Cockfield FC's glory days recalled at reunion of ex-players, officials and supporters
FORMER players, officials and supporters of Cockfield Football Club met to remember former glory days at the village’s Workingmen’s Club during the festive holidays.
The event was organised to celebrate the success of a team which, since its formation in 1985 to folding in 2007, won an astonishing 48 trophies.
Former chairman John Priestley along with ex-player and current Bishop Auckland FC chairman Steve Coulthard, spoke about the Cockfield club’s proud history and achievements.
A plethora of old photos and some video footage of cup finals from the 1990s was also made available to add to the memories.
Joanthan Milroy, who in the 1993-94 season was joint top scorer alongside Peter May with 53 goals, said: “The team’s most successful period came when Dougie Wallis took over as manager in 1991.
“The club then went onto win the Auckland and District League title for the next seven years in a row.
“During this term to 1998, the club also won a remarkable five other cups in four seasons.”
This included the Durham Trophy, Auckland and District League Cup, Auckland Charity Cup, Weardale Cup and South Durham Bowl. During this successful seven-year run, the side scored an incredible 1,293 goals while conceding just 391.
In 2001-02, Cockfield became the last ever champions of the Auckland and District League, which folded at the end of that season, with the team going on to join the Crook and District League.
“While the team was consistently the best true amateur team in the county, it also had much success in the higher standard Durham Challenge Cup,” added Mr Milroy, who is now a parish councillor in Cockfield.
“It was in this competition that the ‘minnow’ team of Cockfield was famous for knocking out many Northern League Clubs, including Dunston, Durham and Horden to name but a few, and reaching the quarter final and semi-final stages, a feat never seen in recent history for a village club.
“The tremendous success of the club during this period made the village and region rightly proud and was truly an extraordinary achievement which will no doubt remain unsurpassed.”
Cockfield FC was also renowned for its social and fundraising activities and it was fitting that during the reunion special tributes were paid by ex-players John Fowler, Peter Taylor and Ali Milroy to the late Duncan Towers and Freddy Wallis, both of whom epitomised the spirit of the club, to remember their contribution in this aspect. At the conclusion of the celebrations, Cockfield WMC and Mark Carter were thanked for hosting the event and providing entertainment.
All former players in attendance, including many from across Teesdale, gathered for a team photograph.