It's back to the future for Middleton Wanderers FC
FOOTBALL in Middleton-in-Teesdale will take a nostalgic turn when the new season gets underway thanks to new sponsorship.
The village was without a football team for almost 18 years after the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, but returned last year with the establishment of Middleton-in-Teesdale FC.
Now, in nod to the village’s football history, the team is to take on the name Middleton Wanderers, a club that dominated in the 1970s.
And with sponsorship from hardware shop J Raine & Son, the team has a new strip in the former club’s colours of claret and blue.
Sponsor Andy Mitchell, of J Raine & Son, said: “It is just a throwback to the past.
“There used to be two teams in Middleton – Middleton Wanderers and Middleton Celtic.
“They used to get 100 people to matches and we want to get people back to watching football.
“It is a fantastic facility down there and it is a shame that it wasn’t in use [for so many years].”
Of their first season in the Darlington Invitational League, team manager Dave Short said: “We had ups and downs.
“We won our first match then we had a few good wins to get to a cup semi-final.”
Mr Short paid tribute to groundsman Dave Garth who ensured the pitch was perfect throughout the season with very few matches having to be postponed because of adverse weather.
Mr Short added: “It is one of the best pitches in the league.”
The manager added that with Staindrop FC due to join the Darlington Invitational League next season, he hoped there would be a good turnout of spectators for the local derby.