AROUND 150 past and present footballers turned out to celebrate the 100th birthday of a talent-nurturing football team.
A fantastic night was had by all who attended a gathering held to celebrate the centenary of Seaton Holy Trinity Football Club.
The venue was Seaton Carew Social Club, in Station Lane, and some well-known faces were among the crowd.
Former players Mark Venus, now assistant manager at Middlesbrough FC and a former Hartlepool United player and former Durham cricketer Mike Gough and his brother John were among the ex-Seaton players to turn up.
For one of the organisers, Tommy Jukes, who was team manager and chairman from 1975 until 1991, the night couldn’t have gone better.
The 77-year-old, who is married to Margaret and lives in the Chester Road area of town, said: “I couldn’t have asked for more.
“I loved everything about it.
“Everybody came up to me and patted me on the back, saying ‘that was marvellous’.”
Mr Jukes added that the majority of the lads who played under him, including Alan Stabler, Peter Houghton, Kevin Brookbanks and Graham Vickers, had gone along.
He said the oldest person at the reunion was thought to be Bob Parkinson, who is in his mid-eighties and played for the team in the 1940s, with former Middlesbrough player Tommy Johnson, who went on to be Pools physio for 25 years.
Also at the event were Tommy Harvey, a member of Durham Football Association, as well as former Seaton Holy Trinity FC and Hartlepool United star Kenny Johnson’s widow, Olwyn and daughter Julie.
A range of team photographs from 1935 to 1999 were also on show, and sparked lots of nostalgic conversations.
Former player Alan Pearson, who owns Ords Print, has promised to digitally copy the pictures and make them available free of charge or for a donation to the team.
The evening featured a raffle which raised money for the team, which plays at Dodds Field and was set up by the Rev FB Bevan in the early days of the town’s Church League, and for Hartlepool RNLI.
Mr Jukes thanked Bob Waggott and staff at the social club for their hospitality and the people who supplied old photographs, as well as current team manager Robert Thompson who helped to organise the event.