Golfers putt to the test for 007's car

Golfers who play it right at a charity event are being offered the chance to drive-off in 007's favourite runaround - an Aston Martin.

Golfers who play it right at a charity event are being offered the chance to drive-off in 007's favourite runaround - an Aston Martin.

The keys to the £90,000 vehicle beloved of James Bond are up for grabs to anyone taking part in next month's Prince's Trust golf day at Slaley Hall in Northumberland.

The luxurious Aston Martin V8 Vantage is being donated by motor dealer Stratstone.

And all competitors have to do to win the classic sports car is sink a hole-in-one on the par three sixth on Slaley's famous Hunting Course.

Surprisingly, Mike Allan, dealer principal for Aston Martin, says he would love to see one of the 80 celebrity and corporate players lined-up to take part in the July 5 event, getting behind the wheel of the supercar.

"It would be absolutely wonderful if someone could do it. It's possible because there could be a few bandits out on the course.

"It's a wonderful car with flowing lines, hand assembled in the UK. It's got a 4.3 V8 engine and epitomises the power, elegance and style of the Aston Martin.

"The sixth on the Hunting course is a tricky par three over water, and most amateur golfers think about nothing but the water. I think there might be a few thinking about the water and the Aston Martin this time.

"I think I'll be standing on the side of the sixth green watching with interest.

"But I would love to be handing over the keys to someone afterwards, and I think there's a chance I will be. I hear some of the footballers have been putting in a little bit of extra practice."

The golf day is one of four star-studded charity sporting events this summer in aid of the Prince's Trust Challenge Trophy.

Hailed as the biggest charity sporting event to be launched in the region since the Great North Run, two teams of sporting personalities and stars of stage and screen will compete in the area's top arenas, including Newcastle United's St James's Park and Durham County Cricket Club.

The Challenge Trophy will see north and south of the region go head-to-head under the colours of the team presidents, The Duke of Northumberland and the Earl of Durham, Ned Lambton, in golf, football, cricket and clay pigeon shooting.

Eighty players are expected to take part in the golf day, 42 of whom will have paid £500 for the privilege to tee-off alongside former world boxing champion, Glenn McCrory, Falcons rugby stars Matthew Burke and James Grindal and Newcastle United legend Peter Beardsley.

The latest celebrity to announce his attendance at Slaley is Sunderland AFC chairman and former Republic of Ireland striker, Niall Quinn.

Also expected to attend is former Durham cricket skipper Mike Roseberry.

The Prince's Trust Challenge Trophy has captured people's imagination, not least Mike Allan's.

"Part of the reason we got involved was to do something that will benefit the young people of the North. The concept of the two teams representing the Duke of Northumberland and the Earl of Durham is an original one and it's something we're proud to be involved with."

Stratstone is sponsoring the trophy alongside construction firm Esh Group, law firm Dickinson Dees, Northern Rock, sports company JJB, ITV Tyne Tees, ncjMedia, publisher of The Journal, and Emap - owner of Metro Radio Magic and TFM.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer