Who are my Darlo?

YOU ARE MY DARLO! supports Darlington Football Club in its efforts to climb back up through the league and return to playing at a venue in Darlington.



This site is fan owned and run - just like the club - but it is not connected to the club and does not represent the club’s position .

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Community Fun Day - Sunday 7th Sept

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Evostik League game ends in farce

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Today’s top game in Evostik League Division One North ended in a farce with the game being abandoned before half time due to an injury to the referee. At the time Darlington were outplaying their opponents, Warrington Town, and were leading 2-0.

We are reliably informed that in the event there is no 4th official in place to make up the numbers, that a game can be completed with just two officials. These are the league rules, at this level, and if teams take the field of play with no 4th official in place then they should be deemed to have accepted this rule.

By all accounts both club secretaries were in agreement on this point but the Warrington manager, Shaun Reid, decided to bring his players back into the dressing room while a call went out to see if there was someone in the ground who could officiate (as 3 officials are clearly better than 2).

An official was found (perhaps even 2?) but Warrington refused to accept them - perhaps on the grounds that they (quite naturally) were there to support Darlington, but no-one from Arsenal complained about Jimmy Hill running the line in an emergency when he was there to see his former club Coventry take on the Gunners, and running the line is hardly likely to result in unseen and undue influence on the game - that would be a slur on the professionalism of those people who are qualified to step in at such a time.

wait-what We are also reliably informed that this is not the first occasion that Warrington have refused to continue a game on account of an injury to one of the officials but, it seems, this is NOT the reason why they refused to continue.


No. The Warrington Manager then claimed that it was “unsafe” for his players to continue after such a lengthy stoppage as they had stopped warming up and stretching to keep themselves ready to play on (in stark contrast to the Darlington players, who remained on the pitch), which was a direct result of Mr Reid’s decision to remove his players from the pitch.

The Evostik League will now need to make a decision about what to do here. Either they will side with Warrington and ask that the game be replayed, or they will award the 3 points to Darlington.

If they decide to insist on the game being replayed then this sets a dangerous precedent - one could imagine a few well-timed lunges taking out not just a player, but perhaps a referee or a linesman in cases where some less than scrupulous teams were getting beat in a crucial game.

So what will the League do? If they have this “2 officials” rules in place to help ensure the continuance of a game in the event that there is no 4th official to step into the breach in such cases as this, then they should either enforce it or compensate the clubs concerned for any costs which may be incurred due to the abandonment. The rules are developed to allow for such contingencies and avoid this situation from arising, but it seems that Warrington may be guilty of trying to bend the rules to their advantage.

The Evostik League will now need to make a decision about what to do here. Either they will side with Warrington and ask that the game be replayed, or they will award the 3 points to Darlington.

Darlington Football Club Edges Closer to a Return to the Town

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Darlington Football Club and Darlington Rugby Football Club are delighted to share the first graphic impressions of the new infrastructure plans for Blackwell Meadows. The pictures shown here provide an overview of the latest planned structure and layout of the first team pitch area and clubhouse facilities. Click the images to open a full-sized version in a new window.


Considerable progress continues to be made in finalising the design and detail from which a comprehensive planning application can be submitted which not only embraces all the requirements to ensure that the facilities meet FA ground Grading Category C but also addresses necessary improvements to the clubhouse, car park amenities and accessibility. Once this application has been made, further details will be released to fans and members. The clubs can confirm that initial survey shave now been completed which allow the planning process progress to the next stages, whilst working ever more closely with Darlington Borough Council.

Until such time as the planning application for the entire site has been approved, it remains extremely difficult to provide a specific time line as to when the work will commence and, more importantly, be completed. However, discussions with the Council have gathered pace in recent weeks, with all parties working towards ensuring that the Football Club will be playing its first team matches at Blackwell Meadows at the earliest possible opportunity next season whilst leaving no stones unturned in respect of the detailed requirements and ensuring all construction, health & safety etc. matters are fully complied with.

 Darlington RFC/AFC Sports Hub - View from standing terrace

Notwithstanding the uncertainty on time lines for playing matches at Blackwell Meadows, the move ‘home’ has already begun. Quaker Retail is now based within the facilities, Martin Gray’s pre-season training sessions are being held on the site and the Youth teams continue to centre their activities around Blackwell Meadows. The facilities are also now the preferred location for the Club to hold meetings and other events (such as the recent launch of the new home shirt for next season).

The total costs for the entire site development continue to be finalised too – varying only as planning modifications and quotes for work costs are obtained. Funding for the site is being split between costs that are essential to comply with the FA ground grading requirements (being borne primarily by the Football Club), improvements to the clubhouse facilities (being borne primarily by Darlington RFC)and other shared costs.

Whilst most fans and members would like a definitive indication of the respective costs, these are still being negotiated with various potential suppliers and the officials of both clubs agree that publicizing such detail at this stage would potentially provide each club with a competitive disadvantage in those ongoing discussions.

Darlington RFC/AFC Sports Hub - Approach to entrance

The overriding proviso for both clubs is to meet the required standards at the least cash cost possible. Once firmly embedded within the heart of Blackwell Meadows, the football club will continue to develop its exciting partnership with the rugby club to exploit and grow all potential commercial and facility opportunities in the interest of both clubs and the wider community.

In the meantime all possible football, rugby and community related grant options are being fully explored with professional advice being taken. The exact quantum of the grants cannot be confirmed at this stage until the detail behind the planning application is also finalised and agreed – although up to 50% of qualifying expenditure, and potentially more for certain elements of the project, are eligible for such funding.

Darlington RFC/AFC Sports Hub - View of proposed changing room block from car park

As soon as this information has been obtained, both clubs will be able to progress discussions with respective potential funders. The Football Club will advise fans of a target amount to be raised through additional fund raising initiatives. It is hoped that a definitive target can be set within the next8-10 weeks.

The return to Darlington project is being driven entirely by a number of experienced professionals – all of whom volunteer their input over and above the ongoing demands of their day jobs and family commitments. Officials of both Darlington FC and Darlington RFC would like to place on record their heartfelt thanks to these individuals for their significant contribution to the project to date and look forward to working with them to complete the project as soon as practicable.

The 2014 title race - how will it end?

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As we career headlong towards the end of the season it’s time to take a closer look at the leading teams in our division, and make a few guesses about how things will pan out between now and the end of April. We’ll keep this updated as each round of matches is completed. Remember, the top team only is guaranteed automatic promotion, with the next four teams battling it out in the play-offs for the other promotion place.[Read More…]

Darlo Goal Times - 5th January 2014

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image Another magnificent multi-goal spectacular from the lads yesterday, which Manager Martin Gray dedicated to those volunteers who worked so hard to prepare the pitch so the match could take place at all. A great job which was rewarded so well by the team yesterday.

With so many goals going in again yesterday it’s worth taking a look at the updated goal times chart, and it’s good to see how well the team bounced back from the little setback against Salford last weekend.

Back to Darlo!

Please don’t forget about the club’s “Back to Darlo!” fund, which aims to deliver us back to playing in the town by next season. Here’s how we’re doing - it’s crept up a little after yesterday’s result, but we could do with it creeping up on a more regular basis. Please click the image or visit http://www.backtodarlo.co.uk to chip in. Thanks very much.


Latest news

Week 43 - 21 Oct 2014

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21 Oct 2014 - Week 43

Back to DARLO!!

The CIC board have been working over the past 12 months with Darlington Borough Council, Darlington Rugby Club, FA and various design & cost consultants. With “heads of terms” now agreed there is still much to do but that hard work will put in place a ground that will be held on behalf of the fans where it will be protected from private profit and any future insolvency from the Football club.

Click the link below to find out how you can help to get the club back into the town.