Brandon United were originally formed as a Sunday morning side called Rostrons, the name of the waste paper company where most of the founders worked. They began by playing in the Durham & District Sunday League in 1968/69, Joining the Third Division and gradually played their way up to the First Division. They were basically local lads, however the inclusion of Northern League and Wearside League players turned the club into one of the most powerful Sunday football sides in the North East.
From 1968/69 until 1976/77 they were First Division champions four times, Durham County FA. Sunday Cup winners three times, then the ultimate, F.A. Sunday Cup winners in 1975/76, defeating Evergreen 2-1.
In 1977, the club now called Brandon United, changing its name at the start of season 1972/73, made a switch to Saturday football, joining the Northern Alliance League where they played three successful seasons, winning the League Championship and League Cup twice. Brandon United’s proudest moment came in 1979/80 when, entering the F.A. Cup for the first time, they reached the first round proper, on the way taking care of Northern League opponents Spennymoor United, Tow Law Town, South Bank and North Shields. In the first round proper, Brandon were beaten 3-0 by Football League opponents Bradford City, in a game played at Spennymoor.
Having resigned from the Northern Alliance, they failed to gain Northern League membership and with all other major leagues full, they finally joined the Northern Amateur League for one season. The club joined the Wearside League in 1981/82, winning the Sunderland Shipowners’ Cup. The following season they reached the quarter finals of the F.A- Vase and repeated the same the following season.
On the 6th June 1983, Brandon United’s dream came true when they were admitted to the Northern League’s Second Division. United won the Second Division title the following season. For the next nine seasons Brandon were a First Division outfit and during this period had four players leaving the club to join Football League clubs; Bryan Liddle going to Hartlepool in 1984, Dean Gibb also to Hartlepool in 1986, Paul Dalton to Manchester United in 1988 and Neil Richardson to Rotherham United in 1989. In 1988 United once again reached the first round proper of the F.A. Cup playing Doncaster Rovers twice at Belle Vue before losing 1-2. In 1992/93 Brandon played Seaham Red Star in the League Cup final at Bedford Terrace home of Billingham Town, only to lose after a penalty shoot out.
At the start of the 1998/1999 season Brandon appointed Ken Lindoe as manager and the club’s fortunes began to change. Ken had won the Wearside League at Annfield Plain and, with the Plain unable to move up to the Northern League, he decided to use his skills at lowly Brandon. He brought a number of players with him to Brandon and started the team rebuilding job. He quickly assembled a team that could compete in the league and also play good attacking football. In season 2000/2001 he led the team into Division One as champions. A season of consolidation then followed but, with further strengthening of the team, the League Championship was attained in 2002/2003.
Season 2003/2004 turned out to be another turning point for the club. The team under performed and the now aging and small committee were finding it difficult to maintain the finances required to keep the club at the top. Ken Lindoe left at the end of the season soon to be followed by most of the players. Vince Kirkup took over the managerial role and managed to keep the club in the top division but with finances low Vince declined the opportunity of staying at United. Alan Shoulder took over bringing in all new players but when finances finally ran out the club was left to fulfill the league commitment with all Junior Players under the stewardship of BJ Heijmans. Inevitably relegation followed as the young players struggled to meet the physical demands of the League. All the officials resigned at this time and the club was left in danger of folding completely.
Colin Myers joined the club for season 2006/2007 and, working closely with BJ Heijmans, kept the club out of the relegation dogfight. Colin left the club at the end of the season along with most of the players and the club again found themselves starting over again. Adam Furness then joined as assistant to BJ and the club again started to rebuild. Although results on the field were poor this really was the start of the club getting back on its feet football wise. The club finished bottom of the league but, with no relegation taking effect, it survived to play again in the Northern League.
Season 2008/2009 was one of the best amid many years of uncertainty. Young players had a seasons experience behind them and Adam Furness had recruited some senior and more experienced players to the ranks. A high ranking 6th position was achieved on the last day of the season when the team needed to win by two clear goals to edge out Guisborough on goals scored. This they duly did and was our best finish since being relegated. Paul Dixon was the 2nd Divisions joint leading scorer. Players traveling from north of the Tyne and the club not being able to pay any kind of expenses meant a few players leaving as season 2009-10 wore on and despite early season promise, the club finished in 15th position.
The club moves onward and upward as a security fence was put in place to counter the problem of off the field vandalism. There is still a long way to go in improving the Welfare Ground but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.
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