Teeside's many claims to fame


Captain James cook one of the greatest sailors ever, discovered Australia and accurately mapped more lands than any man. Born in Marton, Middlesbrough.

The man who invented the friction match in his house on Stockton on tees high street.!

Stockton on tees having the widest high street in England .

Casting the first ever big Ben in Norton, Stockton on Tess.

The first ever passenger railway, Stockton to Darlington Railway.

Building the Tyne bridge as a little template for the Sydney Harbour bridge both built by Teesiders

Having the biggest iron stone mines in Britain

Being the biggest producer of iron in the world

Having the Gilchrist process realised on Teesside

Being the fastest growing urban area in England in the 19th century

Providing quality steel for the golden gate bridge & many more around the world

Being the last place in Saxon England to fight as free men against the Norman invasion at Coatham marshes.

Building the mulberry harbours that helped win the second world war

Having the only man to win the Victoria cross on D Day,  Sir Stanley Hollis

Having archaeological proof of the oldest Saxon female leaders in England   ( Loftus.)

Being the second largest port in England

Building  the new Wembly arch and leaving lots of boro flags etc in it before welding it shut
John Walker
John Walker

Stockton,1781 - 1859
THIS is the man who devised one of the world’s greatest inventions - yet never patented his design.
John Walker was working as a chemist out of a business in Stockton High Street in the early months of 1819 when he began experimenting with means of igniting a suitable compound by a single friction match.
But it was not until 1826 when he produced a flame on three-inch splints which had been dipped in a chemical mixture and his “friction lights” were born.
Walker was educated in the town of his birth, and it was there that he became very knowledgeable about chemistry, botany and mineralogy.
But he retired in February, 1858, without patenting his invention and died at his home in May, 1859, and is buried in Norton churchyard.
James Arthur
James Arthur

Redcar b. 1988
THE music of James Arthur was perhaps most familiar in the surroundings of the Victoria pub in Saltburn at the start of last year. Then he auditioned for The X Factor.
It’s yet to be seen how prolonged the impact his victory will be, but - after securing first place in the contest last month - he has secured a recording contract and number one single.
Pre-X Factor he was not unknown on Teesside’s music scene, having performed regularly locally with The James Arthur Band and recorded at Landscape Studio in Skelton.
The Redcar-born former Ings Farm Primary School and Rye Hills pupil can also probably be credited with turning his former Saltburn home into the most discussed bedsit in Britain last year after taking X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger to visit.
Boro supporter James won The X Factor with more than half of the vote, has sold about one million copies of his single and was special guest at the Riverside Stadium on Boxing Day.
Cornelius Carr
Cornelius Carr

Grangetown b. 1969
WHEN Cornelius Carr, then aged 24, beat James Cook to win the British super-middleweight title in 1994, he became the first Teessider for 80 years to win a British title.
Five years later, he landed the WBF middleweight prize.
A young fighter named John Carr John Carr was first spotted at Grangetown ABC.
Trainer Martin Turner helped him to reach the ABA middleweight final within weeks of his 18th birthday. He then turned professional - and adopted “Cornelius”.
Carr quickly rose through the ranks and took the British title. But problems behind the scenes meant he never defended his crown.
The following year he faced the biggest test of his career when he travelled to Dublin, only to be beaten on points by WBO champion super-middleweight Steve Collins.
Carr - who also featured in singer Morrissey’s video for the single Boxers - later said of his title triumph: “It made me feel so proud because no Teesside boxer had won a British title for many, many years.”
He had 38 pro contests, winning 34, including 14 knock-outs, and a distinguished amateur career. He retired 12 years ago.
Stephen Tompkinson
Stephen Tompkinson

Stockton b.1965
LAST May, actor Stephen Tompkinson could be seen in Saltburn filming for his latest primetime television show - DCI Banks.
The multi-award-winning lifelong - and “long-suffering” - Boro fan was a familiar face, having appeared in major roles in hit shows such as Drop The Dead Donkey, Ballykissangel and Wild At Heart - among others.
Born off Oxbridge Lane, he once told the Gazette his first memory of television was watching Laurel and Hardy with his grandad.
His family moved to Scarborough when he was three, and later headed to St Anne’s in Lancashire - although Tmpkinson retained a lifelong passion for Boro which occasionally can be spotted in his work.
He famously once changed lines in Ballykissangel declaring his character was a Manchester United fan in favour of Middlesbrough.
Thelma Barlow
Thelma Barlow

Middlesbrough b.1929
THELMA Barlow was one of the most recognisable actresses in Britain during the peak of her fame over 26 years in Coronation Street.
It was in 1971 that she won a role - although she began to feature regularly two years later when Mavis Riley began working in The Kabin.
Born in Middlesbrough, Barlow appeared in nearly 2,000 episodes - securing national fame in creating a much-loved character which caught the eye of viewers and impressionists of the day alike.
She also appeared in films and other TV shows including Dinnerladies, Miss Marple and Doctor Who.
The actress was born in Falmouth Street. Her father died just before her birth and she was brought up by her mother. When she was three, her family moved to Hutton Rudby and then on to Huddersfield.
Teesside University awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2008.
Thomas Sheraton
Thomas Sheraton  THOMAS SHERATON
Furniture designer
Stockton 1751-1806
IT’S reckoned that Thomas Sheraton spent almost the first four decades of his life in Stockton. Born in the town in 1751, he was educated locally before taking up employment in a timber yard, building furniture.

But Stockton offered few openings for a man who - with Thomas Chippendale - was to go on to become one of the best-known furniture designers of the 18th Century. He moved to London in about 1790, where he published three design books in quick succession.
After spending some time in Stockton after the death of his father in 1793, Sheraton settled in London, where he concentrated on design.
He returned to Stockton in the early 19th Century, serving as minister of the Baptist congregation - with a pub in the town now bearing his name.
Steve Cochrane
Steve Cochrane

North Ormesby b.1960
SPENDING six months working as a mechanical engineer on an oil rig enabled Steve Cochrane to raise enough cash in 1982 to open his first fashion shop - Sliced Tomatoes in Redcar.
Three decades later, he has hosted Royalty (Princess Anne called by in 1999), taken over a department store - and got it its own BBC TV show.
The former Bydales School pupil is the owner of Psyche, opened in Middlesbrough in 1986 and - since 2002 - based in the Linthorpe Road building previously occupied for six decades by Upton’s. Its refit was aimed at making Psyche the “Harvey Nichols of the North-east”.
It was proved right - as recently as September the store topped Harvey Nichols in Leeds and Selfridges in Birmingham in Vogue’s top 100 Best British Shops - only the latest of numerous awards won.
Harry Pearson
Harry Pearson

Great Ayton b.1961
HARRY Pearson is perhaps still best known among football fans for his book The Far Corner.
The 1995 work took a wry and warm look at a tour of the foootball grounds of the North-east - including, of course, Ayresome Park - and achieved runners-up spot in the runner-up in the 1995 Sports Book of the Year awards.
Boro fan Pearson has since written numerous other books and is also a Guardian columnist.
He has also worked for Conde Naste Traveller, GQ and football magazine When Saturday Comes - which claims to have published the article about former Boro striker Alan Foggon which inspired Pearson to pick up his pen.
He received an honorary doctorate from Teesside University last year.
Adele Parks
Adele Parks

Eaglescliffe b.1969
WHEN Adele Parks’ first novel, Playing Away, was published 13 years ago, the Evening Standard newspaper identified her as one of London’s “Twenty Faces to Watch”.
She has since sold written 10 further books - and sold more than 1.5million.
But it was on Teesside that the author had been born and raised, attending Durham Lane Primary School before studying at Egglescliffe Comprehensive.
Her father was an ICI worker, mum worked at Barclaycard, while Adele spent weekends working in Hintons in Yarm.
She now lives in the south, but retains firm links to the area, both in terms of family and charitable work, such as last year appearing at a literary lunch in aid of the Holistic Cancer Care Centre on the James Cook hospital site.
In 2010, she was awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.
Nicholas Patrick
Nicholas Patrick

Saltburn b. 1964
WHEN Dr Nicholas Patrick returned to Great Ayton two years ago to speak to school children about life as an astronaut, they knew he was one of their own. Born in Saltburn, Dr Patrick lived in Great Ayton up until the age of four.
His family lived in the area from 1961 to 1968 before emigrating to the US. Dr Patrick, who became an American citizen in 1994, was educated at Harrow and Cambridge University.
He was selected by US space agency Nasa as a candidate in 1998 and has since logged more than 638 hours in space on shuttles Discovery and Endeavour. He has also carried out three space walks.
In 2010, he carried a flag modeled on that which flew on Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the International Space Station. He now lives in Texas.
Suzannah Clarke
Suzannah Clarke

Middlesbrough b. 1970
AFTER performing at some of the world’s major opera houses, Suzannah Clarke is at home on the biggest of stages. Born and raised in Middlesbrough, she worked at British Steel in Redcar before going into opera - training at the Royal Northern College of Music and with Pavarotti’s singing teacher.
But she says her most emotional concert was singing at the 1995 farewell to Ayresome Park. The singer also led the celebrations at the opening ceremony of the Euro 96 football championship at Wembley.
The singer was the first British performer to be invited to North Korea in 2003 and helped set up Heavy Metal Opera, a choir of Teesside steelworkers who went on to perform at the Labour Party conference.
Franc Roddam
Franc Roddam  FRANC RODDAM Writer and director
Norton b.1946
FRANC Roddam drew heavily on his North-east roots to create one of TV’s most popular comedy-dramas.

Auf Weidersehen, Pet became one of the biggest TV hits of the 1980s and made stars out of actors such as Jimmy Nail and Timothy Spall.
It returned to screens in 2002 - with a plot featuring plans to move the Transporter Bridge to the USA.
In 1979, Roddam directed and was co-writer of the cult classic film version of The Who’s rock opera Quadrophenia. He has also created hit TV show Masterchef and directed the Grammy-nominated US mini-series Moby Dick and Cleopatra.
Roddam left school at 15 and joined Smiths Dock as a fitter. He went on to attend Stockton-Billingham Technical College before heading to film school in London.
Jack Hatfield
Jack Hatfield

Great Ayton b.1893 d.1965
THE name Jack Hatfield is synonymous with sporting success. He competed in four Olympic Games from 1912, winning silver at 400 and 1,500 metres and a bronze in the 4x200 metres at Stockholm.
He was the most prolific English champion of all time, winning 36 ASA titles between 1912 and 1931 and set four world records.
Hatfield trained at Middlesbrough’s Gilkes Street baths, Smith’s Dock, on the River Tees and Albert Park.
After serving with distinction in the First World War, he continued to compete at the highest level.
After retiring, he moved into business - notably the Middlesbrough sports store which bears his name - trained young swimmers and promoted competitions.
No other Teessider has appeared in as many Olympic Games.
Paul Daniels
Paul Daniels

South Bank, b. 1938
PAUL Daniels was one of the biggest names in prime-time TV entertainment during the 1980s - and remains one of the best known magic acts in the business. He made his television debut on Opportunity Knocks, in 1970, where he came second, having developed an interest in magic as a hobby aged 11 after reading a book.
After Sir William Turners Grammar School in Redcar, and a job at Eston council, Daniels served his national service in the Green Howards.
His own television series - The Paul Daniels Magic Show - ran on BBC1 from 1979 until 1994. In the early ‘80s his stage show was one of the longest-running magic shows ever staged in London.
He has won numerous awards for his magic and television work.
Richard Griffiths
Richard Griffiths

Thornaby, b. 1947
FOR the younger generation, Richard Griffiths’ is probably best known as Harry Potter’s angry muggle uncle Vernon Dursley.
But with an OBE to his name and a wealth of acting experience, both on screen and stage, that role is just one of many on the actor’s CV.
The award-winning 65-year-old may never have gone back to Stockton and Billingham College to study drama after dropping out of Our Lady and St Bede School at 15, had it not been for the encouragement of a manager at his first job - in Littlewoods.
He initially made his name with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The role of Inspector Henry Crabbe, disillusioned policeman and pie chef extraordinaire, in TV drama Pie in the Sky, was created specifically for him.
Other roles have included as Uncle Monty in 1987 cult classic Withnail and I, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, and Sleepy Hollow.
He has received numerous awards - including a Tony for best performance by a leading actor for his role in the Alan Bennett’s The History Boys.
As well as an honorary degree from Teesside University in 2006, Mr Griffiths was appointed an OBE in 2008.
Ernest William Hornung
Ernest William Hornung

Marton, b. 1866 d. 1921
MIDDLESBROUGH’S connection to Sherlock Holmes comes through Ernest William Hornung.
He was born and raised at Erdely Villa in Marton Road - latterly a bail hostel - which was constructed in the 1860s for Hornung’s father John Peter, an export merchant.
Poet and author Hornung was the youngest of eight children - and be came best known for writing the famous AJ Raffles series of novels about the “gentleman thief”. He also became the brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Hornung worked as a journalist, Raffles was first published in Cassell’s Magazine in 1898.
After Hornung spent time in the trenches with the troops in France during the First World War, he published Notes of a Camp-Follower on the Western Front in 1919, a detailed account of his experiences.
Paul Smith
Paul Smith

Billingham, b. 1979
AS THE frontman of Maximo Park, it could reasonably be expected that Paul Smith lives a fairly rock ’n’ roll lifestyle.
But he has told the Gazette he actually likes nothing more than wandering around mima, watching Boro - and visiting his nan.
Educated at Northfield School followed by art studies at Cleveland College of Art and Design and Newcastle University, 33-year-old Smith briefly worked as an art teacher at Stockton Riverside College before he was asked to join the band.
Maximo Park have released four studio albums, with the first two going gold in the UK.
Smith’s songwriting has been influenced by his Teesside roots - the band’s tune A19, for example - and as an artist and photographer he also admires the area’s distinctive landscape and industrial heritage.
He released his debut solo album and photographic book in 2010, also undertaking a full European tour.
Sir Liam Donaldson
Sir Liam Donaldson

Middlesbrough, b. 1949
AS CHIEF Medical Officer of England from 1998 to 2010, Sir Liam was principal advisor to the Government on health matters and one of the most senior officials in the NHS.
He was instrumental in the smoking ban and recommended a minimum price per unit of alcohol.
And Sir Liam has had a marked effect on policy in other areas including stem cell research.
He was born into a medical family; dad Raymond “Paddy” Donaldson was a local medical officer for Teesside. Sir Liam initially opted for a career in surgery, but changed his speciality to public health in order to impact on populations rather than individuals.
In the 2002 New Year Honours, he received a knighthood. Sir Liam also has numerous fellowships and honorary degrees. He is chancellor of Newcastle University.
Paul Rodgers
Paul Rodgers

Grove Hill, b. 1949
BEYOND Teesside’s Greatest, Paul Rodgers has been named the 55th Greatest Singer (ever) by Rolling Stone magazine - four places above Rod Stewart. He made his name in the 1970s with Free and Bad Company before a solo career. In 2004 he toured as the singer with Queen and recorded new material with the band.
Rodgers was born in Valley Road, Grove Hill - the same street as Brian Clough - and went to school at St Joseph’s and then St Thomas’s.
He played in local band The Roadrunners, who headed off to London in search of fame.
That didn’t work out, but in 1968 and Free were born. Their debut single All Right Now, which he co-wrote, became a worldwide hit. He has sold more than 130m records and also worked with the likes of Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.
Harold Shepherdson
Harold Shepherdson

Middlesbrough, b. 1918 d. 1995
HAROLD Shepherdson remains a major figure in English football history. While he played for Boro either side of the Second World War, his greatest contribution to the game was off the pitch - for both club and country.
He was right-hand man to a succession of Middlesbrough managers - and caretaker boss himself four times before retiring in 1983.
He also acted as Sir Alf Ramsey’s right-hand man during England’s 1966 World Cup victory.
Shepherdson was a trainer for 171 games, covering four World Cups. And Shepherdson Way, leading to the Riverside Stadium, is named in his honour.
He played for South Bank East End until 1934 when he joined Boro as an amateur, turning professional two years later.
He played in 17 games for Middlesbrough.
In 1947 he joined Southend United but returned to Boro after retiring from playing.
He worked as a trainer before becoming assistant manager.
Shepherdson turned down numerous managerial offers to remain loyal to Middlesbrough, acting as trainer and the assistant manager to Stan Anderson, Jack Charlton and John Neal before becoming executive officer from 1981 until his retirement at the age of 65 in 1983.
In 1969 he was awarded the MBE for services to football.
McKenzie Thorpe
McKenzie Thorpe

Beechwood, b. 1956
MACKENZIE Thorpe’s work is owned by both the Queen and Elton John - among others. The oldest of seven children, his creative streak came out as a child when he would draw pictures in the soot on the hearth.
The son of a labourer, Thorpe was stung by a comment from a nun at his Catholic primary school that he would amount to nothing if he did not get a “proper job”. He found work in the shipyards.
But encouraged by an uncle, he applied to Cleveland College of Art and Design. This was followed by college in London and a celebrated career as a professional artist.
Thorpe’s roots show in his work, which often depicts scenes from the Middlesbrough he knew growing up, featuring steelworkers, football fans and the Transporter Bridge.
He holds an honorary Master of Arts degree from Teesside University, while other accolades have included a best published artist award from the Fine Art Trade Guild.
Andy Green
Andy Green

Marske, b. 1962
ANDY Green has travelled faster than a speeding bullet.
The RAF fighter pilot not only holds the world land speed record - and was the first person to break the sound barrier on land - but is determined to smash it again.
The record was set in 1997, when Green reached 763mph in the ThrustSSC (supersonic car), the first to officially break the sound barrier.
Green, who was awarded the OBE in 1997, said living on Teesside helped shape his decision to be a pilot.
Dad Tony was the station officer at Hartlepool Fire Station before the family moved to Marske.
At Bydales School, Green loved maths and his academic career took him to Oxford University, where he took a first. He says it was an air show in Hartlepool that first led to thoughts about becoming a military man.
He qualified as a fighter pilot and later became a commanding officer.
Next, he will drive the £10m Bloodhound SSC - in which he will attempt to break the 1,000mph mark.
Rory Underwood
Rory Underwood

Rugby player
Middlesbrough, b. 1963
HAVING first laced up his rugby boots as a youngster at Middlesbrough Rugby Club, Rory Underwood went on to become one of the greatest wings in rugby union.
He is the all-time leading try scorer for England in international matches, having made his debut in 1984.
The former Barnard Castle School pupil won 85 England caps - then a record, and remaining a record for an English back - and six British and Irish Lions caps between 1984 and 1996.
He scored a record 49 tries for England, as well as one for the British Lions, and played for England in the Rugby World Cups of 1987, 1991 and 1995.
He and younger brother Tony were the first brothers to represent England at the same time since 1937.
The elder brother is widely regarded as one of the greatest wingers ever.
Underwood finished all the internationals he started for England and wasn’t substituted once.
David Coverdale
David Coverdale

Saltburn, b. 1951
ONE Teessider established in rock’s hall of fame is David Coverdale.
Founding rock outfit Whitesnake ensured his place in the music history books, with hit singles including the Here I Go Again and Is This Love.
At around the age of 14, the aspiring singer began performing professionally, soon signing his first professional recording contract in Redcar.
Originally performing with local bands The Government and Fabulosa Brothers, his life changed at the age of 21 when he answered an advertisement for a singer with Deep Purple to replace Ian Gillan.
He released two albums that went gold in both the US and the UK.
After the band’s demise in 1976, Coverdale embarked on a solo career, releasing his first album, White Snake, in 1977.
All songs were written by Coverdale and guitarist Micky Moody - from Middlesbrough.
The pair later formed new band Whitesnake - and their 1987 self-titled album has gone eight times platinum since its release.
Vin Garbutt
Vin Garbutt

South Bank b. 1947
VIN Garbutt may not have sold as many records as David Coverdale but his Teesside-inspired folk music has been heard around the world.
The “Teesside Troubadour” was working for ICI at Wilton when he decided to take up the guitar at 21.
Armed with a repertoire of songs, he spent the first summer busking his way around the Mediterranean. It was then that he found he had a talent for writing his own material.
His upbringing provided fertile ground on which to base much his work. And, as a protest singer, he’s never been afraid to tackle controversial subjects - ranging from to unemployment to deforestation.
He’s won a string of awards, including Best Live Act in the Radio 2 Folk Awards. Three years ago, his work was brought to a wider audience after he was the subject of a film and he holds an honorary degree from Teesside University.
Roy Chubby Brown
Roy Chubby Brown

Grangetown b. February, 1945
ROY ‘Chubby’ Brown’s ability to make people laugh has resulted in huge success - despite his hardly ever appearing on TV.
Most comics shoot to stardom with appearances on the box - but Brown’s brand of adult humour was never likely to appear on the small screen.
Instead, he has packed out theatres nationwide for decades and sold vast numbers of his live recordings.
He began working as an entertainer in working men’s clubs in the 1960s on Teesside as a musician before turning to comedy.
It was in the 1980s that he enjoyed a boom in popularity and his shows became a mainstay in Blackpool.
While his material may not suit all tastes, quick-witted Chubby has defended his act as changing “constantly to stay topical and try to find humour in all situations to give people a laugh”.
He reached number three in the charts with his “cover” of Living Next Door To Alice and featured in the BBC comedy show The League of Gentlemen, after the fictional town in which the show was set was named Royston Vasey - Chubby’s real name.
Willie Applegarth
Willie Applegarth

Guisborough, b. 1890 d. 1958
UNTIL last year, Willie Applegarth held a unique title - the only Teessider ever to win Olympic gold.
The Guisborough sprinter claimed his medal at the Stockholm Olympics of 1912 as part of the British 4x100m relay team. He also won an individual bronze in the 200m sprint final.
Applegarth was described in 1914 as Britain’s most famous athlete. By 23, he was the world’s fastest runner.
Born in Union Street, in 1910 he set a new British record for the 100-yard sprint. He later became a triple world record holder and the first man to hold both the 100m and 200m records at the same time.
His 1918 world record of 9.6sec in the 100m stood for more than 40 years. “The Guisborough Flyer” emigrated to America in 1915, where he became a track and football coach.
Bob Champion
Bob Champion

Guisborough b. 1948
THE tale of Bob Champion is a classic of triumph over adversity.
Riding high as a successful young jockey in 1979, he received the news he had testicular cancer and may only have a few months to live.
Spurring Champion on in his battle against illness was the dream of winning the Grand National. And, after months of chemotherapy, he received the all clear and rode Aldaniti in the race in 1981. The race had a fairytale finish as Champion won in what is often hailed as one of sport’s most moving moments.
“I rode that race for all the people suffering from cancer and for all the people that care for them,” he said.
Champion continued with a successful career. He also set up the Bob Champion Cancer Trust in 1983, which has raised millions.
Tony Mowbray
Tony Mowbray

Saltburn, b. 1963
KNOWN simply to Boro fans as Mogga, Tony Mowbray was Middlesbrough’s defensive bedrock for more than a decade. He became one of the club’s most respected captains and was, three years ago, named as manager.
His talent was honed on the playing fields of Redcar’s Lakes Juniors. But after signing with Boro on his 14th birthday, he was 12 weeks in plaster and five months out of action after breaking his ankle in England schoolboy trials.
He became Boro’s captain in 1986, aged just 22. His leadership of the team to successive promotions, at a time when the club’s very future was in doubt, elevated Mowbray to club icon.
In 11 years as a first team player with Boro, Mowbray made 406 appearances and scored 28 goals and was twice capped by England B.
In 1991, he joined Celtic for £1m, before moving to Ipswich Town. In 2000, he retired as a player and went onto become a manager.
After spells managing in England and Scotland, Mowbray was appointed Boro manager in October 2010.
Geoff Waterfield
Geoff Waterfield

Union leader
Redcar b.1968 d.2011
IT WAS a bittersweet victory when the fight to save Tees steel-making was won.
The relighting of SSI’s Redcar blast furnace was tinged with sadness as the man who had done so much to rescue the plant was not there to see it.
As the chairman of the multi-union works committee Geoff Waterfield embodied the campaign’s pride, passion, drive and determination.
An analytical chemist by trade, Geoff, who played for Redcar RUFC, worked in the steel industry for 24 years.
He lived and breathed the battle over several years after, in 2009, emerged that the Corus blast furnace would be mothballed. It was that dedication to the campaign that played a crucial role in saving Teesside steel-making.
Despite the dark lows of the campaign, he said he "never doubted" the site would reopen. But, just months before the furnaces were relit, he died at the age of just 43.
It was fitting, therefore, that the campaigner’s son - 11-year-old Wills - was the one to reignite steelmaking on Teesside last April.
Chris Rea
Chris Rea

Middlesbrough, b. 1951
FROM Road to Hell to Let’s Dance, Chris Rea has produced a string of hits - and two number one albums.
His blues guitar playing has been praised by critics as among the finest of its kind.
Rea worked in his family’s ice-cream parlour in Linthorpe Road after leaving school. It was one of 21 owned by dad Camillo and his brother, as well as an ice cream factory.
In 1973 he joined Middlesbrough band Magdalene, replacing David Coverdale. He later secured a solo recording contract.
His major UK breakthrough came in 1989 when he released number one album The Road to Hell. The title track was released as a single and reached the UK Top 10.
Rea appeared with the Band Aid II project in 1989. He has acknowledged that many of his songs were "born out of Middlesbrough", including Stainsby Girls and Steel River.
Ann Ming
Ann Ming

Billingham b.1946
WITHOUT the campaigning of Ann Ming, there may never have been a landmark change in English law.
The mother of murder victim Julie Hogg, she fought an incredible 17-year battle for justice which eventually brought Government action.
Ming battled to change the 800-year-old double jeopardy law after killer Billy Dunlop evaded justice at original murder trials.
Her daughter was 23 when she was killed in 1989. Dunlop was tried for murder but was acquitted after juries twice failed to reach a verdict.
While serving a sentence for a separate murder, Dunlop confessed that he’d killed Julie. However, under double jeopardy, he was protected from conviction.
That prompted a campaign led by Ming which drew the support of Teesside MPs and ultimately led to a change on the law.
Gary Havelock
Gary Havelock

Speedway rider
Eaglescliffe, b 1968
HAVVY is one of the most decorated British riders of his generation.
He started his career at 16 with Middlesbrough Tigers. Little more than two years later he won the European Under-21 Championship and, after establishing himself as one of the top riders in the country, was crowned world champion in 1992.He was also British champion that year, retaining the title he won in 1991.
Other major honours included the Overseas Championship and the Premier League Riders’ Championship. He was also England skipper.
For two decades he was one of the country’s top riders, winning the Elite League as captain of Poole and the KO Cup four times.
He returned "home" for Redcar Bears’ launch in 2006 and captained them until he suffered a serious arm injury in a track crash last March.
Bob Mortimer
Bob Mortimer

Acklam, b. 1959
AS HALF of comedy duo Vic and Bob, Bob Mortimer’s surreal brand of comedy both baffled and amused audiences when their show Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out appeared in 1990.
Further success followed, with a string of hit shows now under their belt including The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer and Shooting Stars.
Mortimer was born in Middlesbrough, growing up in Tollesby Road. He went to Green Lane school, then Hustler school in Acklam and King’s Manor before moving to study law at the University of Sussex.
Upon his return to Middlesbrough, he first worked as a binman, then became a duty probation officer at Teesside Magistrates’ Court before heading off to a career in law.
It was by chance the funnyman met Vic Reeves at a show. In a 2005 poll, they were voted the ninth greatest comedy act of all time by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.
Mary Butterwick
Mary Butterwick

Hospice founder
Stockton b.1924
AS FOUNDER of the hospice that bears her surname, Mary Butterwick has brought vital comfort and support to countless Teessiders.
Stockton-based Butterwick Hospice provides crucial care to those coping with terminal illness.
The mum-of-four’s life was shattered in 1979 with the death from cancer of her husband John. It raised questions about the care of terminally ill people after she was told by hospital staff to go home as there was nothing she could do to help.
Despite battling her own grief, she developed the idea of a place where dying people and their families could go to be cared for.
The John Butterwick Day Care Centre opened in 1984. It moved into purpose-built premises in 1997.
Today, Butterwick Hospice cares for up to 200 patients and their loved ones every day.
Don Revie
Don Revie

Football manager
Middlesbrough b.1927 d.1989
DESPITE being one of the greatest managers in English club football, Don Revie’s success is largely unheralded in his home town.
Unlike his Middlesbrough-born great rival Brian Clough, no statue stands in the place of his birth. Revie transformed a struggling Leeds United side into one of the most powerful teams in Europe. His achievements became legend at Elland Road, winning the league title twice - among other prizes.
He was born close to Boro’s former home at Ayresome Park but began his playing career at Leicester, before moving to other clubs.
Revie was appointed manager of Leeds in 1961 and remained in charge until 1974, when he was appointed England manager, before sensationally quitting the job to coach in the UAE.
Jamie Bell
Jamie Bell

Billingham b.1986
JAMIE Bell’s own story has parallels with that of his most famous role.
Like Billy Elliot, the youngster grew up in the industrial North-east, harbouring dreams of stardom.
But it was acting - not ballet - which provided him with a route to fame when he landed the role aged 13.
The Northfield School pupil took performing arts classes at the local franchise of Stagecoach Theatre Arts and became a member of the National Youth Music Theatre.
He was picked from 2,000 youngsters to play Billy Elliot and his career has since gone from strength to strength. He has landed roles in Hollywood movies including King Kong, The Eagle and Man on a Ledge.
In one of his biggest roles, he recently took the lead in Stephen Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin.
George Hardwick
George Hardwick

Saltburn b.1920 d.2004
GEORGE Hardwick came to prominence with Boro in the 1930s and went on to captain England.
In the 1940s he was regarded as one of the world’s top players. Born in Saltburn, he moved to Lingdale during childhood. After leaving school he went to work in the offices at Dorman Long before signing for Boro in 1935.
His career was disrupted by the Second World War - although he played in 17 wartime internationals.
Hardwick skippered England 13 consecutive times and also led Great Britain against the rest of Europe in 1947 to a 6-1 victory.
After retiring from playing, he had a stint managing in Holland, during which time he helped lay the foundations for the Total Football system.
He retired to Teesside and his name also lives on in the George Hardwick Foundation, which supports carers.
Stan Hollis

COMPANY Sgt Major Stan Hollis is perhaps the best known of Teessiders to win the VC for outstanding bravery.
The Middlesbrough-born soldier was famously the only Allied serviceman to win the honour on D-Day.
He single-handedly charged a hidden pill box and he later saved two comrades trapped by enemy fire. After the war, he ran pubs on Teesside. He died in 1972 aged 59.
But others from the area have been awarded the VC too.
They include Stockton-born Major Edward Cooper, who died in 1985, aged 89, just four weeks after being made a Freeman of the borough.
He won a VC in 1917 when, as a sergeant in the 12th Battalion, The King's Royal Rifle Corps, he disabled enemy guns, capturing 45 prisoners and seven machine guns. He spent the rest of his working life with the Stockton Co-operative Society.
And Private Tom Dresser, of the 7th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, won the VC in 1917 at the Battle of Arras.
Born in Hambleton in 1892, he spent most of his life working in his family’s Middlesbrough newsagent. He was honoured after delivering arms while under fire, which resulted in him being twice wounded. He died in 1982.
Eston-born steelworker and local footballer Private William Short was 31 and in the 8th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment during the Battle of the Somme, when he was killed in action priming and throwing bombs despite terrible injuries. He won postumous VC.

Thornaby, b. 1943
PAT Barker’s humble origins are sometimes cited when her glittering literary career is discussed.
She initially thought she would never be published after her first three novels were rejected. But, in 1995, she took the Booker Prize for The Ghost Road.
It was husband David who rescued the draft of Union Street - a work with a clear basis in Teesside - from the bin, where Pat had dumped it in despair. It was published in 1992.
Barker was always academically able. She went to Grangefield Grammar School for Girls before going to the London School of Economics and becoming a history teacher.
She left that profession to care for her two children and decided to turn her hand to writing.
So she turned to the backstreets of Teesside for inspiration. Union Street was the outcome - beginning a successful career which has seen 12 novels published and numerous awards won.
Kat Copeland
Kat Copeland

Olympic Rower
Ingleby Barwick, b. 1990
LAST summer Kat Copeland’s life changed forever when she rowed to Olympic gold with Sophie Hosking.
The 21-year-old Tees Rowing Club member won the women’s lightweight double sculls - becoming the first Teessider to take gold since Willie Applegarth 100 years earlier.
Watched by family, friends and coaches from Yarm School and Tees Rowing Club, she then captured the nation’s heart by declaring: “We’re going to be on a stamp!”
A postbox was subsequently painted gold in her honour in Ingleby Barwick, where she grew up, and where parents Derek and Penny Copeland own a veterinary surgery.
She was named Sportsperson of the Year at the Evening Gazette’s Sports Awards and recently appointed MBE in the New Year Honours for her services to rowing.
Brass Crosby
Brass Crosby

Lawyer and politician
Stockton, b. 1725 d. 1793
IF YOU’VE ever termed anyone “as bold as brass”, whether you realise it or not, you’re likely to be comparing them to this man.
It’s believed it was Crosby’s courage in standing up to Parliament that gave rise to the famous phrase.
After serving as a lawyer, councillor and MP, he was elected Lord Mayor of London and Chief Magistrate in 1770. He then showed his mettle by standing up to the naval “press gangs” of the time.
The following year Crosby was sent to the Tower of London for six weeks after he refused to punish a printer who dared to publish the proceedings of the House of Commons.
Previously, debates had been published under false titles - while fictitious names were given to the MPs who spoke. The naming of members caused a furore.
But Crosby said British citizens had the right to know what those who represented them and made their laws were saying and doing.
He was released in May 1771, having won his case - and there has never been any further attempt to stifle the reporting of proceedings.
Wilf Mannion
Wilf Mannion

South Bank, b. 1918 d. 2000
ONCE said to have had the ability to “dance on cornflakes without making any of them crackle”, Wilf Mannion is widely thought to be one of England and Middlesbrough’s greatest football players.
Supporters delighted in the turning, change of pace and natural instinct of a player known universally as the golden boy on account of his mop of fair hair.
Mannion remains Boro’s most capped England player, having played 26 times for his country. A squad member for the 1950 World Cup, he played 368 games for Boro, scoring 110 goals.
He joined South Bank St Peter’s as a boy and turned professional with Boro at 17, making his league debut in the first division in 1936.
He fought with the Green Howards during the Second World War.
In 1948 Mannion went on strike to force a move from Boro, growing weary of his £10 a week wages, before eventually backing down.
He quit Boro and First Division football with his 36th birthday looming. He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
Brian Clough
Brian Clough

Grove Hill, b. 1935 d. 2004
CHARISMATIC, outspoken and controversial, Brian Clough was one of the great managers of the English game.
He won the European Cup twice.
After a spell with Teesside non-league sides, he became a prolific goalscorer with Boro after signing in 1951, netting 197 league goals between 1955 and 1961. After leaving, his playing career was cut short by injury aged 29.
He became manager at HartlepoolsCORR United. But it was at his next club Derby County, that he made his name - winning the Championship and reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup before resigning.
After spells at Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United - in a famously short-lived term - he  took over at Nottingham Forest where he won the league and two European Cups, among other honours.
He was inducted to the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and later had the road linking Derby and Nottingham named after him.
Sir Rex Hunt
Sir Rex Hunt

Redcar, b. 1926 d. 2012
BY THE age of 54, Rex Hunt had led a more interesting life than most Redcar former schoolboys.
After leaving the Sir William Turner School, spells at Oxford University and in the RAF were followed by jobs around the world, first in the colonial, then the diplomatic services.
But his distinguished - albeit unspectacular - career was transformed in 1980. As Governor of the Falkland Islands, he was ousted by invading Argentine forces two years later.
After being outnumbered following a fierce gun battle involving a small force of Royal Marines, Sir Rex took the decision to surrender.
But, in a famous final act of defiance, he dressed in full uniform to refuse to shake invading commander General Oswald Garcia’s hand.
The islands were recaptured by British forces in June..
And Sir Rex - who operated in London during the war - resumed as Governor after the war until 1985.
The Green Howards
The Green Howards

CONFLICTS involving The 2nd Battalion of The Yorkshire Regiment, The Green Howards - which traces its history back to 1688 - read like a roll-call of the most crucial in British Army history.
From Ypres in the First World War to the Normandy Landings in the Second, men recruited from Teesside have fought for King, Queen and country. Its members have received 18 Victoria Crosses.
Up until 1920, The Green Howards were The Yorkshire Regiment. Until the late 1950s they were known as the Green Howards Princess of Wales Own Regiment of Yorkshire.
Two of 12 battalions raised during the Second World War were among the first to land on D-Day.
Among them was Middlesbrough-born Stan Hollis - the only Victoria Cross winner that day.
The future of the Green Howards is uncertain after it was announced in last year that it is to be axed as part of a major overhaul of the Army.
The move would 324 years of loyal service by local soldiers.

Mark Benton
Mark Benton is an English actor, best known for his role in the long-running Nationwide Building Society advertisements, but also known for his roles as Eddie in Early Doors, Howard in Northern Lights and Martin Pond in BaRobert


Jeff Stelling
  • Robert Jeffrey Stelling is an English sports journalist and sport television presenter. He currently presents Gillette Soccer Saturday for Sky Sports and other programming for the satellite broadcaster
    Steve Gibson
    Steve Gibson

    Businessman and Middlesbrough FC chairman
    Park End, b. 1958
    IT WAS revealed in 2008 that Steve Gibson was owed £69m after accounts showed the chairman had been bankrolling the Boro.
    Last year, it emerged that its parent company was pumping £1m a month into the club.
    Self-made millionaire Gibson is a lifelong Boro fan. He joined the board as the youngest ever director at the age of 26 and was instrumental in forming the consortium which saved it from liquidation in 1986.
    Gibson made his fortune with haulage firm Bulkhaul. In last year’s Sunday Times Rich List, he was said to be worth £165m.
    In more recent years, his chairmanship saw three Wembley cup final appearances within 12 months. Investment saw a host of international starts arrive and the club lift its first trophy in 128 years, the English League Cup, as well as reaching the UEFA Cup final.
    Henry Bolckow and John Vaughan
    Henry Bolckow and John Vaughan HENRY BOLCKOW and JOHN VAUGHAN

    Middlesbrough, Bolckow b. 1806 d. 1878, Vaughan b. 1799 d. 1868.
    ALTHOUGH neither was Teesside-born - the only entrants in our list not to be so - the duo are credited with being key in the industrial growth of Middlesbrough.
    Bolckow and Vaughan founded their first ironworks in 1841. By 1855 there were 30 blast furnaces along the banks of the Tees.
    The two lived side by side in two town houses about 400 yards away from their Vulcan Street ironworks. They married a pair of sisters - and both served as mayor.
    In 1846, Bolckow and Vaughan built their first blast furnaces, using local coal and ironstone from Whitby.
    Four years later, Vaughan discovered iron ore in the Cleveland Hills, leading to a boom in the trade and giving birth to the area’s iron and steelworking heritage.
    Captain James Cook
    Captain James Cook

    Marton, b. 1728 d. 1779
    THE MAN who was to become Europe’s finest navigator was 17 when he moved to the coast, settling in Whitby and finding work with a coal merchant.
    In 1755, he enlisted in the Royal Navy. Fourteen years later, Cook was chosen to command the HMS Endeavour on an expedition to the southern hemisphere.
    He sailed along the length of Australia’s eastern coast, which had never before been seen by Europeans, claiming it for Britain and naming it New South Wales.
    In 1772, Cook set out on a second voyage, visiting New Zealand and Tahiti, returning to England in 1775 to be made a Fellow of the Royal Society and be named Europe’s finest in the House of Lords.
    His third voyage ultimately saw him reach Hawaii after exploring and mapping America’s West Coast.
    But relations between crew and islanders soured and Cook was killed.