Nominations for the Local Heroes trail are currently suspended due to the pandemic.  

Over thirty of NewcastleGateshead’s most inspiring people from the past 60 years have been honoured with a bronze plaque embedded into the pavement along the NewcastleGateshead Quayside.

These Local Heroes, who were nominated by the general public, include celebrities from film, TV and sport; local authors and musicians as well as those who have contributed to the community through politics, science and business. Follow the NewcastleGateshead walk of fame along the River Tyne to see if you can find Alan Shearer, Ant & Dec or Sir Bobby Robson’s plaques on the Quayside. You will also spot ones to honour Paralympic medallist Stephen Miller, suffragette and socialist Connie Lewcock and founder of The People’s Kitchen, Alison Kay.

Voting takes place each year in February which is followed by a shortlisting process where the nominated heroes are whittled down to the final winners who are awarded a prestigious Local Heroes plaque.

The Local Heroes trail was first opened in March 2014 by the wife of the late Sir Bobby Robson, Lady Elsie Robson.

NUFC attraction SECONDARY Alan Shearer statue at St James' Park, Newcastle.

Local Heroes: A full list of plaques

  • Alan Shearer (OBE): One of England’s greatest ever strikers, Alan Shearer is former captain of both Newcastle United and the England premier squad.
  • Alderman Edward Cowen: A miner by trade, Edward ‘Ned’ Cowen came from a line of miners before him and is known for his successful campaign to change the rights and working conditions of mine workers forever.
  • Alison Kay: A true Newcastle Local Hero, Alison Kay is the founder of charity, The People’s Kitchen, which she established in 1985 to provide support, friendship and food to the homeless people in the North East.
  • Ann Cleeves: A coveted Local Hero plaque was awarded to best-selling crime writer Ann Cleeves, creator of the fictional detective Vera who inspired ITV’s hugely popular series.
  • Ant & Dec: Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, known collectively as Ant and Dec, are a multi-award-winning TV presenting duo from Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Brendan Foster (CBE): Brendan Foster is a British former long-distance runner, and responsible for founding the Great North Run. During his career, Brendan Foster competed in three Olympic Games and broke two world records.
  • Brendan Healy: The much-loved north-east comedian, actor, musician and producer, produced the annual pantomime at the Tyne Theatre and appeared at every ‘Sunday for Sammy’ concert.
  • Brian Burnie: Brian is the founder of Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care - a North East-based charity which provides a free transport service to and from the Freeman and RVI Hospitals for outpatients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
  • Brian Johnson: Singer and songwriter Brian Johnson is best known for his work with Geordie and AC/DC
Quayside cyclist copy Follow the Local Heroes trail along the NewcastleGateshead Quayside.
  • Cardinal Basil Hume: George Haliburton Hume was born in 1923 and entered the Benedictine monastery at Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire in 1941, where he received the habit and the monastic name of Basil.
  • Connie Lewcock (OBE): Connie volunteered in 1913 with the Women's Social and Political Union across County Durham. It was here that she learnt about politics and joined the suffragette movement. Connie went on to be heavily involved in local politics.
  • Dame Margaret Barbour (DBE): A British businesswoman and philanthropist who in 1999, together with her daughter Helen, established the Women's Fund to encourage and support women within Tyne and Wear and Northumberland to develop their full potential.
  • David Almond: He is known throughout the world as one of the most exciting and innovative children's authors writing today. David is best known for writing Skellig, My Name is Mina, The Savage and many other novels, stories and plays.
  • Dick Clement & Ian Frenais: The writers behind three of the most popular and classic British comedies - The Likely Lads, Porridge and Auf Weidersehen Pet.
  • Doreen ‘Granny’ Jardine: Doreen Jardine is a well-known and much-loved character in her local community, where she is affectionately known as ‘Granny’. She has given a large part of her life to the local community ever since.
  • Guy Readman (OBE, DL, FCA): Highly respected businessman Guy Readman was awarded an OBE in 1985 for services to industry. Guy was also one of the very first individual donors to the Community Foundation in 1988.
  • Dr Hari Shukla (CBE): Dr Hari Shukla is a noted equality campaigner and humanitarian who was born in Uganda in 1933 and has lived in the North East for many years.
  • Jackie Milburn (Wor Jackie): Known as Wor Jackie, played for Newcastle United and England, he also spent four seasons at Linfield F.C. Wor Jackie played in three FA Cup winning finals for Newcastle United. By the time Wor Jackie left Newcastle in 1957, he had become the highest goalscorer in Newcastle United's history.
Local Heroes plaque copy
  • Jill Halfpenny: Star of stage and screen, Newcastle-born actor Jill Halfpenny also won Strictly Come Dancing in 2004!
  • John Grundy: A local writer and broadcaster, John Grundy was a passionate enthusiast for the history and architecture of the North East.
  • Julia Darling: Julia was a successful poet and author whose second novel, The Taxi Driver’s Daughter, was long listed for the Man Booker Prize.
  • Kathryn Tickell: Kathryn Tickell is an accomplished English musician who plays the Northumbrian smallpipes and fiddle. She has recorded over a dozen albums and has toured widely.
  • Kaylee Davidson-Olley: Britain’s longest surviving heart transplant patient who received a new heart at the Freeman Hospital at just five months old.
  • Ken Rowe: Lance Corporal Ken Rowe and his search dog, Sasha of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, both were killed in Helmand province on July 24, 2008. The Local Heroes panel selected Ken to represent our fallen heroes who have died in service.
  • Lindisfarne: Lindisfarne is a British folk rock and progressive rock band from Newcastle upon Tyne, established in 1970.
  • Mark Knopfler (OBE): Mark has written and composed many famous songs including Going Home, the theme song for the movie Local Hero, which has been played at Newcastle United F.C as their fanfare tune at the start of every home game.
  • Mike Neville (MBE): The face of north-east TV for over 40 years, Mike Neville is Britain's longest serving daily television presenter, known best for 'Look North' and 'North East Tonight'
Local heroes quayside
  • Minnie Robson (MBE): Former Mayor of Gateshead and social pioneer Minnie Robson, who was a wife and mother of miners offered support during the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike.
  • Dr Miriam Stoppard: During the 1970s and 1980s, Miriam became a household name thanks to her role as television presenter on scientific and medical programmes. Dr Stoppard is a specialist in dermatology and has many books to her name.
  • Mo Mowlam: Mo was Northern Ireland Secretary at the time of the signing of the Northern Ireland Peace treaty and was a lecturer in politics at the University of Newcastle in the 1970s and 80s.
  • Prof Peter W Higgs: The winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics; Professor Higgs was born in Elswick, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1929.
  • Prof Sir John Burn: A consultant clinical geneticist for over 30 years, he is currently Professor of Clinical Genetics at Newcastle University.
  • Robson Green: Starting out in the shipbuilding trade, Robson Green went on to pursue his passion for acting where he trained and produced work at Live Theatre before finding tv fame on Soldier Soldier. Robson is a passionate advocate for the North East and in 1997 co-founded Coastal Productions - a North East based production company with the aim of making feature films and TV dramas in the region.
  • Ruth Dodds: Local born author and playwright, Ruth Dodds also founded Gateshead’s Porgressive Players and Little Theatre to encourage local performing arts. Her contribution to her hometown was recognised in 1966 when she became the first woman to be made a Freeman of Gateshead
  • Sir Bobby Robson (CBE): Sir Robert William ‘Bobby’ Robson, CBE was a professional footballer and football manager; playing for, and later managing, the England National football team. In 2005, Bobby was made an Honorary Freeman of Newcastle, which he described as being the proudest moment of his life.
Stephen miller Paralympian Stephen Miller has a Local Heroes bronze plaque on the NewcastleGateshead Quayside.
  • Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen: Finnish photographer Sirkka-Liisa co-founded the Amber Collective. In 1969, the collective moved to Newcastle, with a commitment to documenting working class communities, and in 1977 established the Side Gallery. Sirkka is perhaps best known for her 1983 book entitled Byker, a seminal portrait of the terraced Newcastle community, eventually bulldozed to make way for the Byker Wall.
  • Sister Winifred Laver: Heralded as one of Gateshead’s unsung heroes, Sister Winifred dedicated her life to work with the sick, starving and poor of Gateshead through the Vine Street Mission. She is remembered very fondly by all those who knew her as a selfless person devoted to helping those less fortunate than herself.
  • Stephen Miller: Born and raised in Cramlington, Northumberland, Stephen Miller is a hugely successful British athlete who has won countless international titles including 3 gold Paralympic medals.
  • Sting: Perhaps the most famous Geordie export, Sting is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist who was part of rock band The Police as well as a successful solo artist and has received 16 Grammy Awards for his work.
  • The Animals: Tyneside rockers The Animals who in the 1960s took the music world by storm with signature hit – and transatlantic number one – House of the Rising Sun.