London-based Irish author Paul caused an online ripple with a blog entry full of effusive praise for the town following a visit to see his team Charlton play the Boro.
He concluded his piece with the line: “If Middlesbrough were a woman my wife would have been awfully jealous when I got back to London because I never stopped talking about her the whole of Sunday.”
He added that having enjoyed Albert Park, Dorman Museum, mima, Temenos and the Riverside Stadium he felt a sadness that there was “still so much left to see”.
But now to thank Paul for his unsolicited talking up of the town he is being shown a further example of Middlesbrough’s hospitality by being invited back – and this time told to bring wife Sarah along.
Thanks to Middlesbrough Council’s lovemiddlesbrough team, with Virgin Trains East Coast kindly assisting with their travel, the couple will spend from Saturday, March 28 to Tuesday, March 31 in the town enjoying all that Paul didn’t have a chance to take in first time around.
Paul said: “Sarah has already suggested my next article be about how my ‘two women’ meet each other since Middlesbrough was my last date without her!”
Their itinerary includes a ride on the newly renovated Tees Transporter Bridge gondola, meeting world renowned Middlesbrough artist Mackenzie Thorpe at his exhibition at Thirteen and a sneak preview of the new exhibition at the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum.
They will also take a tour of the Ayresome Park site with lovemiddlesbrough ambassador and Fly Me To The Moon fanzine editor Robert Nichols, enjoy the England v Germany U21 game at the Riverside Stadium on Monday and take the chance to visit some of Middlesbrough’s neighbouring gems, such as Whitby, Hartlepool or Saltburn.
Middlesbrough Council Chief Executive Mike Robinson said: “Anyone who lives or spends any time in our town will have noticed the Middlesbrough is Changing campaign we launched to celebrate the £500m of investment currently being seen.
“Paul’s blog struck a chord with me because his view of Middlesbrough in a day chimes with a lot of what we in the town enjoy every day.
“I’m delighted he and his wife have accepted our invitation to return and I hope Sarah finds a place in her heart for Middlesbrough in the same way Paul has.”
Amongst all of this, Paul will be giving a little back to Middlesbrough’s cultural scene with a book reading of the sequel of his last book at Sherlock’s on Baker Street at 7pm on Sunday, March 29. All are welcome to come along and meet the author.