A BBC camera crew was in the region at the weekend to film the Northern League football club that won the first World Cup.

In 1909, West Auckland FC won the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy by beating FC Winterhour of Switzerland 2-0 in the final.

Their participation came about when the football associations of Italy, Germany and Switzerland agreed to take part in the event, but the Football Association in England refused to nominate a club.

Although no one is entirely sure why, West Auckland, an amateur side made up of coal miners, was entered instead.

Some believe the invitation was meant for WAFC, meaning the famous London club, Woolwich Arsenal.

Instead, West Auckland took part in the final in Italy – and retained the cup two years later, beating the mighty Juventus.

Researchers from The One Show on BBC1 decided to follow- up the story for a “claim to fame” feature that will be broadcast in either November or February next year.

One Show producer Mark Ashton said the remarkable story captured the imagination of researchers while they were filming The Antiques Roadshow at Auckland Castle last year.

“The reason we are so interested in West Auckland Town FC is it is an occasion where the underdogs beat the professionals,” he said.

“What a brilliant story – to win the first World Cup is definitely a claim to fame for West Auckland.”

Among those sharing memories with presenter Carol Thatcher was groundsman and lifelong West Auckland fan Les Nevison, 75.

“I came to my first game here in 1946 when I was 13 and I have many happy memories,”

he said.

“I just love the club, I grew up with it.”

Winning the World Cup today carries a multi-million pound prize, but West Auckland were forced to sell their 1909 trophy to pay off debts.

Darlington lottery winner Ken Wynn, a sponsor of the team today, has taken the cup with him on round-the-world trips, including two cruises on the QE2.

The club, which is run at a cost of £40,000 per season, is constantly raising funds to support itself.

John Wotherspoon, a former employee of Sir Thomas Lipton, and author of How We Won The Cup, said: “If it was not for clubs such as these, where would the Premiership get all their players?

“This is where they start.”

The club hopes to organise a recreation of the 1911 Juventus match to celebrate the centenary of the World Cup next year.

DVDs and books on West Auckland Town FC are available from the ground or by visiting westaucklandtown fc.co.uk