See Sunderland AFC legend Kevin Ball and Newcastle United hero Supermac bring Christmas cheer to crowds

Fans of football and all things Christmassy turned out to see the festive lights of Boldon lit up.

Friday, 23rd November 2018, 5:57 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd November 2018, 6:04 pm
Kevin Ball and Malcolm Macdonald team up to help switch on Boldon's Christmas lights

Former Sunderland skipper Kevin Ball and legendary Newcastle United striker Malcolm Macdonald put their club rivalry aside to be guests of honour at the all important Christmas lights switch on.

The event organised by Boldon Community Centre, was held within the grounds of the venue in New Road and attracted hundreds of people of all ages with entertainment provided by choirs from West Boldon and Hedworth Lane Primary Schools.

Kevin Ball and Malcolm Macdonald team up to help switch on Boldon's Christmas lights

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It is the first time the event has taken place and was prompted by feedback from, residents who felt the area was forgotten about at this time of year.

The Christmas tree was chosen by a group of youngsters from West Boldon and Hedworth Lane Primary Schools, Boldon School and Boldon CA, who visited Woodburn Forest.

Sue Topping, who took over the running of the venue last April said: “It has been brilliant and so emotional.

“It seems like at least half of the colliery has turned out - it has just been amazing and definitely something we’ll do again next year.

Youngsters light candles at the Christmas lights switch-on

“Santa arriving on his horse and cart was fantastic - it’s just been a brilliant event and everyone seems to have enjoyed it.”

Former Black Cats captain Ball has also held the role of caretaker manager at the Stadium of Light and is currently a club ambassador.

During his time at Sunderland he played 389 games and scored 27 goals.

A former club captain, he won the title of Sunderland Player of the Year for the 1990–91 season, and again in 1996–97.

Youngsters at the Boldon Christmas lights switch-on

Ex-England international Macdonald holds the honour of being the Magpies’ fifth highest goalscorer.

After retiring from the playing he went into management. He is currently the President of North Shields Football Club.

The pair were joined by Santa, who arrived on his horse and cart, and the areas three councillors Joanne Bell, Alison Strike and Sandra Duncan to turn on the lights.

The switch on was followed by a festive fayre where a number of stall holders showcased a range of items for sale, before dance, yoga and boxing displays took place.

Christmas carols being sung at the Boldon Christmas lights switch-on

The event was made possible with funding and support from Boldon Community Centre, Boldon School, ASDA, and £1,000 Community Area Forum grant from South Tyneside Council.