The funeral is taking place today of a long-serving priest who baptised all four of Tony Blair's children. Father John Caden, who was known as Father Jack, died last month at the age of 90. He had been a Priest for 65 years.
Father Caden counted many stars among his friends even buying President George Bush a drink when he visited Sedgefield in 2003.
Although their patron cannot be in the North East today, an event held by the Tony Blair Sports Foundation to celebrate its fifth anniversary and the success of the 2012 games will still go ahead as planned.
The event at Copthorne Hotel will be hosted by partners and members of the Tony Blair Sports Foundation - including board member Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and former Olympian Steve Cram.
The Foundation's 'Pass It On' campaign will officially be launched today to carry on the olympic legacy in the region.
The other events that Mr Blair had been planning to attend at Walker Technology College, Newcastle Cricket Centre and Rutherford Football Club have been cancelled.
The Tony Blair Sports Foundation is celebrating its fifth anniversary and its patron, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, has had to cancel his proposed visit to the region after his father fell ill last night.
As part of the anniversary celebrations Mr Blair was planning to launch the Foundation's Pass It On campaign, which will continue building on the post-Olympics legacy in the North East. It is hoped that this will continue to inspire people to take part in sport and keep active.
Tony Blair had also been set to be officially launch the partnership between his foundation and Walker Technology College in Newcastle. Through the partnership, the foundation will help provide tennis coaching for primary school pupils, including for the visually impaired.