Ashington fans remember Portland Park
Football fans got to say goodbye to a great era in their club's history this week - although they have ensured its memory will live on.
People gathered at the former site of Ashington FC to bury a time capsule with memorabilia from the club gathered over the years from its origins 100 years ago and through its glory days.
Many fans brought along their treasured possessions to place in the capsule to keep the memories of the happy times at Portland Park alive.
Items included a programme signed by Jack Charlton and another from the last ever game played at Portland Park, one from the new ground, an old strip and an aerial photograph from 1974 showing how much the area has changed.
Organisers were so impressed with the collection that they decided to put it on display rather than bury it immediately, so that people in the town could enjoy it first
The capsule will be dug up in 100 years time, in 2109.
Ashington FC director Steve Land said: "There's a lot of history at the site of the old ground. There have been many great days there in the club's history, especially with our links to many of the region's best players.
"We're looking towards the future now with our new ground, but it was nice to have a ceremony to mark the past too, especially with representatives from the club, schoolchildren and generous fans who donated memorabilia.
"It's nice to think that, in 100 years time, what we've buried in the capsule will mean the club's illustrious past at this site is remembered."
The Northumberland club holds a special place in North East and England hearts as the origin of some of the region's best players.
The club has strong links to Toon legend Jackie Milburn and his cousin Cissie's sons, Bobby and Jack Charlton. The club moved to their new ground and began the new season there last year. Portland Park was pulled down at the same time and is now the site of a new Asda store that is being built.
Poems in hand, thirty-four pupils from year one class at St Aidan's First School (pictured) also came along to bury their thoughts about what Ashington will look like in 100 years time.
To mark the new use of the site, Asda bosses also put some of their own memorabilia into the capsule, including a till receipt to compare prices in 100 years time.
The old Asda store first opened its doors 22 years ago, and five members of the original team, who still work for the company, went along too to mark the occasion.
Store manager Barry Thompson said: "Through this time capsule, we want to bring the community together to celebrate all the special memories Asda Ashington and Ashington Community Football Club have made in the town over the years."
People can see the Ashington FC memorabilia at the recruitment centre, Age Concern, Round House, Lintonville Terrace.
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