Bedlington Terriers F.C.
|Full name||Bedlington Terriers Football Club|
|Ground||Welfare Park, Bedlington|
|Capacity||3,000 (300 seated)|
|League||Northern League Division Two|
|2016–17||Northern League Division Two, 12/21|
The club was established in 1949 as Bedlington Mechanics and joined the Northern Combination. They won the Northumberland Minor Cup in 1953–54, and were Northern Combination champions the following season. They joined the Northern Alliance in 1955, and entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1959.
The club disbanded in 1963, but were reformed as Bedlington Colliery Welfare in 1965, and rejoined the Northern Alliance. They were league champions and League Cup winners in 1966–67, and were runners-up the following season and again in 1969–70 and 1971–72, as well as winning the League Cup again in 1969–70.
After leaving the Northern Alliance at the end of the 1978–79 season, the club spent the 1979–80 season in the Tyneside Amateur League as Bedlington United, before rejoining the Northern Alliance was Bedlington Terriers in 1980. In 1982 they were founder members of the new Division Two of the Northern League. They finished as runners-up in 1984–85, earning promotion to Division One. After finishing as runners-up in their first season in Division One, the following season saw them finish bottom of the table, resulting in relegation back to Division Two.
Bedlington won Division Two in 1993–94, earning promotion to Division One. This started the most successful era in the club's history, as they finished as runners-up in 1995–96, also winning the League Cup and Northumberland Senior Cup. They then won five consecutive league titles between 1997–98 and 2001–02. They also reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in 1998–99, and after beating Second Division Colchester United 4–1 in front of a record crowd of 2,400, they progressed to the second round, where they lost 2–0 at Scunthorpe United. The same season saw them reach the final of the FA Vase, eventually losing 1–0 to Tiverton Town at Wembley Stadium. They reached the FA Vase semi-finals again in 2000–01 and 2004–05, but were beaten by Berkhamsted Town and AFC Sudbury respectively. During this period the club also won the Northumberland Senior Cup again in 1997–98, 2001–02 and 2003–04 and the League Cup in 2000–01.
Following their run of league titles, Bedlington finished as runners-up in Division One in 2002–03 and 2005–06, but the club then suffered financial difficulties, finishing third-from-bottom in 2006–07. In 2010 the club received sponsorship from American billionaire Robert E. Rich Jr. after his wife discovered ancestral links to the town and purchased the title Lord Bedlington. Rich's investment included purchasing a £30,000 electronic scoreboard and laying a new pitch, as well as financing a club tour to the United States, with a friendly match against FC Buffalo styled as the "Lord Bedlington Cup". This led to the BBC broadcasting a programme about the story in 2012 under the title Mr Rich and the Terriers.
In 2015–16 the club finished bottom of Division One and were relegated to Division Two.
- Northern League
- Division One champions 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2001–02
- Division Two champions 1993–94
- League Cup winners 1996–97, 2000–01
- Northern Alliance
- Champions 1966–67
- League Cup winners 1966–67, 1969–70
- Northern Combination
- Champions 1954–55
- Northumberland Senior Cup
- Winners 1996–97, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04
- Northumberland Minor Cup
- Winners 1953–54
- Best FA Cup performance: Second round, 1998–99
- Best FA Trophy performance: Third qualifying round, 1986–87
- Best FA Vase performance: Runners-up, 1998–99
- Record attenance: 2,400 vs Colchester United, FA Cup first round, 1998–99
- Most goals: John Milner
- Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2012) Non-League Club Directory 2013, p740 ISBN 978-1-869833-77-0
- Club History Bedlington Terriers F.C.
- Northern Alliance 1919-1960 Non-League Matters
- Bedlington Mechanics at the Football Club History Database
- Northern Alliance 1960-1979 Non-League Matters
- Bedlington Colliery Welfare at the Football Club History Database
- Northern Alliance 1979-1990 Non-League Matters
- Bedlington Terriers at the Football Club History Database
- Football club goes from rags to Rich’ Financial Times, 26 June 2011
- Billionaire Robert Rich to plough part of fortune into Bedlington Terriers The Guardian, 4 November 2010
- Bedlington Terriers hit jackpot with sponsor Mr Rich BBC News, 22 March 2012