Honours

1953/54 Northumberland Minor Cup Winners
1954/55 Northern Combination Champions
1957/58 Northern Alliance League Cup Winners
1966/67 Northern Alliance League Champions
1966/67 Northern Alliance League Cup Winners
1969/70 Northern Alliance League Cup Winners
1981/82 Northern Alliance League Cup Winners
1984/85 Northern League 2nd Division Runners-up
1985/86 Northern League 1st Division Runners-up
1993/94 Northern League 2nd Division Champions
1995/96 Northern League 1st Division Runners-up
1996/97 Northern League League Cup Winners
1996/97 Northumberland F.A. Senior Cup Winners
1997/98 Northern League Cleator Cup Runners-up
1997/98 Northern League 1st Division Champions
1997/98 Northumberland F.A. Senior Cup Winners (2nd time)
1998/99 Northern League Cleator Cup Winners
1998/99 Northern League 1st Division Champions
1998/99 F.A. Carlsberg Vase Runners-up (at Wembley)
1999/2000 Northern League Cleator Cup Winners
1999/2000 Northern League 1st Division Champions
2000/01 Northern League Cleator Cup Runners-up
2000/01 Northern League 1st Division Champions
2000/01 Northern League League Cup Winners
2000/01 Northumberland FA Senior Cup Runners-up
2001/02 Northern League Cleator Cup Runners-up
2001/02 Northern League 1st Division Champions (Record Equalling 5th successive season)
2001/02 Northumberland FA Senior Cup Winners (3rd time)
2002/03 Northern League Cleator Cup Runners-up
2002/03 Northern League 1st Division Runners-up
2003/04 Northumberland FA Senior Cup Winners (4th time)
2004/05 Northern League League Cup Runners-up
2005/06 Northern League 1st Division Runners-up

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Dr Pit Mechanics circa 1912/13
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Bedlington Welfare circa 1951/52
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Bedlington Colliery Welfare, Northern Alliance League Cup Winners 1957-58
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The last ever Bedlington Colliery Welfare Team before they disbanded in 1962/63
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The double winning Bedlington Colliery Welfare team from 1966/67
Above photos kindly supplied by local historian John Dawson, author of local Bedlington history publications, e-mail him for more details.
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The 1999 FA Vase squad (most of it). See the famous match section for a full match analysis.

HISTORY

Football teams have been around in Bedlington since the early 1900’s. The present club was formed in 1949 under the name of Bedlington Mechanics joining the Northern Combination League. The first honour of the new era was the Northumberland Minor Cup in season 1953/54 and they followed this up with their only Northern Combination title in 1954/55. During these years they changed their name from Mechanics to Colliery Town and then as Bedlington Colliery Welfare they joined the Northern Alliance League in 1955/56.

They spent 8 seasons in this league before disbanding at the end of the 1962/63 season. During this spell they won their first Northern Alliance League Cup. During this period they played their home games at West Sleekburn ‘A’ Pit. In 1965 the club re-formed as Bedlington Colliery Welfare and moved to Milnes Park staying there three seasons before moving to the present location of Dr. Pit Welfare Park. In the 1966/67 season the club did the “double” in the Northern Alliance League and in 1969/70 won their third League Cup final. At the end of the 1970/71 season they had to leave the Northern Alliance and played in a number of minor local leagues until season 1979/80. For this season they joined the Tyneside Amateur League under the name of Bedlington United and in 1980/81 were re-admitted to the Northern Alliance League.

They won their fourth Northern Alliance League Cup in season 1981/82 and in the next season were elected as founder members of the Northern League 2nd Division winning promotion to the 1st Division in season 1984/85 as division runners-up. In their first season in the 1st division they finished runners-up but sadly in the next season they were relegated back to the 2nd division. The club spluttered along in the next few seasons and early in 1993 faced the real prospect of going out of business as they were marooned at the bottom of the 2nd division and had their fixtures suspended by the league for a month. Bedlington stalwart Billy Ward with almost 40 years at the helm approached local businessmen Dave and Keith Perry and asked them to mount a rescue operation. What happened next is the stuff dreams are made of.

With extinction ruled out the Terriers as they had been renamed stormed back and in the very next season won the 2nd division title. Sadly, Billy Ward had departed this world and missed this renaissance although his memory still burns bright at the club. Consolidation followed and gradually the tide turned. In 1996/97 the club marched to St. James Park and picked up the NFA Senior Cup beating Morpeth Town 2 - 0 in the final. The same season saw them win the Northern League Cup by defeating Billingham Synthonia 3 - 0 in the final. In season 1997/98 it got even better as the Terriers ran away with the 1st Division title by a clear 12 points scoring 120 goals in only 38 games. They completed the season by retaining the NFA Senior Cup defeating Blyth Spartans 2 - 1 in the final at St. James Park.

The 1998/99 season was Bedlington’s 50th year since the club was formed and what a season it was. It started with a Cleator Cup win over Dunston Fed and continued with a march to the second round proper of the F.A. Cup after defeating Colchester United of the Football League Division Two 4 - 1 in round one before finally falling away at Scunthorpe where the “Woof Woof Terriers” chant was born. The league title was retained this time with 26 points to spare, 128 goals and 101 points. The other story of the season was the F.A. Carlsberg Vase where the Terriers marched all the way to Wembley Stadium for a day in the club’s history never to be forgotten. A last minute goal from opponents Tiverton Town denied them the trophy but with an open top bus ride to follow on the return, 1998/99 was the year that Bedlington Terriers put themselves firmly on the footballing map.

The 1999/2000 season started with the retention of the Cleator Cup with a 1 - 0 win over Dunston Fed. It ended with the retention of the league title for the third consecutive year and although no other success was forthcoming two semi-finals in the League Cup and NFA Senior Cup and a quarter-final appearance in the F.A. Carlsberg Vase meant another great year.

Season 2000/2001 started on a bad note with a 1-0 defeat in the Cleator Cup at home against Dunston Fed. However, things quickly improved and a great run in the F.A. Challenge Cup ended in the last qualifying round with a defeat against Conference side Morecambe 3 - 1 at home with the prize of a place in the 1st round proper only 90 minutes away. With the side playing well the “Holy Grail” that is the F.A. Carlsberg Vase loomed large. Once again a great run ensued and although ultimately the run ended in disappointment, the achievement of reaching the semi-final was a marvellous effort and the team did ultimately go a round further than the previous year. The players still went on to retain the league championship again and also defeat Marske United in the league cup final. Bedlington also faced Newcastle United Reserves at Croft Park in September (the final being held over from the 2000/1 season) but went down 3-1 to a strong Newcastle team..

The 2001/02 season saw yet another excellent FA Cup run, again to the final qualifying round, going down 2-1 at Conference side Stalybridge Celtic, however we were not so lucky in the FA Vase, going out 4-1 at home to Brigg in an early round. Bedlington managed to regain the Northumberland Senior Cup with a 2-1 win over West Allotment Celtic and retain the Albany Northern League Division 1 title for the fifth consecutive season.

By Bedlington standards, the 2002/3 season was a disappointment. They got a taste of things to come when they lost the traditional opening game of the season, the Cleator Cup to Durham, this was followed with early exits in the FA Vase, FA Cup and League Cup and a runners-up spot to Brandon United in the League, which had they won, would have been a new record of six consecutive championships.

The 2003/4 season was slightly disappointing, the team finished third in the league but went out of the League Cup, FA Cup and FA Vase early on. They did manage to bring some silverware home, beating Blyth Spartans 1-0 in the final of the NFA Senior Cup.

The 2004/5 season brought renewed hope but after a slightly faltering start and an early FA Cup exit at the hands of Pickering Town it became apparent changes were required. The team was tinkered with and rebuilt and it took a while to settle down. However, despite losing ground early in the League Championship race the side came together for a glorious FA Vase run where they played some of their best football for some time. Shildon, Silsden, Leamington, Bitton, Enfield and Newbury all fell as the "Holy Grail" once again came within sight.

But, it was not to be as perennial FA Vase favourites AFC Sudbury were the opposition in the semi final and after two epic ties the Terriers suffered the heartache of going out in a penalty shoot-out. Penalty heartbreak followed again weeks later as they fell again to Champions Dunston Federation Brewery in the final of the League Cup.

The 2005/6 season was blighted early on by the resignation en masse of the Club Chairman and Executive Committee. Despite this trauma off the pitch, on it the team went from strength to strength, clocking up an unbeaten run lasting more than 3 months in all competitions. The second half of the season was more disappointing however, losing on penalties in the FA Vase 4th Round, again to AFC Sudbury.

Early knockouts in the League Cup and Senior Cup followed and League form faltered, as the repercussions of the departure of the Club's administration began to affect all aspects of the club. Despite struggling to get a team out, the Terriers showed their fighting spirit to rediscover their form and clinch runners-up spot behind champions Newcastle Blue Star, in a tremendous show of spirit in the face of adversity.

A summer of trauma ensued as the club veered on the edge of extinction, and the eventual departure of the unimaginably successful management partnership of Keith Perry and Tony Lowery, until a saviour in the name of Graeme Redpath, a local businessman, entered the fray, steadied the ship, and showed the way to a brighter future.

Even a serious arson attack on the Clubhouse, soon after the takeover, couldn't dent the determination to get Bedlington Terriers back on track. However, the effects of the summer of trauma had it's impact on the pitch, as a squad of mainly teenagers found it difficult to compete against much more experienced teams. Facing almost certain relegation heading into April 2007, a stunning finish to the season saw them lift up to third bottom in the table. With Newcastle Blue Star heading for the Unibond League, it meant that only two clubs were relegated and the Terriers were reprieved. However by Novemeber things had not progressed as hoped and Tom Wade left the club. A week later it was announced that the management duo of Perry and Lowery were back to help the Terriers climb the table once again.

 

Who knows what will happen in the future, but as the saying goes, every dog has its day.....