The Gazette exclusive about Jack Colback not being included in NUFC’s Premier League squad was the most well-read story on our website in 2017.
The story was closely followed by the news that Ashley Tomlin had died less than a month after her son Jak Fada, a tragedy which united the borough in grief.
As 2017 draws to a close, we’ve compiled a list of the most-read stories on our website to see what resonates most strongly with readers.
Gazette managing editor Gavin Foster said: “Emotive stories about life-changing events and the people in our community, as always, have captured the attention, reaction and hearts of our readers.
“But football dominates a huge part of the lives of our readers.
“It is understandable, therefore, that the biggest single story was the bombshell news given to Newcastle United star Jack Colback that he was being not to be part of Rafa Benitez’s 25-man squad for the season.
“However, it was the emotive and heartbreaking that collectively captured our readers thoughts and attention across the year once again. The first was the tragic events around the Manchester bombings which saw the loss of two of our own, Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford. Their deaths shocked a community, but also ignited a flame which sparked a unity and the launch of the Together Forever Trust to inspire and support others to achieve and reach their full potential through the love of sport and performance. A truly worthy cause.”
“The other was the heartbreaking story of Shields mum Ashley Tomlin who died aged just 32, less than a month after the death of her 10-year-old son, Jak Fada.
She died after suffering a ruptured heart artery - which also claimed of her son.
The outpouring of tributes to these two and the strength of feeling for a devastated family really struck home. Although tragic, to see the support for this family was truly heartwarming.”
The top ten most-read stories on the Gazette website for 2017 are as follows:
2. South Shields mum dies of broken heart less than a month after 10-year-old son’s death - 61,677
3. They wanted to be together forever - and now they are. Police confirm South Tyneside teenagers are victims of Manchester suicide attack - 38,856
4. South Shields fatal hit-and-run latest: man arrested over 20-year-old’s death - 38,827
5. One woman has been killed and two people are fighting for their lives following separate crashes in South Tyneside - 35,753
6. Teenager found bound and gagged in South Shields park: Incident sparks call for yob crackdown - 31,315
7. Man arrested as police seal off part of South Shields road after stabbing - 30,963
8. Family’s devastation as football-mad Jak dies aged 10 - 29,400
9. Police appeal after brick and petrol bomb attack on South Shields pub - 27,050
10. Woman at centre of air ambulance alert at South Shields school dies - 25,547