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FA award non league club with promotion after 9th tier side make late resignation

FA award non league club Tow Law Town with promotion after 9th tier side Ryhope CW make a late resignation from their division.

Ryhope Colliery Welfare announced they have withdrawn from the Ebac Northern League just weeks after completing one of the most successful seasons in their history.

A month ago, they won the Durham Challenge Cup Final as goalkeeper James Winter help his side to a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory against league rivals Crook Town.

That win summed up Ryhope’s remarkable season as they ended their league campaign in club record high fifth place in Division One and they also progressed into the semi-final of the Division One Cup before losing against Newcastle Benfield ended any hopes of a second trophy.

Late May, the club’s management trio of Gary Pearson, Craig Hughes and David Pounder all left to take over at Billingham Town and that was quickly followed by confirmation defensive duo Danni Lay and Matty Wade agreed to join West Auckland Town, raising many questions.

Just hours after that confirmation, the club released a statement confirming they were resigning from the league and explained their reasons behind the move.

It read: “It is with deep regret and great sadness that we have advised the EBAC Northern League that Ryhope CW FC wish to tender their resignation from the Northern League.

“This is obviously not a decision that has been taken lightly but is the consequence, in the main, of the lack of volunteer support for our Club playing at the level we are at on the field coupled with the ongoing demands of the League standards required off the field.

“The Club needs to restructure to continue its long history but we recognise this must be done at a lower level to enable it to grow again with fresh impetus, leadership and firm foundations.

“We are deeply saddened to be left with what we see as our only viable option for Ryhope CW FC to continue.

“We wish to put on record sincere thanks to all the volunteers that have helped the Club over the last few seasons and particular thanks goes to the Management and playing staff for the most successful season the club has experienced during the 2021-2022 season culminating in winning the Durham FA Challenge Cup.”

A league spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have received Ryhope CW’s resignation from the league.

“We are consulting with the FA about the effects of this decision so can’t comment further at this stage.

“We are sorry to receive the resignation and wish the club all the best for the future.”


The FA today announced that Tow Law Town will be promoted to Division One following the resignation of Ryhope CW from the league.

Ryhope’s resignation left the division with 19 teams for the 2022/23 season, but today’s announcement means that it can now run with a full complement of 20.

Tow Law were promoted after finishing as the losing finalist in the Division Two play-offs. The promotion of Tow Law means that Division Two will run with 21 clubs for the new season – as it did last season. Originally, it was planned that it would run with 22 teams.


Twitter users reacted as the FA award non league club Tow Law Town with promotion after 9th tier side Ryhope CW make a late resignation…

@reevedarlo: Well deserved tow law

@bigcbeat: Well done Tow Law. Won’t need my big coat in August or September 😂😂

@sevans1308: Went on the 31st October once and couldn’t feel my face for 4 hours afterwards 😂

@davetommo: 🫣 sure Boldon will be happy with this

@michael64261473: Good to everyone involved at Tow Law

@ICTGodfather (Replying to @RyhopeCW): That’s a massive shame, we had a fantastic time during our FA Vase game. Hope you get back up ASAP. Good luck to you all. A @OfficialBuryAFC fan.

@RTmackem: Will miss the derbies against @SunderlandRCA hopefully @RyhopeCW can come back up the leagues

@HeatStan: Really sad news this, hopefully you can regroup and get back where you belong stronger.

@Jonny86703147: Shite this mind. Hopefully you’ll be able to rebuild in the future

@1955Djh: Sad to hear, they always looked after me dad when we visited with the Bay. Hopefully you will be back stronger.

@shaunwilson71: Sorry to hear this news. I enjoyed my visit last season. Shows how important volunteers are to clubs at this level, the life blood. Good luck in the future and hope to see you back one day

@Jamiepic77: Gutted. Great game at your place with @OfficialBuryAFC – enjoyed our day out with you! Hope you come back stronger!

@dlavery62: It’s always very sad when a team is forced to do this. Great little club, I wish them all the very best.

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