FOOTBALLERS from the past and present teamed up to celebrate the 125th anniversary of a ten-times Amateur Cup winning club.
A weekend of celebrations took place to mark Bishop Auckland FC’s anniversary, kicking off with an exhibition of memorabilia on Friday and Saturday, a question and answer session with the first team and an exhibition match featuring Bishop Auckland Legends Vs Bishop Auckland Supporters.
The Legends line-up included Alan Shoulder, who went on to play for Newcastle United in the 1970s, Jeff Smith, who played for the Bishops in the 1990s before joining Bolton Wanderers, and Danny Mellonby, who joined Darlington FC after playing for the Bishops.
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The weekend was rounded off with a talk delivered by Derek Lewin, Bob Thursby and Mike Greenwood.
Mr Lewin and his teammates Bob Hardisty and Warren Bradley were among the players loaned to Manchester United after the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, in which most of the United squad died.
Among the Bishops’ greatest achievements since forming in 1886 are winning the FA Amateur Cup ten times and finishing as runners-up eight times – sometimes watched by crowds of up to 100,000 at Wembley.
Colin Myers, the first team manager of three years, hailed the celebrations as a huge success which had attracted dozens of visitors to Heritage Park – the club’s home ground.
He said: “It has been brilliant.
A lot of people came to the exhibition on Saturday and a few ex players turned up too, including Bob Anderson, who is 93 and played in the 1946 amateur cup final.
“Back in those days, and the 1950s, most of the players couldn’t have played professional football because of the wage cap.
“They made more money playing amateur football for Bishop Auckland.
“Because of the club’s rich past and everything it has achieved, it is a massive honour to be manager here.
“I make sure all the players are aware of the history so that they are aware of exactly who they are playing for.”
Terry Jackson, the club’s chairman, said: “It has been a great occasion.
“We had a successful launch night on Friday, a good stream of visitors to the exhibition on Saturday and a fantastic team of legends for the match, which nicely capped off a good weekend.”