What an amazing summer of cricket it has been.

England winning the one day World Cup series and then taking on Australia in one of the most gripping Ashes series in years.

And the outright hero for England in both competitions has been Ben Stokes.

He has played a blinder, almost single-handedly guiding his team to victory in the World Cup final, winning the amazing Headingley test literally off his own bat and pulling off an astonishing catch to dismiss the almost unbeatable Steve Smith.

He has rightly been singled out for the highest of praise - but he has deflected it as much as possible and has pointed out the support he has had from team mates and, more importantly from his loved ones.

His response to an appalling piece of writing about his family in The Sun (it wasn’t journalism) has been as heroic and as moving as anything he has done on the cricket pitch.

It doesn’t deserve repeating here, but you have to ask what is this desire by some national papers to try and tear our heroes apart?

I’d personally like to thank Ben for his amazing performances this summer, for instilling a sense of pride and inspiration to so many boys and girls across the country.

He’s a great competitor, a person who is continuing to improve on and off the pitch and someone of whom everyone in Cumbria and in England can be proud.

 Bruce Springsteen is 70 on Monday.

I’ve only seen him once - at the Apollo, Manchester, during The River tour of 1981 – it was so magical I couldn’t bear to see him at a stadium gig.

I was a punk/goth when I first heard Born To Run and its drive and energy and heroic romanticism immediately blew me away.

I don’t like all his music. There’s so much it’s impossible to like it all.

Some of the Born In The USA stuff is overblown, though Downbound Train is a classic.

Much of his recent work has been too ‘countrified’ for me, though I still appreciate his words.

He takes the everyday, the workaday humble stuff and turns it into poetry, gives the working man a heroism.

He gives heart to his songs, he gives his all on stage and even now, he looks as though he loves every minute of every gig.

There’ll be TV and radio birthday tribute shows. All deserved. Thanks for the music, many happy returns Boss.