Terriers News

Next game: Alnwick Town (a), 26/07/08, Friendly

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Bedlington Terriers FC Annual General Meeting

The club has announced that the AGM will be held at the Terriers Clubhouse on Thursday 24th July with a 7.30pm start. As many members as possible are encouraged to attend, as we need your input in shaping the future of the club


Terriers appeal to local businesses for support

Bedlington Terriers Football Club have appealed to the local community for sponsors for the coming season. Having firmly put their troubles of recent seasons behind them, the club are looking to reaching the heady heights of the late nineties and early noughties once more. With chairman David Holmes at the helm he has done an excellent job in improving the image of the club in the local community but now needs local businsses in particular to sponsor the club to ensure success both on and off the field.

"Football clubs at non-league level have always found it a struggle to survive and we need local businesses to support us. Whether it be getting involved as a club sponsor, match sponsor or even an advert in the programme or a hoarding around the pitch - every little helps" said Holmes. "We have a small number of local businesses who support us year in year out and we cannot thank them enough, but for a town of Bedlingtons size we should be able to attract more interest. We have a great sense of togetherness at this football club but we cannot do it alone, I am therefore appealing to the local businesses of Bedlington and neighbouring towns to get in touch with me to discuss how we can best fulfill each others needs. Without the help of the aforementioned businesses, the club, without question would not exist, its as simple as that.....so it is vital that we get more organisations to buy into what we are trying to achieve here - and that is a successful football club for the community. We have big plans both on and off the field but we need a solid foundation to build from and that starts with getting more money coming into the club".

Holmes continued, "During the close season, we have made several fantastic signings of players who have proved themselves at this and at higher levels so things are looking good and we will certainly be looking up this year instead of over our shoulders. And perhaps with a decent cup run or two, we could have another season like 1998/99 when we beat Colchester at home and had a trip to Wembley. Those are the days when the whole town and surrounding area got behind Bedlington and the club really put the town on the map, thats what we are trying to achieve once more but we need as many people and businesses to get involved in the club in any way".

David Holmes can be contacted on 07958 664536 and a sponsorship leaflet which has been distributed is also available for download here.


FA Cup Draws made and more signings announced

The draw for the opening 3 qualifying rounds of both the FA Cup and FA Vase competitions
were announced by the Football Association on Monday. The Terriers came out well from the draw, with our possible progression being as follows:

FA Cup

Extra Preliminary Round (16/08/08)

Bedlington Terriers v Chester-le-Street Town

Preliminary Round (30/08/08)

Team Northumbria/Esh Winning v Bedlington Terriers/Chester-le-Street Town

First Round Qualifying (13/09/08)

Team Northumbria or Esh Winning or Bedlington Terriers or Chester-le-Street Town v Bradford (Park Avenue)

FA Vase

Second Round Qualifying (20/09/08)

Eccleshill United v Bedlington Terriers

First Round Proper (04/10/08)

Eccleshill United or Bedlington Terriers v Whickham or Stokesley SC or Chester-le-Street Town or South Shields


Manager Tony Lowery will be hopeful of progressions in at least one of the competitions this time around - and supporters know there's nothing quite like a cup run to whet the appetite! There will be more about each competition nearer the time

After Terriers fans were seemingly kept waiting an unbearable length of time, new players arrive at Welfare Park apace at the moment. Following Dale Crawford's signing (is detailed in the Seaton Delaval preview above), another 2 signed forms last night - Jon Sunderland (ex-Newcastle, Gateshead, Queen of the South and Ashington amongst others) and a Martin Humble (who we think has been playing in the Blyth & Wansbeck Sunday League and was at New Hartley Juniors but we have no other info on him other than he is supposedly a 'tall imposing centre half')

Apparently we've had no less than 4 keepers training with us, so the hope is that we can sign plenty of cover in that department, although we can confirm that Karl Dryden has now signed for West Allotment Celtic.

This means that Bedlington Terriers (as at 03/07/08) currently have players signed (including the 2 mentioned above):

Bell Scott
Cairns Graeme Michael
Crawford Dale
Eastway Robert
Fenwick Michael Colin
Gibb Dean Alan
Humble Martin
Lang James
Latimer Michael James
Lawson Alexander
Lowrie Anthony John
Lowther Anthony
McAlindon Gareth Edward
Milner John Frank
Morton Colin
Regan Daniel John
Richards Andrew
Shandran Anthony Mark
Stobbs Alistair
Sunderland Jon
Watson Andrew James


Terriers unveil big name signing

Bedlington Terriers are delighted to reveal that ex-Blyth striker Scott Bell has put pen to paper to sign for the Welfare Park based outfit for the upcoming 2008-09 season. Bell was a key member of the successful Blyth squad of recent years who won the treble in their final season in the Unibond and achieved a stunning 6th place finish in their first Conference North campaign.

Terriers manager Tony Lowery has been working tirelessly since the end of the season to bring in players who can continue the Terriers journey back to being in a position to compete for trophies again, and he was understandably delighted to have secured the signing of a player proven at a much higher standard.

"Scott signing is a huge boost for the club, and perhaps makes a few people sit up and take notice of us again after the troubles of recent years. There's no quick fix to get us near where we were, but signing players of this standard demonstrate that we are heading in the right direction" Lowery said. "The core of the squad is taking shape nicely now, and with two or three additions I hope we can start putting the Terriers back on the map"

Bell, who had gone on loan to Blue Star last season before eventually leaving before the end of the campaign, hadn't envisaged a return to Northern League football prior to the Terriers making contact with him.

"Work and other commitments meant I drifted out of Saturday football and into managing my Sunday League team with a friend, and I've found it hugely enjoyable. However, as a Cramlington lad I've always kept track on the fortunes of the local senior clubs, Bedlington being one of them. Everyone knows the success they had over a long period of time under Tony and Keith (Perry), and once Tony made the call, it didn't take long for me to want to be involved, especially as playing in the Northern League will be more manageable with my commitments" he revealed.

Many at Bedlington will be excited at the prospect of Bell teaming up with Anthony Shandran in attack, as in many ways he resembles the type of player Bell prospered with at Blyth when he formed such a deadly partnership with Robbie Dale. Although key players such as Andy Carr and Craig McFarlane have departed for pastures new, the Terriers have secured the services of other highly regarded players such as Michael Fenwick, Andy Watson and Colin Morton - the latter 2 returning for a second stint at Bedlington. Graeme Cairns also returns to the club he first started out senior football with as an 18 year old.

League Cup/League fixtures released

The opening fixtures for the upcoming 2008/09 Northern League Division One season have now been released, and will start the new campaign on Saturday 9th August at home to Sunderland Nissan, who are bound to be one of the title favourites having made a number of big signings in the close season. They follow this game by travelling to Chester-le-Street Town on the Tuesday night.

The first two months fixtures line up as follows - however these are subject to change due to FA Cup and FA Vase commitments (Home games are in CAPITALS):

August
Saturday 9th SUNDERLAND NISSAN
Tuesday 12th Chester-le-Street
Saturday 16th Bishop Auckland
Wednesday 20th WHITLEY BAY
Saturday 23rd SEAHAM RED STAR
Monday 25th Ashington

September
Tuesday 2nd Billingham Town
Saturday 6th SHILDON
Wednesday 10th Billingham Synthonia
Saturday 13th Morpeth Town
Wednesday 24th WEST ALLOTMENT CELTIC
Saturday 27th DUNSTON FEDERATION
Tuesday 30th Tow Law Town

The draw for the first two rounds on the Northern League Cup have also been made, with the Terriers facing either Northallerton Town or Sunderland RCA at Welfare Park in the Second Round, having been given a bye through the opening round.

Pre-season friendlies arranged - updated 15/06/08

We can reveal that 6 friendly games have so far been arranged as the Terriers prepare for the next campaign. These games are as follows:

Sat 5th July Seaton Delaval (h) 3pm
Fri 11th July Wark (a) 7pm
Wed 16th July Washington (h) 7pm
Sat 19th July Jarrow Roofing (h) 3pm
Wed 23rd July Percy Main (a) 7pm
Sat 26th July Alnwick Town (a) 3pm

The Club also hopes to announce a further games for Sat 2nd August - as soon as this informantion is available it will appear hear first

New signings revealed

After a seemingly long wait for news about new arrivals at the Club, Bedlington Terriers are pleased to announce the arrival of 4 new faces to Welfare Park They are as follows:

Colin Morton
Michael Fenwick
Andrew Watson
Graeme Cairns

Michael Fenwick is the only truly new face, as the other 3 have played for the Terriers in recent seasons. However, a warm welcome is extended to all, and others who are sure to follow then through the door in the coming weeks.


Presentation Night Awards Revealed!

Bedlington Terriers FC held their annual end-of-season bash at Welfare Park on Satuday night (10th May). The awards made were as follows:

Club Player of the Year - Andy Carr
Most Improved Player - Karl Dryden
Players player of the Year - Anthony Shandran
Top goal scorer - Anthony Shandran
Supporters Player of the Year - Karl Dryden

Other awards:
Club Person of the Year - David Henderson (Woof Woof Terriers)
Unsung Hero Award - Ray Chaytor.

Guest Speaker was former Third Lanark, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest and for a few games in the early 1970's, Bedlington Terriers player Dave Hilley

Thank yous were distributed to Pat, Norma, Brenda, Brian, Maureen and Joanne for their unstinting support throughout the whole season.

All in all it was a good night and the winners fully deserved their awards. Its a shame that only a few people can pick up awards when some many were deserving, but Terriers Online would like to thank everyone, especially the players who gave their all from August to April, leading to a huge improvement in performances and results from the previous season.


Players Retained list announced

The Squad retainer form allows Northern League Clubs to register existing players during the month of April for the next campaign. Bedlington Terriers FC have announced that 12 players have pledged their immediate futures to the club so far. These players are:

Dan Regan
Anth Lowther
Anth Lowrie
Alex Lawson
Michael Latimer
Anthony Shandran
Gareth McAlindon
Alistair Stobbs
Rob Eastway
John Milner
Dean Gibb
James Lang

Several others have been invited to remain at the Club, who are hopeful that their signings can be agreed in the coming days and weeks.

Terriers Forum Back Online!!

As you may have noticed, the Bedlington Terriers forum on www.nonleaguezone.com was unexpectedly offline for two days. This wais a problem affecting the whole of Nonleaguezone and its sister site www.spartanzone.com.

Whatever the problem was we're not sure, but we're glad to confirm that normal serice has resumed.

Terriers Chairman seeks urgent action on ground facelift

Bedlington Terriers Chairman Dave Holmes took steps at the weekend to ensure that the club had a viable future at their Welfare Park ground. Starved of investment for many years, Dr Pit Welfare Park is showing serious signs of dilapidation, and urgently needs work done to ensure continued public safety, and the ground maintains the standards required to meet the criteria needed for Northern League Division One status.

This job has been made all the more difficult in recent weeks due to the high winds, and indeed the recent gales caused further damage with the roof being blown off the opposition dugout, as well as damage to the roofs of some of the covered standing area on the same side of the ground.

Holmes was stark in his assessment of the situation; "Welfare Park is falling apart and with Division One grounds due to be inspected this summer, we are of course concerned that we have to get a number of things done to ensure we can pass it without any major issues arising"

"The major issue is where the investment is going to come from to achieve these ground improvements. When we came into the club more than 18 months ago, we were promised some funds to make necessary improvements to spectator facilities, especially toilets, but once the costs became known the door quickly shut. Without us being able to identify new avenues of funding quickly, the situation is going to get critical. I am working with Wansbeck District Council on funding applications and believe that some headway is being made with regards to assistance from W.D.C. before the unitary Council is formed, but progress is slow."

The urgency of the situation is further highlighted by the fact that Ashington could be forced to groundshare at Welfare Park into the opening months of next season, allegedly due to ongoing problems with the construction of their new ground at Hirst Welfare. "We are in a position where this ground is struggling to host one team and a pitch which has needed major work for several years; so how will it be expected to cope with another team and twice the number of fixtures?" Holmes added.

Out of this nest of problems he was able to announce the creation of a Grants Project Team, staffed by a mixture of new and old blood and whose task will be to identify possible sources of funding for ground improvements, and manage the application process and hopefully ultimately the spending of grants awarded.

"This new team is constituted by me and 3 other people, all Bedlington Terriers supporters who offer a broad range of professional expertise and experience in their fields. This step has been a long time coming, but I have absolute faith that at last we can make big and quick strides to securing the funding needed in the long-term development of Welfare Park"

However, the short term is still the major concern, and with funding still being sought to make the necessary repairs and do minor works needed ahead of the summer inspection, the Terriers Chairman made another plea for local companies and other sponsors to get in touch and help a club which has achieved great things in the past 10-15 years, but is fighting the long hard battle back from near extinction.

"Whether it be professional people willing to use their knowhow for the benefit of the club, businesses willing to discuss sponsorship packages, or people in the community willing to offer their time and help to give the club a facelift, all offers of help are welcome. The management team of Tony and Keith are solely left to manage first team affairs and these ground issues should not impact on their efforts to improve the fortunes of the football team" Holmes said.

Interested individuals and businesses are welcomed to contact Dave Holmes on 07958664536 to discuss how they can help the Club move forward.


Return of Terriers Legend Hailed

He's back for a third spell at the club, and as many times before his impact on the club's fortunes is being hailed by the Bedlington faithful. But it's not the goalscoring exploits of the Terriers all-time leading scorer that have caught the eye, but his natural ability as a central defender.

Coming into a team which had been on a long run of poor results which had seen the Terriers drop into the relegation zone, his arrival has coincided with a remarkable turnaround in performances. Deprived the services of James Harmison (one of the most highly rated defenders in the League) for most of the season, the Terriers had struggled to stem the tide in recent months, with unfair expectations being placed on the shoulders of Dan Kennerley after he won 'Most Improved Player' award last season.

Lacking the experience around him, the return of John Milner has allowed manager Tony Lowery to take the young and undoubtedly talented centre half out of the firing line for the moment. "Dan has a lot of potential, but still has a lot to learn before he can realise it. Most defenders don't learn their art until their mid-to-late twenties so I've no doubt he will come back stronger and show his true value to the team" Lowery commented.

With regards to Milner, he is able to use his vast experience from being a striker to use in his defensive duties, alongside his legendary prowess in the air. This culminated in a man of the match performance against Chester-le-Street Town on Saturday, when the Terriers recorded not just a fine 3-0 winning margin, but also their first clean sheet for 3 months - and only their 4th in 29 League games so far this campaign.

A club spokesman commented on the difference Milner had made since his return: 'Getting John back to Welfare Park has been a huge boost to the club. His heart is with Bedlington and he considers us his club. The level of commitment, ability and experience he brings is priceless, and he has already justified Tony in his decision to try and secure his return to Bedlington. Hopefully, he can help us in our drive to safety in the League, and maybe it could be the start of another long stint at the Club"


Striker has transfer request granted

Bedlington Terriers FC tonight confirmed that they had received a transfer request from leading scorer Alex Benjamin, which they had reluctantly granted. Benjamin, with 14 goals in all competitions this season has decided that he is in need of a change, and that decision to leave was a difficult one.

"This isn't a decision taken lightly, and I had originally decided to leave a couple of months ago, only for Tony [Lowery] to persuade me to stay on. However, I now feel this is the right time to leave and I'd like to thank Tony for granting my request so quickly"

He added; "I've enjoyed my time at Welfare Park, and Bedlington are a club close to my heart having already played here early in my Northern League career. I'd like to thank all at the club, and especially the fans who have always given me tremendous support. I know that they will get what they deserve and the Terriers will once again soon be challenging for the major honours."

The impending departure of Bejamin is the latest of several players who have recently left the Club, with Derek Waters going to Washington, Derek Atwell to Morpeth and Gareth Bainbridge about to transfer to Ashington.

The Terriers would like to thank Alex for his endeavours in his time at Welfare Park - lest we forget how crucial his goals were in the final games of last season which ultimately secured our survival. We're sure that several clubs will be keen to contact the Terriers to secure his services, and we wish him all the very best wherever he goes - except when he plays against us!

Bedlington Terriers Appeal for Help - Official Press Release


Bedlington Terriers today issued a plea for help to the local community. Having stabilised the club over the previous 18 months chairman Dave Holmes is eager for an injection of fresh blood into the club.

"We have a fantastically loyal committee behind the scenes at Bedlington but we lack in numbers and if we can get some extra faces willing to help us, in whatever capacity they can, we could make huge strides forward" said Holmes. "Clubs at this level find it very hard to survive day to day and we are no different, I'm looking to the community to help us. We have had well documented problems in the past, but that is exactly where those times lie, in the past. We must look to the future, the club is now stabilised and with Keith and Tony looking after the football side of things, it's up to myself and the committee to give them as much support as possible to ensure we have a team capable of challenging for honours".

With big plans for the playing squad next season, the club is already starting to look at how to raise the necessary funds to give the town the team it deserves. Sponsorship is the key area where non league club funds come from and that is an area where Holmes is asking the local community for help.

"Bedlington is home to many successful businesses and it would be nice to think that they would want to get behind their local club and get a bit of exposure at the same time. We are more than grateful to the local businesses that already support us, we are indebted to them for sticking by the club, but we need more. Bedlington is a big town and it would be a travesty if at some point in the future it didn't have a football club, but without support that is what will happen".

With President Graeme Redpath recently departing the Welfare Park outfit, Holmes is keen to push the club on but cannot do it without new faces getting involved with the running of the club.

"The new season is still a number of months off, but planning for it has already started so there is no better time for people to get involved, whether it be on a match day or not. Absolutely anybody who wants to get involved will be welcomed to the club and if any businesses would like to discuss sponsorship packages, then I'm all ears!"

Dave Holmes can be contacted on 07958 664536.


Gibb: Nerves Got The Better Of Us

Bedlington Terriers legend Dean Gibb, now first team coach at Welfare Park, displayed a mixture of disappointment and relief after his side's 2-2 draw against West Auckland Town. Gibb, in charge of the side for the afternoon due to manager Tony Lowery being away on holiday, had named an unchanged starting eleven from the side which won so well at Seaham the previous weekend.

After conceding a late equaliser to deny a vital second successive victory, he was in realistic mood after the game. "In normal circumstances we could consider these two points dropped, but we allowed ourselves to be put under so much pressure that there seemed inevitability about their equaliser. As the second half wore on, our nerves just increased and we sat back inviting pressure, which was not the right thing to do"

Gibb revealed that he had almost made changes whilst the Terriers were a goal down in the first half, only for a quick double by recent signing Gareth McAlindon to turn the game on its head. "We were second best in the game and didn't look like we were ever going to get back in it so I was ready to make changes even before the end of the half. The up steps Gareth with 2 pieces of absolute quality - the kind of play we were hoping to see from him when we made our agreement with Benfield".

Had West keeper Alan Wilkinson not got his fingertips to Tony Shandran's effort when still 2-1, perhaps the home side would have gone on to secure the points which would have lifted them another 2 places in the table, but Gibb was realistic enough to admit that the visitors got their just rewards in the end.

"Although the 3 points would have been another great boost to us, I have to be honest and admit that West [Auckland] were good value for a share of the spoils, and if truth be told, could easily have won the game. It's a fair result, and we can take positives from the game and concentrate on the next game" he stated.

He did admit, however, that he wished he had made his second half changes earlier than he actually did, "I held off too long switching things round and perhaps that was a mistake given the pressure we were putting ourselves under. However, the impact of substitutions can be a lottery at times and I'm happy to stand by my decisions"

With the rescheduled game against Blyth on Wednesday night, seeing two teams fighting for their league status at present, both will be keeping their eyes firmly fixed on their respective league games this weekend.


Lowery delighted with Seaham result!

Bedlington Terriers manager Tony Lowery was relieved to finally notch his first victory since his surprise return to the club in November. Inheriting a squad which had already secured 21 points in the League prior to his and Keith Perry's arrival, the legendary management duo have found the going tough in the meantime.

With only a point against Ashington to their names before Saturday, a squad which is gradually being reshaped put on a tremendous performance to down in-form Seaham Red Star on their own patch 3-2, with Lowery's recent signing, striker Tony Shandran proving to be the decisive difference between the teams by scoring all three goals.

"To say I was delighted to get our first win since Keith and I returned would be an understatement. The lads effort and commitment since we came back has been 110% in every game but we've lacked a little bit of quality when its mattered. We have inherited a great set of lads and I was disappointed to have to let Scott Marshall and Lee Hamilton go, but we had no choice, if we wanted players to come in and try and rescue our season"

Lowery admitted that he was still scouring the league for players who could be available and help the Terriers climb back out of a relegation zone they had slipped into having being in the relative comfort of mid-table earlier in the season.

"Getting three players of the quality of Shandran, McAlindon and Lowrie has been a huge boost and their performances and impact so far have justified the difficult decision in letting others go. We are still looking at adding to the squad but we will need to wheel and deal over the coming weeks if things are to happen."

Lowery has moved to boost his coaching options, with keeper Karl Dryden being given dedicated training and coaching - a move which has had an immediate impact. Having perhaps been culpable for a number of goals in recent weeks, Dryden stormed back into the kind of form which has seen him touted as one of the best young keepers in the North East non-league scene.

"Karl was outstanding on Saturday, and but for him the scoreline could have been very different. We could see his potential, but like many players can suffer crises of confidence when things are not going well which in turn lead to making mistakes. I have every faith he will show us exactly what he is capable of, and turn potential into consistent top quality performances" Lowery added.

As well as Dean Gibb returning to the club as First team coach, it is understood that fellow Terriers great Warren Teasdale has also been back at Welfare Park helping out with training. Finally, Lowery paid tribute to the Bedlington support, which again turned out at Seaham in large numbers.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the tremendous following support we have, to see the majority of the crowd on Saturday as Bedlington supporters says a lot about the spirit of the club, we need that to continue and for our home gates to improve if we are to drive this club back to where we have been in the past. We have big plans for this club but need everyone to stick together and get behind the team, we can't do it alone."

Terriers trade players with Benfield!

There were major moves by the Terriers to freshen up their squad as they seek to halt a slump which has seem the Club fall into the relegation zone over the Christmas programme. Winger Scott Marshall and striker Lee Hamilton have left Bedlington and signed for Newcastle Benfield, with 3 players coming to Welfare Park in return.

Two of the three are very familiar to the Terriers supporters, as Gareth McAlindon and Tony Shandran return to their former club. The third player in the deal is defender Anthony Lowrie, a player Tony Lowery admitted he had tried to sign several seasons previously when playing at Morpeth. The general feeling is that it is a deal that will suit both clubs equally - and Hamilton started (with Marshall coming off the bench) in Benfield's superb 4-2 win at Durham on Saturday.

Bedlington will have all 3 signings available for their tough visit to Dunston Federation this coming Saturday, and it is hoped that the addition of proven quality to the side will have an instant impact on the struggling Terriers' fortunes.

Consett game this Wednesday (19th Dec) postponed

Bedlington Terriers Secretary Lawrence Appleby has confirmed that this Wednesday's tough away game at Consett has been postponed until an new date can be agreed. All but one Northern League game was called off at the weekend, as was Consett's FA Vase home tie against Trafford (for the second week running). As the cold snap is set to continue, the decision has been made now for two reasons:

1. The ground is so hard at Consett's Belle Vue ground that it is not expected that it will be playable by Wednesday - even though the game is 3 days away.
2. As Consett's FA Vase game has been rescheduled for next Saturday (22nd), the postponement also gives a fellow ANL club the best chance of preparation possible for this key game.

This being the case, it means that the Terriers are now back in action the same day, when in-form Billingham Synthonia visit Welfare Park


Lowery Rues Bad Luck As Losing Run Continues

Terriers' manager Tony Lowery voiced his frustration at his side's poor luck, after Billingham Town clinched a quick double of wins at Welfare Park. A vastly improved performance from the one given on Wednesday night when they were humbled 5-2 in the League Cup was not enough as Anthony Chapman returned to haunt his former club with the two goals that gave his team all 3 points.

"On Wednesday night, for the first time in memory I was embarrassed at the final whistle after the performance we had put on. After this game, I am wondering how we didn't get something from the game. The lads made a huge improvement but yet again they get no reward for their endeavours."

Lowery acknowledged that the return of key defender James Harmison is vital to his sides continued defensive improvement; "James is a top quality player, and you can see the performance levels rise in the players around him when he plays. The struggle is to keep him fit as he battles long term injuries and we hope to see much more of his during the remainder of the season".

He also hailed to the return to first team action by skilful winger Craig McFarlane, who suffered four separate groin tears in the opening game of the season against Jarrow Roofing. Ironically, providing the young ex-Sunderland man came through his substitute appearance without side-effects, he is in line to make his first starting role since then against the same opposition this Saturday.

"Craig is a quality player, and any team would be glad to have him playing for them. In fact I'm looking forward to him doing so for us, as it will almost be like signing a new player, with his being out for 4 months. Playing him with [Scott] Marshall gives us the chance to play with genuine width by attacking the full backs with pace. It also holds out the hope of providing our strikers with the delivery they have been craving".

Lowery is continuing in his quest to strengthen the squad, but understandably refused to be drawn on the specific targets he has in mind. Discussions have been in progress with a number of clubs over several players, but only time will tell if his efforts will be rewarded. He admits that this season is about consolidating the league position, assessing the squad at his disposal, and eventually looking ahead to the next campaign.

A club spokesperson urged supporters to rein in their expectation at what will be achieved in the short term since the return of Bedlington's most successful management team. "Results and sometimes performances haven't been up to the standard people remember from their previous tenure, but a dose of patience and realism is required."

"Tony and Keith are under no illusion of the task at hand, but already we can see signs of the return of the attacking brand of football which put Bedlington on the map. There is always going to be a bit of upheaval when there are changes at the top, but we have every faith that results will change for the better and our climb up the table begins" the spokesperson added.



Lowery: "Don't Expect Miracles"

Bedlington Terriers joint manager Tony Lowery was realistic in his assessment of his side's 5-3 home defeat by local rivals West Allotment Celtic. They let an early lead and dominance slip to trail 4-1 at one point, with ex-Terriers Keith Douglas bagging a triple. Despite a stirring comeback, it was asking too much for a young Bedlington side that have been through a tough 18 months with struggles on and off the pitch.

"Already I can see there's a lot of potential in this squad of players, but confidence is low at present. Nobody was expecting miracles just because of the success Keith and I had over the years, and its early days yet. The lads showed great spirit at 4-1 down; in other games they might have put their heads down and gone on to ship another couple of goals, however, two really classy goals spurred them on and I think we were unlucky not to get a point out of the game".

Lowery revealed that former manager Tom Wade had contacted him to wish him good luck in his surprise return to Welfare Park. "I've known Tom for a long time, and he was quickly on the phone to wish me well and offer any help he could. I think this says a lot about him as a person, and as much about what this club means to people who are lucky enough to get involved here."

Lowery is determined that him and Keith will slowly begin to turn around the fortunes of the club again, although he acknowledges that it could take time. "I understand that expectations will be high because of successes in the past, but the club has gone through a lot since those days, and the Chairman's priority will be to continue to get things right off the pitch, which will allow us to get it right on it".


Perry and Lowery in surprise return to Terriers

In a move that is sure to stun both Bedlington supporters and the wider non-league scene, Terriers Chairman Dave Holmes moved to quickly appoint a new management team after the recent departure of Tom Wade by reappointing Tony Lowery and Keith Perry at the helm in charge of first team affairs.

Both left the club at the end of the 2005/06, when it seemed that the future of Bedlington Terriers was bleak and hope was limited. Despite a season ending in turmoil, they had still managed to guide the Terriers to the runners up spot in the League and the semi-final in the Senior Cup. Some people may find this return of the club's most successful management team controversial, but Holmes is sure that it is the right appointment for Bedlington Terriers:

"Tony and Keith have a proven track record at this club, and both have been out of the game for some time now. With Tom Wade's recent departure, I was determined that we should have some continuity in the running of team affairs, whether that meant pointing from within or externally. I approached Tony and Keith about the chance of them making a return to take control of first team affairs and am delighted that they have agreed to do so."

Holmes feels this appointment has come at a key moment in the future of Bedlington Terriers; "We have come a long way in a short time in turning around the fortunes of this club, but recently it has felt that we have started to stagnate a little, perhaps even tread water. A club that stands still, falls behind, so I see this appointment as providing a new impetus towards restoring the name of Bedlington Terriers as one of the clubs teams have to beat to win trophies. These guys have a proven track record in winning, attracting the best players, and also getting the most out of the players they have. I think this is a very good appointment for Bedlington Terriers."

In an additional move which is sure to win universal favour amongst Bedlington supporters, it has also been confirmed that iconic former striker Dean Gibb will also return to Welfare Park in a coaching capacity.


Tom Wade speaks about departure from Club

Terriers Online spoke with Tom Wade today, and he was happy to share his thoughts about the end of his managerial reign at Bedlington Terriers - which occurred after the defeat against Washington on Saturday.

Tom expressed his deep disappointment that his association with the Terriers had come to an end in this way, as he had hoped he would have the opportunity to build the long term future of the club on the pitch. "I'm proud of my time at this club, as having previously managed big clubs such as Blyth and Gateshead I definitely see them at a similar level with huge potential"

"I'm loath to be seen using the old 'injuries' excuse, but the facts are that this season we never had a first choice eleven available for selection. Player of last season Craig McFarlane has been out since the opening day of the season, we lost Scott Marshall for long periods and then absences of hugely important players such as James Harmison and James Lang hurt us hard. Despite that we had been doing quite well at times, although recent performances had been disappointing" he added.

Despite his sudden exit from the Club, Wade was very keen to express his thanks to those who had stayed behind the club through all the difficult times; "in my 11 months at the helm, the supporters have been absolutely first class, supporting through thick and thin even at the lowest moments. The people who have kept the club running on a day to day basis, providing the catering, manning the turnstiles, etc. all deserve their share of the credit for making life easier for the rest of us. All unsung heroes who should be acknowledged".

Most significantly he harboured no grudges towards the club, instead wishing them all the best in the future and reiterating that Bedlington Terriers should be challenging for the major honours again. "I'm gutted that I could not be a part the continuing rebuilding of this club, but I'm sure those driving this process have the best interests of Bedlington Terriers at heart and I wish whoever follows me the best of luck"

When asked if even at this very early stage he had considered his next steps in the game, he revealed that one or two approaches had already been made and that he would take his time until an offer eh can't resist comes along.. Terriers Online would like to pay their own thanks to Tom for his contribution during his time in charge, and he can rightly hold his head up high despite leaving the club in these circumstances.

On a related note, this website can also exclusively reveal that Club Physio Mick Mangan has decided to leave the club after a meeting tonight. Mick came to the club through Tom and the Club respects his decision to leave and thanks him for his services in the last few months. For the present time at least, Assistant Physio Emma Benjamin has decided to remain at the Club
.

Tom Wade Reign as Manager comes to an end

Tom Wade dramatically left his post as Bedlington manager shortly after his side's 2-0 defeat at home to Washington on Saturday afternoon. After a long run of disappointing results and performances, Wade and Bedlington Chairman Dave Holmes agreed that he would leave the post by mutual consent. With Tom coming under increasing pressure in recent weeks, it is understood that he had himself considered his own position after this game, and it was subsequently agreed that it would be in the interests of both parties that his reign as Bedlington manager come to an end after less than 11 months at the helm.

Holmes revealed that all concerned felt the move was the best step for both Bedlington and Tom, and paid tribute and paid thanks for Tom's role in helping the Terriers beat the odds to avoid relegation last season. "When Tom was appointed last Christmas, we were marooned at the bottom of the table, losing games heavily week in week out and seemingly written off as relegation fodder by all and sundry"

"Although it took longer than anticipated for results to turn for the better, we never again lost games by more than a couple of goals, and of course we turned things round in dramatic fashion in the final weeks of the season which ultimately saw us achieve survival once Newcastle Blue Star committed themselves to the Unibond. Tom earned our gratitude then for his role in this achievement, and it is something we will always hold him in high regard for."

However, he reflected on the fact that recent times had perhaps demonstrated that a change was required. "After a bright start to the season, recent results and in particular performances have been poor. There have been too many games in which we have underachieved against clubs which, with no disrespect to them intended, victories were anticipated but only defeats resulted."

"With Tom revealing that he was considering his own position, it perhaps offered both of us an opportunity to start again with new ideas and fresh challenges. He leaves Bedlington with our full thanks and best wishes for the future in whatever role he returns to the game in" Holmese added

Holmes also revealed that assistant manager Sam Kitchen and senior player John Watson would have responsibility for team affairs until a permanent successor can be appointed. The Club is now inviting interested candidates to make contact with Secretary Lawrence Appleby, by ringing 07929 540835
.

Appleby announces new family friendly policy

Bedlington Terriers Secretary Lawrence Appleby revealed that he has secured permission to allow children free admission to all Bedlington League home games subject to one very basic condition. This is a gesture to the local community to encourage more families to Welfare Park to support the Terriers.

As from the next home game after discussions with the league and FA children will be admitted free if accompanied by a paying adult, details will be released to schools and the press. Also, any student producing their union card will gain half price admission and again all Universities will be contacted, these will apply to all future league home fixture.


New Vice-Chairman appointed

Bedlington Terriers FC are delighted to announce that Keith Jewitt has accepted Chairman Dave Holmes invitation to fill the Vice-Chairman post left vacant since Jim Tyler stepped down due to ill-health. Holmes himself expressed his pleasure in finally getting his man. "Keith has a wealth of experience in running a football club at this level, having previously been Chairman at local rivals Morpeth Town, and it's great news for Bedlington that we now have his indisputable skills at our disposal."

Holmes acknowledges openly that the last 15 months have been a steep learning curve for him, having had no previous experience at running a football club. This appointment means that Keith will take over more of the day to day responsibilities for running Bedlington Terriers, allowing the Chairman to focus more on developing the club at a strategic level, and also in helping to reestablish the football team as a force again in the North-East non-league football scene.

Terriers Online understand that Mr Jewitt is equally delighted to be involved at Bedlington, which he sees as an opportunity to both be involved in, and help shape the future of, one of the most progressive football clubs in the region.

More is sure to follow when Keith speaks to Terriers Online in the very near future!


Defender hit by bereavement

Bedlington Terriers Chairman has expressed his condolences on behalf of the club, to Martyn McGonigal, as his mother sadly passed away this week.

Holmes said; "We are very much a family club with a great team spirit, and I know that all at Bedlington Terriers have Martyn and his family in their thoughts at this sad time". Bedlington Terriers Online would like to echo the Chairman's comments, which was backed up with an impeccably observed minutes silence held before the FA Vase tie against Consett on Saturday.


Reserve Team Section Expanded

With the news that the September fixtures are out for Bedlington Terriers Reserve team's first season playing in the North Northumberland Second Division, we are delighted to announce that the Official Website has expanded its current coverage to give them their own section. When you go to 'This Season' on the main menu, you will now see that the 'Reserves' option now expands into 3 new pages.

One includes a results/fixtures page, in a similar format of that used for the first team. The North Northumberland League release their fixtures month by month so this page will be added to throughout the season.

The reserve team will be playing their home games at Welfare Park when the Senior side are away from home or not playing that day, so keep an eye on the fixtures and get yourselves along to support what hopefully will be the future stars for Bedlington Terriers - they deserve your support
!!

Terriers Appoint New Secretary

Bedlington Terriers search for a new Football Secretary was satisfied far sooner than Chairman Dave Holmes could ever have expected, as Lawrence Appleby was appointed to the post before the North Shields game on Saturday. Appleby was Kit man at senior non-league side Hereford United until earlier this year, ending an association with the club lasting a quarter of a century.

Now managing a Domino's Pizza store in Gateshead, he has a long a varied involvement in grassroots sport in the North East. He has previously been a director, match secretary and commercial manager at Gateshead, and in the early 1990's, he helped out Darlington Cleveland Bridge, where he became secretary, team manager and held the Chairman's position for a year.

Appleby was delighted to be offered and subsequently accept the role at Bedlington. "I've had a break since I finished my role at Hereford a few months ago and I was starting to look around for a club to get involved in when I saw this post advertised in a regional paper. Bedlington Terriers are obviously a very well known name in non-league, both locally and nationally, and I relish the challenge in helping Dave [Holmes] in his continuing drive to rebuild the club"

For his part, Holmes was equally as pleased to see such a key role filled at last; and by a candidate with experience at clubs at a higher level (and thus more demanding) than Bedlington, and who is also a friend of League Chairman Mike Amos. "The club is screaming out for some stability in certain roles, and I believe in Lawrence we have found the man to provide that with regards to the football administration side of the club. I think he will prove to be a huge asset to the for Bedlington Terriers."

Holmes was also hoping to make further appointments in other roles currently vacant at present, with the Matchday PA, Commercial Manager and Press Officer positions all requiring to be filled.

Terriers seek programme advertisers for the 2007/8 season.

With the new season almost upon us, Bedlington Terriers FC are welcoming advertisers for the matchday programme. The programme won the award of Most Improved last season and this will be built upon this year and it is also planned to be produced in full colour.

Therefore, this is an excellent opportunity to get your local business in front of our fans week in week out over the coming nine months. The cost is £100 for a full page advert (A5 size) and £50 for a half page, other opportunities are available, such as sponsoring individual pages, cover, etc..., please contact Neil Douglass on 07843 602392 to discuss this further.

If you or your company would like to appear in the programme over the coming season, please contact Neil Douglass who will be pleased to discuss your requirements with you.


Club Statement on Secretary Position

An emergency Committee Meeting was held at Welfare Park tonight to discuss the events of the weekend, which led to Stan Gate being relieved of his Secretarial duties. Bedlington Terriers Chairman Dave Holmes wanted to ensure that there was full agreement on the decision taken. Holmes had undertaken an investigation to establish the full facts of the matter, and then conducted a one-to-one interview with Stan himself at a neutral location. Stan himself denied flatly all allegations levelled against him in recent days and that he wished to continue in his role.

Each Committee member was invited to voice their opinions, and the outcome was unanimous that the decision to remove Stan from the Secretary role be upheld, and that it was in the best interest of both parties concerned to part company immediately, with the club now urgently seeking a new Football Secretary. The Committee also confirmed agreement with the original website statement, which Stan had asked to be retracted under potential threat of legal action.

There is regret that this situation has arisen, but the interests of Bedlington Terriers FC are the priority to the Committee, and there was no doubt that the decision made is for the good of the Club.


Mel Harmison Testimonial, Saturday 14th July

This Saturday sees the eagerly anticipated tribute to a Bedlington Terriers legend, when Mel Harmison hosts his Testimonial match at Welfare Park Darlington FC are the visitors, and they will take on Mel's Terriers Legends XI which will be comprised of many of the names from their Championship-winning and Wembley sides.

This is a great opportunity for Bedlington supporters to pay tribute to a man who has been associated with the club for almost 30 years, and is now retiring from the games completely. It's also a chance to welcome back some familiar names to Welfare Park, who were involved in some of the Club's greatest days.

Mel has revealed that he expects to have a squad of 24 players, including Terriers legends such as John Milner, Tommy Ditchburn, Dean Gibb, Martin Kirkby, Warren Teasdale, Martin Pike, Steve Boon, Micky Cross, Mark Cameron and many more. The action doesn't end with this game though, as a singer has been booked for the evening at the Terriers Clubhouse, and a high turnout is guaranteed for the popular ex-Bedlington player, coach and manager.

Premier League Referee Mark Clattenburg will officiate the game; he is familiar with many of the faces to feature, having been a Northern League referee earlier in his career. "Mark rang me to say he was looking forward to the game" said Mel, "and I'm delighted that we got someone so highly regarded in the game to referee this match".

"Bedlington are a club that will always remain close to my heart, and I have seen some lows in recent years, but these are more than cancelled out by the many highs we've lived through. I'm really looking forward to seeing some old fiends on Saturday, and I'm sure that the crowd will be up for seeing some of the Terriers greatest players on show again at Welfare Park!" he added.

A club spokesperson paid tribute to the significant contribution made to Bedlington by one of the lesser-known members of the famous Harmison sporting family. "Mel has been an integral part of this club for the best part of three decades, and he has had an important role in our successes over that period"

He added; "This should be a fitting send-of for him, and we encourage as many possible to come along and show their appreciation. Mel doesn't expect to make anything out of his day, that isn't his motivation - he just wants to end his association with Bedlington Terriers with a bang, and we hope a bumper crowd will be his reward."

Admission prices are £4 adults, £2 for children and concessions - there will also be a programme on sale to mark this special event. Kick off is at 3pm.


FA Cup and FA Vase draws Announced

The first 3 qualifying rounds of the FA Cup, Trophy and Vase were announced by the Football Association this morning (Monday). Bedlington actually already knew their opening FA Cup tie due to the blundering guardians of our national game accidentally posting the draw on their website on Friday. The remainder of that day was spent rather busily requesting websites to remove published fixtures!

In the FA Cup, Bedlington make a less than welcome return to West Auckland, a team who racked up a glut of goals against the Terriers last season, including 9 in 3 games for striker Matthew Moffat. This time Moffat will not be a threat, as he is now signed at Consett. However, our paths may still cross yet in FA Competition - more of which later.

Success in this tie will see another away game at Wakefield, who have struggled in recent seasons. Relegated to Unibond Division One in the 2005/06 season, they flirted with a second successive drop last season.

Success again, and we could face any of four teams at Welfare Park, with local rivals Morpeth Town figuring amongst them. A tough ask getting to this stage, but our young side proved in the final month of the season what they were truly capable of. Add to that the quality signings made so far, and you just never know, especially if we force a replay at Bedlington.

Into the FA Vase, and the Terriers were given an exemption until the 2nd Qualifying Round, but they face again a possible Cup confrontation with Morpeth should they see off North Shields in their 1st Qualifying Round tie. Should we prevail, then a home tie against Consett awaits, and a warm welcome to our friend Mr Moffat....!

Obviously, these draws have an immediate impact on our scheduled league programme, as can be seen below, with a knock effect should we be successful in the respective competitions, and/or replays be required.

FA CUP 2007/08

Extra Preliminary Round
West Auckland Town (a)

Tie will be played on Saturday 18th August, meaning our game at Home to Dunston Fed that day will have to be rearranged. If a replay is needed then our midweek game at Whitley Bay on the Tuesday night will also be rescheduled.

Preliminary Round
Winners v Wakefield (a)

Tie to be played Saturday 1st September. If successful in previous round, we currently have a blank weekend then so no rearrangement is required.

1st Qualifying Round
Winners v Winterton Rangers or Armthorpe Welfare or Morpeth Town or Seaham Red Star (h)

Tie to be played Saturday 15th September, If successful in previous round, our game at Home to Bishop Auckland that day will have to be rearranged.

FA VASE 2007/08

2nd Qualifying Round
Morpeth Town or North Shields (a)

Tie to be played Saturday 22nd September. We currently have a blank weekend then so no rearrangement is required. If a replay is required, then our midweek game at Morpeth Town on the Tuesday night will be rescheduled.

1st Round Proper
Winners v Consett (h)

Tie to be played Saturday 6th October. If successful in previous round, then we currently have a blank weekend then so no rearrangement is required. If a replay is required, then our midweek game at Durham City on the Tuesday night will be rescheduled.


Another New Signing/Lang Finally Commits

Bedlington Terriers swelled their ranks by another two this weekend, as James Lang finally agreed to stay at Welfare Park another season and Rob Huntley signed forms. Lang, who has been at Bedlington for the last few years save for a short spell at rivals Morpeth Town last season, has been cursed with an array of injuries in his time at the Club.

He informed the club that he wanted to satisfy himself that he could regain full fitness before committing himself, and Tom Wade is delighted that the midfielder has finally felt confident enough to sign ahead of the new campaign. "A fully fit James Lang is like a brand new player for the Club. He's an exceptional player who is one of the best around when fully match fit. I hope we see the Lang of old this season as he will have much to offer in a side I hope will surprise a few in the League this coming campaign."

Rob Huntley is a player that Wade knows well, and has been tracking for some time. After starting his career as a junior at Sunderland where he spent 4 years, most recently he was part of the Tow Law side which had Wade as Assistant Manager before he took the hotseat at Bedlington, and the Terriers manager is relieved to get the player signed on at last. "I first came across Rob when I was in charge at Gateshead and we played a friendly at Horden. He was outstanding, running the midfield that day, and I quickly persuaded him to sign for me."

"I had inherited a struggling side at Gateshead as the Club were in financial dire straits at the time and threatened with relegation. Rob was one of the players instrumental in our recovery to safety that season. He epitomises my kind of player: hard-working, team player and good on the ball. I think he's a tremendous acquisition for Bedlington.


A Terriers hero calling it a day
By Stuart Rained, The Journal (Jun 30 2007)

A lesser-known member of one of the North-East's most famous sporting families ends his 27-year association with Northern League Bedlington Terriers next month.

And it speaks volumes for Mel Harmison's reputation in local football circles that there is no shortage of high-profile names willing to help him mark the occasion.

A man who played for, coached and managed the Terriers has been awarded a testimonial against Darlington on July 14, his last game before retiring from the club he has served since a teenager.

Although he admits it was a hard decision to leave Welfare Park, the uncle of Bedlington captain James Harmison and Durham cricketers Stephen and Ben, Mel is pleased to have done the club one last service before bowing out.

Mel was a reluctant Bedlington manager during the first half of last season but is proud to have rescued them from relegation. Last year they were £38,000 in debt and without a single player. A last-minute rescue package in August, followed by an arson attack on the clubhouse, was only the end of the beginning.

 

"Being manager was more put on me than by choice," said the 45-year-old. "I was going to retire last year but with the trouble the club was in I said I'd leave it a year and try to keep us up so I could bow out gracefully. "I wanted to keep the club in the division, which we did. That was a miracle in itself. We didn't have a single player on the books when I started and it was probably the biggest challenge of my career."


"There was all the financial trouble too. The council stuck their necks out to help the club out as best they could and deserve a real pat on the back for that. Last season there were times when I didn't enjoy it. We were getting beaten six or 7-1 by teams we used to beat before we got out of the dressing room. But we knuckled down, got some good players in and turned it around. I got good help from a few experienced players. It was a big plus when I got James back. Dean Gibb, James Laing, John Milner and Anthony Chapman also helped us out. They're all winners."


Harmison says the bad times have been far outnumbered by the good. It says much for his dedication to the club that his highlight did not even involve the left-back. "We came from being quite a small non-League side and to one of the most respected clubs in the country," he said. "Wembley in 1999 was the highlight for me. I broke my arm leading up to the game and wasn't able to make it into the squad but I trained on the pitch. We also won the championship, the second of five on the trot, so it was a fantastic season. They say every dog has its day, and that time was certainly the Terriers'."


The secret to their success was, he believes, forged off the field. "We were probably the worst organised team ever but never seemed to get beaten," he said. "It was the way we gelled. You could write a book about some of the tales. The atmosphere, the travelling to the games, everything was brilliant. We would beat teams we shouldn't even have been on the same pitch with.


"I signed for Bedlington when I was 18 and I've been there ever since. It's a big family club. I grew up with a lot of the players and I've always had a lot of respect for the managers I've worked with. The club's always been in my heart. I'll always be a supporter. I had two good offers from clubs who wanted me to do a bit of coaching and a bit of management for them last season, but I turned them down. I wouldn't leave for any other club. I'm the manager of a golf complex (Percy Wood Golf and Country Retreat, who are sponsoring the game) and I've got a young daughter. It's time to spend a bit more time with the family."


Former Newcastle United players Ian Bogie and Jamie McClen have agreed to face the Quakers, and other high-profile ex-Magpies are in the pipeline. England commitments are likely to keep Stephen Harmison away, though his cricket-mad uncle is hoping to have all-rounder Ben at centre-back.


Leeds United were originally lined up as opposition, but when the turmoil surrounding the fallen giants cast their participation into doubt, Darlington, York City and Hartlepool United offered to stand in. Premiership official Mark Clattenburg referees the 3pm kick-off.

"It's nice because in sport you play to win but I've always been brought up to play the proper way as well," says Harmison. "It just shows if you stay loyal to a club you will get your rewards in the end."


Terriers finally get their man!

Terriers moved to boost their ranks by finally signing striker Lee Hamilton after waiting on tenterhooks for the last two weeks. Hamilton, brother of long-term injured Terriers defender Paul, has been a Bedlington target for some time, and the Club are delighted to have finally got their man.

"We've tracked Lee since the end of the season, and the fact that he spoke to and ultimately turned down offers from Dunston and Benfield speaks volumes about what we are trying to do at Bedlington. Hopefully he act as a catalyst to other players we are currently in discussion with, as the new season comes ever closer" said a Club spokesman.

Lee spent last season at Tow Law, and represents a welcome boost to our forward line, and provides much needed support to the likes of Alex Benjamin - who until Wayne Eastway joined the ranks late in the season, was our sole out and out striker. The Club is also in advanced discussions with a defender and a midfielder, and is confident that they will secure their services in due course. James Lang, the only player remaining from last season not to have committed himself one way or another for the season ahead, is continuing his training at Welfare Park. A player seemingly cursed with injury, Lang is trying to attain full fitness for the first time in several seasons before he signs on the dotted line for the Terriers.

Meanwhile, Tom Wade moved to appoint Sam Kitchen as his Assistant for the campaign ahead, providing the vital support and back-up every manager needs in running the football side of a club. Hugely experienced, and greatly respected within the dressing room, Kitchen will undoubtedly be a big asset to the Terriers in his new role.


Mel Harmison Testimonial Saturday 14th July

Bedlington Terriers are delighted to announce that they have secured the services of Darlington FC for the testimonial of ex-player and manager Mel Harmison. A day of celebration and thanks to Mel for his 30 year association with the Terriers will be held at their Welfare Park ground on Saturday 14th July. Leeds United were originally hoped to be the opposition for the Terriers on this day, but continuing uncertainty about whether they would be able to field a side meant that the club has had to work hard to find a late replacement.

Darlington FC, despite their own busy schedule in July, have agreed to send a team to Bedlington on this day. Bedlington Terriers Chairman Dave Holmes was quick to heap praise on the Darlington hierarchy for the efforts they have made to help us out for such an important day for Mel. "Once the decision was taken that we had to find alternative opposition for Mel's testimonial, Darlington could not have been more helpful in ensuring that this tribute to a long-term servant of the Club was a fitting one."

Holmes was keen to stress his thanks to Darlington Manager Dave Penney, Youth Team Manager Mick Tait and Company Secretary Lisa Charlton for their roles in making this possible at such short notice. Such was the willingness of the North East senior sides to step into the breach, that both York City and Hartlepool United also made offers to send a team on this day. Further thanks go to Nick Bassett and Maureen Smith respectively for their much appreciated gestures.

The game, which it's understood will be officiated by top Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg, will kick off at 3pm, but there will be more entertainment on show throughout the afternoon. More details will follow when available.