Logo TOW LAW TOWN FC
HOME

FIXTURES

RESULTS

SENIORS TEAM

MATCH REPORTS

CLUB INFO

HISTORY

SOCIAL CLUB

SPONSORSHIP

MERCHANDICE

DOWNLOADS

LINKS

CONTACT US


TOW LAW TOWN AFC HISTORY

The "Lawyers" were founded in 1890 and became founder members of the Auckland and District League in 1892. The following year they won the Durham Amateur Cup. They first joined the Northern League in 1894, winning the Durham Challenge Cup two years later. After leaving the Northern League the Lawyers played in the South Durham Alliance (1900 to 1905) and Crook and District League (1912 to 1914). After the war the club played in the Auckland and District League until being readmitted to the Northern League in 1920 where it has played ever since.

Until 1994/95 season the club had not won the championship apart from two successive seasons 1923/24 and 1924/25. In between the League Cup was won in 1973/74 when Ashington were beaten 2-1 in the final at Crook. The 1994/95 League Championship win is a certainly an outstanding memory for the club especially as it was won by 14 clear points.

The Lawyers finished second in the league in the 1998/99 season.

Another outstanding memory was the tremendous F.A. Cup run of 1967/68. Having reached the first round Tow Law beat Mansfield 5-1 and in the second round drew 1-1 with Shrewsbury at Ironworks Road. The Lawyers went into the hat for the Third Round and drew a home tie with Arsenal. Sadly it was not to be after they went down 6-2 at Shrewsbury in the replay. Frank McGee reported after the replay "Arsenal were saved from a fate worse than death - a trip to Tow Law in January".

Peter Quigley and Tony Heslop took the Club on it's first visit to Wembley was made on 9th May 1998 after a tremendous F.A. Vase run. It was a splendid adventure which sadly ended with a 1-0 defeat by Tiverton.

The Lawyers first ground was in Church Lane but the present Ironworks Road ground was built by volunteers during the miners strike of 1892/93. Ironically it was rebuilt during another miners strike in 1921. Today the much improved state of the ground is down to the regular work which has been done since 1921 by many hardworking bands of voluntary labour. A major scare occurred early in the 2004/05 season, the playing surface was struck by subsidence, rendering it unplayable. The Club was forced to ground share at Esh Winning for the remainder of the season, whist repairs were carried out by the Coal Board.

Continuity at the club was provided by the longest serving trio of officials in the League, Chairman Harry Hodgson, Treasurer Harry Dixon and Club Secretary Bernard Fairbairn who followed his father and grandfather into the job.) They had over 100 years service between them. Harry Hodgson stood down as Chairman at the end of the 95/96 season but is still a member of the committee. At the end of 1997 Harry Dixon also stood down but stayed on as the Club President until his death in 2002. Harry Hodgson took over as President. Their places have been taken over by John Flynn as Chairman and Kevin McCormick as Treasurer. Bernard Fairbairn continued as Secretary until 2007, having been in the post since 1961 – at grand total of 46 years (“A prisoner would get less for murder.”) Steve Moralee took on the role of Club Secretary.

During 2004, John Flynn stood down as Club Chairman. Harry Hodgson again showed his devotion to the Club, returning as Chairman for 1 last year. Following the 2004/05 season, Harry Hodgson took a well deserved retirement from the Club. His replacement, Sandra Gordon becomes the first female Chair at the Club and only the third in the long history of the League.

Billy Hall who played for Blackpool and Manchester City returned to Tow Law after his playing days and became the teams trainer. He remained a staunch supporter until he died in January 2000, aged 98. He had been the Northern Leagues and the Football Leagues oldest surviving player. Billy was a member of the League Championship teams in the 1920s. In recent times the Lawyers most famous player was the England International Chris Waddle who transferred to Newcastle in 1980.

Steve Howard who moved onto Hartlepool United in 1996 before becoming Northampton Towns record signing at £120,000 before moving to Luton Town in 2001, Steve has become a legend with Luton Town scoring over 100 goals for the “Hatters” with 96 of these being league goals, also playing as a centre half following an injury crisis in the club, Steve is the 3rd all time leading goal scorer for Luton Town also winning two promotions with the club. He then made a move to Derby County in 2006, scoring many vital goals for the Rams before moving on loan to Leicester City in 2008 where he made the move a permanent one, The Scottish “B” International has spent the last five seasons at Leicester City and has become a lynch pin in the sides success.

1923/24 Team

 

1994/95 Team

 

1998 Team at Wembley