Great Britain

Warning: Don't stand beside the vicar when he's watching the village football team

THE first mention of Frosterley football team is in the minutes of the Village Hall from 1910, and a junior club was started in the late 1920s.

The records suggest that there were nine teams in the area, probably from the hamlets around Frosterley, like White Kirkley, which also had its own cricket team, and Hill End, Bollihope and The Batts.

The Frosterley team and their opponents used the Hare and Hounds and the Black Bull as well as the village hall as their changing rooms.

There was a Weardale league and the village teams played against each other as well as those out of the dale such as Crook, Willington, Brancepeth, Sunnybrow and Hunwick.

Dryden Ward of Rogerley Hall was president of the club for a long time and the football pitch was in one of his fields.

Another strong supporter was the local vicar, Reverend William Cullen. He was vicar in Frosterley for about 30 years, and he often became very excited during matches. In fact, it was considered unwise to stand in front of Mr Cullen, particularly when he had his umbrella, as there was a distinct danger of being hit by it in his excitement.

There was another story about a Frosterley team member who was noticed by a scout and he ended up playing for Southampton. He stayed there for a while, but eventually came home – he said he was better off playing for Frosterley because, although they did not get any money, they frequently got donations of food etc. from their supporters. Of course, in those days footballers did not earn the fantastic wages of today.

Organised football in Frosterley ceased in either the late 1950s or early 1960s.

L If you recognise any of the faces on our pictures, we’d love to hear from you. Email [email protected], or contact Judith Bainbridge on [email protected] She has been collecting Frosterley pictures and memorabilia since 1976

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