Gateshead Football Club

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Nickname: The Tynesiders
Year Founded: reformed 1977
Ground: Gateshead International Stadium
Home Kit: White with black shorts
Away Kit: All purple

The History of Gateshead Football Club

Three major transformations in a turbulent and occasionally distinguished 77-year history have marked the course of the senior non-league club in the North East of England.

The original Gateshead AFC was formed in 1930 when neighbours South Shields, members of the Football Leagues old Third Division North, moved to Gateshead’s Redheugh Park because of financial difficulties. The “Tynesiders” almost capitalised immediately on their good fortune when only Lincoln City’s superior goal average deprived them of promotion to the second division in only their second season of league football.

However, it was to be the FA Cup that was to provide the club with its finest hour in 1953. After accounting for Liverpool in the third round, Gateshead progressed to the quarter final for their Wembley aspirations to be denied by a single Nat Lofthouse goal from eventual finalists Bolton Wanderers in front of a capacity Redheugh Park crowd of 17,692.

Within five years the North Easterners found themselves founder members of the newly formed fourth division, and two years later came their shock dismissal from league football. They had applied for re-election only once before in a relatively successful thirty-year period but nevertheless were unceremoniously removed in favour of the more geographically acceptable Peterborough United.

An unsuccessful bid to join the Scottish Football League was followed by a brief spell in the Northern Counties League. In 1962 the club became members of the North Regional League until 1968 when they became founder members of the Northern Premier League. After two years they were replaced by another former Football League outfit, Bradford Park Avenue, and were forced to replace their own reserve team in the Wearside League. Finishing as runners up the club then spent a season in the Midland League until in 1973, seven leagues and 43 years after its inception Gateshead AFC ceased to exist.

A new club called Gateshead Town played the following season in the Northern Combination League, but astonishingly history was soon to repeat itself. South Shields then members of the Northern Premier League, sold their Simonside headquarters and moved to a new home at the Gateshead International Stadium. Renamed Gateshead United the club soon became a force in the Northern Premier League while accounting for Football League clubs Grimsby Town and Crewe Alexandra in the FA Cup. However In 1977, after only three years of operation came the shock announcement that United were to disband.

It was the third body blow to hit the clubs supporters in less than twenty years. Constantly in the shadows of North East football giants Newcastle United and Sunderland it looked like the end of senior football in the borough until another phoenix this time in the form of the current Gateshead FC, rose from the ashes. Replacing United in the Northern Premier League the new club won the Championship in 1983 with a record 100 points and 114 goals. After two years in the Conference, the new club returned to the NPL only to lift the title for the second time in 1986. Their second spell in the Conference lasted just one season, though the Tynesiders were quick to bounce back, reclaiming their top-flight status in 1990.

The accustomed role of Conference strugglers was transformed in the mid nineties, with 7th and 5th spots being reached in successive campaigns in 1994/95 and 1995/96, and quarterfinal appearances in the FA Trophy three times in four seasons. The threat of relegation was staved off in 1996/97 with a later surge to 10th place, but the following season proved disastrous. After a bad start to the season Platt was replaced but it was too late to prevent the slide into the Unibond League in 1998 after eight consecutive seasons of Conference football.

The Tynesiders are now facing up to a tenth season back in regional pyramid football, attempting to emulate 5th and 3rd placing in their first two campaigns. Since the mid � seventies the Tynesiders have made their home at the International Stadium, now a magnificent 11,750 all seated venue, perhaps better known for world class athletics events.

After years of struggle a new chairman has brought fresh hope. Graham Wood’s objective is to move Gateshead FC to a purpose built stadium within the town and regain the football league place which was taken away so unfairly in 1960. The stadium is planned to act as a catalyst for developing the fan base, bringing self sufficiency to the club and once again giving the town a football team to be proud of.

Club Honours

Football League Division 3 North Runners Up: 1931/32 1949/50
FA Cup Quarter Finalists: 1952/53
Tyne Tees Wear Cup Winners: 1944/45
Durham Senior Professional Cup Winners: 1930/31 1948/49 1950/51 1954/55 1958/59
North Regional League Champions: 1963/64
Northern Premier League Champions: 1982/83 1985/86
Multipart League Challenge Shield Winners: 1985/86
HFS Loans League Runners Up: 1989/90
HFS Loans League Cup Finalists: 1989/90
Unibond League Challenge Cup Finalists: 2002/03

Record Attendance: 11,750 (v Newcastle United, 7 August 1995)
At Redheugh Park: 20,752 (v Lincoln City, 25 September 1937)

Gateshead International Stadium

The current Gateshead FC have played their football at the Gateshead International Stadium since the birth of the club in 1977. However, it was the previous club who were the first Gateshead side to play there when South Shields moved to the town in 1974 becoming Gateshead United FC.

The International Stadium boasts world class sporting facilities, seating 11,750 people in its four different stands. It’s a multipurpose venue and is used all year round for events such as music concerts, track and field athletics and football. It is also home to the northeast’s premier Rugby League club, Gateshead Thunder. The indoor facilities include five-a-side football courts and the sports hall regularly hosts events such as computer and crafts fairs.

Source: Official Website (Club and Ground)

Entry author: fidsy