Among those from the world of North-East sport who attended the party at the Hilton Hotel, Gateshead,, known widely as ‘Gibbo’, were Malcolm Macdonald, Peter Beardsley, Sir John Hall, Jack Charlton, Steve Harper and Joe Allon.
The event was organised by the Variety Club charity, which raises money for disadvantaged children.
Beardsley, described by John as “the greatest player I’ve ever seen at Newcastle”, said: “John has done lots of good things for Newcastle in the past 50 years. He’s been amazing throughout the years – very honest, genuine and supportive.”
John himself said: “It’s absolutely wonderful, I’ve spent my whole time talking to the real stars of our world – the sporting stars of our world – and all of a sudden they’re coming to support me, which I never expected to happen at any time.
“I’m so grateful to the Variety Club for giving me this honour and to the Chronicle for putting up with me for 50 years with my rantings. I’m very humbled by being here and having a night of this sort.”
Darren Thwaites, editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror North East, added: “Gibbo is an absolute legend of our industry. I first met him on the train drinking champagne after returning from an awards dinner in London. He’d just won Sports Journalist of the Year for the umpteenth time and he regaled me with wild and wonderful tales.
“Gibbo is simply a brilliant storyteller with a lifetime of stories to share. The Gibbo Files will remain one of the greatest collections the Chronicle has ever published. Fifty years in journalism is a stunning achievement and we’re incredibly proud he’s one of ours.”