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C B Watson Cup

Mr. Watson's widow and daughter present the new, gleaming C B Watson Cup in 1952, for the first time, to winners Langley Park. Secretary, Bob Everett, is in the photograph also

Winners of the C B Watson Cup in 1954-55 were Birtley Elizabethville, seen here with teachers Jack Bee, Bob Everett and Jack Thornback

Celebrating second from right in the back row is David Merrington, who also attended Birtley East Secondary School before signing for Burnley at a time when numerous Co Durham schoolboys joined the club

An end of year cup competition for larger schools. The C B Watson Cup is, by far, the oldest cup competition in our association.


July 11th 1951 - a letter was received from the Birtley firm Durham Chemicals Ltd with a request that they would like to present a trophy in memory of a manager in the firm. It was unanimously agreed that the C B Watson Cup would be presented to the winners of a knockout competition.

September 20th 1951 - it was agreed that the final would be one leg only on a neutral ground. Birtley Parish Council granted the use of of Birtley Welfare Ground for the Watson cup final on May 23rd 1952. Teams involved in the first ever competition in 1952 were:

Fence House

Washington Glebe

High Usworth


Washington St Josephs

Ravensworth Tce

Grange Villa



langley Park

Pelton Co.


West Pelton

Chester-le-Street Council

This, then, was the start of the most prestigious competition in our association. For many years, it has been open to the larger schools only in the league

Competition 2023: First Round: Thursday October 12th


Final 2023: Thursday October 19th

Competition History

The final of the C B Watson Cup was a special occasion played in front of large crowds. Barley Mow & Pelton Roseberry teams are lined up in season 1977-78, at Barley Mow School for the second leg of the final, following a 0-0 draw in the first leg. Barley Mow won a tight match 1-0. Officials were referee Frank Johnson (St Cuthberts) and linesmen Dave Colling (Birtley East) and Ken Joel (West Pelton)

The table below shows the past winners of the competition.

In this C B Watson cup winning team in season 1954-55 was Bob Stephenson (back row, fourth from left)

He commented: 'There were 200-300 spectators at the final at Birtley Welfare Ground. I played at inside left and was school captain. I remember standing outside the wooden pavilion to be presented with the trophy. There seemed to be a huge sea of faces when someone shouted 'Give us a speech, Bob'. All I could mutter was 'The best team won!'

Also in the team was Jackie Scott who vividly remembers those happy days

'For the C B Watson Cup final, we changed in school and walked through Birtley main street, feeling very proud, to the welfare pitch. The pitch was massive for under 11's to play on. Goalkeepers could just clear the penalty box from goal kicks and it was difficult to reach to box from a corner

Everyone wore the same boots, made of pig skin, with nailed-in studs. No-one wore shin pads due to the cost, so we used exercise books instead. The big, leather case ball we used had a bladder inside, was laced at the top and was very heavy to kick

I remember that Elizabethville always had a good team along with Usworth from Washington. The strips we wore were green/yellow quarters with no numbers

Over the years, professional footballers have presented trophies at our finals and here is Tommy Gibb (member of Newcastle United's Fairs Cup winning team in 1969) presenting the trophy to Barley Mow captain, Philip Lightburn, in 1978

Also in the photograph is a youthful looking Tom Baker (Pelton Roseberry)

Below: Barley Mow & Pelton Roseberry boys celebrate Roseberry winning the League Cup and Barley Mow the C B Watson Cup - happy days!

C B Watson cup winners in 1965-66 were Lumley. There was always good support from staff as is evident in this photograph showing headteacher Mr Keith Garner (back row left), deputy head Mr Ollie Willis (back row right), Mr Bob Young (front row left and Mr Colin Friedrichsen (front row right). 

There were a good number of male teachers in primary school at this time who were very enthusiastic towards schools' football

Red Rose proudly display the trophy in season 1969-70. From its introduction in 1952 until Washington schools moved to form their own association in 1970, the Watson Cup was almost always won by a Washington school (usually Usworth).


However, Red Rose were worthy winners in the final season before the separation of associations

Pelton Roseberry captain, Gary McLean, proudly holds the C B Watson cup, alongside other trophies, won by this outstanding team in season 1978-79

C B Watson Winners: Season 1974-75


How many times in its history has the Watson Cup been used for a celebratory drink in its 60 year history? 

St Margaret's captain, Cain Leight, does just that following the school's win in 2011-12

C B Watson Winners: Season 1988-89


        C B Watson & League Winners

      Season 1973-74      St Cuthberts



Cestria 18.JPG

C B Watson Winners: Season 2002-03

                     Pelton Community

C B Watson Cup Winners  2018-19  Cestria

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