A football journalist has honoured the bet he made with Twitter followers to swim the Tyne if Newcastle United kept Alan Pardew on long-term.
Daily Telegraph football correspondent Henry Winter successfully thrashed his way across the river from the Newcastle City Marina to HMS Calliope in Gateshead in just 3.5 minutes.
He agreed to complete the forfeit in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation when Newcastle announced a new eight-year contract for Pardew.
Watched by dozens of shoppers, he arrived on the Gateshead side of the river to the gift of an NUFC towel from the Newcastle United manager.
He also received a congraluatory letter from Alan Pardew, which prompted him to call the NUFC manager a "classy guy."
Mr Winter said: “I’m fresh and frozen. The first two thirds were a doddle and I thought this is ok, a nice gentle paddle across the Tyne.
"But then suddenly the current hit and it was like the fast lane of the motorway. It took off like Usain Bolt.
“Everyone has rallied round to help and that’s a sign of the depth of feeling for Sir Bobby and the great work funded through the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
“And I thought it was a class act of Alan Pardew to send me a congratulatory note and a club towel.
"He was obviously confident I’d make it because he sent it to the Gateshead side of the river.”
After drying off, the football writer headed straight to St James' Park to cover the Newcastle v Manchester United match.
In his message, Alan Pardew said: "Henry, you're a man of your word and I like that - congratulations! I can't imagine how cold it was in the Tyne today, but rest assured we'll give you a warm welcome when you arrive at the stadium later.
“What's more, well done for raising money to support the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. It's a superb charity that's close to all our hearts here at Newcastle United and across the North East, so a big thank you for that."
Warships HMS Example and HMS Archer are currently berthed at HMS Calliope and made way for Mr Winter and the Port Of Tyne dredger the Sir Bobby Robson.
The Sir Bobby, launched by Lady Elsie Robson in March 2012, tracked Mr Winter's progress across the river.
Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Tyne, says: “This unusual event is for a very good cause and we were happy to assist with appropriate safety cover to ensure it all went well.
“We would never encourage people to swim in the river without permission and supervision on hand, which of course the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation has ensured is in place.”
To make a donation in support of Henry Winter's challenge click here
- Swimming The Tyne: Football Writer's Pardew Forfeit
- Cash Boost For Sir Bobby Robson Foundation
- Sir Bobby Robson's Legacy In Cancer-Fighting Equipment
- Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Reaches £4m
- Sir Bobby Robson Five-A-Side: 1,000 Players Remember One Man
- All Aboard The Sir Bobby Robson
- Stars Turn Out To Support Sir Bobby
- Back To School For Harper And Ameobi
More from News
- Fresh Start For Unemployed And Ex-Offenders At Charity Cafe
- Breathtaking Views At Breakneck Speed: Zipwiring Over Sunderland
- People's Assembly: Owen Jones Rallies Anti-Cuts Support In Newcastle
- Newcastle End Of Season Stat Attack: NUFC Had Worst Defence And Dirtiest Player
- Sunderland Pensioner Could Be Jailed For Sex Attacks On Children
- Washington Fraudster Faces Jail After Playing Rugby With £923,000 'Wrist Injury'
- Brother And Sister's Plea To Missing Newcastle University Student Jason Fyles
- Cleaning The Tyne: Crew Back On River Rubbish Duty After Refit