When Elswick Harriers’ Mike McLeod won the First Newcastle Sports Personality award in 1978, it began a lifelong association with Sport Newcastle. ‘The Elswick Express’ won the award on two further occasions, re ecting a career that brought an Olympic silver medal at 10,000m and victory in the inaugural Great North Run. Mike is still a vice-president with Sport Newcastle while his son - England International athlete Ryan - received support as a Sports Scholar.
The World Champion 1,500m runner Steve Cram may have represented Jarrow and supported Sunderland, but the 1986 Sports Personality was living in the City of Newcastle when he smashed world records and won Olympic silver.
Triple-jumper Jonathan Edwards was an adopted Geordie who was the rst Olympic Gold medalist the city could honour when he won his second Sports Personality title in 2001.
Newcastle has become a worldwide focal point for athletics thanks to the annual showcase of the Great North Run. Organisers Nova International were rewarded with the Frank Brennan Trophy, which has also saluted the work of legendary physio Norman Anderson and a string of coaches.