West End

By "Sir" - March 24 2009

West End

The club began in 1887 and they first played on a patch of ground at the top of what is now Alma Street. The use of the pitch cost them one shilling (5 new pence) per year, thanks to the generosity of Alderman Suggitt, the first president. Mr. T. Leak was the secretary throughout the existence of the club and Mr. W. Wright was the treasurer.

The players were working men from the area and their first captain was Mr. W. Armstrong. The Club next settled at Foggy Furze and they had a very successful season 1889-90 under Captain Mr. T. MacDougal, but this was marred when they were penalised for playing an ineligible player in the final of the Junior Cup. They lost the final by a try to nil, but much worse was this penalty; they were suspended until the end of the season (from February to April).

The club bounced back, though, and 1890-1 season was a record one. Against quality opposition they won 18 matches out of 20 with 2 drawn games, and a scoring tally of 103 points with only 11 against. Their ground was now at Rose Bank, presented by the President, Mr. G. Pyman.

The undoubted high point of this season was the Junior Cup Final when they played South Shields Trinity. There was no score until half-way through the second half when Shields interrupted the ball and scored a try. The West Enders came back with a try that was converted and won the game in its closing minutes.

The Club's chairman, Mr. G. Douglas, organised a subscription for medals, presented to the team members at a fund-raising concert for the club in the Athenaeum. In the presence of the Mayor of West Hartlepool, not only did the team receive medals, but their captain T. MacDouglas received a silver watch with a golden chain.

This success was the club's undoing, since, under the county rules successful clubs moved up to the Senior level. Once there, West and Rovers noticed these players and the backbone of the team defected to them, including the captain.

Before the club's disbanding in cl892, the faithful secretary, Tom Leak, was presented with a walnut writing-desk bound in brass.