World record breaking freestyle footballer John Farnworth has visited South Tyneside College to showcase his skills – and launch a new joint sport and academic scholarship.

He impressed students with his prowess at keeping a football in the air through flicks and tricks during a stunning 15-minute display.

John, 32, then kicked off the new course based around participation in futsal, a sport similar to five-a-side football but demanding greater skills.

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A scouting mission is underway to find aspiring young footballers and coaches for a two-year scholarship programme which could set them on their way to life in the professional game.

Sunderland AFC’s official charity Foundation of Light is offering the places with the scheme due to start in September.

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An education leader who brought innovative change to South Tyneside College while principal and later chief executive, has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

Between 2009 and 2017, Dr Lindsey Whiterod oversaw a rise in standards that led the college to be named England’s best FE college and provider last year by the prestigious Tes education publication.

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The frontman of one of the North East’s most successful bands has told of playing with the Rolling Stones – and how he’d love to perform with Sir Paul McCartney - during a visit to South Tyneside College.

Maximo Park singer Paul Smith revealed how he met Sir Mick Jagger backstage when they supported the legendary rockers on tour early in their career – and shocked him with his all-white outfit.

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