Saturday, 7 August 2010

Whickham FC (England)

Whickham FC are a rarity among English clubs in that they were founded in 1944 - smack in the middle of World War II. And like many of their peers who play in black and white stripes, they had a background in coal. Originally called Axwell Park Colliery Welfare, they come from the small North Eastern town of Whickham, some four miles east of Gateshead. Perhaps tellingly of who made up the bulk of their team back in their formative years, they were more commonly known as The Home Guard Team - a nickname that has stayed with them to this day.

Over the years they have won a number of local leagues and trophies, including the Wearside League, the Northern Combination, the Northern League Division One, and the delightfully-named Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup. But their biggest successes have come in the FA Vase. In 1979 they made the semi-finals, losing to Almondsbury Greenway at the final hurdle. But in 1981 they went two steps further and won the competition, coming from two goals down to beat Willenhall Town 3-2 in a Wembley final. An estimated 5000 Whickhamites made the long journey down to London to cheer them on. This makes them the last club from the North-East to win a Wembley final.

These days they play their football in the Northern League Division Two - the tenth level of English football - and they call the Glebe Sports Ground on Rectory Lane their home.

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