Heading to the Gateshead v Hereford United (shudder) match this Saturday at the GatesheadBadge copyInternational Stadium as part of the Football Supporters Federation’s support to our non-league comrades? If you are, impress your friends and people on the bus with this our true faith, Bluffers Guide to Gateshead FC.

Gateshead FC

 The original Gateshead AFC was formed in 1930 when neighbours South Shields, members of the Football League’s old Third Division North, moved to Gateshead because of financial difficulties.


They enjoyed an FA Cup run in 1953 which took them to the QFs (beating Liverpool along the way) where they were beaten, at a sell out Redheugh Park, in front of 17,692, by Bolton Wanderers 1-0 thanks to a Nat Lofthouse goal .


Gateshead were dumped from the Football League and had applications for re-election rejected in 1960, allegedly, their application received no support from Newcastle United, although that 1 vote wasn’t meaningful in the final count. George Thompson’s, Gateshead FC: The Football League Years, covers everything you could want to know from this period


In 1968 Gateshead became founder members of the Northern Premier League but their stay in the new competition lasted only two years and they were forced to play in the Wearside League. By 1973, Gateshead AFC ceased to exist.


A new club, Gateshead Town played the following season in the local Northern Combination League but, once again, South Shields FC would provide a solution to Gateshead’s problems as the then Northern Premier side sold it’s Simonside Hall ground and moved to Gateshead Stadium. A new name change followed and Gateshead United were born, but after only 3 years, they would disband.


Gateshead FC, emerged in 1977 and would flit between the Conference and the Northern Premier League from 1983-1990, but after an extended stay in the 5th tier, they were relegated in 1998.

Long-time sponsors, Cameron Hall Developments, who you may recognise from their association with NUFC, caused a problem when under John Hall, they pulled out.

Another Relegation followed, this time to the Northern Premier League 1st division, but after one season, Gateshead bounced back to the NPL top tier following the introduction of a geographically split 1st division.

The club are now owned by ambitious chairman and all-round, good egg, Graham Wood who hopes to relocate The Heed to a purpose built stadium soon.

Gateshead are currently on the up, and after back-to-back promotions took them from Unibond (NPL) through the Conference North and back into the Conference after a play off final victory over Telford (08/09).

The return to the conference saw Wood restore their ‘full time, professional’ status in 2010.

After enduring a torrid time with the International Stadium pitch last season, The Tynesiders are hoping for a smoother 13/14 campaign.

Gateshead have today appointed the former York City manager, Gary Mills as their new Boss.

Links between the 2 clubs have seen United stage reserve games at The International Stadium, and play regular friendlies, and United season ticket holders can benefit from a discounted admission rate.

Ex Mags/Ex Gateshead

 Whilst there are so many players who have represented both clubs, with strong links between the 2 clubs seeing loan deals frequently made, here’s a random sample of 5.

Jim Smith’s brought Ginger, Billy Askew to SJP but he crossed the River Tyne in 1991

Derek Bell, Repped the Mags from 81-83, briefly, but went on to be a Gateshead hero as a player, manager and Chairman

Ian Bogie played for United from 86-89 and guided Gateshead to back to back promotions to the conference

Legendary goal machine, Hughie Gallacher, who’s spell at Gateshead was cut short due to WWII

Mag reserve striker Alan Lamb was a reliable striker for Gateshead in the 90’s.

On Saturday they’re at home to Hereford, so if you can overcome that dizziness brought on whenever Hereford are mentioned, get yourself along to the International Stadium for 3:00 

Chris Betts

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