A Newton Aycliffe media company has helped to produce a special souvenir football book.
Aycliffe-based Mantis Media have worked with Boro firm Dave Allan Communications to publish One Giant Leap – a book to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Middlesbrough FC’s Carling Cup victory in 2004, the only major title in the club’s 137-year history.
Lifelong Boro fan and former employee Martin Walker, managing director of Mantis Media, designed the 200-page hardback book, which was written by his ex-MFC colleague Dave Allan, formerly the club’s media and communications manager.
Boro supporter Dave led Middlesbrough FC’s in-house media department for 17 years before setting up his business in 2011, while fellow fan Martin was part of his team for five years before going solo with his business.
One Giant Leap is the first book published by Dave Allan Communications, who provide a public relations, media and communications service to business clients across Teesside and beyond.
However, Dave is no stranger to the publishing world, having previously authored or co-wrote more than 20 books including The Tees Transporter, while also ghost-writing the autobiographies of Boro legends Willie Maddren and Bernie Slaven.
Dave said: “Having been there, as the club’s media manager, to see Boro lift the only major trophy in the club’s history, I felt it important to mark the 10th anniversary of the cup win and was delighted when the football club asked me to publish the book.
“Whilst media and PR work remains the core element of my service, it was fantastic to rewind the clock and catch up with the likes of Steve McClaren, Gareth Southgate and Juninho to gather their memories of the biggest day in the club’s history.
“Martin and I have remained in regular contact since our Boro days and I immediately turned to him as I knew he would be as professional and passionate about the design as I was about the book’s content.”
While Martin normally focuses on a range of business clients in the Newton Aycliffe area, he readily agreed to a trip down Memory Lane when Dave offered him the opportunity to design a book that is proving a big hit with Boro supporters.
“Although I had never previously designed a book, design work is a key element of the Mantis Media offering, so I was thrilled to take on the work and confident of producing a book Boro fans could be proud of.
“While the book was naturally a labour of love, it was a great opportunity to showcase my design skills to potential clients.”
The book’s contributors include Evening Gazette writers Anthony Vickers and Eric Paylor, the Northern Echo’s Paul Fraser, BT Sport’s Claire Bloomfield and Boro website duo Mike McGeary and Gordon Cox.
Available exclusively from the MFC Retail stores and online at www.mfcofficialdirect.co.uk , One Giant Leap is sponsored by one of Dave’s key clients, Middlesbrough firm Ecco Finishing Supplies, winners of the North East Export Team of the Year.
Pictured above: PR business owners Dave Allan (right) and Martin Walker returned to their football roots to produce the Boro book, One Giant Leap.