Squad: Jed Beveridge, George Wells, Evan Harrison, James Farrow, Jamie Atkinson, Lewis Patterson, Tom Horsfield
This was, indeed, a unique season for all the wrong reasons. Two heavy defeats in the first two friendly games resulted in an exodus of players who didn't want to stay and fight on. Consequently, results dipped even further until, at the half way stage in the season, we were left with seven players in the squad in which to perform in a nine a side competition. The only decision we could make was to withdraw from district competitions for the remainder of the season. This was done with a heavy heart as, in more than 40 years involvement in district football, I just never thought such a thing could happen. Chester-le-Street district team is renowned for always being competitive at least and usually up there fighting for trophies.
All I can say is that the character of the some of the team just wasn't good enough although I must congratulate those who stuck with us. They deserve great credit as do their parents for, without parental backing, boys will never reach their potential. I know that the parents of the seven who were left we very disappointed that we were put in a position where we had to disband
Undoubtedly the highlight of the season was the October trip to Scarborough, where boys and parents enjoyed themselves as much as past years (see photograph). The only victory in the season was against Scarborough, so that was another reason to remember the trip with affection
Squad: Robbie Dawson, Roan Varley, Connor Blanckley, Harrison Bond, Will Robinson, Keallen Huddleston, Josh Johnson, Ben Potts, James McDermott, Harrison Gerrard, Lennox Willis-Paterson
Honours: Durham County 7 a Side Winners
The 45th Chester-le-Street district team since Washington broke away to form their own association in 1970, represented their schools and families in an exemplary manner as many of the teams before them had done likewise. A win in the Durham County 7 a side competition in October was a great achievement and this qualified them for the ESFA North of England finals in April. Runners up to Sunderland in the Durham County Indoor 5 a side was also a fine effort.
Performances in the Harrison League were only moderate mainly due to the failure of turning draws into wins. Drawing twice against champions, Sunderland, in two epic matches showed what the team was capable of
Squad: Charlie Armin, Kieran Coatman, Scott Dodds, Thomas Spence, Ollie Carss, Jay Drummond, Sam Horner, James Richardson, Joe Carss, Dean Metters
For the first time in the long history of district football, 9 a side football replaced the traditional 11 a side on the orders of the Football Association. Quite how this rule will improve junior football is open to conjecture but we will wait and see. Consequently, squads are smaller than usual.
Although this team failed to make the honours board, ending fourth in the league, they were a credit to themselves, their schools and their families. Displaying an exemplary attitude, they played the game and conducted themselves off the field in the manner we expect. In addition, great support was received from parents and we class this season as one that we have enjoyed
Squad: Sam Hodgson, Jordan Shaw, Jonny Elsbury, Alfie Gordon, Joe Lockey, Bailey Mitchell, Euan Bowman, Luke Mitchell, Dan Silvester, Morgan English, Max Blackbourne, Jackson Ward, Ethan Rimington
Honours: Durham County Harrison League Champions, Durham County 7 a Side Runners Up
Yet another team to add to the impressive list of Harrison Trophy winners. Despite carrying a smaller than normal squad, they have definitely been the fittest team we have had with a full squad to choose from for almost every match.
Led the table for most of the season and, although there was a slight stutter, they ended the season in fine style by beating a strong Sunderland team with a goal in the final minute (surely a game that will last in the memory for years to come) and followed that up with a hard-fought draw against Redcar & Cleveland in a very tense match.
For displaying a never-say-die attitude, this team has to go down as one of the best we have had. As ever, a set of very supportive parents made it yet another a season to remember.
Squad: Nikolai Krokhin, Josh Clifford, Cain Leight, Connor Finlay, Will Henderson, Kaleb Young, Thomas Scothern, Jack Pugh, Jonny Langley, Jake Bowman, Jake Shepherd, Finlay Gibson, Nathan Fawcett, Max Carr
Honours: Peter Dunn Winners, Tyne/Wear 7 a Side Winners, Durham County 7 a Side Runners Up, Durham County 5-a-Side Runners Up, Durham County Harrison League Runners Up
A fine season from a team which was consistent in all competitions and, as can be seen from the impressive list of honours, they can be proud of what they achieved, not only in footballing terms but also in behaviour and attitude.
Throughout the season, Sunderland Association were the 'stand-out' team but there is no doubt that Chester-le-Street were the 'best of the rest', winning the first competition of the season, the Peter Dunn Trophy and the final competition, the Tyne/Wear 7 a Side. In addition to that, the team came so close to beating Sunderland in the Durham County 5 a side and 7 a side competitions.
Squad: Alex Winter, Joe Renner, Kurt Box, Fergus Hawes, Brandon Joss, James Hughes, Scott Robson, Aidan Stephenson, Jamie Winship, Daniel Chan, George Daglish, James Welsh, Connor Clark, Jon Weirs
Honours: Durham County 7 a Side Champions, Durham County Harrison League Runners Up
Despite a slow start in the Durham County league, a succession of wins in the second half of the season enabled the team to achieve a very respectable runners up spot, bearing in mind that, for a variety of reasons, a full squad was hardly ever available
A fine performance in the Durham County 7 a Side resulted in a convincing win and, in the North of England finals, after progressing to the semi finals, the boys narrowly missed out on reaching the national finals for the fifth time in ten years when losing out out in a penalty shoot out to Liverpool, who progressed to the national finals and, indeed, won that competition also - a tale of what might have been!
Squad: Ben Liddle, Scott Melvin, Bradley James, Alex Storey, Brandon Taylor, James Wilson, Callum Smith, Jamie Forster, Luke Pani, Jack Knight, Harry Gordon, Clayton Younger
Honours: Durham County Harrison League Champions, Tyne/Wear 7 a Side Champions, Durham & Northumberland League Runners Up
A very successful season culminating with winning the Durham County Harrison Trophy for the eighth time. The Harrison Cup is the premier competition in Durham County district football, stretching back to 1964, with Chester-le-Street winning for the first time in 1965. Success was anticipated in the smaller sided competitions but, for whatever reason, the team failed to perform on the day. 18 wins out of 21 matches is a fine record and the boys can be proud of their achievements both on and off the pitch. It was a pleasure to be part of the group. Another highlight was the trip to Scarborough - always remembered with affection!
Squad: Jack Wilkie, Jordan Turnbull, Matthew Rowan, Sonny Childs, David Gourley, Harry Simpson, Matthew Maddison, Michael Smith, Ethan Bradley, Jake Husband, Conor Henderson, Daniel Mason, Alex Waterman, Mason Jacques
Honours: Durham County Indoor 5-a-Side Champions
This season, unfortunately, had to be curtailed first of all through heavy rain early in the season which rendered the pitches unplayable and then through hard frosts in February. Consequently, fewer games were played in the Durham Couny Harrison League. Having said this, the team showed no signs of success in the 11 a side game in either of the two leagues or the knockout cup. Winning the indoor 5 -a-side competition for the second successive year was most definitely the highlight. Playing the competition at Soccerena for the first time was most enjoyable and the team performed outstandingly well.
Squad: Elliot Rimington, Josh Thompson, Matthew Elsdon, Conor
Goulding, Ben Addison, Sam Skelton, Scott
McArdle, Mark Hutchinson, Josh Adamson, Rory Gillespie,
Michael Wood, Lewis Hamilton, Connor Bell, Darren Jopling
Michael Connolly, Michael Williamson, Carl Owens, Jack
Hardy, Nathan Armin, Ryan Johnson, Jake
Chisholm, Connor Peachey, Ross Gillespie, Jak Mitchell, Tom Wray,
Thomas Maddison, Sean Tindale, Anthony Simpson, Connor Bell
Squad: Craig Roberts, Lewis Skilbeck, David Oliver, Adam
Round, Jonathan Maddison,
Cameron Nichol, Jak Gordon, Steven
Jamfrey, Jamie Hall, Ryan King, Aaron Wright, Jamie Gordon, Adam
Round, Kyle Dodds, Adam Smith
Playing in the national finals was a great experience. Such has been the success of the team in this competition since winning at Wembley in 2000 that we have experienced playing at Lilleshall twice and Keele University. Lilleshall National Sports Centre is a wonderful facility, used for a range of sporting activities and we certainly enjoyed the trip to Keele. The abiding memory was that the competition was played on a red hot day when the free bottles of water were quickly snapped up. Playing in the national finals is a memory which will live long in the memory and there is no doubt that the team (pictured right) were a credit to the association
Craig Roberts and Jonathan Maddison receive the 'Team of Year' award from Chester-le-Street District Council chairman Councillor Alan Humes on behalf of Chester-le-Street District Team
Squad:Joe Wilkinson, Liam
Hall, Robert Ramshaw, Daniel
Robinson, Michael Dryden,
Michael Roberts, Mark Bailes, Matthew Simpson, Jonathan Morgan,
Harrison League Runners Up, Durham &
Northumberland League Runners Up, Derwent & Medomsley Cup Runners
Up, Durham County 7-a-Side Runners Up, Durham County 5-a-Side
Danny Jackson, Liam Robson, Alex Turnbull, Callum Garden, Greg
Skeoch, Darren Holden, Robert Smith, Jordan Smith, Connor Pickering,
David Gardner, Adam Reach, Luke Wilson, Alex Ryan
Squad: Grant Lawrence, Sean Hall, Mark Dawson, Lee Henderson,
Alex Peake, Richard Hankinson, Jake Clark, Scot Watson, Mark Graham,
Jonathan Hewitson, Andrew Clarkson, Wesley Moat, Arran Wearmouth,
Jonathan Days, David Surrey, Mark Howard,
Jonathan Brown, Stephen Forster, Devon Phillips, Scott Anderson, Joe
Hughes, Kane Haig, Liam Crawford, Andrew Lee, Scott Hope, Alex
Winning the Durham County 7-a-Side was an achievement for the team and, although they failed to progress from the North of England competition, they can look back with pride at continuing the great success we have had in this tournament. The team was made up of three Harlow Green boys whose school joined our association for a short but successful period before moving back to Gateshead league.
One of the
squad, Joe Hughes (Cestria), signed for Gretna when they had a short
stay in the Scottish Premier League. After Greta were disbanded, Joe
moved back to Chester-le-Street to continue his studies. Cestria had
a particularly successful season and won every competition they
entered in the Chester-le-Street schools' league
- Mark Peck, Ben Davis, Carl Smith, Luke
Medine, Michael Hoyle, Chris Trevena, Scott
McGuire, Scott Fenwick, Chris Ryder, Jack Charlton, Brinsley
Sheridan, John Morris, Callum Turnbull, Adam Pickering
Honours: Durham County ESFA 7-a-Side Champions, North of England ESFA 7-a-Side Champions, Tyne/Wear 7-a-Side Champions, Derwent & Medomsley Cup Runners Up
Followed up the success of the previous year by reaching the national finals in the small sided game and unluckily lost in the semi finals to a penalty shoot-out. Particularly strong in small sided competitions. One of the squad, Gary Medine (Birtley East) signed professional forms for Carlisle and followed this up with a transfer to Sheffield Wednesday. He was also our scorer in the national finals at Lilleshall
Squad: - Mark Brown, Graeme Coapes, Richard Smith, Stephen McKenzie, Damon Ellis, Adam Mitchenson, Scott Hunt, Wayne Gough, Carl Magnay, Darren Redfearn, Martin Guy, Mark Anderson
Honours: ESFA National 7-a-Side Champions, Durham County ESFA 7-a-Side Champions, North of England ESFA 7-a-Side Champions, Tyne/Wear 7-a-Side Champions, Derwent & Medomsley Cup Winners, Harrison League Champions, Durham & Northumberland League Champions, Durham County 5-a-Side Champions
This team started the season off strongly from the very first friendly match and played consistently well throughout the season, remaining unbeaten in all competitions. The highlight of the season was undoubtedly becoming ESFA national champions, winning the last competition ever at the 'old' Wembley stadium. Possibly the most exciting competition was the ESFA North of England at Pelton when a winning goal by Damon Ellis made certain that we would be going to Wembley - what a feeling! The weekend was all that could be expected and more, from the journey by train, staying at the Harrow Hotel and walking up that long flight of steps at Wembley to receive the trophy. Unquestionably the most outstanding team in the history of Chester-le- Street Junior Schools FA
From the very first friendly of the season, the team just seemed to click and, as the season progressed, performances just seemed to grow and grow. For a district team to remain unbeaten is quite an achievement and one which is unlikely to happen again. A full district programme takes in approximately 30 matches a season depending on the success of the team. This statistic goes to show what just how good the team was. Captain Carl Magnay (Birtley St Josephs) amazingly won a competition on Sky Sports to receive a contract with Chelsea football club although he failed to make the first team and is now plying his trade at Gateshead.
Squad: - Mark Stephenson, Gareth Cornell, Carl Magnay, Anthony Marshall, Kris Thackray, Michael Small, Paul Botcherby, Damien Baston, Luke Kerry, Chistopher Howard, Ian Davidson, Andrew Guy
Honours: Derwent & Medomsley Cup Winners, Durham County 5-a-Side Champions, Hennessey Cup Winners
A very successful district team which won the Hennessey Cup. The Hennessey Cup was a memorial trophy traditionally played as the final game of the season between Chester-le-Street and Sunderland associations This year also signalled the last season that Year 5's were allowed to play for the district team - not a wise decision as far as we were concerned. The Year 5 in this team was Carl Magnay and, although Anthony Marshall was Year 6, he had played for the team for the past two years. Players who have gone on to play football at professional level all played as Year 5's. It is our belief that challenging the boys by playing for the district team a year young brought out the best in them.
Squad: Tony Chapman, Jamie Seymour, Anthony Marshall, Mark Smith, Calvin Smith, Kris Thackray, Ian Davidson, Mark Crawford, Ross Preston, Steven Lock, Stephen Foster, Luke Thirwell
Played well throughout without managing to win a trophy. Three of the team, Anthony Marshall, Kris Thackray and Ian Davidson played even though they were a year young. Ross Preston (Burnley) and Kris Thackray (Reggina in Italy) signed professional contracts. Three of the squad, Ross Preston, Mark Smith and Ian Davidson are now playing good quality non-league football. Making the grade in professional football is extremely difficult as can be seen from the hundreds of good quality juniors who have passed through our hands but have failed to progress to a professional club. The reasons for this are many but surely, the most important aspect is that football should be enjoyed, whatever the level played.
Squad: Ryan Howey, Chris. Mann, Calvin Smith, Mark Smith, Mark Cuthbertson, Paul Rayner, Matthew Rowell, Ross Preston, Steven Foster, Gary Draper, Steven Dobbing, Grant Leadbitter, David Middlemas, Robert Draper, Anthony Marshall, Steven Patrick
Honours: Durham County 7-a-Side Champions, Durham County 5-a-Side Champions, North of England 7-a-Side Runners Up
A successful team which performed to a high standard especially in the North of England finals. Came within a whisker of reaching Wembley when they were desperately unlucky to be beaten by Barnsley in a penalty shootout in the North of England finals at Chester-le-Street Riverside. A member of the Liverpool Boys side playing in that competition was a certain Wayne Rooney. Grant Leadbitter, of course, played premiership football with Sunderland before moving on to Ipswich and Middlesbrough. We are delighted that has made a success of his career in football. Grant is one of a very small number who have gone on to play professional football from the many who have played for the district team. It is a sobering thought that the chances of a boy becoming a professional footballer is very slim indeed
Squad: Jamie Cornell, Mark Smith, Chris Brown, Darren Preston, Chris Mann, Matthew Rowell, Mark Cuthbertson, Mark McCormick, Carl Bell, Paul Rayner, Mark Adamson, Andrew Dawson, Grant Leadbitter, Elliot Rose
This very young district team contained five Year 5 boys and, allowing for this, performed very well throughout the season. It is fine to have one or two playing from the younger age group but to have so many in the team results in the team missing out physically to older boys. In the team is Mark McCormick, son of team manager Joe and also a young looking Grant Leadbitter. One of the boys, Mark Adamson, won a scholarship to America and has settled down to make America his home.
Squad: Craig Cowell, Ben Starford, Damon Robson, Peter Roddam, Jonathan Stark, Kevin Howes, Michael Redshaw, Mark Adamson, Steven Codling, Ryan Drummond, David Baines, Andrew Robinson, Chris Brown
Honours: Durham County 7-a-Side Champions, North of England 7-a-Side Runners Up, Durham County Harrison Cup Joint Winners
Joint winners of the Harrison Trophy. Despite winning the first leg of the final 5-1 following an outstanding performance, Sunderland managed to claw the lead back and the trophy was shared. The 7-a-Side team suffered what was the most heart-breaking experience in the North of England finals at Batley, missing out on a trip to Wembley by whisker. There was no doubt that Chester-le-Street were favourites to win the competition but, after taking the lead against The Wirral in injury time, an equaliser by The Wirral brought the teams level. The ESFA rule at the time stated that a countback of results in the group matches determined the winners and it was the Liverpool team which won a place at Wembley. Significantly, this rule was changed the following season. This was the most disappointing experience ever in schools' football
Squad: Jonathan Graham, Peter Roddam, Ryan Drummond, Adam Thackray, Steven Charlton, Richard Kay, Christopher Coffer, Craig Coates, Carl Heineger, David Baines, Andrew Robinson
Honours: Durham 7-a-Side Champions, North of England ESFA Finalists, Hennessey Cup Winners
This team played in the ESFA national 7-a-side competition which was introduced this season. Through becoming Durham County champions, the team progressed to the northern area finals played in Manchester. Arrangements for the competition which is now run by Chester-le-Street association and usually played at Sunderland Academy of Light and, previously, Chester-le-Street Riverside. This young team, including three Year 5 boys, team played well to reach the semi finals but were beaten by Liverpool who went on the qualify for Wembley and eventually ran out national champions. The competition gave us a taste of what was to come as far as this competition was concerned and has resulted in Chester-le-Street qualifying more times for the national finals than any other team in the country
Squad: Craig Coates, Paul Cowan, Philip Roughley, Michael Dawson, John Coffer, Michael Bruce, Ian Corner, Carl Heineger, Scott Flint, Adam Thackray, Craig Coates, David Lee
This team, as normal for a small association like Chester-le-Street's contained a number of Year 5 boys but still played to a high standard. Many of the games were friendlies as there was a shortage of competitions. This shortage was addressed the following season. Year 5 squad member, Craig Coates (Langley Park), won a place at the FA's national school at Lilleshall which was operating at the time. He was on the books of Manchester United and developing very well. The national school was subsequently disbanded in favour of local academies but it seems that this system is still failing in its attempt to improve the number of premier footballers. Another Year 5, Carl Heineger (Red Rose), came to prominence by scoring for Team Bath in the third round of the FA Cup
Squad: Philip Roughley, Lee Hogg, Scott Flint, Paul Newton, Michael Dawson, Andrew Cuthbertson, Angus Elliott, Craig Marron, Richard Smith, David Lee
This season's team contained a number of players from the outstanding Ouston St Benet's team which had an outstanding season in both the Chester-le-Street league and Durham County competitions. Team manager John Meek (Barley Mow) was a great supporter of both district and school football. Barley Mow school produced excellent teams throughout the years. Many fiercely fought games were played on Barley Mow's tight pitch, some never to be forgotten. Those were the days when schools played 11 a side football. Since the introduction of 7-a-side, school teams which are run by female teachers have increased where there is no pressure to referee or erect goalposts etc and, in this respect has increased the number of teams in the association. However, cup finals between two teams, in front of large crowds, are a thing of the past
Squad: Lee Hogg, Andrew Hodgson, Andrew Cuthbertson, David Hardy, John Aunger, Stephen Walklate, Craig Pugh, Richard Smith, Danny Huddleston, Barry Temple, Peter Barton, Steven Martin, Andrew Lynch, Richard Smith
This photograph shows the team being presented with a new sponsored strip. Receiving sponsored strips has never been a problem. Chester-le-Street are always one of the smartest teams around with a varied selection of strips. The team failed to win the Harrison Trophy but the boys enjoyed a successful season in other ways as was illustrated a number of years later when a letter from Richard Smith (front row) explained how much he had enjoyed playing for Chester-le-Street Boys and had formed friendships with other boys from the team which had lasted for years.
Squad: Andrew Coates, Paul Cowen, Jason McIvor, Andrew Bell, Tim Duncan, Neil Thompson, Stuart, Paul Scott, Dean Parker, David Jordison, Michael Barton, David Johnson, Graeme Carr, Andrew Baines, Alan Baker, Gordon Cattrell, Daniel, Stephen Walklate, Andrew Lynch, Paul Talbot, Peter Barton, Craig Pugh
The team performed well in reaching the semi finals of the Harrison Trophy but were beaten by Jarrow, Hebburn & Felling. Seated in the centre of the middle row is a young Alan Baker who, since those early days, is now teaching at Pelton Community Primary School and is team manager our district team. From an early age, Alan attended Chester Boys' matches and it seemed natural that he would be enthused by schools' football when qualifying as a teacher. Sadly, very few young teachers 'catch the bug' of taking a big interest in schools' football as happened years ago. The reasons are varied. The modern teacher is much more 'bogged down' with paperwork, in many ways much to the detriment of the children
Squad: Chris Jones, Andrew Guest, Aaron Kirkbride, Michael Forrester, Ben Cole, David Fletcher, Andrew Million, Christopher Clark, David Hewson, Ian Douglas, Mark Elliott, David Gollings, Todd Lumsden, Anthony Cosgrove, Philip Cosgrove, Ian Miller
Honours: Harrison Cup Winners, Chester-le-Street District Council 'Team of the Year'
An excellent team that received recognition from Chester-le-Street District Council for winning the Harrison County Cup. This powerful team swept all before them and fully deserved their right to be the best team in County Durham. One of the team, Todd Lumsden ended up playing football in Scotland for a variety of clubs and is still going strong in 2008. A feature of the team was that a set of twins played for the district team for the first time.
The team receives the Chester-le-Street Council 'Team of the Year' award from the council chairman, a fitting tribute to a great season
Squad: Chris Jones, Todd Lumsden, Michael Forrester, Aaron Kirkbride, Stephen Brownlie, David Fletcher, Ben Cole, Neil Johnson, Ross Lumsden
One of the youngest teams in the history of Chester-le-Street district teams as can be seen from the number who played the following year. However, that extra year playing for the district team bore fruit as they carried off the Harrison Trophy.
Squad: Steven Howard, Neil Johnson, Stephen McGargle, Robin Laybourne, Neil Maughan, Ian Procter, Paul Robinson, Danny Harlam, Ross Martin, Simon Best, Nicholas Newby, Graeme Stokoe, Danny Hutchinson, Peter Snowball, Wayne Ritzema
The only team photograph showing the boys wearing those distinctive tracksuit tops. This team contained a number of talented players but the one who achieved real success in the professional game was Steven Howard. Steven signed for Hartlepool but made his name with Northampton, Derby County (playing in the Premier League) and Leicester City. Played as a defender at district level but later a bustling, goal scoring centre forward! Graeme Stokoe and Stephen McGargle were also signed by clubs in their teenage years.
Squad: Christopher Green, Edwin Roe, Jonathan Bell, Andrew Thompson, Ian Innerd, Graham Stokoe, Paul Robinson, Andrew Todd, Michael Barron, David Robson, Christopher Blakey, Paul Robinson, Lee Berry
Honours: Durham County Harrison Cup Winners
This outstanding team comfortably won the Harrison Trophy in those famous orange strips. For many years, orange was the preferred colour and many opposing team managers commented that the sight of Chester-le-Street's orange strip appearing for a match meant their team was in for a tough time. The backbone of the team was undoubtedly the pairing in midfield of Andrew Todd (Red Rose) and Michael Barron (Pelton Roseberry). Andrew is, or course, the son of Colin Todd, one of the best defenders England has ever produced. Colin also attended Red Rose and played for the Chester-le-Street District Under 15 team which was beaten in the final of the ESFA Schools' Shield. Andrew has also had a distinguished professional career playing first of all for Middlesbrough, then Bolton, Charlton, Blackburn and Derby County, as his father had done under Brian Clough years before
Michael Barron was signed by Middlesbrough as a schoolboy and was then transferred to Hartlepool. There began an outstanding career at that club, eventually becoming captain and, after retiring from playing, a coach at the club.
The photograph on the left shows the team being presented with a plaque from the chairman of Chester-le-Street District Council, Councillor Des Greaves, following a civic reception in recognition of the achievement of the team in having such an outstanding season. Teachers at the back of the photograph are (left to right) Colin Friedrichsen (Lumley), John Meek (Barley Mow, Tom Baker (Red Rose) and Maurice Richardson (Red Rose)
The victorious team receive a civic reception
Squad: Steven Bowey, Kevin Stafford, John Telford, Michael Young, Tony Clarkson, Michael Barron, Michael Jordison, Robert Larcombe, Andrew Todd, Christopher Green, Jamie Cornell
This team, containing a high number of Year 5's, including Michael Barron and Andrew Todd who were to make such a big contribution the following year, was a credit to the association but found winning the Harrison Trophy too big a task. They were, in a way, unfortunate to be sandwiched between two outstanding county-winning Chester-le-Street Boys teams. Looking back after a long career in football, this is what Maichael Barron remembers about playing for the district team: 'Very happy times at the start of my career. A very well-run and friendly organisation in which I can only recall happy times. The tour to Manchester made me realise what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I made some true friends who I can rely on for the rest of my life. I owe an awful lot to Chester Boys and wish them all the best for a long future in schools' football'
Squad: Stuart Lambert, Paul Malcolm, Michael Young, Steven Martin, Bobby White, Lee Maughan, Michael Jordison, David Standley, Simon Reay, Paul Dawson, Paul Routledge, Robert Larcombe, Gary Bellamy, David Morson, Tony Clarkson, David Sawyer
Honours: Durham County Harrison Cup Winners
A civic reception was laid on by Chester-le-Street District Council for the achievement in winning the county cup for the first time for a number of years. Not only did they win the trophy but they did it in style with high-scoring victories against Darlington (7 - 4), a 6 - 0 win in the semi final against Peterlee and, most impressively, an 8 - 0 victory against Stockton in the first leg of the final. Surely, no team in the history of the competition can have won the cup so convincingly! Amazingly, five of the squad were available to play the following season.
The photograph on the left shows captain Michael Young receiving the Harrison Trophy from the Durham County Chairman and the one on the right shows a happy group of boys and teachers after a convincing final win against Stockton
Squad: Simon Farr, John Nunn, David Graham, Gary Bellamy, Andrew Avilez, David Morson, Andrew Whitwood, David Lowery, Neil Pick, Gary Bithell, Gary Barker, Craig Liddle, Michael Young, Neil Dowey, Paul Routledge
A fine team who just narrowly missed out on winning the Harrison Trophy. Unlike today, the cup was a straight knockout and an off day resulted in elimination from the competition. It was only the semi finals and finals which were two-legged. A member of this squad was Craig Liddle who enjoyed a distinguished career at Darlington football club, including many years as captain and is now director of the academy. Craig's reflections of his two years playing for the district teams are as follows: 'I was lucky enough to play for two years. Whether it was training on Wednesday nights at the Youth Centre or playing against other district teams, it was something I looked forward to greatly. The highlight of the year was the trip to Manchester. The trip involved a tour of a ground, games against district teams and a chance to watch a game of two before coming home on the Saturday evening. In those years, I was fortunate to meet a lot of people who I bump into today - lads such as Tommy Johnson, Neil Pick and Michael McAdam who all played for the team. Mr Baker and Mr Meek, my two team managers, along with all the other teachers involved, stick in my memory for the amount of time, effort and enthusiasm they put in. Along with the other boys, I was lucky to benefit from playing for Chester Boys and I am sure a lot more will over the years.
Squad: Colin Harrison, Craig Liddle, Steven Fallon, Andrew Grey, Andrew Clayton, Gary Bowyer, Scott Belcher, Steven Minto, Neil Webster, Michael McAdam, Tom Johnson, Simon Etherington, Simon Taylor, Darren Nesbitt, Paul Simpson
Another fine team which missed out on honours. A young Craig Liddle and Tom Johnson both became professionals. Tom Johnson played district football for three years. An outstanding junior, he attended Sacriston School before transferring to Birtley East much to the disappointment of Sacriston but to the delight of Dave Colling, teacher at Birtley East. They carried off most of the trophies that season! One memorable district game saw him score both goals away to Kelloe after being under the cosh for most of the match. He was that sort of player - a match winner! Signed for Notts County on schoolboys forms before big money transfers to Derby, Aston Villa and Celtic. Although greatly affected by injuries, he topped 400 appearances and scored 126 goals. Definitely one of our success stories! Travelled from Scotland to attend our 50th anniversary celebrations in 2000 even though he had a match next day. Also in the photograph is Gary Bowyer (St Cuthberts). Gary's father had a distinguished career playing under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest
Squad: Alan Clark, Paul Chambers, Steven Simpson, Gary Douglas, John Cossey, Scott Malcolm, Andrew Sibbert, Paul Simpson, Barry Endean, Michael McAdam, David Atkinson, David Dunlop, Tom Johnson
Another team with a high proportion of younger players notably Tom Johnson and Michael McAdam. Michael, a St Cuthbert's boy, has always shown great interest in the team and still pops in to see the team play at Ouston. Also in the team was Barry Endean, whose father played with distinction for Watford. One of the most outstanding junior players was David Atkinson who played four years for the highly successful Pelton Roseberry team which won the league for five consecutive years. Having played for the school team for four years, David scored a staggering 132 goals in total, playing midfield. It has always remained a mystery why David never gained recognition as he moved into secondary school and failed to sign schoolboys forms for a club
Squad: David Gray, Barry Endean, David White, Gary Nelson, Gary Owers, John Wilkie, David Fenton, David Keenan, Kevin Blakey, Sean Adamson, Peter Bartley, David Atkinson, Tom Johnson, Wayne Barton, James Smith
The stand-out player in this team was Gary Owers. Gary played centre forward for both the district team and Birtley East. An outstanding player, Gary was quick and strong. His professional career saw him play for a number of clubs including Sunderland, Bristol City and Notts County. Gary made his debut for Sunderland in 1986 and played in the 1992 FA cup final when Sunderland lost to Liverpool. He has also seen spells as manager of Bath City and Forest Green. Also in the team was Barry Endean whose father gave good service with Watford. Comment from Gary Owers when we celebrated our 5oth anniversary 'It's over 20 years since I played for Chester Boys but it seems only like yesterday and I have a lot of great memories'
Squad: Gary Nelson, Gary Bell, Stephen Morris, Barry Fleming, Ian Thompson, Wayne Cranston, Paul Johnson, Paul O'Connolly, Ian Collinson, Lee Marshall, Gary McLean, Matthew Attwood, Michael O'Connolly, Kevin Aisbett, Ian O'Boyle, Robin Coult, Steven Little
This team contained a high proportion of the Pelton Roseberry team which had an outstanding season in our schools' league. A tremendous goalscorer for Pelton Roseberry and the district team was Gary McLean, who scored a staggering 64 goals in this season. Paul Johnson, son of St Benet's headteacher and former district manager, Frank won a contact at Southampton on leaving school. While at Southampton, Paul was mentored by coach and former Chester-le-Street schoolboy Dave Merrington, who has been such a fine role model for many young players, including Alan Shearer, who also started his career at Southampton. Comment from Gary McLean "I still remember many of those games, particularly the cup wins with Pelton Roseberry. They were fantastic times"
Squad: Stephen Hirst, Alan Herbert, Christopher Garrity, Gary Chapman, Shaun Edgell, Ian Bush, Paul Johnson, John Glassey, Edward Simpson, Simon O'Shea, Philip Lightburn, Ian Day, Peter Martin, Barry Fleming, John Barton, Stephen Clarkson, Neil Pearson
Squad: John Anderson, Stephen Lumley, Brian Gallagher, Wayne Marshall, Stephen Clarkson, Gary Flynn, Tom O'Neal, David Robinson, Paul Atkinson, Mark Patterson, John McCafferty, Andrew Montgomery, Gary Nation, Stephen Allen, Gary Cosgrove, Ian Skelton
The passage of time takes its toll on everyone and it is interesting to note how young looking team manager Tom Baker looks on this photograph - dark, curly hair, fashionable sideburns, slim! As far as the teams was concerned, Paul Atkinson was an outstanding player for Pelton Roseberry and progressed to the England Under 17 team whilst a player at Sunderland. In addition, he was in the under 16 age group when chosen.
Squad: Tony Young, Gary Milburn, Neil Heslop, Gary Cook, Russell Bell, Alan Hardcastle, Carl Jobe, Paul Gallagher, Peter Ward, Brian Wray, Alan Mitchenson, Paul Anderson, Steven Allen, Andrew Grindley, Andrew Barker
A very strong, physical team. Played particularly well when on the annual tour of Manchester. One of the matches was against Stretford Boys and was played in the shadows of Old Trafford. Two boys progressed to play football to a high standard. Brian Wray was a big, physical centre forward who attended West Pelton Primary School. He was mainly responsible for his school winning the Cestria Cup for the only time. Peter Ward (Pelton County) enjoyed a long career in professional football, playing for a variety of clubs before moving into coaching.
Squad: Richard Doyle, Neil Fenwick, Barry Wilkinson, John Kay, Simon Miskill, Colin Hutton, Neil Heslop, Graham Kendal, Ian Pryer, Derek Davidson, Peter Ward, Philip Dixon
Another fine team with a good proportion of the team from Lumley School Derek Davidson, Neil Heslop, John Kay). John Kay was signed by Arsenal on leaving school in 1979 and also played for Wimbledon, Sunderland, Preston North End before finishing his career with Scarborough. Graham Kendal (Kibblesworth) was also a free scoring centre forward who held the record for the highest number of goals scored in a season for many years. Notice the difference in the background to the photograph - for some reason, we used Fence Houses Youth Centre for training in this season. Facilities in those days were far removed to today's - no 3G all-weather pitches etc.
Squad: Paul Reach, Neil Harrison, Paul Hewitson, George Howie, Andrew Greenwell, Ian Pryer, David Hagen, Michael Collins, Michael Cuthbertson, Justin Robson, Kevin Roberts, Paul Beeney, Steven James
This team, attired in the legendary orange strips, included players who, years later, would enjoy watching their sons play in Chester Boys' teams. Justin Robson and Paul Reach's sons, Adam and Liam, amazingly played in the same very successful 2003/2004 team. Kevin Roberts and wife, Susan, were great supporters of the district team and had the satisfaction of seeing their two sons play for two equally successful teams in successive seasons - Michael (2004-05) and Craig (2005-06). Check the relevant photographs to see strong resemblances!
Squad: Stephen Bower, Keith McNally, David Dent, Robert Cuthbertson, Colin McGuire, Michael Lawson, Colin Foster, David Metcalf, Gary Humes, Ross Wilkinson, Neville Johnson, Paul Hewitson, Justin Robson, Peter Smith, Andrew Henderson
It was now three years into our new association, having parted comany with Washington schools. The number of schools in which boys could be from was reduced but Chester-le-Street has always been a team which would give any other association, no matter how large, a close game. This team was no different. Despite following on from two teams which had reached county finals, this team always gave a good account of themselves. Injuries in games are relatively rare but, as we completed the Easter tour to Manchester, Michael Lawson (Pelton Roseberry) suffered a blow to the head during the game against Stockport and, as a precaution, had to be taken to hospital. Thankfully, nothing serious was found much to the relief of everyone. Teachers in the photograph were (left to right) George Staines, Tom Baker, John Meek, Leo Ford, Emmerson McMillan, Ollie Willis
Squad: Anthony Armstrong, Kevin Smeaton, David Bennett, Stephen McDonald, Stephen Reid, Jim Craggs, Peter McArdle, Steven Kendal, David White, Peter Knowles, Sean Teasdale, Gary Mitchenson, Richard Lamb, Robert Lowerson, James Lawson
Honours: Harrison County Cup Runners Up
The photographs are a record of our first Easter tour to the Manchester area. The squad were accommodated in the Methodist College in Manchester. The two photographs show the squad ready for bed, preparing for the match the next day. The photograph on the left shows the degree of support we had from teachers. Many will be recognised as stalwarts of schoolboy football in Chester-le-Street - Maurice Richardson (Red Rose), Alan Pearson, John Meek (Barley Mow), Emmerson Mc.Millan (Kibblesworth), Frank Johnson (St Cuthberts, St Benets), Ollie Willis (Lumley), Norman Wilson (Bullion Lane, Sacriston), George Staines (Pelton Roseberry), Tom Baker (Kibblesworth, Pelton Roseberry, Red Rose). The tour became a highlight of the season and is almost always fondly remembered years later by those who attended. Two nights accommodation, three matches, a conducted tour to at least one league ground and a visit to a match on the Saturday (also on the Friday evening when Stockport County were playing at home) were crammed in to the weekend after Easter. This lasted for 20 years but it has to be said that the first is always the most exciting, not quite knowing how the weekend would work out, meeting new friends. During the 20 years, we played a great number of association teams in the area - Stockport, Manchester, Stretford, Sale, Atrincham, Macclesfield, Marple, Heywood, Tameside
Returning to domestic competition, this was an excellent team which played in the second of two epic matches against Sunderland in the Harrison Cup. In a two-legged final, the team had played very well to win 2 - 0 away and we looked forward with anticipation to the second leg which was played at Lumley School in friont of a large crowd - the norm in those days!. The following programme notes from association chairman, Emmerson McMillan, set the scene for the match
"Once again we welcome Sunderland Boys to Lumley in the final of the County Inter-association competition. We hope that this game proves to be as exciting as the second leg of last year's final when Sunderland had to fight tremendously hard to win 4 - 3 on aggregate (in extra time) after winning the first leg 3 - 0 at Sunderland. On this occasion, Chester-le-Street have a 2 - 0 advantage after winning the first leg at Sunderland last Saturday and we feel sure that we are going to have another thrilling final. We would like to take this opportunity of expressing our thanks to our supporters who have given us tremendous encouragement in all our games here at Lumley"
Unfortunately, Sunderland fought back to take the final to extra time before scoring once more to win the trophy again and, yes, it was a thrilling match but a bitterly disappointing result for Chester-le-Street. These two finals were wonderful adverts for association football. It was always the main topic of conversation for years to come when Sunderland team manager, Ron Gormley and Chester-le-Street manager Tom Baker met up with one another!
Squad: Steven Greener, Gary Skeoch, Peter Bell, Trevor Mc.Millan, David Hutton, Martin Harper, Stephen Reid, Stephen Kendal, Christopher Foster, Stephen Young, Jim Craggs, David Miller, Anthony Cummings, Lenny Loughlin, Jim Loughlin, Willie Askew
Honours: Harrison County Cup Runners Up
Having parted company with Washington schools the season previous, this was the first season under the new structure of Chester-le-Street Schools FA and the first district team containing boys from Chester-le-Street and district boys only. Weekly training at Chester-le-Street Youth Centre was a new innovation. Impressive victories against, among others, Kelloe and Jarrow, Hebburn & Felling (including a certain Chris Waddle) saw us qualify for a two-legged final against Sunderland, the largest association in Durham County. The team, which included three Year 5 boys, Stephen Kendal (Kibblesworth), Stephen Reid (Barley Mow) and Jim Craggs (St Cuthberts) travelled to Sunderland to play the first leg at Broadway Junior School. Also in the team was Lumley schoolboy Willie Askew, who enjoyed a long and successful career, including a spell at Newcastle United. Goalkeeper Trevor Mc.Millan was son of Kibbleworth headteacher and association chairman Emmerson Mc.Millan. The first leg was a disaster with Sunderland running out convincing 3 - 0 winners. It was, indeed, a dispirited Chester-le-Street squad which returned home that morning! The second leg at Lumley Junior School a week later proved to be completely different. Chester-le-Street tore into Sunderland and, by midway through the second half, had erased the three goal deficit and were very unlucky not to win outright. 3 - 3 after normal time meant extra time and it was Sunderland who scored the all important goal to land the trophy as they would in identical circumstances a year later. Teachers and parents were disappointed, yet proud, of the achievements of the team in a match which will forever be remembered by those who were lucky enough to witness it.
Little did we realise it at the time that, in 40 years time, district football would still be an integral part of the the structure of schools' football in Chester-le-Street. The Harrison Trophy is still contested each season but, added to that are a number of addition competitions such as the Durham & Northumberland League, Derwent & Medomsley Knockout Cup, ESFA 7-a-Side National Competition, Indoor 5-a-Side and Tyne/Wear 7-a-Side - a wonderful programme of football which talented boys in each association are able to take part in. Details of the success of Chester-le-Street Boys in these competitions can be found on the "Competitions" page.