Spotlight on the Alan Shearer Centre

28 November 2013

Alan and two mayors

Alan Shearer today headed an illuminating tour of the Alan Shearer Centre for a visiting Norwegian dignitary - and lifelong fan!

Alan invited the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr Margaret Wood, and the Mayor of Bergen, Trude Drevland, to view the specialist facilities for disabled people at the Centre.

The Norwegian mayor, who admitted being an admirer of the football legend since she was young, said that she was "so impressed" with the pioneering service offered as well as with Alan's passion for the Centre and the disabled children and adults who were using the facilities.

"It's not just that he puts his name to the place - it's his feeling for it," said Mayor Drevland.

The Lord Mayor's office, which arranged the tour, said that purpose of the visit was to show the Bergen contingent "the excellent care facility we have in the North East so that they may learn from what we are doing and consider introducing something similar in Norway".

The Centre's services manager, Jackie Dunn, said: "We are delighted to be able to showcase the Centre and its great facilities for disabled people on an international level like this."

After the tour Alan said: "In another six or seven years, when I come to Bergen, I'll expect one of these centre's to be built there!"

The Mayor of Bergen, a former nurse, agreed that she would be sending a delegation from Norway to view the Alan Shearer Centre facilities and services.

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle presented Alan with a special bottle of Hadrian Border Brewery brown ale while the mayors were given Alan Shearer Foundation memorabilia and posies from pupils visiting from Gibside School.

Following the Centre visit, the mayoral party went on to the official Christmas tree-lighting ceremony at the Civic Centre. Bergen is Newcastle's twin city and for more than 60 years the community has given a Christmas tree as a symbol of peace and goodwill. It is decorated in traditional Norwegian white lights and is a token of lasting friendship.