Eppleton CW is a club that I'd always admired from my Houghton and District League
days. This was in the 1970's and they were always one of Ryhope CA's strongest rivals
and through these years they always seemed to be well organised with a great pitch
and facilities. This is probably why it attracted so many quality players.
It has a long history having been formed in 1929. It didn't take long before it had its first success and that was in the 1930/1931 season when it was Houghton & District League Champions. A list of the teams achievements was taken from an old match programme from the 1986/1987 season is shown below and you will see what I mean about quality players.
Unbelievable honours followed :-
Wearside League Cup winners -
Durham Challenge Cup winners -
Monkwearmouth Cup winners -
Wearside League Champions -
Shipowners Cup winners -
With Gretna leaving the Northern League to join the Northern Premier League for the start of the 1992/1993 season Eppleton were accepted into the Northern League Division 2. They finished runners up in their first season, recording notable wins over Langley Park 9-
The photo below shows the team that won the prestigious Sunderland Shipowners Cup in the 1947/1948 season.
The photo below shows the team that won this same cup in the 1985/1986 season 38 years later.
In the 1976/77 season I took the opportunity to play for Eppleton CW. This was a
period when the club I'd been associated with for many years, Ryhope CA, had folded
before the start of the 1975/1976 season. In this season the Ryhope CA management
were invited to run the Silksworth CW team in the Wearside League and being a player
and part of the management I went as well. As they were only at Silksworth for the
one season I was without a club for the first time. I wasn't sure which club I wanted
to play for or even what club would be interested in me for this new season. In the
1970's it seemed, to a lot of people, that once you reached 30 you were way passed
your best. As I was 31 and no team had knocked on my door I began to think it must
So I turned up for pre-
A memory that does stand out was of some of the half and full-
I don't know what went on behind the scenes but Stevie left the club which was a big disappointment for me as I liked him and his style. He was similar to my Ryhope CA manager for many seasons, Jimmy Clark, in the way he would say 'Joe just play your own game' and then go on to make me feel good with a couple of compliments. This always made me feel more determined when I went onto the pitch.
Not too long after Stevie had left, the management team from Ryhope CA, which had run the Silksworth CW team in the previous season, had been approached by Seaham Red Star, playing in the Northern Alliance, to run their team. They agreed and shortly after that, they approached Eppleton to sign me. If it had been anyone else I would never have left Eppleton. I was doing fine and enjoying my football but I found it hard to resist re-
It was 7 years before I rejoined Eppleton but it was not as a player. For the start of the 1983/1984 season Tony Lynch became the new manager having been at Seaham Red Star the previous season. As I had joined Tony as coach at the 'Star he asked me to rejoin him for this new season. It was an easy decision to make as Tony and I were on the same wave length, football wise, and I enjoyed working with him.
I never kept any record of this season but we did well enough for the committee to want us the following season although we didn't win any silverware.
The following season, in early November 1984, Dawdon CW made an approach for my services as a coach/joint manager. This role would give me more responsibility as I would take care of the coaching, team talks and tactics etc. The team selection was a joint effort. After a couple of seasons with Tony I felt I'd learn't a lot and was more than ready for this new challenge.
Whenever I think about Eppleton CW the one name that always comes to mind is Freddie Browell. To me his contribution to the club, in the 70's and 80's, was absolutely huge. He was secretary when I first played against them in the early 1970's, when I played for them in the early part of the 1976/1977 season and also when Tony Lynch and I joined them as Manager and Coach respectively for the 1983/1984 season. He was the type of person who always spoke his mind, and probably rattled a few cages in the process, but he was 100% Eppleton CW and I had a lot of respect and time for Freddie. I don't know many years of service he gave to the club but to me he was the heart of the club.
When I left Eppleton October 1984, during my second season as coach to join Dawdon CW I left with Freddies best wishes which I appreciated very much. It was a bit ironic that at the end of that season both teams met in the final of the Wearside League Cup with Dawdon having home advantage. I bumped into Freddie sometime after this Cup Final and he told me a very interesting story :-
|My Ryhope CA Career|
|Bits and Bobs|
|The History that Never Was|
|'Buffs' Pre 1975/1976 Sseason|
|'Buffs' 1975/1976 Season|
|Carlisle Utd 76/77 Season|
|RYHOPE F.C. Over 35's|
|DURHAM FIRE BRIGADE Over 40's|
|RYHOPE CHERRY KNOWLE|