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Pioneering cancer treatment centre launches in North East

The site of the first Proton Beam Therapy cancer treatment centre to be built in England will be unveiled today in Northumberland.

The centre, which will be built in Bomarsund, Northumberland, will open in early 2017.

An artist's impression of the treatment centre to be built in Bomarsund, Northumberland Credit: Proton Partners International Ltd

Proton Beam Therapy is a type of radiotherapy, most often used to treat cancer. Protons are used to target cancerous cells, causing less damage to surrounding tissue than conventional radiotherapy.

The treatment is not currently available in the UK, leading to some patients travelling abroad in order to receive it.

It was the subject of widespread media coverage last year, when the parents of five-year-old Ashya King took him out of an NHS hospital to travel to Prague in order for him to receive the treatment.

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British Transplant Games begin on Tyneside

The British Transplant Games are due to begin on Tyneside today.

More than 600 transplant recipients will take part in the four-day event. More than 20 sporting events wwat venues across Newcastle and Gateshead.

More than 600 transplant recipients will take part in the event Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The opening ceremony will be held in Newcastle City Centre this evening. The event, which runs until Sunday, was last held on Tyneside in 2000.

Some events will take place at the Gateshead International Stadium Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

"The Games aim to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation, encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness, whilst increasing public awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register and discuss their wishes with their families. They also seek to thank and celebrate donor families and the gift of life."

– BRITISH TRANSPLANT GAMES

Metro upgrade completed five months early

Credit: PA

A £30 million upgrade of all Tyne and Wear Metro trains and carriages has been completed five months ahead of schedule. 86 carriages have been improved over the last five years as part of a modernisation programme which has cost a total of £389 million.

DB Regio Tyne and Wear, which runs the Metro on behalf of Nexus, has completed the work as part of the Metro fleet's 'three-quarter life' refurbishment project.

The trains are the first in the UK to reach the Government's required standard on accessibility. New seating and lighting has been installed with a new carriage layout, to create more space for wheelchair users.

Raymond Johnstone, Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus said the work will "extend the service life of Metro trains into the 2020s."

Metro has the fastest-growing number of passengers outside of London with 38 million journeys completed every year.

Web Ellis Trophy visit marks 50 days to Rugby World Cup

The Web Ellis Trophy begins its five day journey across the North East today, marking 50 days until the start of the Rugby World Cup.

The Web Ellis Cup Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The trophy began its journey at Hadrian's Wall at 6.00am. Today it will pass through Hexham and Newcastle on its way to Alnwick tonight.

The trophy will spend the next three days around Tyneside before visiting West Hartlepool and Darlington Mowden Park rugby clubson its way to Yorkshire.

St James' Park will host three group matches on 3rd, 9th and 10th October. Current world champions New Zealand are among the teams that will play on Tyneside.

Funeral of North East musician to take place

The funeral of North East musician Dave Black, 62, from Whitley Bay, is due to take place in Cullercoats later today.

Dave Black was killed by a train on the Tyne and Wear Metro on 18th July. His body was found on the line approaching Cullercoats station.

Musicians and performers including Andy Taylor from Duran Duran, Ray Laidlaw, John Miles, and comedian Brendan Healy have paid tribute to the former Goldie guitarist.

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Shane Tunney dies over a month after attack in Norton

Shane Tunney, 24, pictured with his girlfriend Credit: Cleveland Police

24-year-old Shane Tunney, who was attacked by a group of young people in the Norton area just over a month ago has died.

Cleveland Police have released a statement saying:

"Cleveland Police can confirm that 24-year-old Shane Tunney, who was the victim of an alleged assault in the Norton area just over a month ago, sadly passed away earlier this evening at James Cook University Hospital (Wednesday 29th July).

A post mortem will be held this evening to establish the cause of Shane’s death.

Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Middlesbrough FC issues statement over racist gesture conviction

Credit: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

Middlesbrough FC has released a statement after long-time fan Ernest Goult was found guilty of making a racist gesture towards Blackburn Rovers players at the Riverside in March last year.

"Middlesbrough Football Club has never hesitated to take strong and decisive action with supporters who have been identified as participating in racist incidents, and will continue to do so. We adopt a zero tolerance policy towards racism and proactively encourage supporters to report incidents of unreasonable and offensive behaviour within the Riverside Stadium.

"We have worked closely with Cleveland Police and Blackburn Rovers on this case to provide as much supporting evidence as possible and will continue to do everything in our power to help bring offenders to justice.

"We will now seek to arrange a meeting with Mr Goult to review the case before deciding on further action."

– Middlesbrough FC

Middlesbrough fan found guilty of making racist gesture

A Middlesbrough fan has been found guilty of making a racist gesture towards Blackburn Rovers players at the Riverside in March last year.

Ernest Goult, 72, from Redcar, has been banned from attending football matches for three years. He had denied one count of racially-aggravated disorder and one of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour.

Ernest Goult arriving at an earlier hearing Credit: PA

Three Blackburn Rovers players, Lee Williamson, Rudy Gestede and Markus Olsson, each told Teesside Magistrates' Court how a man in the crowd made the gestures at the end of a match, which had ended with a contentious goal.

Markus Olsson, Rudy Gestede and Lee Williamson arrive at Teesside Magistrates' Court Credit: PA

Lee Williamson told the court he saw a fan making "monkey gestures" towards him, which he found upsetting, taking it as a racist gesture.

Markus Olsson told the court, "It was like a monkey gesture and he wasn't trying to hide it. He was doing it towards a black person and it was obvious what it meant. I have seen it before.

"It is very offensive. It was clear what he did."

Ernest Goult claimed what he did was an "old Teesside gesture" meaning the performance was "the pits."

"Mr Gestede and I, our eyes met," he said. "I raised my left hand and went one-two, one-two.

"It means you're under the arm of the pit.

"I wasn't very happy.

"I just wanted to convey to them what an unsatisfactory point they'd earned.

"The fact that the three chaps happened to be black, it didn't register."

– Ernest Goult

When his solicitor asked him if he was racist, Mr Goult said, "not in the slightest."

As well as being banned from attending matches, Mr Gould has been fined £600 and ordered to pay £600 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

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