mark his retirement, footballers who have played under him in the past 10 years dusted off their boots to compete against the existing Haydon Bridge side. The current side won 15-14 on penalties after an epic 7-7 draw.

The match doubled up as a fund-raiser for Tiny Lives charity to save thank you to the support they have given close friends Kevin and Philippa Thompson, whose son Ashtyn remains in hospital after being born prematurely.

Around £1,3000 was raised.