Leadgate Football History
Organised football in Britain began in the latter part of the 19th Century with the inaugural FA Cup competition in 1871. It was not until 1888 the Football League started, originally with only 12 teams. Source Wikipedia However the game, had roots as far back as the 14th Century.
Leadgate Exiles, the oldest of the two main teams in the village were founded around 1880. The team formed at the local Catholic Church and played their games at Brooms.
The Exiles were briefly members of the Northern League, playing in Division 2 in the 1897-1898 season finishing 4th. The club left the Northern League at the end of that season.
Leadgate Park FC
The club was founded in the late 1880s; the team was at least active in January 1889. Leadgate Park entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1892, receiving a bye in the first qualifying round in place of Sunderland Albion. However, the team was eliminated by Tow Law in the next round. The club applied for election to the Northern League in July 1895 as the number of clubs was being increased from nine to ten. However, the application was unsuccessful as Crook Town and Darlington St Augustine's were chosen to replace Howden-le-Wear. Nevertheless, Leadgate Park were accepted into the league soon afterwards, and finished eighth in the division in the 1896–97 season.
In 1899, Leadgate Park switched to the Northern Football Alliance. They played in the league for two seasons, ending each campaign in eighth place. The club was forced to return to the Northern League in 1906 when the Northern Alliance banned clubs from County Durham. Leadgate Park attained their highest league finishes in 1906–07 and 1911–12, placing fourth out of teams. Competitive football was stopped in 1915 due to the outbreak of the First World War, and upon resumption of league play in 1919 Leadgate Park joined the North Eastern League. In the same season, the team reached the fifth qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time, but were knocked out by West Stanley. The club struggled in the league over the following years, never finishing in the top half of the table. In 1925, having conceded over 100 goals in 38 matches, Leadgate Park left the North Eastern League and subsequently disbanded. Source Wikipedia
Rivalry Leadgate Exiles and Leadgate Park
Two teams in the same village, that's a local derby, and there was a fierce rivalry between the teams and their supporters, so much so that when the teams met on Saturday 25th October 1890 in a Durham Challenge Cup the tension spilled over into a riot situation. An excellent article on the events, written by Brian Harrison and published in the Consett Magazine in 2015, can be accessed here.
Leadgate United 1950s
Leadgate Wednesday Football Team - Winners of the Consett and District Wednesday League 1913 and 1914
In the early 20th Century Wednesday football began to flourish in England, many clubs formed to play specifically in these competitions, the most famous being Sheffield Wednesday who are still playing professional football in the English League.
Apart from the photograph above little is known about Leadgate Wednesday although we are continuing to research into them. If you have any information or photographs please feel free to contact us here
Non League and Junior Football in Leadgate
The draw of the game extended to masses, teams were formed by many organisations, Pubs, Businesses, Churches and Schools amongst them.
Leadgate St Ives circa 1950
School and Junior Football teams & Aged Miners cup Winners 1954-55
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