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About Montagu Jaguars

We are a newly formed girls' team playing in our first season.  We currently play in the Northumberland Girls Football League at under 12 level.

All of our games are currently played at Complete Football, Gosforth, Newcastle.

About Montagu & North Fenham

MontyMontagu & North Fenham F.C was founded in 1948 and is now a Chartered Standard Club. Over the past 60+ years Monty has had some of the best teams in Northumberland and has produced many stars.

It began back in 1948, when a group of young teenagers wanted to play in the local under-18s football league but, being firm friends, they didn't want to be divided up to play in other teams so they decided to set up their own.

Helped by a group of parents, the lads from North Fenham and the nearby housing estates, joined forces to form Montagu and North Fenham Junior Football Club with two teams.

Harry Thornton, 76, of Meadow Rise, was one of the original players. He says: "It meant everything to me. It was wonderful. There was seven of us who went to Atkinson Road Technical College and we were friends and played football together and we decided to set up our own team. We sat there one night after a kickaround and we picked the colours and we picked the name. If we went to other clubs we would have been separated. We just wanted to stay together and play football."

The club's origins were strongly connected with the Montagu Miners' Welfare with the players using the welfare hall as their meeting place, thanks to the generosity of Jack Ward, the welfare's secretary.

The nearby pit also helped to inspire their name. The Montagu part was taken from the name of the pit, known locally as Caroline pit, while North Fenham came from the name of the nearby housing area.

The club's main team played in the Newcastle Youth Committee League while the other team played in the Newcastle and District Junior League.

They were successful from the start and in the 1949/50 season were Youth League Cup finalists, won the youth league and league double in 1950/51, reached the final of the Northumberland FA junior cup in 1951/52 and in 1952/53 were joint winners of the Youth League cup.

Jim Collins, of Meadow Rise, was 15 when he helped to set up the club, helped by his dad, also called Jim, and manager Jim Chirnside. The 76-year-old says: "We used to play at the bottom of Slaytford Lane, near the pit, and we had strong connections with the pit.

"Myself and another lad went on to do amateur forms for Sheffield United. It was wonderful to go along and be looked after and be put up in hotels. Montagu was very popular. We used to play football for hours and some times we used to forget to stop for dinner. It was just a junior club so when I was older I played for Blyth Spartans. I went into the forces and did my national service on RAF Fighter Command but I used to come home and play football on the weekends.  We had fun times at Montagu and Harry and I are still friends."

In 1953 the manager of Montagu, Jim Chimside, left the club due to work commitments and Jim Wardle took over as team manager the following year, helped by Dick Almond, who is still involved today. The 60s was a golden decade when an average of five players a year played in the County teams and several players played international boys' club football.

In 1961/62 the under-18s and under-16s teams won every competition they played in.

On August 22, 1964, Montagu boy Derek Foster became the youngest goalkeeper to play in the football league when, aged 15, he played for Sunderland at Roker Park in the old Division One. Derek stood in for Jim Montgomerie, who had picked up a late injury.

In the 70s the teams continued to pick up silverware, including the under-16s squad winning the Daily Express English Indoor Five-a-Side Championships at Wembley Arena in May 1974.

The 80s saw the club maintain high standards, including winning the Great Britain Boys' Club international competition.

A decade later mini-soccer started for players aged seven to ten years and included boys and girls.

The club continues to offer football coaching for youngsters today, largely thanks to the help of 30 volunteers, headed by club secretary Brian Patterson,.

In 2007/08, the under-14s team had a treble-winning season as NFA divisional cup winners, NABC league champions and NABC league cup winners.

Over the years numerous Montagu and North Fenham players have represented their country, including Louis Laing, who currently captains England's under-16s. Others include ex Sunderland and Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra, Scottish Premier League player Richard Offiong and Newcastle-born player Kevin Richardson, who played for England in 1994 alongside Gazza, in a 5-0 friendly victory over Greece.

Harry says: "It's quite sad because there are only three of the original players left. "We never imagined when we started the club 60 years ago that it would still be going strong today."

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