Howay the Bay! Why Vase winners Whitley are everything that's right about football

Don't let it be said that clubs from the North-East never win trophies!

Congratulations to Darlington, who won the FA Trophy with a winner from Chris Senior in the last seconds of extra time against Mansfield.

And to Whitley Bay, who became the most successful club in the history of the FA Vase, beating Coalville. Goal-machine Paul Chow scored twice to ensured a 3-2 win and a third consecutive Vase triumph.

Some 10,000 Darlo fans made the journey to Wembley... it would be great if even a few now backed the club week-in and week-out.

Mind you, they've endured two spells in administration, relegation from the Football League and a mixed first season in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

Finally, some joy.

Whitley Bay are a big part of their local community and deserve their success.

They run 27 teams from under-7s up, including a ladies' side, as well as eight pool teams, three darts sides and a thriving bingo night.

They've also been raising money for research into motor-neurone disease - Mark Taylor helped Whitley win the Vase in 2009 but the PE teacher is now in a wheelchair, battling the odds.

When big clubs boast of their community work with high profile visits to worthy projects, spare a thought for the likes of Whitley Bay who get on with it quietly in the background.

And they win trophies, too.

Howay the Bay, as they say down by the Spanish City.

Nice touch from Newcastle United too - they loaned the club a luxury team bus for the semi-final and final.

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