Redcar AFC were formed in 1913 for the purpose of competing in the Northern League, a competition which had somehow eluded the town throughout their successful recent history.
Their debut season was far from ideal, though, as home fans had to wait until after Christmas to even see their team register a goal. A few days later, their chairman and main benefactor Councillor Samuel Shewell passed away, leaving question marks over the club’s future.
Far bigger things were looming on the horizon in 1914, however, and Redcar left the Northern League after finishing bottom, with their home ground at Redcar racecourse was given up as part of the war effort.
They returned for the 1919-20 season and showed improvement on their woeful debut season by finishing 10th out of 14 places, but finished second bottom the following season amid fresh concerns around their finances. Poor form meant poor crowds, and lack of gate receipts resulted in dwindling finances.
They managed one more season in the Northern League, a dead-last finish in 1921-22, before leaving for good. They played (almost) a full season in the local leagues the following campaign, but disbanded after that.
The break for WWI, the death of their chairman and poor attendances were obstacles that Redcar sadly couldn’t overcome, but their players showed real quality over the few seasons they were in the Northern League, and some went on to professional success – Lawrie Crown played for Newcastle, South Shields and Bury before captaining Coventry, John Harris signed for Wolves, going on to play for Watford, Darlington and Hartlepool, Mickey Parsons won the FA Amateur Cup with Eston and played for Lincoln, Hartlepool and Scarborough, and George Newton signed for Bradford before ending up at Durham City.