Chester-le-Street Junior Schools Football Association has a proud history which stretches back almost 60 years in providing inter-schools football for boys and, in later years, girls.

A meeting held at Birtley Elizabethville School (no longer there) on Monday 17 July 1950, agreed 'that a junior section of the Chester-le-Street & District Schools' Football Association be formed'. Election of officials were as follows:

hairman:        Mr F Forster (Usworth)
V Chairman:     Mr S Davies (Grange Villa)                             
Secretary:      Mr R G Everett (Elizabethville)
Treasurer:      Mr S Lewis (Langley Park)

It was agreed to form two sections comprising the following schools:

East Section
Birtley Elizabethville
Ravensworth Terrace
Washington Glebe
Washington St Josephs
Fence Houses
New Lambton

West Section
Langley Park
Chester Council (now Cestria)
Pelton Council (now Pelton Community)
West Pelton
Grange Villa





The chairman's first report at the annual meeting on July 11th 1951 commented

'Let me say a word to all the teams that took part in the first season of our league. They should be congratulated because, in most cases, they never           for got the true purpose and spirit of  the game and always gave of their best. After all, it is not really the result that counts, it is the full enjoyment of the game that should be the predominant factor'

This sentiment has been proudly maintained throughout the history of the association




Letter to Elizabethville teacher, Bob Everett from Washington Glebe School

8th October 1958

   Dear Bob,

   We will make a supreme effort to be      at Elizabethville for an early kick off. We will catch the 8.40 bus from Washington which arrives in Birtley at 9 o'clock.                                                     

             No cars in those days!!



An early photograph of Cestria's football team, with teacher, Mr Ward, in 1953 although they would have been called the Council School in those days


Two stalwarts of Chester-le-Street Primary Association in the 50's & 60's John Errington, who served as ESFA  chairman and Bob Everett, association secretary for so many years

19th March 1963

AGM Minutes

The secretary informed the meeting that Mr R O Willis (Lumley School) had been asked to referee the Scotland v Wales Schoolboy International. The members extended to him their heartiest congratulations



Our earliest photograph of Elizabethville School team (1951) taken in the first year of the formation of Chester-le-Street Junior Schools Association

In order to determine the overall first winners of the trophy, it was decided that the winners of the east and west divisions should meet in a two-legged final:

First Leg:  Sacriston v Usworth - 23rd May 1951
KO: 7 pm    Referee: Mr J Thornback

Second Leg:    Usworth v Sacriston - 25th May 1951
KO: 7 pm    Referee: Mr S Davies

First League Champions: Sacriston

Washington schools dominated the competition in the early days, particularly Usworth, as can be seen from the table below.


League Championship
1951 Sacriston                      1987 Cestria
1952 Usworth 1988 Cestria
1953 Usworth 1989 Barley Mow
1954 Usworth 1990 Newker
1955 Usworth 1991 Pelton Community
1956 Usworth 1992 St Benets
1957 Usworth 1993 Newker
1958 Usworth 1994 Ouston
1959 Washington Glebe 1995 Bullion Lane/Red Rose
1960 Washington Glebe 1996 Red Rose/Woodlea
1961 Usworth 1997 Lumley/Sacriston
1962 Washington Glebe 1998 Newker
1963 Pelton County 1999 Barley Mow/Pelton Co
1964 Usworth 2000 Harlow Green
1965 Usworth 2001 St Cuthberts
1966 Usworth 2002 Cestria
1967 High Usworth 2003 Ouston
1968 Pelton Roseberry 2004 Harlow Green
1969 High Usworth 2005 C of E
1970 Biddick 2006 Pelton Co/Red Rose
1971 Kibblesworth 2007 Cestria
1972 Sacriston 2008 Pelton Community
1973 Sacriston 2009 Woodlea
1974 St Cuthberts 2010 Whickham St Mary's
1975 St Cuthberts 2011 Whickham St Mary's
1976 Barley Mow 2012 Durham St Margarets
1977 Pelton Roseberry 2103 Cestria
1978 Ouston/Roseberry 2014 St Margaret's
1979 Pelton Roseberry 2015 Ouston
1980 Pelton Roseberry 2016 St Margarets
1981 Pelton Roseberry 2017 Ouston
1982 Birtley East
1983 Birtley East
1984 Birtley East
1985 Birtley St Josephs
1986 St Cuthberts






















'B' League Winners

2003 St Benets 2004 Roseberry
2005 Barley Mow 2006 Ravensworth Tce
2007 Birtley St Josephs 2008 Birtley St Josephs
2009 Bullion Lane 2010 Barley Mow/Pelton
2011 Belmont/C of E


Barley Mow
2013 Belmont


2015 Cestria/Hetton Lyons


St Benets/St Cuth
2017 Cestria    


Small School Winners

1997 Portobello 2008 Barley Mow
1998 Birtley St Jos/Portobello 2009 Barley Mow/St Bedes
1999 Birtley St Josephs 2010 Sacriston St Bedes
2000 Birtley St Josephs 2011 Ravensworth Tce
2001 Birtley St Josephs


Birtley St Josephs
2002 Birtley St Josephs


Barley Mow
2003 Birtley St Josephs 2014 Witton Gilbert
2004 Ouston St Benets 2015 Birtley St Josephs
2005 Ouston St Benets 2016 West Pelton
2006 Ouston St Benets 2017 Sacriston St Bedes
2007 Birtley St Josephs



Two 'old' photographs (below) taken in season 1950-51 shows the Usworth Junior School football team. Chester-le-Street Junior Schools' League was formed in this season so it is wonderful to receive these photographs to celebrate the inaugural season of our association. They were kindly handed to Jim McAdam, who played for Washington St Joseph's school in the 1950's and enjoyed much success running Chester-le-Street St Cuthbert's school team as teacher in later years, by a member of Usworth's team, Alan Carr. Alan lived in the same street as the McAdam family and Jim's brother, Tom, played junior school football in season 1951-52. We were thrilled to receive the photographs.

A glance at the table above showing league champions from 1950 will highlight how successful Usworth school team was in the first ten years of the association. They were champions an incredible eight times!

Usworth Junior School Team: Season 1950-51

Left to Right: Jack Purdy, Eddie Berry, Alan Carr, Alan Pape, Stan Thirlaway, Billy Scorer (Capt), Alan Muncaster, Joe Storey, Dennis Kelly, Brian Charlton, Joe Graham

Back Row left to right: Alan Pape, Joe Storey, Peter Ball, Brian Charlton, Jack Purdy, Jackie Urwin

Front Row: Mr F. Foster (Teacher), Dennis Kelly, Alan Muncaster, Billy Scorer, Joe Graham, Alan Carr, Mr Green (Headmaster)

The above photograph shows the outstanding High Usworth Primary School team (1966/67) which won both the League and  C B Watson Cups.  This photograph was donated by John McCreary (second left, front row), who was captain of the school team and also Chester-le-Street district team. Records of the district team in this season show that, in the second round of the Harrison Trophy, five games were played against Gateshead before the team progressed to the semi final where they played Consett. Four games were played against Consett before progressing to the final, where they lost out to Jarrow, Hebburn & Felling - quite incredible! Pictured in the photograph are headteacher, Mr Jim Scorer and teachers Mr John Suggett and Mr Dave Hardman

Squad: Willie Smith, Ronnie Brown, Keith Parr, Phil Price, Alan Hudson, Robin Patterson, ? Routledge, Colin Wilson, John McCreary, Les Handy, Colin Barnes, ? Laidler

Birtley East's team in 1974 pictured with teacher Dave Colling, Deputy Head, Bob Everett and headteacher John Williamson

This outstanding Red Rose team won the C B Watson Cup for the first time in season 1969-70


Inter-school matches continued between schools in Chester-le-Street and Washington until 1970 when, due to the development of Washington as a town, it was decided that Washington would form an association of their own, thus ending their link with Chester-le-Street schools over the past 20 years. Friendships had been formed over these years and it was decided that to keep the link between the two associations going, a new competition would be introduced to be played for between schools in both associations.

The annual meeting in 1970 drew up a new constitution for the 'new' Chester-le-Street association. Officials were as follows:

First Officers of the Association: 1970

Chairman: Mr G Staines (Roseberry)
V Chairman: Mr E McMillan (Kibblesworth)
Secretary: Mr R.O. Willis (Lumley)
Treasurer: Mr J Thornback (Ouston)
Auditor: Mr T Mountain (Birtley George Street)
District Managers:                                                      Mr T Baker (Kibblesworth)
Mr F Johnson (St Cuthberts)

The first winners of the League Championship in 1971, following the split with Washington schools, were Kibblesworth Primary School, shown here with headteacher Emmerson McMillan and teacher Tom Baker

The association continued to flourish as can be seen from the list of teachers attending the meeting on April 29th 1975

R O Willis


M Richardson Red Rose
R G Everett Birtley East
G E Ford Ravensworth Tce
H Thomason Sacriston St Bedes
K Joel West Pelton
C Colson Cestria
L Ford Barley Mow
J Meek Barley Mow
N Seccombe Barley Mow
W G Bendelow C of E
A Williams C of E
G Staines Pelton Roseberry
T Baker Pelton Roseberry
A K Garner Lumley
C Friedrichsen Lumley
E McMillan Kibblesworth
N Wilson Sacriston
B Colwell Ouston
J Thornback Ouston
A R Wood Birtley George Street

 Traditional inter-schools football was always 11 a side but the change to 7 a side in 1999, courtesy of a directive from the FA, resulted in a re-organisation of the structure of the league. No longer were matches played between two schools. Centres of football were formed where four or five teams played a mini tournament each week. Points were kept and we were still able to determine the champion school at the end of the season. Those teachers who had been used to playing 11 a side were doubtful regarding the change but it has to be said that it has been a success. A number of teams are now run by female teachers and they are far happier playing at centres where there is less of a need for referees and the dreaded offside rule is no longer an issue. The success of this system has been the willingness of those schools running centres to make sure that goalposts are erected and pitches marked.

The following photographs show past winners of the league championship:

League Champions: Pelton Roseberry: Season 1976-77

League Champions: Pelton Roseberry: Season 1977-78

League Champions: Pelton Roseberry: Season 1978-79

League Champions: Pelton Roseberry: Season 1979-80

League Champions: Pelton Roseberry: Season 1980-81

League Champions: Whickham St Mary's: Season 2009-10


League Champions: Whickham St Mary's: Season 2010-11