Village football team aims to be a match once again with launch of new club
A new football team could 'bring the good times back' to a village after the closure of its club following a legal wrangle.
Horden Community Welfare FC will be based at Horden Welfare Ground after signing a licence agreement with the parish council.
Its leaders are already lining up players to appear in its first team and compete in the Durham Alliance league, with plans to develop a junior section in time.
It comes after the end of football at the ground last year, when Horden Colliery Welfare FC, which played in the Wearside League and had been running for 108 years, lost a case against the council.
The club went on to move to Grayfields in Hartlepool before going on to become Darlington 1883 Reserves.
The new venture is being led by chairman Chris Cain, vice chairman Tim Girvan, treasurer Ryan Cuthbert, committee members Bobby Bowes and Darren Meadows.
They have decided to keep the ‘C’ in the name to keep the Horden CW title going, with its new badge featuring Marra, the Ray Lonsdale artwork which stands in the nearby park.
After being accepted into the league for the 2017/18 season, games are due to begin in August.
Club secretary Graeme Wetherell, who also plans to head up the junior teams once they are developed, said: “Around Horden especially there’s a buzz around the place, saying bring back the good times.
“It will take two or three years maybe to get established again, then we’ll be looking to get promoted and personally, I’m looking forward to see the team back to what it was and manage the junior side and bring on players.
“We’ve had a lot of interest from people who used to play for Horden and want to come back and we’re trying to keep it as local as we can, so there are some from the village, Blackhall and down to Hartlepool.
“We’re going to have some open training sessions where they can come down.”
Parish clerk Paul Davison added: “It means everything really and in non-league football in this country, Horden is a landmark community,
“It was a blow when the other club had to leave, and it did have to leave.
“Now we’ve got a brand new club and we’re in partnership with them and we wholeheartedly support it.
“To have them in the welfare ground as well is a massive step forward for the community to have football here again.”
The management committee is also turning its attentions to fundraising to meet running costs, including kitting out a kitchen at the ground.
An auction, which is offering items including tickets to tour Middlesbrough’s Riverside ground, and a league predictor are among the efforts already under way.
No charges will be on the gate when the season begins.
Its shirts are being sponsored by RFC Carpets in Peterlee and has started a 100 club roll of honour for businesses and people who have donated £100 to the coffers.
A new batch of mugs and pin badges are also on order.
The club has its own Facebook page, Horden FC and its own website http://hordenfc.weebly.com/