South Tyneside sporting hero Harry Clasper has been celebrated with a new website set up in his honour.
The Geordie rower, who led a team from Tyneside to win the World Championship in 1845, is recognised as a great of his sport.
The region can proudly boast sporting greats and world champions, but Harry Clasper was arguably the greatest of them all.Richard Flood
Born in Dunston and raised in Jarrow, ‘Hadaway’ was the man for whom the Blaydon Races was written in 1862, and his funeral was attended by more than 130,000 people in 1870.
His legacy lives on, thanks largely to the World Rowing Championship win, which saw the title brought back to the Tyne for the first time.
The Tyneside team beat rowers from London, who were thought to be unassailable on the Thames, and the victory caused a sensation on an international scale.
The website set up in the former miner’s honour, www.hadawayharry.co.uk, was designed by Sophie Teasdale and Richard Flood of Von Fox Promotions.
Mr Flood said: “The region can proudly boast sporting greats and world champions, but Harry Clasper was arguably the greatest of them all.
“Sadly, he’s a forgotten hero, but hopefully this website will help inform people, and there may be people with information about Harry that we can share.”
Last year, a successful play about the former rower, called Hadaway Harry, toured Tyneside, and it will transfer to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal in February 2017.
The play was written by Ed Waugh, stars Jamie Brown and is directed by Russell Floyd.
Harry, meanwhile, will also be featured on Robson Green’s new ITV series Further Tales of Northumberland on Monday, April 4 and 8pm.
Mr Waugh said: “Last year, BBC’s Inside Out did a fantastic feature on Harry, and to have Robson Green pick up on the story is brilliant.
“This region has produced fantastic singers, songwriters and sportspeople who have been forgotten because history is only taught about the privileged classes and kings and Qqueens.
“Harry Clasper is just the first in a series that we will highlight on stage to remember the people who shaped Geordie and North East culture. Our real heritage!”
Harry’s training methods and boat innovations helped to put the North East at the centre of the aquatics map for 25 years.
At the time, rowing was the sport of the working-class, with the top rowers lauded in the way football stars are today.