“Easington Fold” the Northern League’s official website announced the evening the bottom-of-the-table side were beaten 14-0 at Team Northumbria. “The news is terribly sad but hardly unexpected,” Northern League chairman Mike Amos stated. “The club has been beset with problems and we’re grateful to the few who have tried to keep them alive. There seems almost no interest in local football in east Durham.”
One man who was extremely interested was Easington manager Andy Colledge, who first heard the news of his club’s demise on an internet forum. “To say I’m gutted would be an understatement,” he wrote. “I thought someone at the club would have let me know what was happening.” After calling Amos to temporarily rescind Easington’s resignation from the league, Colledge helped arrange a public meeting at the town’s Working Men’s Club, where his offer to help with the financial running of the football team was initially rejected by chairman Steve Saigar. “Talking to quite a few of the punters last night made me realise there is still a depth of feeling for the football club. Unfortunately it’s all negative – not towards the players or management…but on the whole – and rightly or wrongly – towards certain individuals involved with the club,” wrote one of those present. “I made some suggestions, but nothing really came out of the meeting,” Colledge told the Northern Echo. “I’m not hopeful for the future.”
Within twenty-four hours everything had changed, Saigar handing control of the club to Colledge and ex-Crook Town assistant Paul Adamson arriving to take charge of a team now eight points below neighbours Horden at the foot of Division Two. “We’re hopeful of a new beginning,” said Colledge, announcing the club would be accepting Spennymoor Town chairman Brad Groves’ offer of a benefit game to be held at the Moors’ Brewery Field stadium. Groves – once an Easington player himself – is donating £500 and all gate and bar receipts from Wednesday night’s game (kick off 7.30 with admission just £2 for adults and £1 to concessions) to his former club. “A fantastic gesture,” says Adamson, “the money will certainly help towards our running costs for the rest of the season.”
If you can make it along on Wednesday, please do; £2 won’t just get you ninety minutes of football, it’ll also help keep a 99-year-old club alive.