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Website last updated: 31 Jan, 2015 @ 20:10
Rutherford AFC is a football community club, housing a number of local community projects and having a long-standing commitment to people of all ages living in the Gateshead area.
The Club was formed in 1878 as Science and Art F.C. involving the masters and pupils of the school, which was later to change its name to Rutherford after its founder Dr John Hunter Rutherford. The Club became a founder member of the Northumberland Football Association in 1883.
Known at the turn of the century as "the famous amateur club from Newcastle", local leagues competed in were the Northern Alliance, Northern Combination and the Northern Amateur Leagues; all now joined under the auspices of the Northern Football Alliance.
In the early years the Club competed in the Northumberland F.A. Senior Cup and reached the semi-final on three occasions, each time losing out to the eventual winners, Newcastle United "A". The North Eastern Amateur League was joined in the late 1920's and the Club remained in this competition until the late 1950's when the Tyneside Amateur League was formed by the then Rutherford chairman Tommy Heslop.
Rutherford rejoined the North Eastern Amateur League in the mid 1980's and won promotion to the Northern Alliance Division Two in 1994. The first eleven gained promotion to the Northern Football Alliance Division One in 1998-99. In the last three seasons they have finished 4th,4th and 3rd as they strive for promotion to the premier division.
The Clubï¿½s reserve team plays in the Tyneside Amateur League second division and the 'A' team compete in the Newcastle Corinthians League.
This enables younger members to play regularly instead of having to wait for a chance to display their skills in senior football.
We have been based at Farnacres, Lobley Hill since 1990 and have recently negotiated a lease for the land as well as the building of a £1.4M clubhouse and third generation training area.
For the first time ever, in 2001, the club introduced mini soccer with the formation of teams at under 7,8,9 and 10 level, and a total of eleven new sides are currently competing.
The club was the first in Gateshead to introduce women's football and the Ravens have become well known in regional football circles with two teams competing.
Rutherford A.F.C. is a "family" club with the emphasis on enjoying the playing of good football to a high standard and the warmth of the well renowned Rutherford spirit.
From formation to the turn of the century the club mainly played friendly matches but competed in both the Northumberland FA Senior, Minor and Junior Cup competitions.
The club's first ground was the Town Moor, Newcastle and the side regularly met the likes of Berwick Rangers, Gateshead Swifts, Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End.
One of the earliest recorded games following the clubï¿½s formation in 1878 is a Northumberland FA Senior Cup defeat by North Eastern in 1888. The next season [1888-89] the juniors won the Northumberland Junior Cup for the first time before completing a further success in this competition the following year. In the 1891-92 season the club, then known as Science & Art FC, lost a Senior Cup tie to Newcastle West End who later that year amalgamated with Newcastle East End to form Newcastle United FC.
In 1889 the club secured tenure of a ground at North Road, Gosforth. The club magazine "Ours" shows the following seasonal record for the club in May 1890:
TEAM PLAYED WON DREW LOST
Swifts 27 20 2 5
2nd Seniors 15 8 2 5
Junior "A" 25 15 6 4
Junior "B" 14 8 3 3
The seniors won the Northumberland FA Minor Cup in 1890 and again in 1896, whilst the juniors repeated successive Junior Cup wins in 1895 and 1896.
Subsequent years the club, now known as Rutherford College FC, lost Senior Cup games to Willington [1893-94], Shankhouse [1895-96] and Rendal the following season. In the 1896-97 season Rutherford beat Hexham Excelsior and St Peters Albion to set themselves up with a Senior Cup semi-final tie with Newcastle United Reserves.
A match report in the Evening Chronicle of Saturday 25 September 1896 shows that United won 4-2 after a mammoth battle. Colin Veitch captained Rutherford on this day. Veitch impressed United to such a degree that he later transferred to them and subsequently captained the Magpies to League Championship and FA Cup glory as well as being capped six times for England.
In the 1897-98 season the club had another good run in the Senior Cup and a hat trick each from Patterson and Angus Devonport helped Rutherford to a 7-3 win against Berwick Rangers. The side again met Newcastle United Reserves at the semi-final stage and this time went down 3-5 at St James Park.
The following two seasons saw Rutherford knocked out of the Senior Cup by Seaton Burn and a terrible 1-15 defeat against Morpeth Harriers in 1899-1900 which is still the record defeat for the club to this day.
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3 - Alex White