On Saturday 11th November 2023, prior to our NLN match against Chester FC, the first tranche of individuals were inducted to the Darlington Football Club Hall of Fame in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the fortunes of Darlington Football Club, specifically during the 1960s.
This project was first 'hatched' in early-2022 by DAFTS (Darlington Away Far Travelling Supporters), who are a social group of exiled supporters. They have sponsored this project in conjunction with DFCSG.
In April 2022, DFCSG canvassed supporters for their nominations. DAFTS, after some lengthy deliberations in conjunction with the DFCSG Board, decided on a list of seven inductees.
DFC Hospitality host Andrew Scullion was joined by Tony Waters and Ted Blair, both of DAFTS, to induct the following seven individuals (with thanks to Doug Embleton for the below citations):
(1) John Peverell
John made 465 appearances at full-back between 1961 and 1971, scoring 11 goals.
A robust but fair full-back fondly known by fans as "Pev". A key member and ever present of the 1966 promotion-winning team. Nobody will forget the sharp intake of anticipatory breath by the whole Feethams crowd when he embarked on one of his surging runs forward, ready to unleash one of his trademark thunderbolt shots.
(2) Tony Moor
Tony made 268 appearances as goalkeeper between 1965 and 1971.
A key close-season signing from York City in 1965 who became and ever present in the promotion winning team of 1966. "Mr Reliable", his presence and command of the goal area, especially when dealing with crosses, inspired huge confidence amongst his teammates. Also a talented cricketer who played in the Yorkshire League XI against major touring teams.
(3) Lol Morgan
As Player/Manager, Lol made 36 appearances in defence in 1964-65 season before hanging up his boots to concentrate as Manager.
Signed from Rotherham in 1964. A steady defender who played in the Feethams FA Cup tie vs Arsenal in 1965. His major impact was as Manager of the 1966 promotion team (the first promotion since 1925) for which he made some very shrewd additions to the squad during the 1965 close season. He then made equally astute signings at key points in that season but sadly departed to become Manager of Norwich City.
(4) Ron Greener
Ron was a centre half that made a record number of 490 appearances for the club in 11 seasons between 1955 and 1966 and scored 6 goals along the way.
Signed from Newcastle and was for many seasons considered to be the best centre half in Division 3 North and then Division 4. "Mr Dependable" and club captain, he was a leader on the pitch. In an era when centre forwards were largely selected on their heading ability, Ron won the vast majority of his heading duels. He was a key player in the record 1957-58 FA Cup run to the fifth round.
(5) Lance Robson
Lance was principally a centre forward who made 235 appearances for the club in two spells, 1960 to 1963, & 1968 to 1969. Lance scored 73 goals, but would have scored more if he hadn’t been called on to fill in as a defender, which he did admirably on a number of occasions.
Signed from Newcastle and achieved immediate cult status on his debut with his winning goal in the 1960 Feethams 3-2 League Cup win vs West Ham. A permanent threat to opposing centre halves, he created as many goals and fittingly for a qualified dentist, always played with a smile on his face.
(6) Alan Sproates
Alan made 346 appearances in midfield between 1965 and 1973, scoring 19 goals.
Signed from Swindon Town in 1965 and made an immediate impact in the midfield of the 1965-66 promotion winning team. A regular on the team sheet with a silky touch, immaculate ball control and a terrific engine. Was later a key part of Ray Yeoman’s team which went undefeated in it’s first 14 league games in season 1968-69.
(7) George McGeachie
George made 135 appearances for the club as a winger between 1963-66, scoring 10 goals.
Signed from Dundee and eventually moved from the left wing to right wing berth where his speed and trickery made him a crowd favourite. An ever present in the 1966 promotion winning team who created many goals from the wing, especially for fellow-Scot, centre forward Bobby Cummings. In full flight he made many an opposing full back dizzy but many a Darlington fan ecstatic.
Sadly, only John Peverell and Tony Moor are still with us (for certain, as we have been unable to establish the whereabouts of George McGeachie) and they were there in person to receive their award of a framed photograph with citation.
The awards for the remaining inductees were received by either close family members or friends.
The 'Hall of Fame' will initially be in the form of this 'virtual gallery' here on YOURCLUB until such time that the Club is in the position to have a physical exhibition for fans to be able to view.
Later this season, we will be back to canvass supporters for their nominations for those players/officials/staff that made outstanding contributions Darlington FC during the 1970s.