My Matchday - 143 Welfare Park

Horden Colliery Welfare 1v1 Team Northumbria
Arngrove Northern League Division 2
August 25th 2007

Horden is a mining village in County Durham, the colliery was constructed in 1900 and was one of the biggest in the country, at its peak the mine employed over 4000 men and producing 1.5 million tons of coal a year, hundreds of workers in the colliery helped fund the local football club by deducting money each week from their wages.
Formed in 1908 as Horden Athletic and playing in the Wearside League, the club became Horden CW in 1928 and after four league titles moved on to the North-Eastern League in 1935, apart from a brief spell in the Midland League in the late 1950’s the club stayed in the NE League until the league folded in 1964, having been champions on two occasions in 1937-38 and 1963-64.
The club then returned to the Wearside League where they added an additional six titles as well as further success in cup competitions including the treble in 1973 (League, Shipowners and Monkwearmouth Cups) until they joined the Northern League in 1975, since then they’ve twice finished runners-up in 1980 and ’83 and won another pot with a League Cup final win against Blyth Spartans in 1984.
In 1985 the Colliers were relegated, on top of this the club lost its main sponsor and Horden colliery closed, the club managed to survive and keep its Northern League status, they again won promotion in 2002-03, but sadly were relegated last season narrowly losing out by one point to Bedlington Terriers.
Thanks to a Football Stadium Improvements grant, Welfare Park looks in great nick after key improvements and upgrading, in particular the HCWFC Grandstand, which dominates the ground with its red external appearance and white roof, the raised seating area is divided into three sections of red seats, in the middle is the Stan Anderson Enclosure, to the left the Bobby ”Punchy” Naisbett Enclosure and to the right the Sylvia & Bob Wood Enclosure, underneath is the refreshment bar and toilets, with the new changing rooms to the side.
The clubhouse is in the corner of the ground with a white covered seating area outside, which on closer inspection I realised is a smoker’s area for clubhouse patrons, behind the bottom goal is the turnstile with a hard standing area with the Workingmens club and the Horden Social Welfare Centre looking into the ground (guests at the wedding reception were glued to the window) the other two sides of the ground have good views with steps leading up to a grass verge.
The game finished in a creditable draw which on reflection was a fair result, Horden CW won the ‘Performance of the Week Award’ after knocking Sunderland Nissan out of the FA Cup last week, while Team Northumbria crashed, banged and were truly walloped out of the cup with a 0-11(eleven) home defeat to Consett, so I suppose they’ve been working on their defending in training this week. The clean sheet looked on the cards until a goal from Ross Galley just before half time gave the Colliers the advantage at the interval, this looked the decisive moment until a late equaliser from centre half Mark Tye with a powerful header from a corner gave TN a share of the spoils.
The local cricket pitch as well as the park is behind the Grandstand, today there was a cricket match being played at the same time as the football, when I sat in the stand at the beginning of the second half there was an almighty thud, as if a bomb had landed in Horden, I then realised that a batsman ‘hit a six’ against the back of the stand, there was also many cries of “Howzat” with the only shouting coming from the football ground being from the players moaning at the officials, but also the canny little lady who sold the programmes with her constant screams of “whorre…den!” which if you didn’t know where you were, sounds more like some sort of bordello than the local football team.

Match Report -

Ground no.143 Welfare Park – Matchday Web album (17 pictures)

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