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by James Hickman James Hickman


  • Posted on Wednesday 3rd June, 2015

The First Utility Super League is coming to the North East for the 2015 Magic Weekend and what better way to welcome the sport to the Toon than with a friendly competition between current Super League stars and Newcastle United legends?

As the sun rose over the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the Hatch team were busy in the grounds of the HMS Calliope, preparing the stage, scenery and river for First Utility’s Magic Weekend activity.

Peter Beardsley, Rob Lee and John Beresford were taking on a Super League team of Jon Wilkin (St Helens), Mark Sneyd (Hull FC) and Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings) at a unique kicking challenge that spanned the width of the River Tyne. Aiming at giant inflatable rugby ball targets, the two teams were competing in this inter-sport challenge to raise money for the NSPCC and raise awareness of Magic Weekend heading to the Toon for the first time ever.

Representing the ‘round-ball’ sport, Beresford and his iconic blonde locks put on perhaps the best performance for his side. Wilkin, ever the showman, may have regretted teaching Rob Lee how best to strike a rugby ball when the former Newcastle midfielder planted his shot square on a target, giving his team the lead and contributing another £250 to the charity donation.

With the magpies currently struggling in the league, the three legends reminded the gathering crowds of yesteryear, where charisma and showmanship walked hand-in-hand with sterling performances in front of the St James Park faithful.

Check out the video for yourself – HERE 

With media presence on the day, and the video appearing far-and-wide, racking up over 300,000 views in the lead up to Magic Weekend, Newcastle was fully prepared to host one of the biggest weekends in the First Utility Super League calendar. Also, in addition to the exposure, the video helped raise £1750 for First Utility’s chosen charity, the NSPCC.