AN award in honour of a North-East football legend has been presented to hotel owner John Adamson.

The Bob Cass Award, in recognition of services to local football at all levels, was presented at the North East Football Writers Association’s player of the year dinner.

The annual event, held at Mr Adamson’s Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa, Durham, raised more than £3,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in February and has now contributed more than £15,000 over the last ten years.

Mr Cass, originally of Darlington, lived in his later years in Belmont, Durham. He was recognised as one of the best in the field of football journalism, writing exclusives for local and national newspapers over a 50-year career.

He died in November after a long battle with cancer and this year’s awards night for the NEFWA player of the year Jermain Defoe was held in his honour. The evening, now in its 38th year, was instigated by Mr Cass and fittingly, his widow Janet and children Simon, Alison and Jennifer chose the first recipient of an award in his name.

Mr Adamson, who has been a fervent supporter of grassroots sport for many years, was presented with the secret award last month.

He said: “Bob was a huge figure in North-East football and a great friend of the hotel and many people across the region. To receive the award was a great honour and it was a massive shock on the night. “I’m looking forward to helping Bob’s family choose next year’s winner and springing a surprise on them.”

The NEFWA presented a cheque for £3,034 to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation this week at the Copthorne Hotel in Newcastle.

The FA Cup-inspired trophy was sadly the last contribution of Durham Trophies UK owner Colin Verne-Jones, who died last month aged 74, after a short cancer fight. Mr Verne-Jones, of Belmont, Durham, was a former president of the Durham Sunday League and his business provided trophies and medals for sports clubs across the regoin for more than 30 years, including the NEFWA.

He leaves a widow Carole, who helped set up the business, children Lisa and Paul and grandchildren Amy, Charlie, Maisie and Olivia.