Durham City
Full nameDurham City Association Football Club
Nickname(s)The Citizens
GroundHall Lane, Willington
ChairmanPaul Trotter
ManagerMark Sherwood
LeagueNorthern League Division Two
2020–21Northern League Division Two (season curtailed)

Durham City Association Football Club is a football club based in Durham, England. Members of the Football League from 1921 until 1928, they currently play in the Northern League Division Two.


The club was established in 1918 and initially competed in the Victory League, which was set up in celebration of the end of World War I,[1] finishing bottom of the table.[2] In 1919 they joined the North Eastern League, finishing fifth in their first season.[3] Despite a mid-table finish in 1920–21, they were one of fourteen clubs automatically elected to the newly formed Third Division North of the Football League in 1921.[4] They finished bottom of the division in 1922–23, but were re-elected.[4] In 1925–26 the club reached the second round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 3–0 at home to Division Three North rivals Southport. After finishing second-from-bottom in 1927–28, the club failed to win re-election, gaining only 11 votes to the 22 received by the newly elected Carlisle United.[5]

Durham dropped back into Division One of the North Eastern League, replacing their reserve team.[6] They finished bottom of Division One in 1928–29 and were relegated to Division Two. However, after finishing as Division Two runners-up in 1930–31, they were promoted back to Division One.[6] In 1933 the club was renamed City of Durham.[7] After three consecutive finishes in the bottom three between 1934–35 and 1936–37, they ended the 1937–38 season bottom of the league. They dropped into the Wearside League, but folded in November 1938, partly due to the introduction of greyhound racing at their Holiday Park ground.[1][3][8][9]

The club was re-established in 1949,[10] and joined the Wearside League for the 1950–51 season.[9] After two seasons they were admitted to the Northern League. The club finished bottom of the league in 1954–55, but the following season saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time as a non-League club, eventually losing 3–1 at local rivals Bishop Auckland. In 1957–58 they went one better, reaching the second round, where they lost 3–0 at home to Tranmere Rovers in front of Ferens Park's record crowd.[1] The club finished bottom of the Northern League again in 1960–61, 1963–64 and 1965–66, but were runners-up in 1970–71.[3] After the league gained a second division in 1982, they were relegated to Division Two at the end of the 1983–84 season. However, a third-place finish in 1987–88 saw them promoed back to Division One.[3]

After three seasons in Division One, Durham were relegated back to Division Two at the end of the 1990–91 season, which had seen them finish bottom of the table.[3] However, they were runners-up in Division Two the following season, and were promoted back to Division One. They went on to win their first league title in 1993–94, also winning the league's Cleator Cup.[10] Although the club were relegated at the end of the 1997–98 season, they won Division Two the following season to make an immediate return to Division One. They won the League Cup and the Cleator Cup in 2001–02 and finished as Division One runners-up in 2003–04.[10] After winning the league for a second time and the Cleator Cup for a third time in 2007–08, they were promoted to Division One North of the Northern Premier League.

Durham's first season in the Northern Premier League saw them win Division One North, earning promotion to the Premier Division;[3] they also won the league's Chairman's Cup.[10] However, their main sponsor withdrew in the summer of 2009 after the Football Conference ruled that they would not accept clubs with artificial pitches, which Durham had.[11] As a result, the club lost most of its players and won only two league matches during the 2009–10 season. They finished bottom of the table with zero points after having six points deducted for playing a player under a false name,[12] and were relegated back to Division One North. Although they managed to finish in mid-table in the following two seasons, they resigned from the league at the end of the 2011–12 season and returned to Division One of the Northern League. After finishing in the bottom three in 2015–16, the club were relegated to Division Two.[3]

Season-by-season record


The club initially played at Garden House Park before moving to Kepier Haughs in 1920..[13] Due to its distance from the city centre, the club relocated to Holiday Park in 1923.[8]

After being reformed, the club played at Ferens Park until the end of the 1993–94 season. During the 1994–95 season they played at Chester-le-Street Town's Moor Park, before moving to New Ferens Park in 1995.[1] The ground has a capacity of 2,700, of which 270 is seated and 750 covered.[14] An artificial pitch was installed in 2006.[15] However, a dispute with the landlord led to the club moving to Consett's Belle View Stadium in 2015,[16] where they played until the end of the 2016–17 season. They then moved to Willington's Hall Lane ground prior to the 2017–18 season.[17]



See also


  1. ^ a b c d e History Durham City A.F.C.
  2. ^ 1918-19 : Northern Victory League The Stat Cat
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Durham City at the Football Club History Database
  4. ^ a b Dave Twydell (2001) Denied F.C.: The Football League election struggles, Yore Publications, p14
  5. ^ Twydell, p16
  6. ^ a b North Easter League 1906–1933 Non-League Matters
  7. ^ City of Durham at the Football Club History Database
  8. ^ a b c Paul Smith & Shirley Smith (2005) The Ultimate Directory of English & Scottish Football League Grounds Second Edition 1888–2005, Yore Publications, p66, ISBN 0954783042
  9. ^ a b Wearside League 1919–1960 Non-League Matters
  10. ^ a b c d e f Durham City Northern League
  11. ^ Sponsor pulls out after ruling on club’s pitch Archived 29 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine Durham Advertiser, 21 August 2009
  12. ^ City Football Club Official Statement[permanent dead link] Marine F.C.
  13. ^ a b Smith & Smith, p72
  14. ^ Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2012) Non-League Club Directory 2013, p646 ISBN 978-1-869833-77-0
  15. ^ Sponsor pulls out after ruling on club’s pitch Archived 29 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine Durham Advertiser, 21 August 2009
  16. ^ Durham City AFC to groundshare with Consett Northern Echo, 11 November 2015
  17. ^ Durham To Groundshare At Willington Non-League, 19 May 2017

Coordinates: 54°42′31″N 1°41′27″W / 54.708650°N 1.6908807°W / 54.708650; -1.6908807