Wallsend Boys Club
|Ground||Bigges Main, Wallsend|
|League||Northern Alliance Division One|
|2015–16||Northern Alliance Division One, 8th|
Wallsend Boys Club is an English youth football club based in Wallsend, North Tyneside. The club is well known for producing professional footballers; more than 65 players from the club have gone on to play professionally. They also have an adult team that plays in the Northern Alliance Division One.
The club was founded in 1904 by the employees and directors of Swan Hunters Shipyard in order to provide recreational activities for the apprentices and young people in the area and initially specialised in boxing. The original club premises were a series of wooden huts on Station Road, erected by workers from the shipyard. A fire destroyed the original premises and work commenced on the current club building in 1964, which was opened on 16 December 1966.
Club activities in the early days were mainly snooker, trampolining, judo, table tennis, cross country running and football. Various fund raising activities were held, including a "pram push" across England and a 24-hour relay race from Wallsend to Edinburgh Castle and back.
In 1975, the club opened seven days a week and formed a separate sub-committee for 11-a-side football. Over the years, the 11-a-side representative teams have won hundreds of trophies in local and national competitions. The club has gained a formidable reputation for the early development of many professional footballers.
In June 2011, the club opened its first football centre, prior to which they had to play on park and local authority pitches. The facility, for which negotiations began in 2006, which is situated next to Wallsend Sports Centre on Rheydt Avenue, has:
- two senior size grass pitches,
- five junior size grass pitches,
- one mini-soccer size grass pitch, and
- a changing pavilion.
The Station Road headquarters of the club was demolished in the February and March 2012, following high winds in January which damaged one of the walls of the building.
Professional players to have played for the club include:
The club has had a representative at four of the six FIFA World Cup finals since 1986, with the two exceptions coming in 1994, when the England national football team did not qualify, and 2002. In 1986 and 1990 Peter Beardsley starred for England. In 1998 Alan Shearer was England captain. Michael Carrick made appearances for England in both the 2006 and 2010 tournaments. Fraser Forster was in the 2014 squad but did not make an appearance.
- White, Jim (26 October 2011). "No end in sight to Wallsend production line". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "World famous Wallsend Boys' Club officially opens its first football facility". Northumberland FA. 29 June 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "Wallsend still building for the future". Daily Telegraph. 6 Oct 2005.
- "Wallsend Boys Club heritage". Our History. Wallsend Boys Club. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "Honour for Shearer's youth club". BBC News. 13 Feb 2008.
- "Expansion hope for football club". BBC News. 15 March 2006.
- "Wallsend Boys move to new home". Wallsend Boys Club. 21 March 2006. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "End of era as club is reduced to rubble and memories". News Guardian. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
- "Ex-players". Wallsend Boys Club. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "Peter Beardsley indebted to his Wallsend roots". Daily Telegraph. 29 Nov 2007.
- "Wallsend Boys benefit as Shearer hands £1.6m to charity". The Independent. 27 Oct 2006.
- "Sunderland make £7 million move for Manchester United midfielder Carrick". Daily Mail. 10 July 2010.