National award for Toon tea lady Kath

Colin Perkins, regional director at Sodexo Prestige with Kath Cassidy and her award.
Colin Perkins, regional director at Sodexo Prestige with Kath Cassidy and her award.

AN 85-year-old stalwart at Newcastle United who has brewed countless cups of tea for managers over the past 44 years has won a national award.

Great grandmother Kath Cassidy is the ground’s official tea lady.

Now she has been handed a Special Achievement award at The Stadium Experience – Official Football Hospitality Awards 2012.

Kath, from Wallsend, who has brewed up for no fewer than 27 United managers, said: “I couldn’t believe it, it was such a big surprise.

“I only started at the club when I stepped in to help a friend – who’d have thought I’d still be there all these years later?

“The club’s a huge part of my life and I’m over the moon with this award.”

Newcastle United scored a hat-trick of awards at the ceremony held at the American Express Community Stadium, home to Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club.

Sodexo Prestige, which manages the conference and banqueting facilities at Newcastle, scooped the silver Matchday Hospitality Experience having been judged on a range of criteria from parking and signage to overall welcome, food quality and service by professional chefs who visited 26 clubs over six months.

The club also collected bronze prizes in the Media Choice award, which was voted for by national sports journalists, and in the Chef Team of the Year award.

Now in their eighth year, the annual hospitality awards recognise the efforts of the catering, conference and events teams at every UK football club from the Premier League to League Two.

Colin Perkins, regional director at Sodexo Prestige, said: “We have a superb team at Sports Direct Arena and to have our efforts acknowledged and rewarded within the industry is very gratifying.

”We are particularly thrilled for Kath who thoroughly deserves her award.”