Newcastle Benfield Brief History
Formed as Brunswick Village in 1988 as part of the Northern Alliance League division two they moved to division one the following season. When the club moved to their current ground and changed their name to Benfield Park.
By the time the 2003-04 season started they had again changed their name to Newcastle Benfield Saints and joined division two of the Northern League, and gaining promotion to division one by the following season.
For the 2005-06 season the name changed to Newcastle Benfield Bay Plastic the following season Newcastle Benfield BP and finally settling as plain Newcastle Benfield for the 2008-09 season.
Since joining the first division in that 2004-05 season they have had an unbroken tenure of that division.
In September 2005 former Hartlepool Striker Paul Baker took over as manager and was still at the helm when the club lifted their first Northern League honour, the League Cup, in May 2007, having beaten Nissan 1-0 at federation Park Dunston, courtesy of a magnificent Alu Bangura goal.
Baker enjoyed particular success in FA competitions leading the club to their best performance in the FA Vase in 2006 and a year later reaching the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, narrowly loosing to York City 1-0 in front of a ground record crowd of 927 fans.
The club’s finest season was yet to come when in 2008-09 under Tom Wade too win the league title on the last day of the season with an eighty-eighth minute goal by Stephen Young in the final game at Penrith. It is notable that they had never been at the top of the table till that goal.
That was turned into a double success when they were to win the League Cup, ironically also against Penrith with a breath-taking Ian Graham goal however many would agree that Andrew Grainger’s performance in goal was probably the finest individual performance.
Wade left before the following season with Baker returning and Benfield winning the Cleator Cup, the Northern League equivalent to the Charity Shield.
In September 2011 Baker resigned for a second time, replaced by former player, captain and assistant manager Alu Bangura. The same player who scored the magnificent goal against Nissan in 2007.
Alu’s time was short lived replaced by Perry Briggs after 6 months and the club limped to a disappointing league finish in twelfth place.
Briggs was to leave in the autumn of 2012 replaced by Anthony Woodhouse and he was to bail out early 2013 citing work pressures. Woodhouse was replaced by former Bedlington Terriers player Steve Bowey who performed the role as player manager.
For the 2013-14 season Bowey’s side put in some impressive performances but still ended up only fourteenth in the table, but this was balanced by some fine results in the FA Vase.
Tragically, club co-founder Danny Gates passed away November 2013 his contribution cannot be underestimated he will not be forgotten as long as the club exists.
At the end of that season Steve Bowey resigned and Neil Saxton took his place who in turn left in October to be replaced by the returning Steve Bowey, with the club languishing near the foot of the table. His return galvanized the club and a run of fourteen games including eleven wins and one draw saw them finish the season in tenth place. This also saw Paul Brayson win Northern League Player of the Season with a tally of 49 goals in all competitions.
The following season2015-16 saw Benfield finish eighteenth and Bowey tender his resignation again at the end of October.
Sadly, John Colley who was the co-founder along with Danny Gates also passed away December 17 aged 74 for many years John was the club Treasurer, and will also be missed.
The club then appointed Mark Convery and Paul Brayson as joint Player Managers in November 2015 and with a thin squad they stabilised in the 2016-17 season ending a credible tenth in the league.
The 20117-18 season saw Benfield finish seventh only denied sixth on a one goal spot by Stockton Town. Including a forty-nine-goal contribution by Paul Brayson.
2018-19 after a slow start to the season saw Mark Convery and his assistant Craig “Bruiser” Heward leave the club at the start of October, with Tom Wade returning after a nine-year absence however this only lasted four months, with former Newcastle United and Benfield player Stuart Elliott take the reigns. Stu took the Lions to the Northern League Brookes Mileson Trophy final only to lose 4-3 on penalties.
Stuart has however pledged his future to the club this gives the team and its supporters hope for the 2019-20 season.
Tragically, club founder and chairman Jimmy Rowe passed away September 4th 2019. Everything the club has achieved so far is down to Jimmy and everything we achieve in the future will be dedicated to his memory.
Dave Robson has stepped up and to take on that role as Club Chairman.