IN the first of a weekly series of Football Flashback features, we have raided The Northern Echo’s archives to compile a series of photos showing life at Middlesbrough in the 1980s.

The decade was one of the most eventful in Boro’s long and colourful history, with the club coming with days of collapse as it entered liquidation before it was reborn and began its climb back up the Football League.

The 1980s began with Boro in the First Division, indeed the 1979-80 season ended with the club finishing in the dizzy heights of ninth division, thanks in no small part to the goalscoring heroics of leading scorer David Armstrong.

The following year, Boro won the little-known Kirin Cup, but under the stewardship of Bobby Murdoch, they were relegated to Division Two in 1982.

They remained in that division to the middle of the decade, by which stage their financial problems had become chronic. In the summer of 1986, Boro were formally liquidated and the gates to Ayresome Park were padlocked.

The death of the club looked inevitable, but with minutes to spare ahead of the Football League’s deadline for the receipt of £350,000 in order to maintain Boro’s registration, a new consortium assembled by current chairman Steve Gibson stepped in to secure the club’s future.

The 1986-87 season began at Hartlepool’s Victoria Park and saw the Teessiders competing in the Third Division, but it ended it triumph when skipper Tony Mowbray led his side to promotion.

Another promotion followed in 1988, meaning that just two years after they were on the brink of extinction, Boro were back in the top-flight.

Most fans remember the late 1980s as a golden period, with the likes of Mowbary, Gary Pallister, Colin Cooper, Gary Parkinson, Gary Hamilton, Stuart Ripley and Bernie Slaven combining to lift the club through the leagues.

The decade ended with Boro back in Division Two, but with Gibson having put the foundations in place that would eventually result in the successes of the 1990s.