Crowds gathered at a memorial football match to remember two of the region's soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Guardsman Michael Sweeney from Blyth was 19 when he was killed on patrol in 2010. Sergeant John Amer, from Sunderland, died at the age of 30 in an explosion.
The event is organised by their families and it is in its third year. The Coldstream Guards travelled to Northumberland from Windsor to support them.
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The scots can fire themselves into the World Cup quarter-finals if they beat Samoa in Newcastle later.
The 60-year-old takes charge of the Black Cats with immediate effect.
What has the weekend got in store for the Tyne Tees region?