The Jackson Anderson Accountants Spennymoor Sunday League celebrates its 20th anniversary during the 2006-07 season.
The league has developed massively over the years, particularly over the last three seasons, eventually evolving into the 31-team strong organisation it is today.
Several off-field initiatives to both benefit the league and improve standards of clubs, referees and players alike has improved the reputation of the league in the Durham FA region, while increased coverage in the local press – together with the ongoing development of the league website – has also heightened its profile.
The Spennymoor Sunday League was formed in 1986, and mainly consists of teams from Spennymoor and surrounding towns such as Bishop Auckland, Durham, Newton Aycliffe and Shildon.
Past league stalwarts such as Brian Boughen, Norman Dale and Mike Clarke helped to lay the foundations during the late 1990s and early 2000s, while the ongoing work of Secretary Mike Hill – a long-standing committee member – together with Gary Livett and Martin Walker in more recent years have ensured the league’s ongoing fine reputations of one of the best in the North-East.
So much so, in fact, that in the summer of 2006 – to coincide with the league’s 20th anniversary season – the league further expanded its development by restructuring to three divisions.
Due to an unprecedented number of applications from clubs, members voted in the four teams recommended by the league committee at the AGM earlier in the summer. And after stretching from 28 to 31 clubs all together, following just one resignation, they also opted to split the league into three divisions.
“This is just yet another forward step in the ongoing development of the league,” said league press officer Martin Walker. “The league committee recommended that we expanded to three divisions as we strongly felt it would increase the competition within each of them.
“What is also very positive for us is the interest we had from external clubs wishing to join the league, while some other leagues in the region seem to be losing clubs, and that only underlines our growing reputation in the area.
“Luckily we also have a very strong and loyal pool of referees which has allowed us to service the intake of the four new teams.”
Meanwhile, the league arranged to have a new-look crest designed to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
To mark the 20th season, the league committee is planning a number of additional events and celebrations. As part of this, they drafted up four new league crest designs for members to vote on – with an XX design, standing for 20 years, coming out on top.
The new logo will be used for the one season only on the league website and in the local press to increase awareness of the 20th anniversary celebrations.
* Records show that there are only seven teams currently in the league who were members ten years ago. They are Penny Gill (formerly Salvins), Browney WMC, Belvedere (Toronto Lodge), Masons United, Hogans (Red Alligator), Aycliffe Village (formerly North Briton and Aycliffe County).
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