The ground was opened in August 1930,the first opponents in the old Division Three(North)were Doncaster Rovers, the Tyneside’s recorded a 2-1 win,with Gateshead centre-forward Maycock having the proud record of scoring the first goal at the new ground,he also scored the last goal for South Shields at their old Horsely Hill ground as well.
It was 54 years ago today….the biggest match played at Redheugh was the 1953 FA Cup quarter final against Bolton Wanderers when a passionate Geordie crowd of 17,692 saw a brave Gateshead narrowly lose out 1-0 to a Nat Lofthouse header, from there Wanderers went on to that memorable ‘Matthews Final’ against Blackpool.
League football came to an end in 1960,after finishing 3rd bottom of League Division Four the club had to apply for re-election(the first time in 23 years)and with utter disbelief Gateshead’s life as a League Club was over,voted out in favour of Peterborough United(Peterborough United!!...who are they?) who took their place in the Fourth Division.
After Gateshead’s life as a Football League club came to an end so did the life of Redheugh Park,the club had huge debts,Greyhound Racing which was a major financial benefactor to the club ceased in 1966,and after trying many ways to raise money,including a request to the council to stage Speedway racing at the stadium,the ground was finally closed,and so by the early 1970’s the ground was a deserted empty shell,vandalised,the terraces overgrown with weeds,the football league club that no one noticed gone into oblivion and demolished.
I was born about half a mile to the east of the stadium at the nearby Teams housing estate which begins where the Gasworks is at the top right of the picture,and approximately a mile north from my birthplace is St James Park,so I was actually born in between two major football grounds. ;-)
Redheugh Park today,still used for football with local 5-a-side leagues as well as two full pitches.Picture source comes from a new website from Gateshead library,which takes a nostalgic look back,showcasing a collection of over 10,000 photographs from the town from as way back as 1860.