The Blyth Spartans’ Social Club played host to a thoroughly entertaining evening commemorating the 40th anniversary of the club’s famous FA Cup run to the fifth round – and a tie at St James’ Park.
The event – wonderfully hosted by the voice of North-East football Roger Tames – saw a host of club legends return to celebrate what is still the greatest non-league FA Cup in history – Spartans advancing through eight rounds before being denied a place in the Quarter-Finals by referee Alf Grey.
Organised by former Media Manager Phil Castiaux and the executive committee – the evening took months of planning – and to coincide with a frustrating season, it was also postponed once due to the weather.
The evening started off with a run down of the famous campaign – with an accompanying video put together by Spartans’ videographer Jordan Cronin before the entire 1977/78 squad and family members who played in the FA Cup Fifth Round replay at St James’ Park were introduced to the audience.
Roger Tames called up Spartans’ manager of the day Brian Slane, captain John Waterson, goalkeeper Dave Clarke, Ian Mutrie, Keith Houghton and Steve Jones for the first interviews of the evening – talking about the club and the early rounds of the competition – before the buffet was served.
After the mid-event interlude, Tames then spoke to Terry Alan Shoulder before a video of the Fourth Round tie against Stoke City was played on the big screen.
Ron Guthrie was the next Spartan up to the interview stage, before footage was played of the two Fifth Round ties against Wrexham.
Tames then called up Tommy Dixon summarise the event – paying a touching tribute to the three absent members, Jack Marks, Steve Carney and Ronnie Scott.
This led to the auctioning off of the commemorative jerseys worn by the current side against Kidderminster Harriers, before a video showing Spartans’ progress made in the last two seasons under the stewardship of Tom Wade and Alun Armstrong, respectively.
A fantastically enjoyable night was had by all those attended – and much thanks must go to the host for the evening Roger Tames, Phil Castiaux, Jordan Cronin and former Press Officer Mark Carruthers for putting together a superb evening of entertainment – which took hours of planning, researching and organising.
Below are a few images of the evening taken by Phil Castiaux