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Chester le Street Schools' District Football

Past Teams

For many years, 'Chester Boys' have had a fearsome reputation, with many boys representing their Chester le Street School with great talent and pride. 

Chester-le-Street has run a district team since the 1950's. The teams recorded below start from season 1979-71, when Washington, which previously had worked under the banner of Chester-le-Street Association, decided to form their own association

Season 2021-22


Squad: Louis Burke, James Cowan, Alfie Ainsley, Oren Fletcher, Josh Silvester, Harry Simpson, Archie Graham, Owen Robinson, Oliver Nichol, Ben Miller. Lewis Grieve


Honours: Durham County 7 a Side Winners, John Robson Trophy Runners Up

In what has turned out to be the final season of Chester-le-Street Boys run by Tom and Alan Baker, it was very much a stop and start season. Having won the first match in the ESFA national 9 a side competition convincingly against Wallsend (9-0), we were then scheduled to play away to Wakefield. However, in what turned out to be the worst weekend of the year for weather, due to snow, the match had to be called off and we weren't able to find a date before Christmas when it could be played so had to bow out of the competition. 

The Derwent & Medomsley Cup led to us reaching the semi final without having played a game due to teams forfeiting matches. We played Newcastle, probably the strongest district team around this season, and were well beaten.

After a number of cancelled dates, the final competition we played in was the Durham County 7 a side which, over the years, has provided great success, with the name of Chester-le-Street on the trophy eleven times - a fantastic record. The competition started badly for us with a 4-1 defeat against Darlington and, with a start like that, we didn't think we had a chance. However, 7 a side competitions are unpredictable and, with two impressive wins against Peterlee and Derwentside, we remarkably ended up winners, which delighted boys, staff and parents.

The season, therefore, ended on a high which was fitting as the Bakers have been connected with the district team for many years. Tom's first season was 1970-71 and Alan has had a connection to the district team for more than 25 years. However, it is time to move on and the hope is that someone will take over and continue district football for many years to come



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Season 2020-21


Squad: Harry Armstrong, Finlay Gray, Pearce Tait, Kieran Woods, Charlie Sherwood, Mason Ellison, Luis Cole, Joseph Crowther, Oliver Jackson, Liam Bell, Finlay Kennedy, Evan Dawson, Louis Burke, James Cowan, Oren Fletcher


Honours: Richard Jordan Trophy Runners Up


In a year decimated by the Covid pandemic, it looked at one stage as though there would be no schools' football played at all. However, we were able to make a late start in May by taking part in the Danone 9 a side national competition. An exciting 4-3 win against Stockton was followed up with a convincing 4-0 victory over Darlington

At this stage, the competition opened out nationally and our next opponents, Liverpool, was step too far and we lost heavily to a very good team. However, reaching the last 16 in the country was a commendable achievement and, for a small association consisting of 24 schools to take on an association team who were able to choose from 125 schools was a big ask.

The only other competition we were able to fit in was the Richard Jordan Trophy, which is normally played at the beginning of the season. The four Co Durham teams who took part were Chester-le-Street, Darlington, Stockton and Sunderland. Played at Darlington Education Village on a glorious morning, the competition was a good advert for district football. Stockton were winners and Chester-le-Street were runners up with one win and two draws.

Although it was a very much shortened season, it was well worth the effort in forming a team and the boys, parents and staff were able to enjoy the delights of district football played in a sporting atmosphere.

Hopefully, next season, we will be able to return to normal but this team deserves its place among the many highlighted over the years. It was a short but sweet experience! 


Season 2019-20

Squad: Toby Bell, Alex Wright, Cole Robson, Angus Smith, Carter Bell, Harry Clish, Oliver Taylor, Harry Armstrong, Joe Collier, Pearce Tait, Kieran Woods, James Ormerod

Honours: Peter Dunn 9 a Side Runners Up, Durham County 5 a Side Runners Up, Durham County 7 a Side Runners Up

Season 2019-20 will be remembered, not just in regard to schools' football, as the year of coronavirus. Everything ground to a halt in March. Inter-schools' football, both locally and county finished abruptly as did district football. 

This was unfortunate as the district team had played really well to beat South Northumberland 6-3 to reach the quarter finals and there was a good chance that they would emulate last season's team in winning the Derwent & Medomsley 9 a Side Knockout Cup. The match was played on the very weekend when all football was closed down but, at least, our last memory of the season was a good one in that we had played played well and the party - boys, parents, brothers and sisters, were treated to fish and chips at Seaton Sluice! 

Earlier in the season, the team had performed well in three competitions. In the early season Peter Dunn 9 a Side at Darlington Education Village, involving five strong district teams, the team played the final match only needing a draw to lift the trophy but, unfortunately, lost narrowly to Washington, who went on to be champions but runners up was an excellent effort.

The Indoor 5 a Side at Stanley Louisa Centre was the next competition and, again, the team were runners up to Washington. Although it was close competition, there was never the feeling that we were in a position to win and we were satisfied with runners up

The Durham County 7 a Side was a different matter. Played at Sunderland Academy, we played exceptionally well against the same teams we had played at Darlington and went into the final game needing only a draw to win. The feeling amongst the other team managers was that we had looked the likely winners but it often doesn't work out that way. An under par performance against Darlington resulted in a defeat and it was Darlington who were crowned champions with Chester-le-Street runners up

We were disappointed as we have had a fantastic record since this competition began in 1995 and the winners move on to a national competition. However, sadly for Darlington, coronavirus put an end to that!

Looking over the season (or half a season), three runners up was a fine achievement in district football, which is still played at a high standard. Again, relationships with the boys and parents were good even though we didn't see too much of them. We are still playing in a limited number of competitions and will continue to do so but we have found that there is still a willingness for boys to play district football

As we look ahead to next season, there is an uncertainty about what will happen. District squads are usually sorted out in June/July but, of course, this is unable to happen at present. Schools are not back full time and might not even be when the new year begins in September so it is a very uncertain situation

Another positive from this season's team was that three of the boys were under 10 and, therefore, are eligible to play for next season's team. That is a good start so, as ever, we look forward with optimism to next season

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Season 2018-19

Squad: Finn Geragusian, Matthew Crowther, Toby Bell, Oliver Betts, Zac Kershaw, Alex Graham, Liam Anderson, Harry Coe, Felix Scott, Cole Carter

Honours: Peter Dunn 9 a Side Winners, Durham County 5 a Side Winners, Durham County Derwent & Medomsley 9 a Side Cup Winners, Durham County 7 a Side Runners Up, North Of England 7 a Side Semi Finalists

Having made the decision to reduce the number of district matches we would be involved in this season and only entering a limited number of competitions, the team has proved to be one of the most successful we have ever had. Despite playing once a month on average, the team has played exceptionally well to achieve the success they have done. There is no secret to it. If the talent is there, you should have a good team and that has been proved this season. If not, there will be problems as we discovered last season

Although, over many years, Chester-le-Street has had as good a record as any district team, winning the historical Derwent & Medomsley Cup has eluded us for many years but this year's team took part in two matches in this competition which will live long into the memory. The semi final against North Tyneside was as thrilling a match as it is possible to have. We raced into a 3 goal lead, were pegged back to 3-3 but ran out 5-4 winners - what a match! The final against a very good Redcar & Cleveland team provided a match which was tightly fought. 1-1 was a fair result and, after both teams were unable to be separated after 8 penalties each, we decided to share the trophy - a good decision

The pleasing aspect about both games was that they were played the way school matches should be played - boys who gave their all with not a sign of petulance and spectators who supported the teams in the way they should be supported.

In conclusion. From a point last season when we weren't even sure if we would have a district team, the season has been a huge success. We done to the boys for the memories

Season 2017-18

Squad: Tobias Smith, Max Jackson, Jacob Wilson, Louis Burns, Kurtis Pritchard, Josh O'Brien, Finn Geragusian, Alex Graham, Cole Carter, Felix Scott, Lewis Renwick

It was evident from an early stage that this season was going to be a difficult. The problems we had two seasons ago raised its head once more due to an absence of under 11's who were good enough to play district football. Throughout the long history of the Chester-le-Street district team, we have always been, at least, competitive and, looking at past winners of county trophies, few can match the success we have achieved over the years. What happened two season ago, where we had to withdraw from competitions half way through the season, was embarrassing and was something we hoped would never happen again. Last season was very successful and we were back to the standard of performance we have come to expect.

The team was made up of five under 10's who, while talented, lack the physique to compete with boys a year older. The difference a school year makes is massive. Introducing one or two under 10's is not a problem but when almost half the team is 'young', then it is unfair to expect them to 'carry' the team. We just couldn't find a goalkeeper. We have 27 teams in our schools' league but there wasn't one goalkeeper anywhere near good enough to play district football and, without a competent goalkeeper, there is no chance of being competitive

As performances dipped and results went against us, then we started to lose players as we had done previously. At the half way stage of the season, we simply had to 'call it a day'. This time, there is no going back. Going back almost 50 years, things have changed. In the early years and for many years afterwards, boys who were chosen to play district football 'jumped' at the chance. Saturday morning was district football morning. Nowadays, there are many distractions, resulting in the statistic that we were never able to field a full strength team. I am not suggesting that there was no loyalty from players and parents and I thank those who stuck with us till the end.

What of the future? Hopefully, somewhere in one of our schools, a teacher will take up the mantle of running a district team. However, it is more difficult than in the 1970's. The workload of teachers is much greater, resulting in many saying 'Why should I give up my Saturday mornings to run a team?' What I will say is that the enjoyment and satisfaction I have gained through being involved in district football, cannot be measured

Season 2016-17


Squad: Scott Bailey, Joe Pearson, Taylor Mason, Damien Suggett, Josh O'Brien, Kenzie Embleton, Dylan Boddy, Josh Thynne, Charlie Loveday, Daniel Robinson, Aidan Addison


Honours: Durham County 7 a Side Winners, Durham County 5-a-Side Winners, Peter Dunn 9 a Side winners, Leeds 9 a Side Winners, Durham County Harrison League Runners Up


Thankfully, normal service was resumed following last season's disaster. Not only were we back to being competitive, we enjoyed one of our most successful teams in the 66 year history of our league. The team produced football of the highest standard in a season which teachers throughout the county, who have been involved in district football for many years, were agreed that the standard of district football was very high. Virtually all the matches were closely fought, which is how it should be in district football.

Success was achieved early in the season with a fine win in the Leeds Tournament, which involved ten strong district teams stretching from Durham to Merseyside. We felt then that a successful season was beckoning and we followed that up with a win in another early season competition, the Peter Dunn Cup. Winning the Durham County 7 a side maintained our outstanding form in this competition over the years and progressed us to the North of England finals, played at the Academy of Light, where we were denied a place in the semi final through conceding a last minute goal to Wallsend, who ended up winning. WE then followed this success with a fine win in the Durham County 5 a side. In the Durham County League, we achieved runners up to a very strong Middlesbrough team.

We were well supported by enthusiastic parents. This has been a feature of all our teams where parents have been enthusiastic but sensible, providing great support from the touchline but never overstepping the mark. A number of the parents and boys have forged friendships which will last for a very long time - again, another common feature of district football

The Scarborough trip must get a mention. In the 26 years we have been going there in October, so many great memories have come from the trip and this season's was no different. For the first time, we visited the new Alpamare Swimming Complex and what a great time the boys experienced. It will definitely be on the programme for future seasons!

 Season 2015-16


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, we simply never imagined this would 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

Season 2014-15


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

Season 2013-14


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

Season 2012-13


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.

Season 2011-12


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.

Season 2010-2011


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!

Season 2009-2010


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!

Season 2008-2009


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.

Season 2007-2008


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   

Honours: Durham County Indoor 5-a-Side Champions                                    

Although not a productive year in terms of trophies won, this was a team which was difficult to beat. Never beaten by more than one goal throughout the season, they were involved in two titanic matches against South Tyneside, the outstanding team in the county, narrowly losing both times The highlight of the season was winning the 5-a-side at Consett Leisure Centre, narrowly beating Derwentside.

Season 2006-2007


Squad: 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

Honours: Harrison League Runners Up, County 5-a-Side Runners Up

A good squad to work with and a very unfortunate season due to injury and illness. Under 11 boys don't suffer much from injury but the statistic is that only once in the season did we have the luxury of choosing from a full squad. A long term injury to captain Thomas Maddison undoubtedly affected us badly. In the end, two runners up awards was a fine effort from an enjoyable season

Season 2005-2006


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

Honours: Durham & Northumberland Cup winners, Derwent & Medomsley Cup Winners, ESFA 7-a-Side North of England Champions, ESFA 7-a-Side National Finalists, Peter Dunn Cup Winners, Tyne/Wear 7-a-Side Runners Up

A tremendous team with a record almost as good as any in our history. Finished off the season very strongly to win a clutch of trophies. Matches played in the Durham & Northumberland & Derwent & Medomsley Cup finals will live long in the memory. Highlight of the season was a trip to Keele University to take part in the ESFA national finals where the team played outstandingly to reach the semi finals but lost in the semi final when looking the strongest team in the competition


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

Season 2004-2005


Squad:Joe Wilkinson, Liam Hall, Robert Ramshaw, Daniel Robinson, Michael Dryden, Michael Roberts, Mark Bailes, Matthew Simpson, Jonathan Morgan, Matthew Smith, Michael Ross, Cole Pearce                                                    

Honours: 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 Runners Up

Very much a case of 'So near yet so far ---'. Runners up in so many county competitions but a still a great season. Runners up in a county competition is no mean feat but to do so five times in a season must rank this team in the top bracket. By the end of the season, it seemed that nothing was going our way but that is not the way the season should be viewed. It was a very successful season.

Season 2003-2004


Squad: 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

Honours: Durham County 5-a-Side Champions, Durham & Northumberland League Winners, Derwent & Medomsley Cup Runners Up, ESFA North of England 7-a-Side Champions, Tyne/Wear 7-a-Side Champions

Another great season! An outstanding team in small sided competitions having beaten all opposition along the way. Reached the ESFA national finals, played at Lilleshall but, on the day, things conspired to go against us with injuries, bad luck and the team failed to progress from the group stage. However, an enjoyable weekend was had by all. The team was also successful in the 11-a-side game. One feature of the team was the fact that two of the boys' fathers, Justin Robson and Paul Reach played in the same Chester-le-Street Boys team back in 1973-74 season. Quite a coincidence! Adam Reach is now starring for Sheffield Wednesday.

Season 2002-2003


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, Kevin Raine

Honours: Durham County Harrison League Champions                

A strange season in that the team won the premier competition for district football in Durham County yet failed to make an impression on any other competitions. Not only did they win the county league but did so without dropping a point - a remarkable achievement in district football where games are so competitive and closely fought. Goalkeeper Lee Henderson qualified as a referee as a 16 year old and refereed district games - something we have always tried to encourage

Season 2001-2002


Squad: 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 McKenzie

Honours: Durham County 7-a-Side Champions


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

Season 2000-2001


Squad: - Mark Peck, Ben Davis, Carl Smith, Luke Darwin, Gary 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

Season 1999-2000


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.

Season 1998-1999


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.

Season 1997-1998


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


Honours: None


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.

Season 1996-1997


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

Season 1995-1996


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


Honours:  None 


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

Season 1994-1995


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

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

Season 1993-1994


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

Season 1992-1993


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

Season 1991-1992


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

Season 1990-1991


Squad: Lee Hogg, Andrew Hodgson, Andrew Cuthbertson, David Hardy, John Aunger, Stephen Walklate, Craig Pugh, Richard Brown, Danny Huddleston, Ben 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.

Season 1989-1990


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 to the right of centre of the middle row is a young Alan Baker who, since those early days, is now deputy headteacher at Rickleton 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

Season 1988-1989


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.

Season 1987-1988


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. 

Season 1986-1987

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.

Season 1985-1986


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)

Season 1984-1985


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 Michael 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'

Season 1983-1984


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.

Season 1982-1983


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, Nick 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.

Season 1981-1982


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, Stephen 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

Season 1980-1981


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

Season 1979-1980


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'

Season 1978-1979


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"

Season 1977-1978


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


Training in the 70's was mostly in the Chester-le-Street Youth Centre or at Fence Houses Youth Centre. Weekly training, usually on Wednesdays, essential in those early days. Boys chosen for the district team were obviously from a variety of schools but, as there was no club football, many of the squad were strangers to each other. Today, we don't have training as academy boys would be over-trained and even those who play club football train weekly for their team. Added to that, weekly schools' football in the light nights adds to the workload. Boys need to be protected from burn-out. This team performed well without winning a trophy. The defence was particularly strong with Alan Herbert a tower of strength at the back. Birtley schoolboy, Barry Fleming, played two years for the team. Barry was a forceful midfield player and has had considerable success in managing Northern League teams

Season 1976-1977


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.

Season 1975-1976


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.

Season 1974-1975


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.

Season 1973-1974


Squad: Paul Reach, Neil Harrison, Paul Hewitson, George Howie, Robert 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!

Season 1972-1973


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

Season 1971-1972


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!

Season 1970-1971


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.

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