Robins’ enjoy a fruitful recent history

North Shields Football Club have been playing since 1896 and won a number of honours over the years including the North Eastern League title in 1950 and FA Amateur Cup in 1969 at Wembley.

In 1982 Peter Flaherty guided the Robins to FA Cup success at Halifax Town thanks to a Bede McCaffrey screamer.

The following season the ‘feel good’ factor under player/manager Jim Pearson saw the Shieldsmen finish runners-up in the Northern League – their highest position since they landed the championship in 1969.

Shields joined the Northern Counties East League in 1989 and Colin Richardson took them to the title in their third season in that competition.

Promotion however never materialised – a new group of people ensured that North Shields still had a football club and they were admitted to the Wearside League.

Barry Sill in 1999 and Terry Paddison in 2002 both assembled quality sides to finish top of the table but it was not until 2004 under stalwart Wilf Keilty and a third championship success that the club finally returned to the Northern League after a 15 year absence.

After ten years in the Second Division in which Wilf Keilty remained loyal to the club and Anthony Woodhouse took the side to the brink of promotion, the dream came true in 2014.

25 years on and Northern League First Division football returned to the Daren Persson Stadium at Ralph Gardner Park.

Management duo Graham Fenton and Andy Bowman assembled a great side led by captain Kevin Hughes and vice skipper Joe Elliott.

The prolific Gareth Bainbridge bagged 55 goals with his striking partner Dan Smart notching 30 and named Shields’ Player of the Year and centre half John Parker picking up the Manager’s Trophy.

The Robins racked up 100 points to win the Division by ten points and rattled in 141 goals yielding a mere 33.

This season Fenton’s lads quickly adapted to the higher status and despite the Vase distraction have surprised many and always been up amongst the leaders.