Ferryhill Athletic Football Club revived

THE name and colors of a historic County Durham football team that holds the record for the biggest FA Cup wins are back in action for the first time since the 1990s.

Ferryhill Athletic Football Club has been resurrected after a hiatus of around 15 years.

The side, which faced Wheatley Hill in their first match on Saturday using the former club’s name and colours, played as Durham Football Club in Wearside Second Division.

Coach Paul Gillham, who works alongside Jonathan Kelly and Lee Jewett, said: “We’re Ferryhill lads so that means a lot to us.

“It’s a football village. We had a Northern League club for 60 or 70 years. The history of this club is incredible.

“It was disappointing for the whole village when it folded. We need a club with a senior team on a Saturday that people can follow.”

Read more: 18-0: How little Ferryhill holds the FA Cup record

The team were struggling to find a venue to play in Durham and with many players from the Ferryhill area it was decided to move to Dean Bank Recreation Ground and resurrect the old club.

They are back in the Ferryhill colors of amber and black, although on Saturday the Wheatley Hill side appeared in black and yellow which caused the home side to change shirts mid-game.

The original club formed in 1921 and the current side changed their name at the end of last year – in what would have been their centenary.

And they hope to return to the Northern League soon.

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Fraser Reynolds, club secretary, said: “We plan to grow the club back to that level. We have the ambition to be a Northern League side again.

“It’s a new club and we’re starting at a low level. It will take a few years to get where we want to be. It’s a very young team with some experienced players.”

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“We don’t have the minute facilities to get into the Northern League, but that’s the long-term goal.”

They had a tough first game as Ferryhill Athletic, losing 5-1 to Wheatley Hill

Ferryhill Mayor Dave Farry said the council was right behind the team. He is trying to get a 4G pitch and is offering the club free use of the recreation pitch.

Cllr Farry said: “The idea is to bring the community together and put Ferryhill back on the map.”

The former workers’ club – now called Ferryhill community and sports and social club – is also joining the team and has renamed its bar the Athletic Bar, in the colors of Ferryhill.

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They are also appealing to anyone with memorabilia they would like to donate to get in touch to help with an exhibit in the bar.

“Old programs, scarves, tapes, photographs – anything like that,” Cllr Farry said.

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Ferryhill Athletic hold the record for the biggest FA Cup win – beating Skinningrove Works 18-0 in the 1954 competition.

The club, which have won the Northern League three times, played at their Darlington Road ground until 1994.

Sedgefield MP Paul Howell, who is from the village and remembers going to see Ferryhill Athletic as a youngster, turned up to watch the kick-off. He said: “It’s a pleasure to see them back on a football ground as Ferryhill.”

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