Are there double standards when it comes to sexism?

THE OLD, yet very relevant, issue of sexism reared its ugly head again.

Celebrity Big Brother and ex-Coronation Street star, Ken Morley, was axed from the house after making lewd and sexist comments about his female housemates, along with using racially offensive language.

MORLEY: Ken appears on Loose Women

MORLEY: Ken appears on Loose Women

Morley, 71, angered his housemates after following them into the shower room, proclaiming that “this is the best place to look at **** in the world.”

Morley also called fellow housemate Cami Li “half Moroccan, half slut”.

After being removed from the house (and rightly so), Morley went on to appear on ITV’s lunchtime panel show, Loose Women, to explain his actions.

While watching the show, something struck me. The amount of sexist comments aimed at men, by the panel of the show, was actually quite blatant but instead of the outcry that Morley faced, the comments were well received and dismissed.

This prompts the question, why is it socially acceptable for women to be sexist towards men?

On the show in question, Coleen Nolan stated that she would “like to get to know Ben Haenow (X Factor 2014 winner)”, which was clearly meant in a sexual manner and this led me to think what if Ken Morley had said that about Fleur East (X Factor 2014 runner-up) or another young woman – would his comments have got the same laughs from the audience? Almost definitely not.

This also got me thinking, would a panel show called Loose Men ever get to air? Would a TV station ever endorse a lunchtime panel show of middle-aged men talking about women in the same way Loose Women talk about men? Again, I think not.

CBB: Morley was removed from the Channel 5 show

CBB: Morley was removed from the Channel 5 show

It’s not only Loose Women that are the culprits, as I also caught an old episode of Have I Got News For You this week, with Jo Brand the host.

In the show she was asked what her favourite type of man was and she replied: “A dead one.” Although it is obviously a joke and given, quite a funny one, it also got me thinking if we reversed that joke, would it still be funny? If a male comedian said that his favourite type of women were dead women, would it have got the same laughs? Again, I’m not so sure.

Examples don’t stop there, if you can cast your mind back to I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and Edwina Currie’s leering over X Factor reject Jake Quickenden, she said: “Just to sit and watch Jake doing his exercises and doing a bit of stretching and so on. That’s an old lady’s dream.” Again, reverse the subject and the object, is that still OK?

So what I am asking is, is sexism a shocking double standard within British society?

I spoke to some students on campus and took to Twitter to see how people feel about the issue, here’s what they said:

Chris Ber, 21, a history student, said: “I think it is a two way street really, it happens towards men but it just seems to be generally accepted.”

Thomas Hunt, 22, a psychology student,  said: “I think the difference is is that men aren’t really bothered about what women say about them!”

Sarah Cunningham, 18, a criminology student,  said: “I agree, if women can be so offended by sexism like in Ken Morley’s case, then women can’t then go about saying things like that about men.”

James Dunn, 19, an engineering student, said: “I don’t think it’s a big problem really, you can see where the line is crossed and mostly it’s just banter.”

Jess Mason, 20,  a sports and exercise student,  said: “People need to stop being so sensitive about things like this, people don’t know how to take jokes anymore and it’s almost as if people can’t say anything without the risk of offending someone.”

TWITTER ANGER: Viewers take to Twitter about Loose Women

TWITTER ANGER: Viewers take to Twitter about Loose Women

The sexism debate is likely to rage on, but with everyday sexism being generally accepted, it seems society has a long way to go.


from Tside

Remembering Evacuation. Post from History at Teesside

As part of a Knowledge Exchange Project for last year’s third year module, ‘The People’s War’, Catherine Hulse interviewed a relative who had been evacuated during the Blitz. 

From the outset of the ‘People’s War’ the whole nation, even children, were included. With technological advancements made in the interwar years and the growing tensions in Europe, aerial bombardment posed a huge threat and in 1938 Sir Arthur MacNalty, Chief Medical Officer to the Board of Education stated that ‘the industrial cities of our land are no longer fenced cities for the little ones, but may become the most vulnerable centres of attack’. The sheer idea of evacuating a whole generation of children without their parents was unprecedented, but now the danger seemed so great that a full evacuation plan was devised and in place by summer 1939.

On the 1st September, two days before the official announcement of conflict, the official move from city to country began – in this first transition 827,000 school-aged children left their homes. These children were not just a uniform mass, but individuals with individual experiences, and it is crucial that we listen and record them while the opportunity is still available. One child who did not have the experience that one might expect from the reading of history books was Marlene Williams, now Kenneally, who shares her story below. At the start of the War she was just short of five and living in Forest Gate, Greater London.


Photographs from

We understand that you were not evacuated in 1939 in the main national scheme – what happened that caused you to eventually be sent away?

We lived very close to Wanstead Flats, which in the first year of the War was home to the army and there was a huge anti-aircraft gun battery – this was a main target for the Germans.* Our house was directly hit on the 20th September 1940 – many houses in our road were demolished that night. The blast caused everything in the shelter to become dislodged and I can remember choking on the dust… we were trapped for a day and a half.

* Over thirty high explosive bombs directly hit Wanstead Flats in the Blitz, and two hundred and sixteen fell on the Royal Docks to the south, another obvious key target.

 That must have been terrifying! What was it like when you finally got out?

Horrific. There were chairs, other furniture, bedding and curtains high in the trees which were blown up by the blast, the only things we were left with were our nightclothes which we were wearing. Next door, only the children survived, and they had to be pulled out through the coal hole. The WVS (Women’s Voluntary Service) washed us, sorted out our grazes and found us some clothes.

Where were you eventually taken?

At first to Saxmundham near Ipswich – there was me, my mum and brother, and many others who travelled there by open top lorry and who were taken in by a farmer the first night. The next day we set off for Aylesbury, and lived in Waddesdon Village Hall for about a week.


During the war, Suffolk, where Marlene spent her first night away, saw so many more children from Dagenham, less than ten miles from Forest Gate, arrived than had been expected that no billets could be found for them and some had to be put up in temporary accommodation without bedding or blankets. So much attention had been paid to the logistics of getting children away, that the consideration of how they would fare and how the receiving communities would cope was neglected.

What was your experience of the temporary accommodation like, and what happened to you after leaving it?

We were all given sacks which we had to fill with straw for a mattress and very hairy, itchy blankets. I will never forget the smell of oil stoves and the vats of vegetable soup.

We were eventually allotted the Water House at Winchendon which we shared with another family – two rooms each.  Water from the pump, no gas or electricity. The Red Cross gave us each a camp bed , enamel mug and plate, knife fork and spoon, oil lamp, kettle and two big pots.

What was the Waterhouse like, and how was life there, given how little you really had?

It was at top of a field, church and graveyard next to us and farm at the bottom, where the farmer let us have eggs and milk. We grew all our own vegetables. From the top of the hill we could see London burning.  They (the Luftwaffe) used to drop masses of incendiary bombs and the sky on the horizon was bright red – it happened night after night so we were constantly fearful for our family and friends. The school was five miles away and we walked.  My brother and I regarded it as a great adventure, but how terrible for the women especially as their husbands could be anywhere.  It was my birthday seven days after we were bombed out and Mum made me a doll out of a stocking.  No arms or legs but she had managed to get some wool to embroider eyes and a mouth and wrapped it round with a piece of rag.  My dad visited us on compassionate leave and chopped a great pile of logs; also bought a small axe for my brother to make life easier.  The clothing was indescribable, all second hand via Red Cross, and we had to line shoes with paper cut outs to try and keep wet out.  Can only remember one Christmas there and Mum made me a dress out of white crepe paper. It was very poverty stricken.

 Where did you go from there?

In 1942 when the air raids subsided we came home and stayed with my Auntie Bessie in Ilford as we were homeless. We continued to have raids however, and we would all dress up every night to get in the shelter.   The mums made them fun nights with all kinds of word and number games and then we would all crawl out in the morning to see what damage had been done.  I was evacuated again before the V1s and V2s started to become a threat. Remember the fear when we heard about the next thing we had to look forward to.  No warning just bang.  Everyone was very scared.


The arrival of the V1 and V2s brought about a so called ‘second blitz’ between 1944 and 1945. Over four hundred of the latter, the more sophisticated and accurate V2s, hit London and its immediate surroundings. Ilford, being in the east side of Greater London, suffered greatly in this time – it was the worst affected area by the V2 rockets, being struck 35 times (and 34 times by V1s). This led to another flurry of evacuation, largely in a scheme known as Operation Rivulet which saw many of London’s schoolchildren evacuated, in some cases, like Marlene’s, for the second time.

How did you feel at having to leave home again?

I went on my own that time and was very sad to leave my mum but not my brother who I thought was a clever bossy boots.  The train journey took about eight hours but I was still full of optimism and looking forward to the new life.  I was very lucky but some children had a very bad time.

How unlike the first evacuation was it?

I was billeted with a very wealthy family in Yorkshire, so very different to the first evacuation. The house I was taken to was huge with three storeys and three double fronts with tennis courts, a huge summerhouse for entertaining, stables, and a river at bottom of garden with a boat.  We had a nursery equipped with every game imaginable and a full sized billiard table.  ‘Uncle Paul’ was the village doctor and also Medical Officer for West Riding of Yorkshire, his surgery and dispensary were in the house. They also had a farm at Seatoller in the Lake District where we would go for a month each Easter and another at Morecambe Bay where we would spend August. I had never seen so much food in my life – huge platters of sausages, bacon, eggs and fried bread.

It sounds as though you were treated well?

They were a very kind family – they had three boys and had always wanted a girl, so yes, I was very well looked after. I was started on music lessons, taught how to swim and play tennis, and when we went to the Lake District, was kitted out with walking boots and kilt. I was lucky – two sisters who lived in my road were so unhappy and badly treated that their mother took them home.


For some children, the experience of evacuation was nothing less than traumatic, as suggested by the sisters Marlene knew. Problems ranged from billets being simply unsuitable, to cases of child neglect and even child cruelty. Another lady who visited her evacuated younger brother and sister in their time away saw the effects of this. The siblings begged to be brought home for they were so hungry from being given so little food that they had broken into the pantry and stolen a jar of jam, and as a result had been beaten. Such experiences add strength to Juliet Gardiner’s argument that children’s loss was compounded by the draining away of their normal expectations of childhood, years that could never be recovered. Marlene’s story, to a large extent, fights back at such a generalization – thankfully there were children who were given wonderful opportunities and treated with much kindness and care. Even so, most children experienced home sickness in some form as Marlene went on to tell us. They also had very mixed feelings about returning to their old lives at the end of the War.

I always felt rather distant from ‘Auntie Eileen’, although she was very kind. The family’s beautiful red setter, Rhoda, became my saviour, something I could cuddle – she and I were inseparable. She would run by the bike each morning when I went to school and every afternoon she would be by the school gate waiting. I was torn in half when it was time to come home, desperately wanting to see everyone but was devastated at the thought of leaving Rhoda. I remember sitting in the stable with her telling her not to go to school anymore and it was this that upset me so.   When I got home there was much whispering about me wishing to be back up north but I could not even speak about Rhoda without crying, so could not say what was really wrong but I did love being home. I went back in summer holidays every year until Rhoda died and I couldn’t go any more.

Evacuation is an important and unique part of British history. This article has hopefully not only demonstrated the realities of the danger on home soil and how many complex issues there were associated with evacuation, but also shown that feelings and stories are as important as solid facts in remembering and learning about the past. The experience of all the children who were part of this piece of history cannot be summed up in one paragraph, for they varied greatly. The way evacuation both affected and was affected by the government and other large organizations, and the social issues that arose from it, whilst not unimportant by any standards, will forever be available in books and on the internet. People, on the other hand, will not last forever, and their memories and stories should be captured while they can be, treasured and learnt from.

Catherine Hulse is currently studying for an MA at the University of Glasow

from HistoryatTeesside

Stockton to celebrate Independent Venue Week

THE GEORGIAN THEATRE: Stockton venue to take part in UK event

Stockton venue to take part in UK event

TEESSIDE will be represented by The Georgian Theatre in Stockton for the second edition of Independent Venue Week.

The event celebrates small music venues around the UK and will host well-known artists including You Me At Six, Frankie and the Heartstrings and this year’s Ambassador Frank Turner.

Questions have been asked around the future of smaller venues and with the rise of multimillion sponsored arenas Britain faces losing one of its most treasured possessions.

Chris Cobain, The Georgian Theatre’s programming and production manager, says the event will allow people to become more aware of Teesside but he is calling out for more protection over the small venue circuit.

“We jumped at the chance to get us involved. I think Teesside has a lot of good artists but we just need the rest of the country to stand up and take notice of us,” says Chris.

“There have been a lot of issues with small independent venues lately with council taken them away from the promoters or turning them into flats.

“You need to be protective of these buildings because at the end of the day this is where artists cut their teeth. There wouldn’t have been a Royal Blood, Muse or Foo Fighters, without playing small venues.”

The Georgian Theatre has a capacity of 200 and will be joined by the likes of the Lomax, Brudenell Social Club and the Leadmill as over 80 venues host breaking and established artists over seven days.

INTIMATE: Stockton venue has a capacity of 200

INTIMATE: Stockton venue has a capacity of 200

The Jar Family, Violet Deep and James Kruman will be playing an intimate show on Saturday January 31 to celebrate the work that goes into producing the next big thing in music.

“It’s great when we have someone coming up and then a few months later they’re playing festivals and headlining slots in stadiums,” says Chris.

“Smaller acts can’t progress without our small venues but we can’t progress without them as well.

“It’s also good when the larger bands take a step down to play these kinds of places because I think the fans appreciate it. It’s a small, sweaty environment and it goes down really well.”

Managed by Tees Music Alliance, The Georgian Theatre stage has been shared by Arctic Monkeys, The Cribs and The Chapman Family.

Chris says Teesside is home to a number of good artists and venues and he is grateful to be working alongside Stockton council.

Chris said: “The council have been really good for us as we work with them a lot.

“At the end of the day people like going to see live music, whether it’s in a small room in a pub or at a festival, its part of a lot of people’s lives.”

Tickets for the event are priced at £5 and are available from:

from Tside

Teesside Graduate Gets Dream Job Down Under

I’M SURE that for a lot of us, getting paid to work and live in Australia is a dream come true.

Crisp white sand between your toes and crystal blue waters rolling into the horizon sounds like heaven on Earth.

Well for one ex-Teesside student, it’s about to become reality.

Journalism graduate Matthew Norman is  jetting off to the land of kangaroos and vegemite sandwiches.

But his route to the southern hemisphere was a fairly unique one which owed a little to the skills he picked up at Teesside University.

LIVING THE DREAM: Teesside Graduate Matthew Norman

LIVING THE DREAM: Teesside Graduate Matthew Norman

Graduating as a NCTJ qualified Multimedia Journalist, Matthew managed to get a job working as a SEO executive for Colewood Internet in Stokesley and from there started building on skills he learnt at Teesside University.

It was the advertising of these skills on business social networking site LinkedIn that started him on the road to the land down under.

His fleshed out cyber CV was spotted by a recruiter in Australia who contacted Matthew about several job openings with their company MatchMedia in Sydney.

Matthew originally began using LinkedIn as part of the MMJ course at Teesside and began to fill his profile up one section at a time.

“On your right hand side you have how full your profile is so I made sure that it was full but it was also good for jobs because of the adverts on LinkedIn. The articles that are on LinkedIn are great and incredibly helpful,” Matthew said.

Despite the initial contact from Australia, Matthew felt his skills were not up to  standard to fill the role properly so he decided to leave it for a year and gain more experience in digital marketing.

After working as SEO Account Manager at Colewood and a Digital Account Director at Spring Digital Media in Middlesbrough, Matthew was contacted again about the jobs and this time sent out his CV and managed to ace the interview at 7am on his hotel balcony while on holiday in Spain.

Matthew credits the depth of LinkedIn as one of the main reasons for him being scouted by MatchMedia and feels that if he didn’t have a full profile and the recommendations from people that he has worked with, the recruiter wouldn’t have “batted an eyelid.”

One of the other reasons he feels he got the jobs that he has had is the journalism course here at Teesside.

He credits the course for its mix of  traditional media techniques with the new skills needed to function in the digital environment that he learnt during his time studying here.

Matthew said: “You need to know everything about anything to do with the internet and websites. You kind of need to be half developer, half marketer and that’s where the content came in. That’s where the content from the course came in, to market a product you need to be able to write well for the website whether that’s with blog posts or articles.”

When asked about advice on how to get through the minefield that is University life, his answer was as inspiring and blunt as a kick up the backside,

“My advice would be to suck it up and do the work, you only get one shot so do as much as you can,” He said.

As he readies himself to step on a plane to go from a small town in Europe to one of the most-well known cities in the World, I asked him what he going to miss about our little slice of home,

“My family, parmos and the Boro.”

FROM THIS: Middlesbrough

TO THIS: Down Under, Sydney

from Tside

Chinese students enjoy a British Christmas


Middlesbrough Town Centre’s Christmas Tree.

 Everyone of us knows how to celebrate Christmas. But what if it was the first time you ever experienced a British Christmas. Well for some Chinese Students here at Teesside University it was.

MA student He Niu recounts her experience of the festive fun.

In the last few weeks we have seen shopping centres, streets and public buildings being transformed with the Christmas Spirit.

Coloured Christmas lightings, beautiful Christmas trees and shop  sales let everyone feel that it is Christmas.

Christmas Day is one of the most important festivals in western countries. It is also a good season for everyone to take a holiday, enjoy family life, relax and shop.

Like  Christmas in the West, The Spring Festival (the Chinese New Year) is one of the most important festivals in  China and everyone celebrates this traditional event with their families.

But because of the different cultural backgrounds in Britain, China has no Christmas Day.

However, with globalised communication, national cultures are more easily expressed to the outside world.

Now many Chinese observe Christmas as an event but we have no holiday for Christmas to enjoy with our families and  we have no religious cultural background to celebrate.

So Christmas in China is mainly used as a marketing tool for sales. The sights and sounds of Christmas are all around, making it one of the biggest commercial seasons in Chinese cities.

For some Chinese students, who had just arrived in Britain, the Christmas experience is an important opportunity to understand British culture and customs.

 Some Chinese students choose to go back home for the festive break , but the majority of Chinese students wanted to stay  and experience an authentic British Christmas.

Computing student Zhang planned to throw himself into the Christmas celebrations.

“I  travelled to London and enjoyed the festivities down there,” He said.

Accounting student Wen spent her second year in Middlesbrough.

 She celebrated with friends and had a fireworks display.  


The festive decorations at He’s friend’s house

This was my first Christmas in Britain and I was invited by one of my father’s friends Huang, who lives in Hatfield and has a British wife and a three-year-old boy, to spend Christmas with them.

When I got to their house on Christmas Eve they had prepared different kinds of gifts for their family and guests, such as Christmas candles, cakes, cards and  biscuits.

A Christmas tree was placed in the corner of the brilliant hall. How beautiful it was!  I saw and felt these, it impressed and made so much sense to me.

After a wonderful dinner, they told me some interesting stories about Christmas.

We went to bed at midnight. Though I knew that Santa Claus was not true, I was still waiting for the him  to bring us presents.


He learnt all about Christmas pudding.

On Christmas Day, the game about  a pudding, I have never heard it before.

Christmas Pudding is a traditional Christmas dessert. The whole family will be involved in cooking, which symbolizes reunion. Children would search in their Christmas pudding for new coins which are hidden in it.

It is very interesting, I cannot wait to introduce this to my friends in China.

The rest of the day is full of games and eating until the happiest of all Christmas holidays comes to an end.

About Christmas, some people choose travelling, some people choose enjoying the Christmas scenery, some people choose reunion with family.

Well I experienced a real family Christmas in Britain.


from Tside

Popular Radio One DJ’s Set To Take Over SU

By Bethany Hughes and Jordan Boyd

The New Year has got off to an excellent start at Teesside Universities Student Union with an array of musical talent set to spice up the night life of hundreds of students.

BBC Radio 1 DJ’s Scott Mills and Chris Stark are set to host a Dirty Disco event at the SU  this fridayfollowing a performance from Professor Green the week before as part of the ‘I Love TUSU Week’.

The event is taking place at The Hub in the SU and the famous DJ’s will be presenting from 12.30am taking over from DJ Tom who will be running from 9pm.

Chris Stark has been part of Radio 1 with Scott Mills since April 2012 and is very popular with the radio listeners.

Student Lydia Todd  said,: “I can’t believe they’re coming to Teesside! I’m so excited”.

Charlotte Keedy, a Teesside University student from Newcastle, said she never expected such well known acts to be visiting us here in Middlesbrough.

Dirty Disco is a weekly night at the Student Union which takes place on a Friday night, each week it sees hundreds of students ready to let their hair down and have a good night.

Scott Mills and Chris Stark hosting a night is very likely to bring even more students to the Student Union this Friday. Especially due to the cheap drink deals and the late finish.

This isn’t all the Student Union has up it’s sleeve, as next week there will be a Paint Party held at the Dirty Disco concluding the ‘I Love TUSU Week’.



from Tside

Anti-homophobia campaign launched in the North East

By Kristyn Higginson, Rebecca Siddle and Abbie Walker

AN anti-homophobia campaign  called ‘SO WHAT?’ has been launched in the North East to fight gay prejudice.

Mr Gay World, Stuart Hatton,  created the new campaign to fight back against homophobia.


Teesside University students and staff support the ‘SoWhat?’ campaign.

The #SOWHAT campaign was launched on January 12 in South Shields  and is hoping to go global.

It already has some  celebrity backing.

These followers include the girl group Little Mix, former pop star Kim Wilde and Ian ‘H’ Watkins.

ITV’s Lorraine Kelly, who has 508k followers on twitter, has joined in  the trend where you write “So What?” on your hand, take a picture of it and then post on Twitter to help gain awareness of the campaign.

Since its launch the campaign’s Twitter page @WeSaySoWhat  gained 500 followers in the first 24 hours.

Stuart said he was excited to be the ambassador for such a campaign.

“The main aim  is to raise awareness of homophobia across the world regardless of age gender or ethnicity,” he said.

He was extremely happy to tell us that so far the campaign has ran smoothly and he is glad that he has the status of ‘Mr Gay World’ behind him to convey his anti-homophobia message.

The campain’s tag line is  “Some of us have blue eyes, some of us have green eyes, some of us are straight and some of us are gay”.

If you want to show your support go onto the campaign’s twitter page.

from Tside

All aboard for London?

By Alex Walker and Mark Grainge

A PETITION to get a direct train link from Middlesbrough to London is coming up to its first anniversary.


Should trains run direct from Middlesbrough to London?

It was launched by Labour MP Andy McDonald.

The petition follows the controversial privatisation of the East Coast main line, where a group of railway companies led by Virgin and Stagecoach won the contract to run trains on the line.

In anticipation of this the MP for Middlesbrough began an e-petition to encourage one of these franchises to include the town in its plans and provide a direct high speed railway connection to London.

Two months after the launch in April 2014 the petition gained 500 signatures from local residents and business owners with many claiming that the link will bring “economic vitality” to the area and the town is big enough to “deserve a direct and fast train route to London.”

However, from the 500 signatures generated in the first two months, the petition is now only averaging  13 signatures a month.

According to the Office of Rail Regulation, Middlesbrough Railway Station is the fourth busiest in the North East yet many rely on Darlington station to access the capitol with almost 400,000 interchanges made there per year.

Tside interviewed people at Middlesbrough train station to see if feelings towards a new high speed line had changed from when the petition was launched nine months ago.

One commuter, who uses the East Coast line to reach his work place in Middlesbrough needs to transfer at Darlington so he can reach the town.

He said: “If one train is late, it can ruin your whole day.”

A former business management student at Teesside University said: “I don’t think a train line to London will solve our economic problems, it may help a little though.”

He also referred to the original railroads and said Middlesbrough had grown into a successful iron mining city without much help from railroads.

Andy McDonald also mentioned in his petition about how the new line could boost businesses in central Middlesbrough.

We asked a salesman from Eden Mobility to share his views on that claim.

He said: “We only get the smaller trains passing through here, whereas on the main line, you get the much larger trains which are much more wheelchair friendly which is what our customers need.”

The general attitude seems to have cooled down towards the MP’s idea.

Andy McDonald was unavailable for comment on our findings.

If you would like to sign the petition please follow this link:

from Tside

Lecturer aiming for a home-run with Spartans

GOING FOR THE THROW: Mike out on the field as his Spartans are hoping to run through the competition.

GOING FOR THE THROW: Mike out on the field as his Spartans are hoping to run through the competition. (Photo: Sean Wallwein)

A UNIVERSITY lecturer is looking to hit a home-run as he prepares to switch from the classroom to take to the ballpark in another season as a baseball coach.
Mike Holton, a senior lecturer in the School of Computing, has been with the Newton Aycliffe Spartans for four years, coaching the side to their first ever title last season.
Lecturer Mike is looking forward to the new season and working hard with the team to compound on last year’s success.
When asked how he got into the sport Mike said: “Baseball has been something I’ve always wanted to do and I noticed that a local team had just started and were looking for players, so I took a chance and went.”
“I started going down to the sessions once a week and two years later I took over as head coach and general manager. It’s a lot of hard work, we run two training sessions per week but it’s worth it, it gives me a huge feeling of satisfaction especially when I see beginners progress into accomplished team members.”
Mike’s no stranger to sport, having previously been a professional golfer from when he was 16 but after 8 years in the sport he traded the golf course for the gaming industry, which eventually led him to Teesside University.
Now Mike is calling for new recruits for the only professional baseball team in the North-East.
Mike said: “It’s difficult considering the nearest club to us in the country is Harrogate followed by the likes of Liverpool and Bolton.
“We pull in a lot of people who want to play the game in Newton Accyliffe and also from other areas like Teesside and Newcastle, giving people there a chance to get into the game.
“It’d be great to get a few university students involved and they’re very welcome to turn up and give baseball a try.”
The Spartans were formed in the summer of 2011, and it’s not taken the team long to make an impact.
The Spartans are coming off a very historic season, having captured the BBF AA North Divsion Championship loosing only once last season.
And preparations are underway for the Spartans, as they seek to assert their dominance in the division.
Mike is looking to give a lot of potential future stars a chance at glory as they look to win the title once again..
Mike said: “Things are going well and we’re getting new equipment which is going to allow us to achieve a higher level of training.
“I’ve got a three year plan for the team where I’m wanting to recruit heavily this coming year to give as many people a chance to play and allow club to eventually field teams in both northern divisions
“If you’re willing to put the time in to train, you’re going to get games.”
Twitter: @naspartans

from Tside

Tomlin Brace Edges Terriers In Nervy Riverside Win

Embedded image permalink

READY FOR ACTION: Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town before kick off in front of the Riverside crowd

Middlesbrough remain in fourth place in the Championship after a 2-0 win at The Riverside against Huddersfield thanks to two goals from Lee Tomlin.

It seems that four is a recurring theme as the win means that Boro are now four points from the Championship summit and four points in the play-off places.

Pulses were racing at the Riverside as Middlesbrough dominated the first half only to see Huddersfield muster up a revival after Tomlin opened the scoring.

Huddersfield were left frustrated by not coming away with at least a point after their efforts were constantly thwarted by an excellent Dimi Konstantopoulos.


Going into the game, Middlesbrough had only lost one of the last 13 games, a 2-0 away defeat to promotion chasing Ipswich and were unbeaten in nine home games, winning five.

Huddersfield were undergoing a resurgence after a bad run of results and were unbeaten in the last three games. Although they hadn’t won any of the last seven away games.

The last time these two sides met was back in September at the John Smith’s stadium when Middlesbrough won 2-1 and witnessed a memorable cracker from captain Grant Leadbitter.

The omens favoured Middlesbrough as the Terriers had only won one of the last 11 meetings between the two teams.

Middlesbrough made three changes to the starting line-up as Kike started up front at the expense of Jelle Vossen, Lee Tomlin replaced Adam Reach and Adam Clayton returned from suspension to replace Dean Whitehead.

First Half

It didn’t take Middlesbrough long to dictate the tempo of the game as Kike’s smart turn and strike from the edge of the box rattled the post inside five minutes.

It was all Middlesbrough for the remainder of the half as Patrick Bamford missed a glorious chance to earn his team a goal to the good as he glanced a header wide from a corner.

Middlesbrough had more of the ball but Huddersfield were being very resilient at the back restricting them from playing free flowing football and leaving no gaps.

Lee Tomlin had a big chance to slip in Albert Adomah but a sloppy ball left the fans frustrated. While Huddersfield were forced into a sub as injury prone James Vaughn was replaced by Oscar Gobern.

Huddersfield had no chances and the first half finished with Adam Clayton’s speculative volley just dipping over the bar.

Second Half

The Terriers made a second chance just before kick off as Boro boy Jonathan Hogg was replaced by the fiery Lee Peltier.

Middlesbrough’s frustrated mounted as Tomlin again wasted a good opportunity to play in Bamford or Kike but saw his shot sail over the bar.

The game became tempered when Nahki Wells and Daniel Ayala had an off the ball tussle which saw arguments erupt on the pitch and in the technical area.

Terriers manager Chris Powell and Middlesbrough assistant manager Steve Agnew had a few choice words to share to each other by the looks of it.

Huddersfield’s first threat came through former Boro man Jacob Butterfield when his long range effort skimmed just wide of the post.

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BELTER: Tomlin blasts Middlesbrough in front to settle a frustrated Riverside crowd (Photo courtesy of Middlesbrough FC Twitter page @Boro)


Middlesbrough’s efforts paid dividends in the 61st minute when Kike found Tomlin in space, he turned and rifled the ball past Alex Smithies from the edge of the box (Tomlin 61′).

It was Huddersfield who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck as Butterfield threatened again from distance as Dimi produced a good save.

The Riverside crowd were left perplexed at Middlesbrough’s next chance when Kike killed the ball on his chest from 8 yards, but managed to hook the ball wide when the goal was gaping.

Huddersfield had a good shout for handball when Ayala blocked a cross that looked like it may have hit his knee first and deflected into his hand.

Wells was proving to be a thorn in Middlesbrough’s side when he side stepped Clayton and bent a left-footed shot off the post.

Konstantopoulos was keeping Boro in the game and produced a magnificent save as Wells blasted from point blank range only to see the Greek giant parry away his effort.

The home crowd were on edge as Huddersfield through the gauntlet as Boro in hope of an equaliser, but Boro’s keeper and defence were proving their worth.

Terriers keeper Smithies went forward for a stoppage time corner but his mistake proved very costly when Huddersfield decided to take a short corner.

Leadbitter blocked the cross, Tomlin advanced 50 yards with the ball and slotted home into an empty net to ease the pressure (Tomlin 90+4). Shortly after, the full time whistle blew and Boro were home and dry.

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VIVA LA KARANKA: Spanish Head Coach praised his team after pulling off ‘must-win’ victory

Post Match

Middlesbrough Head Coach Aitor Karanka praised his side after a nervy finish to the game against Huddersfield and admitted that is was a must win game for his team.

He said: “We had to win the game today and the first half was difficult to understand, because we had so many chances. I am sure on Tuesday (against Cardiff), we will be more relaxed in front of goal.

“It is a very important time in the season because you are at the point now where the positions are more fixed. It was good to win considering everyone around us won today.”

Karanka praised the impact of Lee Tomlin’s goals as he added: “Tomlin is the type of player who when he has the ball, something will happen.

Huddersfield manager Chris Powell was left frustrated by the result. He said: “It was tough to take. Once the first goal went in, the game opened up and we took it to Middlesbrough.

“Our response was excellent and we kept ourselves in the game. On another day we might have got a point.”

Team Line-ups

Middlesbrough (4-2-3-1): Konstantopoulos (GK); Kalas, Ayala, Gibson, Friend; Leadbitter (C), Clayton; Bamford (Reach 73′), Adomah, Tomlin; Kike (Vossen 84′)

Unused Subs: Mejias, Ledesma, Husband, Whitehead, Omeruo

Huddersfield (4-4-2): Smithies (GK); Smith, Hudson, Lynch, Robinson; Hogg, Coady, Butterfield, Scannell; Vaughn (Gobern 24′), Wells

Unused subs: Allinson, Dixon, Billing, Majewski

Match Statistics

Possession: Middlesbrough 59% – 41% Huddersfield Town

Shots (on target): Middlesbrough 15 (3) – 13 (3) Huddersfield Town

Corners: Middlesbrough 4 – 9 Huddersfield Town

Fouls: Middlesbrough 10 – 14 Huddersfield Town

Yellow Cards: Middlesbrough 3 (Gibson 29′, Tomlin 89′, Friend 86′) – 1 (Peltier 81′) Huddersfield Town

Referee: Peter Bankes

Attendance: 18,756 Man of the Match: Dimi Konstantopoulos

Player Ratings

Dimi Konstantopoulos – 8/10 – Pulled off some vital saves in the latter stages of the game. MOM

Tomas Kalas – 7/10 – Sturdy performance at the back on his home debut and did well going forward.

Daniel Ayala – 7/10 – Rock at the back as always, showed presence when Boro were under pressure.

Ben Gibson – 8/10 – Cool and composed on the ball at the back for someone still very young in their career.

George Friend – 6/10 – Not one of his best days but still defended well when called upon.

Adam Clayton – 7/10 – Proved his worth against his old team and has become a pivotal role in the middle.

Grant Leadbitter – 7/10 – Captain fantastic as always. Showed he still has bite when the game got tempered.

Albert Adomah – 7/10 – Final delivery needs improving but he’s always a problem for defenders.

Patrick Bamford – 7/10 – A quiet day for him but caused Huddersfield a lot of problems with his movement.

Lee Tomlin – 8/10 – Two important goals and his ability on the ball showed how important he is to Boro.

Kike – 6/10 – Furstrating day again for him. Goalless game but worked hard for the team to create chances.

Subs: Adam Reach (6/10), Jelle Vossen (5/10)

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