Northallerton Coat of Arms Northallerton Town Football Club
THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF NORTHALLERTON TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB
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CLUB HISTORY
The exact date of the formation of Northallerton Town Football Club is uncertain, but The Elliott Bowl, a trophy donated by local MP Sir George Elliott, and contested for the first time in 1895 carries the clubs name as itís first winner.

Known variously as Northallerton, Northallerton Alliance and Northallerton Town, the club played for many years on the Bluestone Ground behind County Hall and contested many leagues including The Allertonshire, Vale of Mowbray, Ripon and District, Teesside, North Yorkshire, Darlington and District and Harrogate and District. Many honours were won during this period including The Harrogate and District League Championship, The Richmond Cup,  Bedale Cup, Milbank Cup, Orde-Powlett Cup, Dales Cup, Harrogate Invitation Cup and The Alverton Trophy.
 
Northallerton Recreation FC 1923-24   Northallerton Alliance FC - 1954
Northallerton Recreation FC - 1923-24   Northallerton Alliance FC - 1954
The club was forced to leave the Bluestone Ground in 1974 when the North Yorkshire County Council placed a compulsory purchase order on the ground in order to extend County Hall (the extensions never took place and the Bluestone Ground still remains a football ground). NYCC re-housed the club on itís present site at Ainderby Road (re-named the Calvert Stadium in 1997) where two pitches, clubhouse, changing rooms and car park was officially opened on 21 August 1976.

Northallerton continued to play in the Harrogate and District League until the end of the 1981-82 season when, with Chairman Stan Kirkbride and manager Neil Milestone at the helm, they successfully applied to join the Northern League Second Division on itís formation in 1982. Sadly Mr. Kirkbride passed away during that first season of Northern League football and was replaced by Vice-Chairman Ron Longstaff.

Joining the Northern League was a big step for the club as nearly £150,000 had to be raised to upgrade the Ainderby Road Ground to Northern League standards. The clubís first game in the Northern League was on 28 August 1982 when they were defeated 4-1 at Ryhope. A week later, Town gained revenge with a 2-0 home victory, when Ryhope were the first Northern League visitors to Ainderby Road. Early years in the Northern League were difficult with the club finishing in the lower half of the league, their only success coming in 1983-84 when they reached the final of the North Riding County Cup, unfortunately they lost 2-1 to York Railway Institute.

The appointment of former Burnley, Leeds United and Middlesbrough forward Ray Hankin as Manager in March 1989 saw an upturn in the clubís fortunes. Hankin used the remaining games of the 1988-89 season to assess and take stock of the squad and the following season (1989-90) he guided them to promotion to the First Division, after they finished runners-up in the Second Division behind champions Murton. The 1990-91 season saw the club consolidate it's position in Division One, but at the end of that season Ray Hankin resigned and his number two Geoff Cane was appointed Manager. Under Cane the Club enjoyed great success in both the FA Trophy and the FA Cup, reaching the last sixteen in the FA Trophy in 1992-93 before going out to Farnborough of the Vauxhall Conference, and in the same season they reached the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup before narrowly losing away to Accrington Stanley.

Major ground development was carried out while Cane was in charge, a new grandstand with seating for 150 spectators was erected together with covered terracing for a further 400 spectators. The open ends behind both goals were also terraced making the Ainderby Road ground the envy of many. The club will always be most grateful to Geoff, for without him most of this work would not have been completed. Unfortunately off the field disagreements took place which resulted in Geoff Cane leaving the club at the end of the 1992-93 season. Sadly Geoff passed away in 1995 aged 46.

Town were now a force to be reckoned with in the Northern League and they won the League Challenge Cup in 1993-94 when they beat Blyth Spartans 2-0 in the final at Brandon, but this was to be the last game that the Northallerton Town Football Club were to play. Disaster struck the club during the summer of 1994 when they were declared financially insolvent in the High Court and they were ordered to close down. Had this happened during the playing season there is little doubt that the club would have folded. Fortunately there was still time before the new season for a local businessman to come forward and rescue the club, this despite vandals breaking into the ground, daubing slogans on the stand walls and breaking all the windows in the clubhouse. A new committee was formed and the club was able to kick off the 1994-95 season under the new name of Northallerton FC 1994.

Still in the First Division of the Northern League, the opening game was Northallerton, League Cup winners, against Durham City, League Champions in the annual Cleator Cup, after playing a 1-1 draw after extra time, Durham won the cup on penalties. With no money available to reimburse players there was a mass exodus, and many players from local football leagues were brought in. Although these players gave their all, they were no match for the other sides in the league so it was no surprise when they were relegated at the end of season 1994-95.

During season 1995-96 the club gradually got back on itís feet and, after a poor start, the Committee decided that players could once again be reimbursed and many of the clubís former players returned, resulting in the club finishing in a respectable 5th place in the league. During the summer of 1996 the club was allowed to reinstate the name 'Town' to once again become Northallerton Town Football Club (1994), and under the joint guidance of the management duo of Mickey Sell and John Woods they won promotion back to the First Division when they won the Second Division Championship. For personal reasons both Sell and Woods resigned as joint managers at the end of 1996-97, although both remained at the club, Woods as assistant manager and Sell as an occasional player.

After making a disastrous start to life back in the First Division (only winning three points in the first twelve games) the Club appointed former Bristol Rovers, Middlesbrough, Carlisle United and Darlington star Archie Stephens as their manager, but they faired no better, and, after finishing second bottom, they were relegated back to the Second Division. Stephens and assistant manager John Woods, left the club by mutual consent at the end of the season.

Peter Mulcaster was appointed manager at the start of the 1998-99 season and in his first season he guided the club to a commendable fourth place in the league, but in the February of his second season (1999-00) and with the club lying in third place and one of the favourites for promotion, he surprised the club with his shock resignation in order to take the vacant managerís job at Spennymoor United.  He was replaced as Manager by the experienced ex-Guisborough Town boss Micky Hodgson but, after failing to win promotion at the first attempt, Hodgson and his assistant Peter Bell left the club at the end of season 2000-2001. Peter Mulcaster returned to the club to take over for his second spell as team manager at the start of season 2001-2002, but, after two seasons in charge and failing to get the team promoted, it was mutually agreed that he should leave the club at the end of season 2002-03.

The experienced former Whitby Town captain Paul Burton was appointed Team Manager. Paul had spent the last five seasons as manager of Teesside League Club Nunthorpe Athletic who, under his charge, had never finished outside the top two in the league and won numerous cups and trophies. He brought with him several players from the successful Nunthorpe team.

The club has had many loyal servants over the years but special mention should go to present Vice-Chairman Les Hood who has been at the club since before the start of their Northern League days. He has served as Chairman, Vice-chairman, Treasurer and has served on the management committee for over 20 years. His labours of love were honoured at the end of 2000-2001 season when he was awarded the Northern League Un-Sung Heroís Award, an award he richly deserved and was proud to accept. Other long serving officials include present Secretary/Treasurer Ken Lomer with 17 years service, Press Officer Ian Bolland with 21 years service and ex-secretary Peter Coulson, who although not now on the Management Committee, is still actively involved as the club groundsman. Ralph Alderson, a former player with the club in the 50ís and 60ís, is now in his sixth year as Chairman.

Old photographs wanted!!!
Anyone with old club/team photographs or memorabilia who would like to contribute to this site should contact website@northallertontownfc.net

 
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