Small Club Spotlight: Darlington 1883‏

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Darlington, Durham, England is located in the North East part of the country. With a population of roughly 106,000, remains a small market town. Located on the River Skerne. Founded by Anglo-Saxon’s and settled by Quakers. Main attractions include St. Cuthburt’s church(1183) and St. Andrew’s church(1125). Darlington are also given a lot of credit for their history with the railroads in England. The first passenger train passed through Darlington at their train stop going from Shildon to Stockton-on-Tees. But the most important thing in Darlington? Darlington 1883…..
Darlington 1883 are the ‘phoenix” club of Darlington FC. Darlington FC was founded in 1883 by Charles Samuel Craven and a small group. The team entered the Durham Challenge Cup in their first season and lost in the finals. This granted them the opportunity to join the FA Cup the following season where they lost 8-0 to Grimsby Town. In 1889, Darlington FC were one of the founding members of the Northern League. They won this league in 1896 & 1900. The club didn’t officially turn professional until 1908 when they joined the North Eastern League. Hard time struck the club during the first World War but chairman at the time Forge Albion financed the entire East Stand renovation and cleared the debt of the club. In November 1955, Darlington beat Carlisle United 3-1 at St. Jame’s Park in the first FA fame approved to be played under flood lights. Darlington fans showed their true class and dedication to this club in 1960 when they raised 20,000 pounds to build a roof over one end of the Feetham stadium and put up floodlights. Fast forward to 2003 and Darlington make the worst decision of their existence. Building the 25,000 seater stadium known as Darlington Arena for 18,000,000 pounds. This ultimately lead to the club’s administration as they struggled to fill the seats and went into administration in 2012.
Thus Darlington 1883 was born. They currently are in the North Premier League Premier Division and ground share with Bishop Auckland. Their current manager is former Sunderland and Oxford midfielder Martin Gray. In their championship winning season in 2013, Darlington hauled in 122 points scoring 145 goals. Darlington 1883 are known as either the “Darlos” or “The Quakers”. In their badge they pay herritage to their quaker settlers with a quaker style hat and a steam engine commemorating the town’s significant in the railway in England. Darlington 1883 have a good thing going and hopefully when all debts are paid to former players and staff, they can find a place to call home and push for promotion back up to the football league. UP THE QUAKERS!


By Jonathan Molik, TFN Columnist on 08/02/2016 at 22:44

 

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