OUR Grassroots Memories column on August 28 featured Ferryhill Athletic beating Bishop Auckland 8-4, which caught the eye of reader Dave Griffin from Ferryhill.

Not only was Dave present at the match, but it reminded him of another game when even more goals were scored by Ferryhill Athletic.

The Northern Echo: The Ferryhill Athletic squad in the 1953-54 season.  Back L-R Nisbet, Mr.Turnbull (team manager), Brewis, Hunter, Robinson, Whitfield, Burnley, Masters, F.Tinkler (secretary).  Front L-R T.V.Morris (trainer), Allen, Kitchen, Duery, Edgar, Maughan.

The Ferryhill Athletic squad in the 1953-54 season.  Back L-R Nisbet, Mr.Turnbull (team manager), Brewis, Hunter, Robinson, Whitfield, Burnley, Masters, F.Tinkler (secretary).  Front L-R T.V.Morris (trainer), Allen, Kitchen, Duery, Edgar, Maughan.

He said: "I refer to the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup in the season 1953-54 when Ferryhill Athletic beat Skinningrove Works 18-0. After ten minutes the score was 4-0 and it was 7-0 at half-time. In the second half, kicking into their favourite Darlington Road End, Ferryhill scored another 11 goals. When the score was either 15-0 or 16-0, Ferryhill were awarded a penalty. Tommy Whitfield, the captain of the team, said to the referee something like "but, ref, haven't we scored enough?"

"The ref said: "It's a penalty."

"Tom took the kick, and it was obvious that he tried to side foot the ball wide, only for the ball to hit the foot of the keeper's right hand post and go in.

"The scorers in the 18-0 win were Allen 4, Kitching 4, Maughan 3, Duery 3, Edgar 2, Masters 1, Whitfield 1. The 18-0 win is still the highest post-war score in the FA Cup, but it's such a pity that Ferryhill Athletic who hold the record no longer exist."

George Masters a scorer for Ferryhill, later joined Crook Town and was in their team which beat Leytonstone 2-0 in the 1959 Amateur Cup semi-final. George was controversially left out for the final at Wembley, being replaced by Derek Carr who had only played a handful of games for the club.

After their record-breaking thrashing of Skinningrove, Ferryhill beat Head Wrightson 7-1 at home in the 2nd Qualifying Round, with Kitching 4, Duery 2 and Edgar the scorers. Then they travelled to Billingham Synthonia in the 3rd Qualifying Round where they won 2-1 with Maughan getting both of their goals.

In the 4th, and final, Qualifying Round they beat South Shields 2-0 at home through the scorers Duery and Fagan.

So they reached the 1st Round for only the second time in their history – the previous time was in 1935-36 when they lost 6-1 at Oldham Athletic.

In the 1st Round, Ferryhill were drawn away to Workington from Division Three North. They played on Saturday, November 21, 1953, and the Ferryhill team was Robinson, Brewis, Hunter; Masters, Nisbet, Whitfield; Allen, Kitching, Maughan, Duery, Fagan. Workington fielded Newlands, Cushin, Vitty; Johnson, Aitken, Stokoe; Mitchell.Dunlop, McAlone, Simmonds, Cameron.

Five hundred Ferryhill supporters shouted "shoot" when their centre forward Fred Maughan broke through the Workington defence in the 8th minute, but with only the goalkeeper to beat, he tried to find the corner of the net and Newlands, the home keeper, saved.

Then Ferryhill did find the back of the net but Duery was judged offside.

Stokoe put the home side ahead before the interval, Simmonds made it 2-0 shortly after the resumption, and just before time Malone hit number three for Workington, and so the final score was 3-0.

The Northern Echo: Saturday November 21 1953, FA Cup Round 1, Workington 3 v 0 Ferryhill Athletic.

From the "Sporting Pink" - the Saturday night sports paper

Ferryhill Athletic were relegated into Division 2 of the Northern League in 1996 and then left the league altogether in 1997. They joined Division 2 of the Wearside League in 1998-99, but left that in 2005-06 and disbanded.

Ode to Ferryhill Athletic

by Dave Griffin
from his book Memories of Mainsforth Colliery

Although sadly the Athletics are now gone
They still hold a record second to none
During the season 53-54
They registered an enormous score
They beat Skinningrove Works 18-nowt
One-way traffic without a doubt.
It's the highest post war FA Cup score
Even the big teams haven't scored more
The black and amber strip was once respected
We wish the club could be resurrected
Since the Athletic's activities have been truncated
The entire town has been relegated.

  • The record FA Cup score is from 1887 when Preston North End beat Hyde 26-0.