From Teesside student to GB American Football captain

HANDS IN: Team huddle up before getting into the action (Photo: Plastow Photography -

HANDS IN: Team huddle up before getting into the action (Photo: Plastow Photography –














THERE’S no question that American Football has risen to great heights in popularity over here in the UK.

With more and more NFL matches being played at Wembley every season and talk of a potential London franchise in the league, the sports has taken huge steps to becoming a major sport in the United Kingdom.

But a very important step forwards was taken when the women’s American Football team played their first ever international match against Sweden in September.

Leading the charge that day for Team GB was Beverley Marwood – a former Teesside University student who’s honoured with the distinction of leading the team into their first international match.

Beverley said: “It’s a great honour, fantastic and one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in sport!

“So proud to be able to be given that honour in the first place but to be able to lead another 39 girls into unknown territory as it was our first ever 11-a-side international.

“It’s an unbelievable achievement and earning the captaincy really reflects on how supportive people have been.”

Bevelery studied MsC Physiotherapy during her time at Teesside University – skills she would be able to take into her role as a physiotherapist for the likes of the Newcastle Vikings American Football team. She says her work as a physio helps massively when she’s on the field.

She said: “The general knowledge of physio keeps me fit and helps me be able to train. “It helps you avoid injuries a lot less frequently having the knowledge of how to take care of your body.

“It definitely helps 100% on the pitch.”

GEARED UP: Beverley sporting GB gear as she hopes to take the women’s team to new heights.

GEARED UP: Beverley sporting GB gear as she hopes to take the women’s team to new heights.

Team GB marked their first match by locking horns with Sweden – the third highest-ranked team in Europe.

Despite the formidable challenge, the ladies were able to overcome the Swedes and triumphed 26-14.

Beverley was pleased that the team put themselves on the map big-time with the win over Sweden, adding: “Underneath it all, we knew we could win but we knew we were going out there with a big challenge. To win in such great style was absolutely fantastic.

“To knock off the third best in Europe, Sweden, is a major accomplishment.”

Beverley currently serves as general manager for the Teesside Steelers women’s American football team – the first and only one of it’s kind in the North-East.

Teesside Steelers were formed after Beverley discovered that there wasn’t a lot of support for women wanting to take part in the sport in the North.

The team travels down south a lot to take part in the GB development scheme and it’s paid off for the team – FIVE Steelers represented GB in the match against Sweden.

Beverley said: “It’s an absolute fantastic achievement.

“The girls have worked so hard for the last few years.

“A couple of those players had only been playing for less than a year so it just goes to show how hard they worked and how much effort our coaches have put in to get them to where they needed to be.”

Beverley was also very thankful for the support of the team and even the media coverage from the likes of BBC Tees and the Northern Echo!

Beverley said: “We’re getting a lot more support and people are getting behind us.

“Social media is a fantastic way of getting it out but actually getting it into the local newspapers, like the Gazette and the Echo, has been amazing.

“It makes people aware that we exactly and off the back of that, we will get more numbers and a lot of support from that.”

Beverley says her family has been a massive motivator for her to take part in the- sport.

Beverley said: “They initially thought I was crazy for doing it!

“But they know that I’m into that as I’ve played rugby before.

“When I told them I was trying out American Football they were 100% supportive.”

Having knocked off Sweden, Beverley is hoping for GB to take things to the next level with the European Championships next year.

This would Team GB’s first stint in the championship and the captain is hoping to make a huge impact.

Beverley said: “We’re aiming for the European Championship next year and if it comes off, we’ll be playing the likes of Germany, Finland and Norway.

“The Euros give us a chance to face team’s that are well established and have years and years of experience.

“We’ve got a whole year to work towards that.”

And if things go according to plan in the Euros, Beverley is hoping to get to battle with the best teams in the world at the World Championship afterwards!

“The US are currently the best in the world so we’d love to give them a good go!”

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Tside speak to Scottish rockers Fatherson ahead of their headline tour

Fatherson 1

FOUR SCOTTISH MEN – Fatherson posing for their debut album ‘I Am An Island’

AFTER a demanding day organising their headline show in London, Fatherson were glad to sit back, relax and talk to tside about their music.

With a European tour supporting We Were Promised Jetpacks under their belts and preparing for SXSW 2015 music festival in the US,  the four piece alternative rock band from Glasgow have certainly achieved a lot in just four years.

Tside Culture and Lifestyle Editor NATALIE DEVONSHIRE pinned down bass player and vocalist Marc Strain for a quick chat about the bands past year and future plans.

N: Your debut album, ‘I Am An Island‘ was released earlier this year and it hit high in the iTunes charts and peaked at No.5 on the Alternative Chart, how did that make you feel?

M: It was pretty incredible. Being an independent band you’re never really sure how things are going to go down. We put so much time and effort into our debut album that on release day we were just relieved everything had work out. When we started getting reviews in and tweets about it almost selling out at every HMV in Scotland we were pretty taken back. Then to look on iTunes to see it high in the charts was just crazy!

N: As an alternative rock/indie band, can you tell us who or what inspired you to this genre of music?

M: Fatherson for Greg, Ross and I was our first band. We started playing music together when we were fourteen, albeit under a different name. So the music we play now is just a continuation of that. When we get in a room there is very little thought put into “How should this sound?” or “Is this going to be a single?” It’s all pretty honest and I hope that is why people like our band. When Chris joined the band he added to that sound and and allowed us to be a bit more refined.

N: You are all Scottish men but what is the music scene like up in Scotland?

M: The music scene is great up here, loads of our favourite bands are Scottish and we’re really proud to be part of that. However, we enjoy playing in England just as much as in Scotland. The crowds can vary but that’s the same between cities or even different days of the week.

N: You performed at Twisterella Festival here in Middlesbrough this year, what was your Teesside experience like?

M: We love coming down to Middlesbrough and the surrounding areas. We’re starting to feel like there’s a strong following even though we’ve only started playing there in the past year or so but every time it’s been bigger and better.

N: You have been lucky enough to have performed at T in the Park and other major festivals, but what has been your favourite festival and memory as a band so far?

M: We’ve had some amazing experiences all over but this year at T in the Park was really amazing! We were on reasonably early on the King Tuts Tent, which was huge. After having a beer or two, we got ready to walk on and as Ross stepped in stage to start the set, I heard a really large cheer. It was overwhelming. Safe to say that was the most fun I’ve ever had!

Fatherson 2

THE KILMARNOCK GANG – They are ready to take the world by storm.

N: We heard that you embarked on a UK and European tour supporting ‘We Were Promised Jetpacks’, this must have been exciting for you?

M: We’re just back from almost a month away with the Jetpack guys. They are great, really accommodating! It was great! We played in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy and Austria with them. It was our first time in a lot of those places and we had a great time! The shows were lots of fun and we’ve got two more shows with them before the end of the year. One in Newcastle and one in Glasgow!

N: It is also rumoured that next year you will be heading over to the USA for the SXSW 2015 music festival. What does this mean to you as a band?

M: Yeah, we were one of the first line up of artists announced for SXSW 2015. We went to America a couple of years ago to play a showcase festival and although it went well, it was before we had recorded our album so it was maybe a little to early for us. This time we are heading over with some great contacts, a released album and some new material in the bag so we are really looking forward to it.

N: The music industry is incredibly tough to break into, so what does it take to succeed?

M: If we find out we’ll let you know! We have big goals for the future but it’s been great how many people we have reached with our first album. I think 2015 will be a really exciting year for us.

N:  So to finish the interview, can you tell us what the next challenge is for Fatherson?

M: We’ve been writing recently, taking the most of November to write and have a few shows in December. We will be working on new songs right up until summer. People always say the second album is really difficult because you have so long to write our first. I’ve actually found it refreshing to start from a clean slate. I feel like we are moving forward and we are building on these and getting better and better. The main challenge is getting our music out to as many people as we can!

Fatherson are touring the UK this December and you can buy tickets from 



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Markets, Sights and Christmas Lights

THE nights may be cold and dark but a Christmas market is guaranteed to brighten up the Winter.

AMSTERDAM MARKET: Image courtesy of Google

AMSTERDAM MARKET: Image courtesy of Google

This year Tside have been searching for the best Christmas markets that will expel our frosty mood and fill us with Christmas cheer.

We have managed to shrink our list of ‘must do markets’ down to two –  Amsterdam and Manchester.

After watching The Fault In Our Stars, Tside fell completely in love with Amsterdam and feel so lucky that we can visit the city at the most beautiful time of year.

Nothing says Christmas spirit like following a trail of wooden huts full of festive goodies, ice-skating in a Winter Wonderland and eating Christmas themed treats under twinkly lights.

We can’t wait to wrap up in  faux-fur coats and go from stall to stall tasting different food and buying stocking fillers for loved ones. Christmas is our most favorite time of year, we love anything covered in snow, fairy lights or holly.

In Amsterdam and Manchester the markets have nearly 300 stalls, full to the brim of mouthwatering foods from across Europe, not to mention small hand crafted gifts that would make perfect little gifts.

Amsterdam Christmas markets are located right in the centre of the city, the stalls are neighbors to a giant ice rink and bar.

So when we’re finished shopping and ice skating and feel frozen to the core we will go warm ourselves up with a creamy hot chocolate exploding with mallows, or maybe a French wine or German beer.

If you enjoy going to church over the festive period, there are also a few churches around Amsterdam that host seasonal concerts where guests can partake in Christmas masses and hymn singing.

The beautiful thing about Christmas time is that everyone lets their hair down, gets involved in the most random activities and overall just has a good time.

Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones and here at Tside we couldn’t think of a better place to go with our  families than a fun filled market. They have something for all ages.

That’s exactly why we have searched high and low to find a budget break so that students can get in on the festivities too.

Groupon currently have an offer on to visit a European Christmas market of your choice from the list, they are offering one to three night stays including flights for just £119pp.

Alternatively, you can visit Amsterdam on a DFDS seaways mini-cruise for roughly £60pp based on three people sharing a standard class cabin.

The downfall to this method of travel is that you are only given six hours to see Amsterdam before the ship sets sail again, unless you decide to upgrade your stay and book a hotel in Amsterdam and return the following day.

DFDS is reasonably priced travel, however if you decide to travel by sea you can save yourself a lot of money if you take a cool bag with your food inside as food can be a bit pricey on the ferry.

Here at Tside we love travelling with DFDS, it is cheap and the Disco on the ferry is great fun. There is also a casino, sports bar and various gift shops on board offering duty-free



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Screendance Festival in Brazil: Post from Perform@tees


63° 24’ 10” N 19° 6’ 49” W  a Screendance by Heike Salzer and her company Salts, has been invited as the only British/Icelandic entry for the main screening at The I Mostra Internacional de Dança: Imagens em Movimento a Céu Aberto – IMA 2014, in Ribeirão Preto city and São Paulo state, 24th-26th October 2014.

It will also  be part of the Archive of the Video Library Centro Cultural Palace (Palace Cultural Center)

Directors and Choreography: Heike Salzer & Ingi Jensson

Dancer: Saga Sigurðardóttir

Camera: Sigurður Þorfinnur Einarsson

Editing: Heike Salzer

Sound: Jack Laidlaw-Music & Heike Salzer

Year of completion: 2014

Country of production: Iceland & United Kingdom

from perform@tees

Fertile Ground-Graduate Dance Company: Post from Perform@tees

Louise Todd-Alys North- FERTILE GROUND

The students of the BA Dance had the opportunity to join in with the dancers of Fertile Ground Dance Company, led by artistic director Dora Frankel, who are resident in Middlesbrough during November. The class given by choreographer Tom Dale was inspiring and the students are looking forward to view the Open rehearsal at the end of the month.

from perform@tees

Tside Sports Editors November Podcast Special

This is the Tside Sports Editors November Podcast Special talking about all the latest sports stories coming out of Tside, the university, Middlesbrough and across the nation with in-depth analysis and opinions.

Radio Newsday Sports Editor and MFC reporter Matthew Jones, Tside Sports Editor Thomas Robinson and Assistant Tside Sports Editor Nathan Lee join forces as we talk about Olympic Long Jumper Chris Tomlinson’s local work in the region and Team GB’s Women’s American Football captain Beverley Marwood.

We also look at Nathan’s chinwag with Middlesbrough defender George Friend while looking at Middlesbrough FC’s chances of promotion and talk about England’s win over Scotland and whether Wayne Rooney should be considered an England legend.

Have a listen in the link below and enjoy!

from Tside

Happy Mondays’ Bez: “We are starting a revolution!”

A PARTY on a boat in the River Tees might be the last place you would expect to see the leader of a political party.

But this was no ordinary party leader. This was former Happy Monday’s star Bez now simply known as Mark Berry.

Mark , leader of the Reality Party was onboard the Teesside Princess to show off his dance moves and spread his political message.

The floating rave, named “Bez on the Boat”, was one of several parties which has been held on the Teesside Princess by Riffraff, a house night in Middlesbrough which is usually based in Medicine Bar.

Organiser and DJ, Lee Pennington, 34, who is also a music lecturer at Middlesbrough college, hailed the event as a massive success and said that there are many more to come.

 Mark  has formed the Reality Party with the hope of becoming an MP for Salford and Eccles in 2015.

Tside's Lewis Denison with Bez

Tside’s Lewis Denison with Bez

Tside’s LEWIS DENISON met with Bez before the party to discuss performing, partying and politics.

The dancer, who is more known for his partying than his politics told how he still can’t turn down a good night out.

“Yeah I am fifty years old now so I have calmed down on the partying just a bit, but I never want to become a boring old man, no matter how old I am,” He said.

“And I’m never going to turn down a night out that’s called “Bez on the Boat” am I?”

The veteran raver has hit headlines many times in the past 30 years, he was and occasionally still is the dancer and percussionist (maraca shaker) for the Happy Mondays, a band who had vast success in the 1980′s.

The band’s success never really lasted outside of the 80′s and his life has been a roller-coaster ever since, having several court appearances and being declared bankrupt twice.

He said: “Money has never really bothered me, its always been about the partying.”

“I’ll be honest, before I went in Big Brother in 2005 I was right up s*** creek, and I still wasn’t really bothered then.

“I went in to see what would happen and God knows how but I won and it sorted me right out.”

Since winning Big Brother in 2005 Bez has appeared on our TV screens several times but refuses to admit he is a reality TV star.

“Yeah I have been on reality TV a few times but I’m all about the music,” He said.

“No one knows me because I won Big Brother, everyone knows me as the mad dancer from Manchester.

“I’m still a mad dancer and I’m still from Manchester, but now I want to be known for my politics and my new party the Reality Party.”

Bez formed the Reality Party this year to go hand in hand with his anti fracking campaign, the slogan of which is “shake your maracas if you’re against the frackers”.

The Reality Party was officially launched in April this year in a pub in Eccles, near Manchester.

The location was a far cry from a traditional party conference and the campaign trail is going to be very different as well.

Bez said: “What I’m doing is I’m going around the country to all the parties I get invited to and talking to everyone I can about my new party.”

“Parties like this one are ideal because I can get close and personal with the people, instead of shouting at them from up on a stage.”

When quizzed why he decided to move into politics he said: “I’m always banging on about how we need a revolution in this country but I’ve never done anything about it.”

“This country has been in a last chance saloon for the past ten years and the 2015 General Election is last orders in the last chance saloon.

“Something needed to be done in this country before the Tories destroy it.

“That is why I decided to form the Reality party, to offer real change to the people. We are starting a revolution!”

People can learn more about the Reality Party online on the party’s  Facebook page.

Anyone who wishes to attend any future Riffraff events can find information at



from Tside

Jim Davidson: “Operation Yewtree is a Witch Hunt”

FUNNYMAN Jim Davidson brought his ‘No Further Action’ tour to Billingham  and the controversial comic was at his brutally honest best about what had been the worst year of his life.

Jim was arrested under Operation Yewtree in January 2013 and was investigated for a year  over historic sexual assault allegations.

The arrest stopped him from entering the Celebrity Big Brother house and the comedian spoke to Tside reporter NATHAN LEE about his experience:

“It really was a horrible time,” Jim said.

“You can’t make it up.  I was in Heathrow Airport waiting for the Big Brother producers to pick me up when I got a phone call from the police.

NO FURTHER ACTION: Jim Davidson with Tside reporter Nathan Lee

NO FURTHER ACTION: Jim Davidson with Tside reporter Nathan Lee

“No word of a lie, their first words were ‘I’m calling from Operation Yewtree, I think you’ll have been expecting us’, and I thought ‘no, of course I haven’t.’

“I was thrown in a cell and released on bail for what would be the worst year of my life while they investigated these claims.”

After the year of investigations Jim was told there was going to be no further action and this is  the inspiration for his current  tour.

After the investigatiion was dropped, Jim finally managed to enter the Celebrity Big Brother house in January 2014 and eventually won.

“It was really overwhelming. It was so nice to finish the year off like that, it was as if the public said ‘Jim, we always believed you,” he said.

“To know I had the public on my side, after everything, was really overwhelming.”

And when Jim entered the stage at the Billingham Forum , to rapturous applause from a loyal and devoted crowd,   the comedian seemed genuinely humbled by the audience’s reaction.

“I always had the feeling that the public were on my side, all the way through the investigation,” he said.

Jim had the audience in stitches throughout the show, telling good old fashioned jokes and anecdotes about his time in the Big Brother house, the year under investigation and his showbusiness past.

And  some of the biggest laughs of the night came from his interaction with the audience.

Jim made fun of latecomers and made tongue in cheek comments about anyone that got up from their seat during the show.

In a more serious section of the show, Jim talked in depth about Operation Yewtree.

Jimmy Savile has a lot to answer for, not just for the stuff he’s done but the amount of people that have been falsely dragged into all this,” he said.

“It’s turned into a witch hunt and it almost seems that if anyone is short of a few quid, they can make an allegation against somebody and hope for some compo.”

Jim said the investigation and clearing his name cost him £500,000 in legal fees.

He said: “I rang my solicitor up after I was cleared and I said, who can I sue? I’ve got no money left.”

Some jokes may have been shirked at by a different comedian and different crowd, but this was Jim Davidson telling gags to fans that had been fans since he burst onto TV screens in the 1970′s on the talent show New Faces.

Jim has ruled out doing any more Reality TV at present.

“I’ve no more plans after the tour to do anything life changing,” he said.

“Perhaps just more time off, more fishing, more golf and doing more stuff that old men do.”

The show at Billingham was a success, the theatre was full and more importantly – full of laughs from the audience.



from Tside

Album Review: Cheryl – Only Human

ONLY HUMAN: Cheryl shows off her animal side on new album cover.

ONLY HUMAN: Cheryl shows off her animal side on new album cover.

Album Title: Only Human
Artist: Cheryl
Release Date: 10/11/2014
Tside Rating: Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5Tside Rating: 3 out of 5

After two years away from the spotlight, Cheryl made a triumphant return to our screens this Summer as she took back her position on The X Factor.

But with controversy surrounding her live vocal ability and an X Factor ratings slump, can Cheryl deliver on album four?

Cheryl’s new collection opens with a speech from philosopher Alan Watts, who talks about wasting time and how important life is. The introduction sets a framework for an album full of attitude, with songs like new single I Don’t Care leading the way.

Nobody is expecting Houston-style power ballads from Cheryl, but Only Human really does live up to be her most cohesive and fluent album to date.

It delivers some brilliant pop moments. Tracks like lead-single Crazy Stupid Love and It’s About Time are infectious, building on the fun, carefree attitude from last album A Million Lights and delivering some pop highs.

Cheryl’s Girls Aloud band-mate Nicola Roberts also has writing credits on four tracks. Songs like Goodbye Means Hello and Yellow Love are quirky and remind us of Cheryl’s softer side. The songs wouldn’t feel out of place on her debut LP, 3 Words.

Cheryl’s ‘F-you’ attitude doesn’t carry throughout the whole album, with ballads such as title-track Only Human and fan-favourite Waiting for Lightning showcasing Cheryl’s softer side.

Cheryl has, in the past, been criticised for her jumble-sale approach to albums, but Only Human really does feel like a collection. The LP tells a story from beginning to end and each track does something. This time around, it’s clear Cheryl has something to say.

However, while the album certainly has some highlights, it does not capture the magic of some of Cheryl’s previous hits, such as Fight For This Love and Call My Name.

The overall package is a little flat. You wait for songs to build and come into their own, but they all fall short of something special. Only Human really does live up to it’s name. It’s not perfect, but Cheryl didn’t ever claim to be.

Only Human is available on iTunes now.

from Tside

Stars on Canvas: Post from Tees bit on the side

Our very own Marcus Diamond has been asked to provide a piece of work for a charity auction for the Willow Foundation. The auction, ‘Stars on Canvas’, is a bi-annual charity auction of original artworks created by well known names from the worlds of art, illustration, sport, music and popular culture. The online eBay auction is accompanied by a public exhibition with all proceeds going to the national charity.

Willow is the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days. These Special Days enable them and their families to reconnect and refocus on each other while enjoying an activity of their choosing. A day for them, a day about them and a day that will create memories they will all treasure forever.

The 10-day eBay auction will run from Thursday 13 – Sunday 23 November. All canvases will start at 99p with no reserve. The first canvas goes live at 5pm on the 13th and the others will follow one minute apart. The public exhibition is taking place at The Hub, Heddon Street, London and will be open for 4 days, further info can be found at

See Marcus’s auction here,

Marcus 2

from Tees bit on the side