United in the City
Durham may not have a great deal in common with Manchester, but as of 2018 they have had football clubs by the name of City and United. Durham City can trace their roots back over a century, where as Durham United only began life as a senior football club in 2018.
Due to ongoing issues between Durham City and the owners of New Ferens Park, the ground was sat empty on a Saturday afternoon whilst Durham City played firstly at Consett and subsequently at Willington. Enter Durham United, a new team joining the Wearside Development League ahead of the 2018/19 season. The club ethos is to promote a pathway from junior to senior football for both their men’s and women’s teams. It was to prove a successful first season for United as they were promoted from the development league to the Wearside First Division. Unlike many teams at this level, there were to be no issues with ground grading, with New Ferens Park having hosted step 3 football when when it was the home of Durham City.
On the back of this success, United entered a reserve team in the development league to increase the opportunities of senior football from the youth set up, giving more opportunities to the players in the later age junior brackets. The long term aim for the club is promotion to the Northern League whilst the reserve team ply their trade in the Wearside League. The infrastucture is in place, and if things continue to improve on the pitch, maybe it won’t be too long until there is a Durham Derby in the Northern League.