Mon 05 Aug 2019 16:10

Northern Football Club

Annual Report

2018-19


President’s message

I have reached the end of my second and final season as Northern President and I hope I have been able to represent the club in a positive way and helped forge bonds both on and off the pitch. On the rugby front for the first XV this has been a good season that ended with them winning 21 games and scoring 179 tries in the process.

An indication of the positive style of our play is that we scored 4 or more tries in 25 of the 26 games we played and, but for the width of a post in the two games against Durham City, we would have won the league! Fine margins! In the end we finished a respectable 3rd, one point behind West Hartlepool who finished in the playoff position and were promoted after beating Heath. On a personal note, I visited some clubs that I hadn’t been to for over 40 years, Acklam being one where the hospitality was first rate and Whitby, the other, where, sadly, the hospitality was non-existent!! The bus trip and fish & chips were excellent though! It has also been good to see the team develop into a close-knit group, enjoying aftermatch entertainment with the Wanderers squad on the terrace on many occasions, much to the delight of the bar staff and the Terrace Bar regulars! This has also been a good season for the Wanderers, thanks to the efforts of “the Dynamic Duo” Ryan Moore and Dan Coates. The Wanderers finished a close second in their league, 3 points behind Morpeth Edwardians, having won 11 of their 14 games and scoring 59 tries, the most in their league! They also just lost their cup final against Darlington Mowden Park 2nds by one point! The Wanderers have also emerged as a close group of players, bonded by the unique talents of Ryan and Dan. I particularly enjoyed the team profile videos shared on the WhatsApp group and the “craic” post-match has been first rate. This has been a difficult season for the Colts as they have struggled to field a side in their Saturday league and were disappointingly disqualified from the cup for a technical, administrative, offence. However, it is pleasing that some of the Colts have played senior rugby in the Wanderers and acquitted themselves well this season. As ever, mini-rugby continues to thrive and it is hoped that future senior players will emerge from these Northern teams. It is also pleasing to note that girls’ rugby is prospering after being launched on a Friday evening. The rugby season was rounded off with another great player’s supper and awards night which was enjoyed by all who attended. 

I was really saddened by the loss of a friend and mentor with the passing of Bill Davison. I played for Bill in the Colts when I started my association with Northern in February 1973 with him trying to teach me to tackle, catch a rugby ball and pass!! He also looked after me with several of “his boys” when he was manager of a successful Wanderers team. Sharing tours to Canada and Narbonne with him was an education and a pleasure. I think I made him proud when I played for the 1st team and latterly when I entertained him for pre-match lunch as President. We also lost Gerry Cooper, past President and another club stalwart who will be greatly missed. On the Squash front, this part of the club continues to thrive. On the social and commercial side, Ron Borley, Chair of House, Gi (David Giles) our Club Manager, ably assisted by his staff, have again delivered for the club. The refurbished Terrace Bar has been an undoubted success and the prematch catering was praised by all visiting club officials. The food nights continue to be well supported (often by me) and functions in the McCracken Suite are a great advert for the club. There was also our annual visit to the Club of the Year awards ceremony in Doncaster, where we once again were the recipients of a National award. My final thanks goes to the volunteers who keep the club moving forward. There are only a few of these unsung heroes but without them the club would struggle to function.

Alan Belford


1st Team

This has been a good season for the first team after relegation to Durham & Northumberland 1, finishing 3rd by 1 point after leading the league for most of the season. After winning the first 7 league games with aplomb, including a 7 try haul by Harrison Clark against Barnard Castle, we lost our first game in controversial style against Durham City at home after a 10 minute period just before half time when we conceded two tries when down to 13 men following a harsh red card and a yellow. Despite outscoring City three tries to one in the second half a missed conversion in front of the posts cost us a draw which arguably was the least we deserved. We won the remaining 4 games up to Christmas and ended the year on top of the league. A comprehensive win at home against Medicals was a good start to the year but injuries and the loss of Nathan Whitworth who was on a sabbatical proved costly when we lost convincingly away to a very good West Hartlepool side who, for the only time this season, restricted us to less than 4 tries. We followed this with a draw at home against Stockton where our confidence seemed to have taken a dent although, had we taken our chances in the first half (including one ball dropped in the act of scoring), we should have won the game comfortably! We won the next 4 games and set up a league decider away to Durham City which was another controversial game where after having a 9 point lead with 5 minutes to play, we contrived to concede a converted try and then lost to a dubious penalty awarded after a City player appeared to put a foot in touch but was allowed to play on when no flag was raised. We still had a chance to finish second in the league but lost to a strong Westoe side when forced to field a team with 8 regulars missing due to injury. Our final game away to Hartlepool Rovers was end to end play with 5 tries each and Northern winning by two conversions to one. In total, we played 26 league games, winning 21, losing 4 and drawing 1. In the process we used 53 players but the very small core squad were the 22 players who played 10 or more games. We scored 179 tries with Harrison Clark getting 26 and Chalky White running him close with 25. Player of the season is Ali Gray who has consistently performed at the top of his game in all but the last two games of the season which he only missed through injury. The top points scorer was again Donal Collins with 184 points (5 tries, 75 conversions & 2 penalties). The most improved player was Rhys McNichol, an ex-Colt who enjoyed a fine debut season after playing Wanderers last year. Other notable newcomers were Cameron Walker, Nathan Whitworth and Louis Frear, who is sadly moving on next season. 1st team ties for reaching 21 games were awarded to 9 players this season. Tom Burt, Michael Henderson, Ed Kell, Rob Liley, Chris Malley, Liam Mullick, Louie Tang, and Johnny Woodhead plus a discretionary one to Sam Taylor. A 100 game tie was awarded to Harrison Clark. Players of the month were Nathan Whitworth, Chalky White, Louie Tang and Sam Wilson. I have to once again thank Head coach Dave Guthrie for his drive and enthusiasm which delivered some excellent performances on the pitch and lifted the team after setbacks during the season. Along with Jim Pollock his assistant coach, the training sessions were particularly good resulting in high numbers attending, often exceeding 30 players. I would also like to congratulate all the 1st team squad players for their efforts and at times, superb performances, who provided great entertainment during and after the games. I personally enjoyed seeing the whole squad bonding socially and creating friendships that will last a long time. Special thanks also to our two physios, Kirsteen and Georgia, who have supported the players throughout the season. Lastly, I would like to thank Paul Scott for his role as 1 st team manager, working hard to ensure the team was prepared each Saturday and supporting Dave Guthrie, Jim Pollock and myself in his own inimitable way.

Alan Belford


The Wanderers

In total the Wanderers played 23 games, Won 17 Lost 6, with just 3 losses in the league. 130 tries were scored, averaging at 5.7 tries a game. We finishing second in the league and reached the County Cup SemiFinal, missing a last kick conversion against a loaded Tynedale side which would have seen us progress to the final. We also reached a Candy Cup Final against a strong Darlington Mowden Park which included a Tonga capped flanker, losing by a point. The team has used 68 players in the league this year, a sharp decrease from last year, which proved the buy-in we have had from the lads. Out of those 68, 29 have played 1st team, much better stats than last year, and one thing ticked off the Player Development Plan, which has been big in Jim’s mind this year. The squad has benefited from many new faces joining the old stalwarts and these have quickly embedded into the Wanderers Family on and most definitely off the field. We have started to create something very good here, increasing training numbers and actually winning games this season has been a dream. All the credit needs to go the lads on the field, they have bought into what we have wanted to achieve, and have made the club stronger as a result. The Wanderers player of the season was Chris Darley who, alongside Michael Henderson, was the engine room of the team. He also scored one of the tries of the season, carrying the Medicals full back for almost 22 metres as he powered to the line!! The Wanderers top points scorer for the season was Dan Matthews who scored 13 tries and 3 conversions (71 points) for the team plus 2 tries for the 1st team.

Ryan Moore


Mini & Youth Rugby

U6

Youth and Mini rugby U6s This U6’s season has, most importantly, been great fun with good numbers turning up week on week, even when the weather was a little unwelcoming. All the boys and girls have come on a great deal over the last few months with most of them starting to really get the hang of tag rugby and some occasionally demonstrating they will soon be ready for full contact! We’ve had some great days away at Percy Park and Morpeth and even a trip to Druids Park was great with the U6’s playing and holding their own with the U7’s (when they weren’t distracted by planes!). All in all a great season with a few boys and girls to watch out for in the future. Thanks to all the other coaches who turn up week on and to the parents who brave all weathers. I wish you all the best for next season.

Scott Alexander

U7 

This season we retained all 18 players who came up from U6s and have grown our squad to 29 registered players. To support the development of our girls and boys we have also grown the coaching team from 7 to 11. Our core values of Teamwork, Attitude and Respect have shone through in the behaviour of our players, with fun shared by all and many new friendships forged. Passing, catching, attacking space and working together in defence were key areas of focus for skills development and it has been rewarding to see these improve throughout, though most satisfying of all has been the noticeable lift in self-confidence of many of our girls and boys. Unsurprisingly, our players couldn’t wait to pitch their skills against other teams this year and this certainly showed the competitive side of many of our players; whilst teamwork and support for each other came to the fore. Noticeable highlights of a great season include the mini rugby festival at Newcastle Falcons, attending ‘The Big One’ at St James’s Park in support of the Falcons and an end of season trip to the Harrogate RFC festival. The planning and coordination of these events, together with fixtures and training throughout the year should not go unnoticed. Week on week, players, coaches and parents have committed their time and support and we as coaches are extremely grateful. We hope to keep the squad together for what promises to be an exciting and promising U8’s season ahead.

U9

2018-19 was a great season for the U9s – our first with full contact. We were lucky to be joined by a couple of players from U10s who had been playing up, as well as a few more through the season, whether from other clubs, or playing for the first time. All were welcomed by existing players and quickly established themselves as important team members. Understandably, the players took to tackling with varying levels of enthusiasm. It has been very rewarding for the coaches not just to see the boys tackling skills develop, but also how their resilience and determination in contact has come on. Away from tackling we have focussed on an organised, fast-up defensive line, introduced “scrum half-ing”, and - later in the season – running onto the pass. It has been really rewarding to see these skills develop through the season. Perhaps more importantly, the boys continue to develop as individuals, all of them demonstrating many times through season the core values we have decided to focus on – Respect, Enjoyment and Teamwork. Highlights for the season have been the festivals, playing on the pitch at KP at Falcons v. Toulon half time, hosting the anthem-singing Scottish touring teams in March, and of course our York Tour in April. As has become customary, the boys and parents went down on the coach on Saturday to play a warm up game. After a quiet afternoon, certainly not involving any coach disgracing himself, we had a great Sunday at York Festival, when the progress in skill levels since September was evident despite playing some huge opposition! Thanks to all the parents for their support through the season, the coaches for their time and witty WhatsApp banter, and especially to Sam for dedicating so much to make it an incredible season. As well as taking on tonight! Here’s to next season – looking forward to mauls, rucks, scrums - inspired by RWC 2019!

U10

It has been a simply unbelievable season for the U10’s. We have gone from strength to strength... quite literally! I have to confess a great feeling of achievement this season. The players have been amazing and I, as a coach am really proud of that. This season we have been lucky enough to welcome some incredible new players, all of whom have fully embraced the Northern family ethos and been welcomed by our current players with open arms. They have brought some new skills and abilities to the team with true character and complimented our playing style to the note of other teams and our coaches and parents. Unfortunately we are also losing a player. We wish Matthew Shewring all the best and hope he returns after their residence in Copenhagen. The progress we have made since the Friendly Festival this season has been evident as we have introduced set piece in the form of rucks, mauls and scrums. Some took to this side of the game with ease and others have progressed into it over the course of the season but all have shown great improvement and by the time we reached our tour to Penrith the team ethic and ability to play together and support each other was clearly evident. All the coaches were beaming with pride with fine reports of how well the players had gelled and succeeded against some very physical and tough opposition. This takes me onto our other new additions, our fantastic new coaches. We have been lucky to welcome some unbelievable experience to the coaching squad with coaches who have developed a fantastic rapport with the kids. A huge thank you to them for stepping up. The introduction of fun strength and conditioning sessions has been a particular hit with the players! The players have been a credit to themselves and their parents, embracing all the Core Values of Rugby and have rightly ended the season on a high. We look forward to introducing them to kicking at U11’s and going forwards to build on what we have achieved at u10’s.

U12

The Under 12’s closed another action packed season on a high at Tynedale festival with our 2 teams picking up 8 wins out of 8. We also won the County Waterfall Cup and the Sandal RFC festival (albeit shared with Roundhegians due to abandoned game due to injury). We welcomed 8 new players this season and they have all contributed from the get go. Also, two experienced coaches (Alex Hale, and Graham Thrower) joined the age group which really sets us up for success for the seasons to come. Our usual tour to Edinburgh was another great success and showed just how much strength in depth we have as a squad with only 1 loss to a very strong Stew Mel side. Congratulations to Max, Ollie, Scott and Sam for end of season awards but the reality is that every single player has been fabulous this season. The players are maturing and now showing some real determination and teamwork on the pitch. This when added to our strong skill set makes us a very tough side to beat. A big thank you to Anne and Dona for coordinating the Ball. Thanks to parents for their support in all-weathers and to the coaches for their dedication to develop this talented squad of players.

U13

Northern Under 13’s have had yet another successful and enjoyable season of rugby. We have enjoyed playing at the main club base for the first full season and have benefited from using the club facilities on both Sundays and Wednesdays. The group entered two sides into the Northumberland Waterfall Cup this season which was at times a stretch of our playing resources, however both of our sides progressed well in the competition. In addition we also saw the start of the Northumberland DPP programme which is the first step towards playing at a representative level, a number of our players were nominated by Jaymes and myself and have enjoyed being part of a wider County programme, one which is designed to develop players’ skill base and attitude to the game. Despite all of the boys becoming teenagers, developing spots, breaking voices, growing out of clothes in front of our eyes, their attitude in training, playing and interacting with each other has always been very positive throughout the season. As coaches we are delighted with the level of commitment the lads have shown throughout a season where many of them have had extra distractions from a wider range of sporting commitment at schools and county programmes in other sports. At the end of the Waterfall Cup we had two sides representing the club in finals, one of our sides were narrowly beaten by Alnwick 6 tries to 5 and our other side beat Novocastrians in the main final 6 tries to 5 to become County Champions for the first time. Both games were typical of the courage, ability and commitment of our group of players and as coaches and parents we are rightly proud of their achievements in the competition. The last weekend of April saw our end of season tour, we again had a great weekend at Center Parcs in Penrith and had three sides playing sevens in the Penrith RFC 7’s Festival. All of the sides played well and were a credit to the club. During the tour we presented the end of season awards, this year saw Jack Bowden win the Players Player of the season which we mentioned on tour is of course a huge accolade to be given from your peer group. When it came to picking the Player of the Season and Most Improved Player of the Season, Jaymes and I had our usual very difficult task of looking for players who have stood out through the season from a group of young men who all could be considered for the honours. Ultimately we selected Harry Wilson as Player of the Season, a young man who leads from the front and always plays/trains with a level of commitment and determination, for Most Improved Player of the Season we picked Charlie Kidd, a young man who since Christmas has improved in leaps and bounds, Charlie’s concentration and commitment since January has been most impressive. We would like to thank Helyn Bulman who once again sorted our tour out and made sure that we all got allocated accommodation, knew what was going on, booked activities for the lads and generally kept us on track to have a great time. We are lucky in the Under 13’s to have such a great bunch of young men to coach, great support from their parents and a great team spirit across the whole of the group. This year we have been pleased to welcome Mark, Dan, Ollie and to welcome back the Callum and their parents who all fit into our Northern family perfectly. At the same time we are sad to say goodbye to Sam and “Chips” Cardnell but wish them well at Tynedale, and of course to Paddy and Evan Jobling-Purser as Paddy goes to Sedburgh, I am sure that we will see PJP and EJP on school holidays and next season’s tour. So once again thank you all players and parents for making our job as coaches an absolute pleaser and honour

U14

Another great season for our age group. Good numbers turned out for the preseason training sessions, culminating with 25 players put through their paces on Beadnell Beach on August Bank Holiday Monday. We had 37 registered players, a couple down on the previous season, but still great numbers for U14s. The players who play regularly for their schools did not feature in as many fixtures before Christmas, but this provided opportunities for others in the squad. Toby Hodgson was elected as Captain for the season, supported by Vice-captains Isaac Keller and Max Swinburne. Highlights of the season include a successful Waterfall Cup campaign, with victories over Rockcliff in the first round and Tynedale in the semi-final. The final was held at Rockcliff against Percy Park. It was a tight game but victory was never in doubt. Isaac Keller executed a superb cross field kick to put Froilan Mason Chema over in the corner. We also hosted Blaydon, one of pour toughest rivals. Blaydon scored first but we battled back to win with ease. We had a fantastic tour to Northern Ireland, taking 32 players and 40+ supporters. Ballymena hosted us on the Saturday and Ballyclare on the Sunday. All 32 players played their part in two great wins, but what we remember most is the superb hospitality. The season ended with a great fixture against Tynedale at home. Whilst each team wanted to win, the game was played in a superb spirit and was a fitting end to the season. Finally, we had an awards evening at the Club on a Friday evening at the end of April which was a great way to end the season. The main awards were: Players' Player of the Season: Isaac Keller Most Improved Player of the Season: Oliver Wilkinson Player of the Season: Tom Cressey. Many thanks to all players, coaches and parents. We have a fantastic age group and all have contributed to making 2018/19 one of our best ever seasons.


Former Players Lunch

Former players’ lunch Our second former players’ lunch took place on the 1st December 2018. We also enjoyed a home league game with Novos. Once again we were overwhelmed with an excellent turnout, 93 former players enjoyed the now traditional lunch of mince and dumplings! For most this was their second Former Players Lunch, but a good number made the trip for the first time. They were not disappointed to see old pals in abundance! The usual high level of reminiscence took place combined with some great catch-ups and a good deal of networking. At our first FP Lunch I spoke to invite everyone, and to provide a little insight into the journey the club had taken in the time since many of those in attendance had been players at the club. Having been cordially advised by Wilfy that the quality of speaker should be improved for next year - I took this on board in the spirit it was intended, I had no difficulty this year in recruiting the wonderful oratory services of Neil Forsyth and Ian Shepherd. There stories were of course very well received. Particularly Fossies memory of Feidlim’s pre match coin toss, down Nottingham, when the referee got the two captains together. Feidlim purposely called it wrong, having watched the coin land before making his call - because he didn't want to be accused of cheating! Amongst the many attendees there was once again a chorus of strong representation that we should repeat the event next season. This we have agreed to do. But it will be later in the season. It will be on Saturday 7th March 2020. The 1st team are at home to Gateshead, ko 3.00pm and also, the Six Nations is in full flow and we will be able to watch the England v Wales game with a kick off at 16.45pm. It promises to be a fantastic day! See you there

Andy James


Squash

As I learn about the idiosyncrasies of being a ‘Squash Chairman’ at Northern Football Club how about this for a positive headline for our club? Squash – a major result for Northern FC Time to explain. For those of you who may not be up to date with the current status of our club, Northern FC has Community Amateur Sports Club recognition. This allows the Club to benefit from certain rates and tax exemptions and as a consequence we all benefit from as much participation as possible. Let’s start with the junior squash section. Northern were pleased to host the prestigious County Junior Closed competition emphasising our raised County status. The competition was a great success and Northern were able to celebrate a number of our juniors being county champions. The Club does of course run its own Junior Open. This year’s regional event took place during March and was equally successful with a string of Northern winners. A number of our younger players entered a tournament for the first time. And now we have a new international representative…. Step Forward - Megan Evans, a product of our schools outreach programme who has been selected to represent Scotland at the Junior World Championships this summer. Megan builds upon previous national squash representation developed at Northern. As with rugby, youth is the future of our club.

Adult Squash

A vibrant membership ensures strong internal and social competition. In addition, for members wishing to participate in team play, Northern squash is recognised as a premier club within the regional squash leagues. Here’s how we did this year: – 

Northern 1, runners up Premier Division

Northumbria Cup runners up Northern 2 

Division 2 winners Northern 4

Division 3 runners up Northern 5 

Division 6 winners Northern Junior 1 

Ladies Premier division runners up Northern Ladies 1

Ladies Northumbria Cup runners up Northern Ladies 2

England squash - December 2018 saw Northern Squash again host the Lowes Financial Gosforth Classic, an event recognised within the England Squash calendar. World No 57 Richie Fallows took a now established pro squash tournament to another level in winning the event. The London born England international triumphed 3-2 in an engrossing final at Gosforth’s Northern - wrenching the prized title from the tight-fisted grip of reigning champion Mark Fuller. The power, precision and intensity both players brought to the showpiece final gave a full house crowd an exciting glimpse of what modern squash looks and feels like at the highest level of the worldwide game. After a pulsating game quote of the day by Richie Fallows “I’m taking the next few weeks off to get fit”!!!

Social squash

This year has seen the introduction of a club night for potential new members as well as a female only afternoon, again aimed at attracting beginners to our sport. The more squash members we attract, the more we contribute further to the club’s budget. These targeted events supplement many internal fun competitions held throughout the year, such as the Christmas Fun Doubles, Andy Lee Tournament and our own Ashes (don’t ask).

Club Championships

At a sold out 2019 squash presentation night this year’s senior winners Cai Younger and Sam Ward were presented with their respective trophies by our prominent sponsor David Barnett (DB Glaziers). Once again entertainment was provided by Northern’s own band, DC's Glass Back Cowboys, with their squash style take on classic rock and pop standards. Thanks to great lyrics from Glenn Ward and the backing of the 10 piece band, the night was a roaring success. Age and cunning will always beat youth and enthusiasm!! Step forward this year’s Geoff Younger tournament winner Brian Richardson. A sprightly s*****y year old. Don’t forget you have to be at least fifty years of age to enter!!

The 2019/20 season - As Northern becomes established on the National Squash register there is work undergoing to bring world top ranked players to the club. The plans are for an evening(s) event which will include coaching sessions with junior members followed by exhibition matches. (and of course social participation) Keep up to date via WazyGoose (our online squash management system) for the latest information. 

Allan Curry


CLUBHOUSE & FACILITIES

This year the Club has continued to invest in the clubhouse facilities. The Terrace Bar was refurbished in September with a stylish modern and bright theme aimed at broadening the demographic of users. The old bar has been completely replaced and both the ladies and gents toilets refurbished to a high standard. Craft beer lines, a barista coffee machine and a panini press have all been added to offer more choice to our members and patrons. The sound system was also replaced to provide clearer and louder volume during our weekly quiz and televised sporting events.

The second phase of the Terrace Bar development has recently been completed by expanding into the room at the back of the bar. This room provides around 50% more space for those who wish to use a room away from the main bar area. There is a 74 inch screen to show sporting events and an area to served buffets making the space ideal for small party and meeting hire. The room is also a space for the club’s historic memorabilia and photographs to be displayed and a place for players to relax on match days. Shirts on display This phase of work also included replacing the remaining doors on the first floor.

These Terrace Bar improvements allow the trading activities of the club to grow on the back of what is already a very busy social scene at the club. During England’s progress in the 2018 World Cup the bar was jammed with people cheering on the three lions. More of the same is expected during the Rugby World Cup starting in September. Our Wednesday and Sunday night quizzes continuing to be popular reaching 16 plus teams on a regular basis. Thanks go to our quiz masters Peter and Rod for their continuing efforts. Friday Food Nights have now moved to the McCracken Suite having outgrown the Terrace Bar. Numbers regularly exceed 100 with Jason Isaac’s performing at the Pie Night in May to help the night go with a swing. We will be welcoming Jason back for a series of Christmas performances on the 6 th, 13th and 20th of December. The McCracken Suite also continues to host a vast number of events throughout the year from private parties to our local community groups. Key nights in the calendar are the New Year’s Eve Party, Players Dinner and the Squash Presentation Evening all of which sold out in record time. The weekend of the 13th and 14th of July saw one of the biggest event in the club’s history as we hosted the Proper Food and Drink Festival. Over 50 street food stalls were in attendance along with live outdoor music. The clubhouse provided plenty of shelter and liquid refreshment and hosted a band on the Saturday evening. 

Other attractions included a Newcastle United book signing hosted by the author of “The Amazing Journey” Matthew WatsonBroughton and players of the famous Inter Fairs winning side of 1969. John Gibson’s vivid memories provided many tales of the team which still boasts the last major trophy the club has won. 

This brought as many as 10,000 people through the McCracken Park gates putting the club firmly in the centre of the local social scene. In November the club made its annual trip to the Club Mirror Awards held at Doncaster Racecourse. This is the seventh year Northern have been represented at the awards. Fending off competition from sporting and social club from across Great Britain the club won the award for Business Initiative of the Year. The award reflects the high standard of refurbishment in the Terrace Bar and the planning of further refurbishment showing Northern to be one of the most progressive clubs in the country.

Northern have also won an award at the Hospitality Social Media Awards. The awards took place on Thursday 27th June at the Houses of Parliament and recognises those who are using online platforms to build their business. The club are very proud to have won the community award which is such an important area for business growth. 

The hard work and dedication of Michael Giles has led to better advertising and communication for everyone at the club and we thank everyone who likes, comments and shares on all of our social media platforms

Finally, the sad news that Northern will no longer be home to a gym as Valiant Performance closed its door in February. Yet with end of the gym comes a new start and the area now formally known as the gym will host Northern Therapies. The new look space will have 6 rooms offering a range of massage, beauty, physiotherapy, and holistic treatments and will be opening in the summer. This is an extension of the Northern Natural Therapies previously based on the first floor with many familiar faces moving into their new home.

David Giles


NatWest Volunteer weekend Once again the club is grateful for the contributions made by a jolly band of volunteers who laid a paved path along part of the far side of the 1 st XV pitch. Special thanks go to Ian Rennards for the slab laying and to Rob Richardson for arranging the supply of slabs, sand, cement and hard-core.


Obituaries

Gerry Cooper

Gerry passed away following a fall and complications from which he couldn’t recover. He was Gypsy’s captain, played occasional prop for the 1st XV but more significantly was Northern President more than once, including when the new club house was opened in 1995. Bill Davison The highlight of Bill's career at Northern other than his delight at been made an honorary life member in 2017 was the 5 years he managed the colts very successfully before managing the Wanderers in the eighties. An all-rounder Bill was a fine opening bowler for South Northumberland before a serious car accident ended his cricket career but he turned to his second love, golf .He played at Bridle Path and was club captain in 1991. He was a keen supporter of Northern all his life and even when his health was fading he somehow managed to get to the club for home games

Alan Broomhead

Alan “Bullneck” Broomhead represented Northern for many years for both the 1st XV and Wanderers. He was a great Club man and on his return to Sheffield he continues to play at 1xt XV level for many years as well as coaching their colts and ladies team. He passed away prematurely aged just 73.

Liz Douglas

Liz has always been a great supporter of Northern with her involvement in the squash section, a member of the executive committee and in her support for club rugby. Her vocal contributions, both at home and on away fixtures will be especially missed. Liz passed away, much too young, after suffering a stroke


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