Cricketers are hopeful that beer drinkers will once again turn out to help them raise vital funds to encourage children into sport.
The Newcastle Cricket Club beer festival, in Jesmond, will throw open its doors on Thursday for its annual five-day real ale and cider celebration.
And with 36 beers and ciders on the bar at the ground, on Osborne Avenue, and food from the Northumberland Sausage Company, organisers want people to come along and help raise money to go towards their junior teams.
Newcastle CC co-chairman Nick Humble said the festival makes a big difference in sports provision, especially for young people.
“The club offers a wide range of community events all year round, and funds raised go towards our mission of supporting participation in sports by people of all ages and abilities.”
As well as the beer other highlights of the festival – which has been run each year since 2009 – will include a quiz on Saturday at 7.30pm, and and an opportunity to win 50 bottles of ales in a raffle.
“There’s not many festivals where you can sample so many excellent beers and enjoy the view of a historic cricket ground,” said festival director Peter Woodley.
The Jesmond ground has in the past been graced by many of the world’s greatest cricketers – with the pavilion boasting signed photos from Sir Ian Botham, Michael Holding and many others.
Sachin Tendulkar, one of India’s greatest players, also took to the crease there, while Australian bowler Dennis Lillee wrote that while “most cricket grounds are forgettable, Jesmond should live forever.”
The Campaign for Real Ale’s Tyneside and Northumberland branch is again assisting the club with the festival.
“Tyneside & Northumberland CAMRA are delighted that Newcastle Cricket Club has embraced the cause of real ales and ciders so enthusiastically,” said Ian Lee, the local branch chairman.
“The club offers three real ales all year round, and there’s no doubt it helps to introduce many more people to the delights of drinking real ale if it’s in a historic location and friendly atmosphere.”