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West Hartlepool Amateur AFC - 1904 - 05

What we know about this image :

This image is West Hartlepool Amateurs FC taken around 1905; it is from a postcard franked in Middlesbrough on April, 8th 1905. The picture was taken at “Rosebank” a ground often mentioned in the Victorian era in connection with Soccer and Rugby. Belonging to the Pyman Family, it was situated where Newlands and Queensberry Avenues now stand. One of the houses in the background is  “Broomhill” (now demolished), which stood at the corner of Queensbery and Elwick Road, opposite “Ambleside” and built originally as “Browne Hill” by Robert Lauder, Timber Merchants, and eventually belonged to Miss Forslind, who sold it on condition that is was demolished. The name “Broomhill” continues with a modern home on the site.

The Amateur’s won through to the Final with wins over Saltburn at home 5 – 1, Skinningrove United away by 3 – 1, and in the Competition proper the run to the Final was as follows. Round One Grangetown Athletic (home) 2 – 1, away to Nottingham Jardines which saw a 4 – 1 win. The 3rd Round, again away, saw them account narrowly for Darlington, St Augustine’s by 1 – 0 before facing Stockton in the North Division Final at Stockton where the beat Bishop Auckland by 2  - 0. They took the F.A.Amateur Cup against Clapton by 3 – 2 at Shepherd’s Bush.

The side on the day of the Final was J.Bainbridge (goal), T.Hegarty and J. Hegarty, F. Black, J.Hyslop, S.Stokes, D. Larkin, W.Fairweather, R.Hodgson, A. Robinson, R. Warner.  Richard Hegarty was to die whilst serving in France in 1917.

Among the officials are probably Christopher and Stephen Furness, William C Gray and members of the Trechman family. The Secretary was Mr John Proud.

The West Amateur soccer side can date its history back to 1881/82 when they were formed and played in the Northumberland & Durham Association. Two years later they were founders of the Durham F.A.  They played in Amber & Black halved shirts (this appears to be the strip on the pic).

They joined the Northern League in 1898,playing the likes of Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and Sunderland “A” teams among the pro teams. In addition they played Amateur sides such as Stockton and Shildon, finishing 4th in 1908 season. They had announced plans as early as March 1903 to become a professional outfit, despite finishing bottom of the League that season! The club folded in 1910 and all their assets and liabilities were taken over by Hartlepools United which had been formed in 1908 out of the West Hartlepool RFC.

This Amateur Cup win occurred coincided with Rugby being at its lowest ebb in the area, the arrival in the same year of the All Blacks which led to a revival of the Rugby game nationally, and ,albeit very slowly, in the two towns.

 (sources Gillian Smith – P L Hogg – I Lightfoot)

Date (of image) : 8/4/1905

Donor : Ian Lightfoot

Creator : Postcard

Part of the "Lightfoot Family" collection


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