Darlington Football Club, nicknamed “The Quakers,” is a non-league football club based in Darlington, Durham.
Established in 1970, they currently compete in the Vanarama National League North, which is part of the sixth tier of English football. The team calls Blackwell Meadows their home ground.
At the time of writing, Steve Watson is the current manager with experience at Chester, Gateshead and York City among his past roles.
Darlington Football Club, established in 1883, has a storied past in English football. Originating at Feethams, they moved to a 27,000-seater stadium in 2003. Founding members of the Northern League in 1889, Darlington won it in 1896 and 1900. They turned professional in 1908, joining the North Eastern League and won it in 1913. Financial struggles post-World War I led to a takeover by Forge Albion.
In the early 20th century, Darlington gained entry to the Football League’s Third Division North and achieved promotion to the Second Division in 1924-25, only to be relegated after one season. Their Third Division North Cup win in 1934 was notable.
The 1950s and 1960s saw Darlington in the FA Cup spotlight and achieving league promotions. However, the subsequent decades were marred by financial difficulties and relegations, despite brief successes like the 1985 promotion.
The club faced administrative and financial troubles after moving to a new stadium in 2003. Despite reaching the League Two playoffs in 2008, they were relegated from the Football League in 2010. A major highlight was winning the FA Trophy in 2011. In 2012, financial issues led to a drop to the Northern League, but fan ownership saw a revival, with promotions and a return to Darlington at Blackwell Meadows in 2016. Recent years featured notable FA Cup performances and continuous fan support, showcasing the club’s resilience.
Current management and coaching staff
Former players and managers elsewhere in the non-league pyramid