CLUB GUIDE: Darlington
Full name Darlington Football Club
Nickname(s) The Quakers
Ground 96.6 TFM Arena, Darlington
Darlington F.C. is an English football team based in the English town of Darlington, currently playing in Football League Two. The club's nickname is the Quakers, in reference to the religious movement that had a historic influence on the town.
The club plays at the 96.6 TFM Arena, a 25,000-seat stadium that opened in 2003. The club previously played at Feethams, which is located close to the historic town centre. The new ground is named after a local Radio Station under a sponsorship deal. Originally named the Reynolds Arena, after former chairman George Reynolds, it was renamed the New Stadium in April 2004, subsequently the Williamson Motors Stadium, and received the current name in November 2005.
The club was placed in administration on 23rd December 2003 but was taken over and came out of administration by the end of Summer 2004.
George Reynolds had built such a huge stadium - one of the largest and most impressive outside the Premiership - because he was intent on bringing Premiership football to Darlington. But he had failed to invest enough money on players, and never appointed a competent enough manager, to have any real hope of the club reaching the Premiership.
Darlington were relegated to the Conference in 1989 after they finished bottom of the Fourth Division. Just before this setback, Brian Little had been appointed manager. He took them back into the Football League at the first attempt as Conference champions, and a year later they won the Fourth Division title. Little then moved to Leicester and Darlington's spell in the Third Division lasted just one season. They have remained in the bottom tier of the league ever since.
During the summer of 2002, Darlington made approaches to sign two world famous players - Paul Gascoigne and Faustino Asprilla - but both bids failed.