The icing on the cake of a memorable season for North Shields FC came at the Northern League presentation evening.
The Shieldsmen’s hotshot Gareth Bainbridge beat off all competition to be crowned the Northern League Player of the Year.
Bainbridge’s double – he was also the top scorer in both divisions – helped the Robins on their majestic march to the Championship and promotion.
Proudly sporting the North Shields No.9 shirt reminiscent of legendary Robins strikers Don Winskill and Brian Joicey, Gareth consistently produced sublime finishing to notch up 47 league strikes plus another eight in cup ties including a nap hand, seven hat-tricks and 11 braces.
Management duo Graham Fenton and Andy Bowman assembled a quality side led by club captain Kevin Hughes, vice skipper Joe Elliott with Bainbridge’s striking partner Dan Smart named Shields Player of the Year and centre half John Parker picking up the managers’ trophy.
The Robins racked up 100 points to win the Division by ten points, rattled in 141 league goals yielding just 33, despatched First Division high-flyers Shildon from the League Cup and recorded the highest League attendance – 1,312 gracing the Daren Persson Stadium on Good Friday.
Also at the Annual Dinner, North Shields treasurer/committee man Mike Taylor was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Unsung Hero category.