Robins back at Wembley for first time in 46 years

North Shields manager Graham Fenton at Wembley. Picture by Russell Wynn.
North Shields manager Graham Fenton at Wembley. Picture by Russell Wynn.

North Shields head back to Wembley for the first time in 46 years since their FA Amateur Cup success.

Ronnie Tatum, who held aloft the trophy on that occasion, will be joined by half a dozen of his teammates in Wembley on Saturday to cheer on the current Robins side.

The team has come a long way since the 1990s when they were left homeless but a number of committed supporters kept the club going.

Manager Graham Fenton said: “North Shields is a bit of a success story at the moment but it wouldn’t be without all the hard work done over how many previous years.”

Fenton wants his players to savour the big weekend which is the culmination of all their sterling efforts throughout the season.

He is proud to be giving the people of North Shields something to shout about.

“It’s the atmosphere that is relished, the town is well and truly back on the football map,” he said.

Now playing at Ralph Gardner Park the ground is generously sponsored by local funeral director Daren Persson and affectionately known as the ‘Morgue’.

Daren will be there on Saturday with friends and family fervently supporting the Robins – the club with a new lease of life.

Skipper Kevin Hughes added: “It’s a quite unbelievable feeling, it’s what you just dream about to lead a side out at Wembley.

“The spirit and skill our lads show is exceptional – this year we had expectations and were still challenging for the league title until the last couple of weeks but Wembley is the pinnacle.

“Two years ago when we were in the Second Division, who would have thought it.”

Chairman Alan Matthews said: “Well it’s certainly our most monumental season since 1969.

“We had a massive gate when we clinched the title last season but have surpassed even that this time round.

“A very special thank you to all our supporters for their magnificent efforts.

“A huge thanks to my colleagues on the club committee as without their assistance and personal input over the years there would not be a North Shields Football Club.

“Finally to Graham, Andy, Brian and physio Micky Leigh goes our heartfelt admiration and praise.

“Alongside our great set of players you have all been inspirational. Whatever happens on Saturday this has been such a magnificent season.”