A Brief History of Gateshead FC
Gateshead FC is a semi-professional football club based in the town of Gateshead, in the northeast of England. The club was founded in 1889 and has a rich and diverse history that has seen it rise through the ranks of English football, before experiencing a decline and subsequent rebirth in the modern era.
Gateshead FC initially formed as South Shields Adelaide Athletic, before changing their name to Gateshead East End in 1904. The club played its early football in the Northern Alliance and Northern League, before being elected to the Football League Third Division North in 1930.
The club’s early years in the Football League were largely unremarkable, with the team usually finishing in the lower echelons of the division. However, the 1950s saw a resurgence in the club’s fortunes, with Gateshead finishing in the top half of the table for four consecutive seasons. This culminated in the 1953–54 season, when the team achieved a club record league position of 9th in the Third Division North.
Despite this success, Gateshead’s stay in the Football League was to be relatively short-lived. Financial difficulties and poor performances on the pitch saw the club relegated back to the Northern League in 1960, where it remained for over 30 years.
In the 1990s, Gateshead experienced a revival, with the club winning the Northern League title three times and the FA Vase in 1999. This success was enough for the club to be granted a place in the newly-formed Conference North in 2004, where they have played ever since.
The 21st century has been a turbulent time for Gateshead FC, with the team regularly battling for survival in the Conference North. However, the club has also experienced some notable highlights, including a run to the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy in 2014 and finishing in the play-offs in the 2018–19 season.
Gateshead’s Greatest Games
Throughout its history, Gateshead FC has been involved in some memorable encounters on the field. Here, we take a look at some of the club’s greatest games:
Gateshead 5-2 Chester (1951)
This match was a highlight of the club’s glory years in the 1950s. Gateshead managed to put five past a strong Chester side, with goals from Dick Martin, Bill McHugh, Jack Lindley, Jack Allman and Len Smith. This victory helped secure Gateshead’s highest league position of 9th in the Third Division North.
Gateshead 3-0 Southport (1995)
This match saw Gateshead clinch their third Northern League title and secure promotion back to the Conference North. Goals from Kenny Lindoe, Robbie Dale and Kevin Shoulder ensured that Gateshead finished the season on a high and marked a return to the big time for the club.
Gateshead 2-1 Grimsby Town (2013)
This FA Cup first round tie was a classic cup upset, as Gateshead came from behind to beat League Two Grimsby Town. Goals from James Marwood and Colin Larkin were enough to see off the higher-ranked opposition and secure Gateshead’s place in the second round of the competition for the first time in 60 years.
Over the course of its history, Gateshead FC has played at a number of different grounds. Here are some of the most notable:
Gateshead played their home matches at Redheugh Park from 1930 to 1960, during the club’s time in the Football League. The ground had a maximum capacity of around 30,000, but is perhaps best remembered for the infamous “fog match” of 1951, when Gateshead played Newport County amidst dense fog that made it almost impossible to see the players on the field.
Gateshead International Stadium
The Gateshead International Stadium is the club’s current home, having been used since 1974. The stadium is primarily used for athletics events, but has been adapted for football by the addition of a temporary stand. The ground has a capacity of around 11,800 and is known for its modern facilities and impressive pitch.
Gateshead Leisure Centre
Gateshead played a number of matches at the Gateshead Leisure Centre during the 1990s, including their FA Vase final victory in 1999. The ground was a temporary facility that was used during the redevelopment of the International Stadium, but is fondly remembered by fans for the success that the team achieved there.
The Future for Gateshead FC
Gateshead FC may have experienced a turbulent history, but the club continues to look towards the future with optimism. Plans are currently underway for a new stadium on the site of the old Gateshead Stadium, which would provide the club with a permanent home and modern facilities.
Despite the challenges of being a semi-professional club in the lower reaches of English football, Gateshead FC remains a proud and passionate institution. The club’s rich history and devoted fanbase will ensure that it remains an important part of the sporting landscape in the northeast of England for many years to come.