The Old Novocastrians FC are an amateur football team playing in the Cramlington and District Sunday Football League. We are made of primarily ex Newcastle RGS leavers, with a sprinkling of others included in the team to add further quality to an already rich squad of players. With a strong focus on the social side of the game as well as playing football, the club has become renowned for its members infamy around the Newcastle club, bar and pub scene; with plenty of shouts of “Howzat” and demands to “Split the G”. Proudly sponsored by The Blue Bell pub in Jesmond Vale, where we can be found post-match every Sunday celebrating our performance, if not the result, as well as regular socials in the infamous “Shed” function suite; located outside in the beautiful beer garden.
Who are we?
The Old Novocastrians FC came into existence in 2013. Having taken part in the Old Novos games against the Newcastle RGS 1 st XI. John Gregson and Jamie Hansell could see there was a core group of ONs still in Newcastle keen to play, so we approached the school who granted us the use of the name.
Our first season was played in the North East Sunday League, formally known as the ‘alphabet’ leagues. Despite games being 70 minutes long, it gave us a solid introduction to Sunday league football and its many rules, by-laws and of course £10 fines. Our home pitch was Paddy Freemans, which often turned into quite a mud bath. Our initial squad was predominately made of ex rugby players and that often showed on the pitch. In our first season, John, unhappy with the referee’s decision, chased after him shouting ‘Sir!’. Needless to say the referee was totally perplexed, much to the amusement of our opposition.
In our second season we proudly won our first piece of silverware – The Sportsmanship Trophy! After two years we joined the Cramlington and District Sunday Football League, where we finished top of the Fair Play League! It wasn’t until we recruited school leavers such as Oli Young and RGS Football Coach Andy Snedden, along with their friends, that we were able to make progress, from a social team, to a competitive football team. More recently we put out a squad of 16 of which 15 were all former RGS pupils from a wide range of age groups. We have limited additions to the squad to only players that will add to the quality of the team. This allowed us to reach a semi-final in the 2018/19 season.
Alongside the football, the club has always had a strong social aspect, which has included an end of season trip to Amsterdam; the less said about that the better! We also need to thank all the bars that have supported us over the years. Our original base was the Brandling in Jesmond. Where many of our team at that stage spent their youth. As the teams average age lowered we moved first to Spy and then across to Osbornes. Now we have great backing from The Blue Bell in Jesmond Vale who have sponsored our tracksuits and keep us fed and watered post-match every week as well as exclusive access to the famous ‘shed’ function suite for our regular socials.