Historic football club could be forced to fold after losing court case

Horden CW have played their home games at Horden Welfare Park since 1908.
Horden CW have played their home games at Horden Welfare Park since 1908.

Football fans have been urged to show their support for a historic club this weekend as it faces possible extinction.

Horden Colliery Welfare, who play in the Wearside League, have been based at Horden Welfare Park, in Eden Street, since the club was formed in 1908.

However, after former committee members lost a court case with Horden Parish Council, which owns the ground, the club has been told it must leave the premises by next Thursday.

That means Saturday’s match against Jarrow could be the club’s last-ever match there, and officials have told of their fears Horden may be forced to fold if an alternative ground is not identified soon.

Neither party has disclosed why the court case was held, but a new committee was formed at Horden CW following it.

Secretary Graeme Wetherell said: “We have to get the ground emptied by next Thursday.

Horden CW have played their home games at Horden Welfare Park since 1908.

Horden CW have played their home games at Horden Welfare Park since 1908.

“Now we need to find a pitch to allow us to complete the season. If not, the team might fold before the end of the season.

“Everyone on the new committee is from Horden so we know all about the club and the area, and don’t want to see the team fold, especially during the season.

“We’re panicking at the moment about whether we can see out the campaign. We don’t want it to affect the lads. All they want to do is play football. The Wearside League have kindly allowed us to play our games away until the end of March, and in the meantime we need to find an alternative.”

Saturday’s game between seventh-placed Horden and Jarrow kicks off at 2pm, with admission costing £3 for adults and £1.50 for concessions.

We’re panicking at the moment about whether we can see out the season

Graeme Wetherell

Mr Wetherell added: “We just want to make people aware in Horden that after Saturday, Horden might not have a football team.

“We’d really appreciate support at the game. We’re in an awful situation. We’re trying everything to save the team, but it’s going to be an uphill struggle.

“We’d really like to meet up with the parish council to discuss things with them. All we want is somewhere to play football.”

A Horden Parish Council spokesman said: “Horden Parish Council has successfully obtained an order for possession of the football ground at Horden Welfare Park, following a five-day trial before his Honour Judge Kaye QC at the Moot Hall Court in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

“The order was granted on January 29, 2016 against representatives of Horden Colliery Welfare Association Football Club.

“Horden Parish Council have also been awarded legal costs of £82,500.”