The formation of a Chester-le-Street district team was decided at the first annual meeting of the association held in July 1950. The first fixtures played were against the Sunderland, Gateshead, West Stanley and Bishop Auckland associations. Venues for the matches were:

v Sunderland at Usworth
v West Stanley at Pelton
v Gateshead at Langley Park
v Bishop Auckland at Langley Park

Unfortunately, West Stanley turned down a request for a game and Gateshead did not, as yet, run a junior section!

Trials for schools in the east section of the league were held at Chester-le-Street (The Greens) and west section trials were held at Washington welfare ground. These trials were held on 16th December 1950. No more than four boys could be put forward for trials from any school and it up to the selection committee to decide the final squad. The first team manager of Chester-le-Street Boys was Mr Stan Lewis (Langley Park). A 'trainer' (Mr Hall - Glebe) was also appointed.

The question of a meal after district games was brought up and it was agreed that a maximum charge per head for the meal should not exceed one shilling and sixpence. The practice of providing a meal, usually pies and peas, after a district match for boys and teachers was maintained well into the 1970's

So the great tradition of district football in Chester-le-Street had begun!

District football for the next few years consisted of home and away matches against a limited number of teams. Primary district football was in its infancy and it seems that, other than Chester-le-Street, only West Stanley, Sunderland and Lambton & Hetton were operating.

Each season for a number of years, east and west section trial matches were held with a coming together of the best boys for the final trial. This system was in place until the break with Washington schools in 1970. In 1964, Durham County Schools FA introduced a knockout cup for district teams called the Harrison Memorial Trophy.

An interesting account of the introduction of the Harrison Trophy for district teams written for our annual meeting on 9th July 1964 makes interesting reading

"This season saw the introduction of a Primary Schools' Association County Cup Competition (The Harrison Cup). As preparation for our first round match, we played East Stanley in a friendly match and, in poor conditions, we were thoroughly beaten. To the selectors, the writing was on the wall as they realised that the team was not up to its usual standard. However, in the Harrison Cup, we managed to beat Derwent Valley association (which really was a school side) and then we played Durham. The game was played at Usworth and ended in a draw. In the replay, Durham were worthy winners although it has to be said that our team had made a big improvement. Durham progressed to the final where they were beaten by Seaham - the first winners of the Harrison Cup"

The success of a school or association team is dependant on the quality of player available in that particular season. The secretary's report to the annual meeting on July 11th 1969 reads:

"Our league eleven had a rather disappointing season. After the league trials, it was realised that many of the squad were not up to league standard and a successful eleven would be difficult to find. One or two boys from whom we had expected something positive just did not come up to expectations. The result was an early exit from the county cup and defeats in the friendly matches we had arranged"

 

Past Harrison Cup Winners

1964 Seaham
1965 Chester-le-Street
1966 Seaham
1967 Jarrow, Hebburn & Felling
1968 Jarrow, Hebburn & Felling

1969

Jarrow, Hebburn & Felling

1970

 Stanley

1971

Sunderland

1972

Sunderland

1973

 Blaydon

1974

Jarrow, Hebburn & Felling

1975

Jarrow, Hebburn & Felling

1976

Jarrow, Hebburn & Felling

1977

Sunderland

1978

South Shields

1979

Sunderland

1980

Sunderland

1981

Sunderland

1982

Sunderland

1983

Durham

1984

Chester-le-Street

1985

Bishop Auckland

1986

Chester-le-St/Sunderland

1987

Sunderland

1988

Sunderland

1989

Chester-le-Street

1990

Peterlee

1991

Hartlepool/Jarrow & Hebb.

1992

Sunderland

1993

Bishop Auckland

1994

Sunderland

1995

Chester-le-St/Sunderland

1996

Stockton

1997

Peterlee

1998

Peterlee

1999

South Shields/Sunderland

2000

Chester-le-Street

2001

Derwentside

2002

South Tyneside

2003

Chester-le-Street

2004

Felling

2005

North Tyneside

2006

Stockton/North Tyneside

2007

South Tyneside

2008

South Tyneside

2009

S Tyneside/Sunderland

2010 Chester-le-Street
2011 Sunderland
2012 Sunderland
2013 Chester-le-Street
2014 Sunderland
2015 Sunderland
2016  


 

The first district team recorded in the association's minutes
 

District Football Committee Minutes 8th May, 1952

First Ever Team Selection;
Oliver, Forster (Chester-le-Street Council), Gillett, Winn, Morley, Metcalfe (Sacriston), Robson, Wallace (Elizabethville), Matthews (St Josephs), Nesbitt (Pelton Co), Towers (West Pelton), Dean (Ravensworth Tce), Blyth (Glebe).
 

 

 

Chester-le-Street Boys' first strip was bought for the start of season 1955-56. The description of the strip was as follows:
 

Eleven white shirts bearing a black monogram of the letters C.J.S. on the left breast and also player's numbers
Twelve black shorts with white piping down each side of the leg
Twelve pairs of black and white hooped stockings
One goalkeeper's jersey, either amber or green
 

 

 

1951 AGM Minutes
 

Wednesday 11th July 1951

Two matches against Sunderland and West Stanley had been very successful:

Two narrow defeats against West Stanley
v Sunderland (away) Won 2 - 1
v Sunderland (home) Drew 1 - 1
 

 

 

District Squad: Season 1952-53
 

Teah, Ainsley, Berryman (Sacriston, Gradon, Ranson (Pelton), Pratt (Langley Park), Graham (Fence Houses), Thirlaway, Smith, Storey (Usworth), Stephenson (St Josephs), Pearson, Forster, Parkin (Elizabethville), Lodge (Ravensworth Tce), Otto (West Pelton)

 

 

 

District Squad for Season 1957 - 58:

Reed (Elizabethville), Hume, Passmore (Lambton)Render, Rollo, Halton, Forsyth, Thirlaway (Usworth), Buchanan, Woosey, Cutts, Lumsden, Nesbitt (Glebe), Fletcher, Todd (Langley Park), Paterson (Pelton), Innes (Brown's Buildings)
 

 

 

 

A second district strip was purchased in 1958 with a spending limit of 25 - a considerable amount of money in those days. The colour of the strip was:
Gold lustre shirts with black collars and cuffs and black numbers
Black shorts with gold stripe
Hooped black and gold stockings
Royal blue goalkeeper's shirt

Sounds impressive!

 

 

 
Secretary's Report: July 19th 1960

"Matches against Chester-le-Street's district team are now looked upon by the majority of associations as the highlight of the season. That is because, as pointed out by opposing teachers, 'Chester always seem to have good ball players'. We certainly have this season and I know we will watch, with interest, the progress of Suggett, Cowan, Todd, Muter and goalkeeper, Hulme"

Prophetic words!

 

 

 
1965 - What a Season!

Chester-le-Street Association win the Harrison County Cup for the first time and Usworth win the Durham County Inter-Schools Cup

 

 

This photograph, taken on tour to Manchester in 1973, highlights the numbers of teachers involved in district football. Left to right - George Staines, Tom Baker, John Meek, Leo Ford, Emmerson McMillan, Ollie Willis

A photograph of the 2009/10 Chester-le-Street District team, the latest winners of the Harrison Memorial Trophy. The team won every match - the second time a Chester-le-Street team have done so