Club History

Although officially founded in 1910, Heaton Stannington were in existence by 1903 & playing at Miller’s Lane on the site of the current Fossway.The club name originates from its links with the Stannington Avenue area of Heaton. In 1903-04 they finished 5th in division 2 of the Newcastle &District Amateur League. In December 1904, theyresigned from the league with the reserves also appearing to have resigned from the Northern Amateur League (NAL) & there is no further record of the team until 1910. This suggests that theyfolded & then reformed nearly 6 years later.

The summer of 1910 saw the Stan field a cricket team. The next football match played by the Stan appears to have been on 24th September 1910 when they were beaten 4-1 by Sandyford. From at least 1913, home games were taking place at Paddy Freeman’s Park. The club played friendly matches until joining the Tyneside Minor League in1913 & NAL Division 2 in 1914. The club were elected to membership of the Northumberland FA(NFA) on 10 September 1914, just over a month after the start of the First World War. The Stanstopped playing until 1919 as at a NFA emergency meeting on 24 November 1914 it was announced that the club were unable to take part in a Minor cup replay ‘on account of not being able to raise a team as so many of their members had joined the army.’

The club spent the next 19 years in NAL Division 1and gained their first trophies in 1934 1936 whenthey won the Tynemouth Infirmary Minor Cup and NAL Challenge Cup respectively. The first glory season came in 1936-37 when the club won NAL Division 1, were Northumberland Amateur Cup winners & NAL Challenge Cup runners up. The reserves were also NAL Division 2 runners up. For one season, 1938-39, the Stan participated in the Tyneside League & were runners up. By the 1930s the team were playing at the Coast Road ground. In October 1935, they started playing at Newton Park in High Heaton on the site of a recently filled-in quarry. In 2007, the ground was renamed Grounsell Park in honour of the service given, both on & off the pitch, by Bob Grounsell. One memorable matchwas played there in July 2012 when the Stan werebeaten 4-0 in a Olympic warm-up match by the Gabon national side which included Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The club were elected to the Northern League in 1939. They only managed one season in the league before it was suspended for the duration of the Second World War. The league restarted in 1945 but Heaton Stannington were elected, until 1946, as a non-playing member as their ground was being used by the military. After 5 consecutive bottom 3finishes, the club resigned at the end of the 1951-52 season & joined the Northern Alliance until 1956. The next 16 seasons included involvement in theNAL (1956-59), North Eastern League (1959-60) &the Northern Combination (1960-72). In 1972 the club stepped up to the Wearside League &remained there for 10 years. They were forced to resign from the league in 1982 for financial reasons due to the club trustees, who had formed a limited company in 1968, putting the annual rent up from £400 to £1500. The company then tried to build a supermarket on the ground but the planningapplication was defeated. In 1983 the High Court ruled that the ground belonged to the football club &the company had to relinquish ownership.

The team played in the Tyneside Amateur League(TAL) during 1982-83 as Heaton United. Back as Heaton Stannington, they won the TAL in 1983-84 which was only their 2nd league title up to thispoint. The next 2 seasons were spent back in the NAL where they were champions in 1985-86 as well as winning the Northumberland Minor Cup & the C&E Injections Service Shield. For the next 27 years the club were in the Northern Alliance, which became a 3-tier league in 1988 and saw the Stan placed in the Premier Division. After two relegations to Division 1, the Stan achieved stability by spending 9 seasons in the Premier Division. The club won their highest level league trophy when they became Champions in 2012. In 2012-13, they achieved the treble by not only retaining the title but by also winning the Northern Alliance League Cup & the Northumberland Senior Benevolent Bowl.

From 1911 to the financial crisis of 1982, the club had a competitive reserve team. It played much of the inter war years in the North Eastern Amateur League before rejoining the NAL on & off for nearly 50 years but with a 5 year spell in the 1960s,including 2 runners up spots, in the TAL. The club had an ‘A’ and ‘B’ team for 2016-17 before these teams reverted back to their previous name of Newcastle Chemfica. A reserve side was re-established in 2019 by Russell Ward. In their 1stseason, they reached the final of the Neville CoweyCup, the 4th tier cup, but it was not played due to covid & in 20-21 they won it & were also promoted to Division 2 in which they remain for 23-24. This season also sees the launch of a junior section with teams playing at Paddys.

For season 2013-14, after a 61 year gap, the Stan returned to the Northern League & finished 5th. They then finished 9th for the next 2 seasons. In 2016-17, the Stan surprised many by just missing out on promotion in the 2nd last game of the season, coming 4th after winning 11 games in a row starting in January. In 2017-18 & 2018-19 they were again in the promotion race until the 2nd last match, ending 5th and 4th respectively. Due to covid, the 2019-20 season was declared null & void with the Stan still challenging for promotion in 5th place after28 games. The 2020-21 season was also abandoned after 12 games & the Stan lost out onpromotion which was based on average points per game over the last 2 seasons. After being top of the league for most of last season, the Stan missed out on winning the 2021-22 title on goal difference butwere promoted to division 1 via the play-offs afterdefeating Tow Law 2-1 in the final in front of a record home crowd of 1091.

In June 21, Dean Nicholson became managerreplacing Derek Thompson who was in the job from 2002. Dean gained promotion in his 1st season & in 22-23 the Stan finished 8th in division 1 & in March 23 a record crowd of 1339 saw the club narrowly lose to Blyth Spartans in the semi-final of the Senior Cup. Since the club returned to the Northern League, ground improvements so far have includedfloodlights, 2 stands and a new ticket office. Theground hosts lots of community events & the serving of real ale in the bar has led to the club being voted CAMRA Tyneside club of 2018, 2020, 2022 & 2023. The club depends on volunteers & new ones are very welcome.