Seaham Red Star are named after the pub in which they were formed. A Sunday morning side in 1973, they are now widely regarded as one of the Northern League’s leading clubs.
Much of the credit for the Club’s early development belongs to Ralph Pigg, the initial Secretary, and Larry Phillips, the Club’s first Manager. The pair, supported by a small committee, entered a side in the Houghton and District League and, after a promising first season, made a successful application to join the Northern Alliance League in 1974. After a further five fairly successful seasons, the Club felt sufficiently confident to join the then highly competitive Wearside League in 1979. This confidence was soon justified, the Club winning the Durham Challenge Cup in 1980 and the League and League Cup “double” in 1981-82. In 1983, they were elected to the Northern League Second Division and , after some near misses, eventually gained promotion to the First Division in the 1987-88 season.
Bryan Mayhew took over as Chairman of the Club in 1986 and, with able support from former Secretaries, Harry Hobson and John McBeth and a small hardworking committee – in particular Reg Atkinson, Dave Copeland, Jim Ferguson and John Smith – the Club enjoyed First Division status for an unbroken fourteen seasons. Notable successes during this period, included finishing third in 1993-4, winning the League Cup in 1992-3 and, after leading the table for most of the season, finishing second in 1999/2000. Mayhew was also a prime mover in getting the League to join the National Pyramid, calling the Special General Meeting of clubs which eventually led to the historic decision being made.
Just two years after finishing runners-up in the First Division, the Club suffered its first ever relegation in its near thirty years history. Even worse was to follow when, as a result of dwindling committee support, officials took the reluctant step of tendering the Club’s resignation from the League.
However, following a positive response from a number of local people keen to see the Club continue, a new committee was formed under the chairmanship of John Smith and the resignation was withdrawn.
The Club’s re-introduction to Division 2 at the start of 2002/3 got off to an unpromising start but, after bringing in Neil Hixon as Manager, the Star failed by the narrowest of margins to gain an immediate return to Division 1. Unfortunately for the Club, Neil’s achievements resulted in him being snapped up by Durham City shortly after the start of last season, effectively putting our promotion aspirations on hold for at least another year. However, with experienced Northern League manager Peter Mulcaster steadying the ship, the Club finished in a respectable mid-table position.
Neil Hixon returned as manager in 2005 and along with Stuart Gooden and former Sunderland & Scotish International George Herd put together a side that won promotion back to the First Division in the 2006/07 season. The following season Hixon & Herd moved to Sunderland RCA and Gooden took over the team which finished in a creditable 8th place in the table. The following season saw yet another change in management with former Darlington player Andy Toman taking over. Another dip in club fortunes saw the side face relegation.
The 2010/11 and 2011/12 were two of the worst seasons in the Red Star history with the team involved in relegation battles which could have seen the club relegated to the Wearside League, both battles were successful and the club retained it’s Northern League status.
In 2012 the club appointed Mark Collingwood and Simon Johnson, who achieved great success in the Northern Alliance League with Hebburn Reyrolle. They brought the nucleolus of the side from their previous club and have added experience and quality into what may well be a team that could challenge for honours. Steady improvement over the past four season’s have produced a 10th place finish in 2012/13 and 4th place in 2013/14, missing out on promotion by 1 point. The 2nd division championship was won in 2014/15 and last season we finished a creditable 9th place in a very tough First Divison. After only 9 games of the 2016/17 season Colly left the club to go to Jarrow Roofing FC. Chris McCabe was promoted to manager and promptly brought in Paul Johnson as his co-manager. A good run of results had the Star placed comfortably in the upper half of the table, however only one win from the last 12 games saw the Star end the season in 15th spot. At the end of a disappointing 2017/18 season, in which two managers resigned and numerous players decided to jump ship, Mark Collingwood was installed as manager for his second spell at the Star, he brought in Simon Johnson and ex Easington manager Paul Frame as his assistants along with Shaun McKenna and started his rebuilding programme in the summer of 2018.
More changes saw Collingwood bring in specialist coaches in Ian Longstaffe and Rob Johnson ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
Following two curtailed seasons due to Covid19, the management team of Mark Collingwood, Andrew Barclay, Tony Robinson and Michael Johnson have brought in a number of experienced players to compliment some of the promising youngsters that have benefitted from the youth programme organised by Kevin Turns
The 2021/22 season closed with a very good 4-1 win at Penrith, the fixture also saw Mark Collingwood equal a long standing club record of 362 games in charge of the Red Star team. The record was held by Larry Phillips, who had two spells managing the club, from 1978 to 1982 (205 games) and 1983 to 1987 (157 games). Mark’s also had two spells to reach this landmark, 2012 to 2016 (211) games and 2017 to date (151 games). The opening game of the 2022/23 season is Ashington away which will see Mark move to 363 games and create a new record.
Previous managers in the Club’s history include Northern League legend Paul Walker, in conjunction with the long serving Chris Copeland; former Hartlepool Manager, Billy Horner; and ex Burnley player, Harry Wilson. Former players going on to join Football League clubs include Nigel Gleghorn (Ipswich and Manchester City), Bobby Davison (Halifax, Derby and Leeds) and Stephen Harper (currently with Newcastle United). Tommy Henderson remains the Club’s leading goalscorer, netting 211 goals in 276 appearances including a record breaking 62 in 1978-9.
Phillips Floodlighting Competition winners 1978-79;
Durham Challenge Cup winners 1979-80;
Wearside League champions 1981-82;
Wearside League Cup winners 1981-2;
Northern League 2nd Div runners up 1987-88;
Northern League Cup winners 1992-93;
Northern League 1st Div runners up 1999-2000,
Northern League 2nd Div Runners Up 2006-07.
Northern League 2nd Division Champions 2014/15