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Much loved club make surprise U-turn on announcement to fold

A much loved non league club make a surprise U-turn on their announcement to fold after 101 years, issuing a statement on Tuesday.

Just two weeks ago, Tyne and Wear outfit Percy Main Amateurs made the sad decision to resign from the Northern Alliance Premier Division and wave goodbye to their Purvis Park home.

They stated they were dissolve with the pandemic making it tough to survive, especially with no fans able to come through the turnstiles.

However thankfully, they have withdrawn their league resignation and are now coming back from the brink.


Following an internet and social media announcement 2 weeks ago, which detailed the reasons for the club’s withdrawal from the competition and subsequent demise at the end of the season, Percy Main AFC have withdrawn our resignation from the Northern Football Alliance and will continue in the league’s Premier division for the 2021-22 season.

It’s been anl extremely hectic period, but suffice to say that the interest in the club was astounding (or maybe perhaps not) and there is what looks to be a very bright and exciting future ahead.

There will be announcements made on this website over the coming days, which will detail the way forward for Percy Main Amateurs FC.

Many thanks to all those who have shown an interest and for all the kind messages during the past fortnight.


Just weeks ago, they wrote: “Most regrettably, Percy Main Amateurs FC have this week submitted notice of resignation to the Northern Football Alliance (with effect from the end of the current season and after the raft of forthcoming Challenge cup fixtures) and will fold once the season is done.

The famous old club, which can boast one of local football’s most scenic and atmospheric grounds at Purvis Park, was named after Alan Purvis who gave more than 50 years service to the club as player, manager and chairman, just one of a host of people who have given their all. and often in difficult circumstances, to ‘The Villagers’ over the years.

Founded in 1919, or maybe ‘refounded’ (it is thought by many that it was actually operating before the Great War and a ghostly framed team photograph hangs on the pavilion wall, mysteriously titled ‘Percy Main AFC 1912-13’ as those very early days, remain a bit of a mystery) and having only ceased playing for the hostilities of WW2, while The Main have competed in the Northern Alliance for the past 53 seasons, but sadly this will be the last……

I realise that this may come as a ‘bolt from the blue’ to some and the decision has not been taken lightly, but unfortunately this has been coming and the current season in particular, has found the club desperately short of help behind the scenes, both on a matchday basis and as regards to the many tasks which have to be carried out through the week in order to maintain football at Percy Main.

Sadly one of the pitfalls of having a ground and building which come under the sole responsibility of the club, as opposed to hiring a facility that many do at our playing level.

In some respects the covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown(s) have perhaps and in a strange way done us a favour, as we may have struggled to operate, with games coming week in and week out, in what would have been a ‘normal’ season.

During latter years, the club has advertised for help on a regular basis, but perhaps understandably people have a lot more personal commitments these days, as the working week has encompassed weekends and evenings for many and there are plenty of other things to do (Well there will be after June, hopefully) and times have changed as regards to a Northern Alliance football club and its standing within the local community..

Allied to this, Percy Main AFC had set out on an ambitious (perhaps over ambitious, in hindsight) but very necessary project to demolish and rebuild the club’s pavilion and had finally, during the summer of 2019 been granted planning permission by North Tyneside Council, spending a 5 figure sum (architect fees, a bat survey, getting rid of Japanese knotweed, computer generated images etc) to achieve this, not to mention the time and effort. It had been hoped that this might have generated more interest, but alas….

The downside was soon realised and mainly due to the club’s single adult team status, it has not been possible to achieve the significant amount of funding required to have the work carried out, while because of reduced numbers ‘behind the scenes’ Percy Main AFC also does not have enough personnel on board to facilitate our side of the work, should the required capital magically appear.

It has to be said though that even in the bleakest of times, a number of people have rallied round and the football family has extended its hand of support to the club, ensuring that football continued at Purvis Park during recent times;

Special thanks go to main sponsors, Tony and David Short from ADS-Aircon Ltd, which has supported and encouraged the club unstintingly during the past 6 years, both financially and otherwise.

Also our team manager for the past 3 and a half years, Steve Hurd who has gone way over and above his playing remit, spending countless hours on any number of (often unseen) tasks, such as strip washing, erecting goals, replacing pitch divots and hours of work within the pavilion’s interior that have needed doing behind the scenes on behalf of the club, along with Julie and without whose efforts, we probably wouldn’t have even started the 2020-21 season.

Most generous donations from local clubs, who could surely need the funds themselves, Birtley Town, Heaton Stannington, Whitley Bay and their Supporters Club and who could forget North Shields supporters and players ‘whip round’ which raised £442 prior and during the Gary Hull Memorial Trophy match of 2015?

The Whitley Bay supporter who insisted that he give his gate money to Percy Main after his own team’s game was called off, the elderly gent who used to play for Earsdon Sports FC in the 1950’s and remembered how his team had been kept going by a donation of second hand strips from Percy Main and insisted that he pay for those strips some 60 years later.

Those who have served on the club’s committee, or helped out behind the scenes in days gone by, PMA supporter Keith Bell, champion raffle ticket seller who has barely missed a game lately and supported every initiative that the club has put on, John and Joan Hull great supporters along with son Gary, sadly missed and remembered every year on his Memorial trophy day – great football occasions.

All those kind folk who donated to our JustGiving’ site at the beginning of the current season, especially those from other clubs, those who fired through random donations, taken out pitch hoardings, bought season tickets, the long sufferers who hand over a couple of quid at the door on matchdays, bought a drink and a hot dog and those who drop their change into the ‘Donations’ tin, thanks again. (Sorry if I’ve missed anyone off)

It’s made it worthwhile – sort of!

Perhaps the dwindling PMA committee deserves credit for maintaining football through recent challenging times, (with no small assistance from the above) as many clubs from a similar level have gone the journey years prior, perhaps it deserves criticism for not kicking on and expanding as conversely several others have done. Who knows?

The club will fulfil it’s remaining Challenge cup fixtures for this season which will get underway next month.

If any local football devotee has a magic wand, a fortune or a fairy godmother, we’d love to hear from you……

Failing that, one day Percy Main Amateurs may rise again, I hope so!

And rise again they did, just two weeks later!

Fans reacted as the much loved club make a surprise U-turn on announcement to fold…

@trevbwfc1: Great news, well done!

@shavey83: Fantastic news fellas. Great to see

@wallington1877: Football is back, Percy Main are back and it’s still only Tuesday. What a week! Great news

@DanielE83766740: Excellent I knew something could be done to save this great northeast for good and make sure every northeast area at least has a sports team for the local community to go and watch and enjoy and percy have beating covid yes and I worried about all clubs everyday up and down

@MichaeConnor: Brilliant news

@willscottwriter: Great news guys! Keep on keeping on!

@ManchopperBlog: This is great news! I look forward to paying a visit from June or July!

@kevknox9: Great news! Fantastic club

@881the: Back from the brink… The power of community football. Welcome back Percy Main Amateurs! Now where do i get some club merch & a season book?

More reaction came in as the much loved club make a surprise U-turn on announcement to fold…

@ForeverAYellow: Really nice to wake up and see this, back from the dead… sort of. Good luck going forward, let’s hope we are over the worst of the pandemic now

@FCWhitburn: Delighted to hear this

@Heatonstan: Great news, onwards & upwards.

@sknab1: Great news stay strong and good luck

@a_keates: Congratulations from a Whitby Town supporter

@hopperheaven: Great see you on the 24th !

@DaveidRay1: I had a feeling that might happen, awareness of what people can do, how people can get involved is key for me.

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