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Middlesbrough’s Chuba Akpom could get his name in the history books



Middlesbrough’s Chuba Akpom could get his name in the history books

Chuba Akpom needs just 3 more goals to put him alongside Championship history-makers.

Middlesbrough are flying under manager Michael Carrick since his appointment in October, but the resurgence of Boro’s number 29 Chuba Akpom is nothing short of spectacular.

At the start of the campaign during preseason, Akpom did not receive a squad number with his time at Middlesbrough seemingly over and done with. A lack of strikers through the door and a willingness to impress then manager Chris Wilder was the only reason he got given a shot in the squad.

But his form since then is one Boro fans couldn’t even dream of let alone envisage happening.

With his first goal this season coming against Sheffield United at the Riverside back in August, that was instantly followed with another as he bagged a brace in that game, the first time the fans got a taste of what was to come.

Chuba Akpom signed for Middlesbrough in the summer of 2020, playing 38 games in the league and scoring just 5 goals in what was a disappointing return for the Nigerian.

The following season, he was loaned back to PAOK in Greece where he was initially signed from, playing 52 games in all competitions, and scoring 11 goals.

It was a preseason match against Marseille at the Riverside following him not receiving a squad number that fans were surprised to see Akpom on the bench, and then even more shocked to see him come on for 30 minutes and impress.

Boro Manager at the time Chris Wilder said: “Chuba’s attitude has been good, so he’s joined the group for the last couple of days. There’s no downside for him coming on, running about, and playing a part.

“He’s contracted to the football club. He understands where we’re at, and I understand where he’s at. We’ll just take it day by day, and then go from there.”

Go from there Chuba Akpom did, since then he has solidified himself as one of the best players in the division, not just for his goalscoring abilities but his overall play. The way he uses his body to his advantage being able to spin around defenders and out muscle them. His electric footwork and intricate movement both on and off the ball leaves fans in awe of him.

Often mistaken as a striker, Chuba plays just in behind the striker in a free roaming position in which he can pop up right where he’s needed to slot away the goals.

Scoring 27 goals this season in the league, all he needs is another 3 goals in his remaining 4 fixtures to put himself in an elite category of Championship goal scorers.

To date, only 3 players have hit 30+ goals in a single Championship campaign, Aleksandar Mitrovic with 43 goals for Fulham in the 21/22 season, Ivan Toney with 30 goals for Brentford in the 20/21 season and Glenn Murray with 30 goals for Crystal Palace in the 12/13 season. If things remain how they are, he will be joint 5th in terms of goals scored in a single campaign, but just 3 more goals puts him amongst an elite few.

Middlesbrough face Hull City (8pm kick off) at the Riverside in what is Michael Carrick’s penultimate home game of the season.


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The fantastic ‘pad’ for seriously ill children and their families, opening in memory of Bradley Lowery



This is the incredible ‘pad’ where sick children can go for a well-deserved break with their families – and it is all in the name of Bradley Lowery.

‘Super Brad’s Pad’ is taking shape and could soon become a haven for people to ‘make memories’.

It will have five bedrooms, play rooms, a hot tub, enclosed garden and lots of other top-notch facilities.

It is all being made possible by the Bradley Lowery Foundation and the fantastic members of the public who are supporting it with donations.
But more help is needed to make sure fundraising targets are hit and here’s your chance to give support.
Bradley’s mum Gemma Lowery, who started the Foundation, said: “Families can spend days, weeks, months in hospital with a seriously ill child and being able to have a short getaway makes the world of difference to all of the families. 

“We want children to have the opportunities Bradley had when he wasn’t in hospital, we want parents to relax and enjoy each others company, away from the day to day life of being in hospital.”

Super Brad’s Pad will cater for up to 10 people per visit, so that ‘grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins can also enjoy being a part of the experience’ said the Foundation.

The aim is for the home to host around 100 families per year.

Fundraising was paused, and the holiday build was put on hold, during the pandemic.

But it is back in full swing and Gemma said the build was ‘coming along nicely’.

She added: “Every donation no matter how big or small means everything to us.”

Bradley touched the hearts of people all over the world. In 2017, he won a Child of Courage trophy at the Best of Wearside Awards.

Bradley lost his fight to neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer, in July of 2017.

Gemma founded the Bradley Lowery Foundation and started the charity which became a beacon of hope.

Since it was founded, it has raised more than £3million for dozens of poorly children.

It has also established a dedicated support line for the families of children with cancer, donated huge sums of money to researching childhood cancers and campaigned for new drugs to be introduced in the UK.

Gemma said: “Fundraising is hard for all charities at the moment. We appreciate every penny that is donated, especially because we still have £200,000 to finish the holiday home we are building in Scarborough.”

To found out more about the Foundation, visit

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Karl Darlow set for permanent move away from Newcastle United



After a successful loan spell to Hull City, Karl Darlow is poised for a permanent move away from St. James’.

Hull City manager Liam Rosenior has made it clear he wants to keep a hold of Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Signing for the club in 2014 from Nottingham Forest, he went onto make 100 appearances for the magpies with his debut coming in 2015 under Steve McLaren. His best stint for the club was during the 2020/21 season making 25 appearances. He then saw himself fall out of favour when Martin Dubravka signed for the club and now with Nick Pope cementing the position as his own, Darlow saw himself drop down the pecking order.

Signing for Hull City on loan in January, he has since made 11 appearances keeping 5 clean sheets in the process, with three coming in the last four matches against good opposition in Millwall, Blackburn, and Watford.

“He’s been magnificent since he’s come in,” Rosenior said after Darlow’s clean sheet against Watford on Saturday. “I think he’s massively enjoying working here, I think he’s enjoying the club, he’s settled in with the players really really well.

“What I really like about Karl was as soon as he signed he had his young family come and join him and settle down in the area, and I think that’s helped him. Hopefully we’ll have discussions in the summer about his long-term future.”

Rosenior revealed earlier in the week his intention to keep Darlow at the club, and Hull are believed to be in discussions with Newcastle over making the goalkeeper’s stay at the MKM Stadium permanent – as his loan agreement is believed to have as an option.

Contracted at St. James’ until 2025, it seems as though a permanent move to Hull City would be the best thing for Darlow with his position at Newcastle United seemingly gone.


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Our Premier League Team of the Season 2022/2023



With the season drawing to a close, we have put together our Premier League Team of the Season.

In what has been a season that is set to go right down to the very end, it has been yet another spectacular campaign of football with players breaking out on to the scene and some very memorable moments.

Lets have a look at who we have decided is in the starting 11 for the Team of the Season.

The starting 11 was chosen in terms of not only who we think has been the best in those positions, but also who has either exceeded expectations but also who has done exactly what was expected of them in their position.

Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier and Sven Botman mean Newcastle United make up 60% of the defence in this team, but for good reason. This season, the magpies are currently bosting the best defence in the league conceding the least amount of goals, 24 to be precise.

William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko make up the remaining two spots in the defence, the Arsenal duo have had a great campaign with the gunners still sat top of the league and looking to get their first league title in nearly 20 years.

A midfield three of Casemiro, Keving De Bruyne, and Martin Odegaard, three players so vital to their clubs and all having a wonderful season, it’s hard to put anyone else in there over them.

Up top, we have a front three of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Erling Haaland as all three players have had goals, influence, and star power in their clubs to push them to the very top this season.

The substitutes include top of the league goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, which seems harsh to leave him out of the starting squad but up against Nick Pope, either could go in and it would be a good decision, but Ramsdale just makes it onto our bench.

Ben Mee has had a cracking season with Brentford seeing them looking set to enjoy a top half finish with him at the heart of defence. Luke Shaw gets on the bench after a solid season under Ten Hag at United.

Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Martinelli, and Harry Kane are the remaining players on the bench, all have had a fantastic season but unfortunately only make the bench for this squad.

Roberto De Zerbi is the manager of the season for us, having joined Brighton in September following Graham Potter’s departure, many thought this spelt the end of Brighton’s good fortunes in the Premier League, but not only did De Zerbi do better than expected of him, he has taken a very good Brighton and Hove Albion team and improved them navigating them to a top half finish.

Manchester City only see two players in this team, although they have had a great season, the rotation of the team sees a great team instead of individual players, which is a testament to how Pep Guardiola wants his teams to be.


Premier League 22/23 Team of the Season:

Nick Pope (GK), Kieran Trippier, William Saliba, Sven Botman, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Casemiro, Kevin De Bruyne, Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, Erling Haaland.


Aaron Ramsdale (GK), Ben Mee, Luke Shaw, Bruno Guimaraes, Alexis Mac Allister, Gabriel Martinelli, Harry Kane

Manager: Roberto De Zerbi (Brighton)


Who would you put in your Premier League Team of the Season – Let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –


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