The Aspire Stadium Buckmaster Avenue Clayton Newcastle-under-Lyme ST5 3BX
From a humble beginning in a Potteries park in 1964 as a Sunday League side, Newcastle Town has developed to their current Status as a leading North West Counties League Division I Club.
The club has a stadium with a capacity of 4,000, covered accommodation for 1000, seating for 300, a new clubhouse and a floodlighting system at a cost of £60,000 which has given Town an "A" grading that is currently suitable for Unibond League Football.
The club emerged in its current format from a merger of two clubs, Parkway Clayton and Newcastle Town, in 1986, when the previously successful Newcastle Town ran into financial difficulties, and a year after initial merger talks had broken down. The merger brought in a highly experienced and well-respected administrative set up, which has given the club tremendous stability. The new club's original four directors, K.H. Walshaw, J. Walker, K.G. Walshaw and W. Johnson, had more than 100 years experience between them!
After the old Newcastle Town and Parkway Clayton had enjoyed much success, the newly merged club were runners-up in the Mid-Cheshire League in their first season, moving into the North West Counties League as a limited company in 1987, with the second team in the reformed Mid~Cheshire League Division 2. Long-serving Peter Clarke was manager at the time the club moved up and consolidated their position before handing over to a new management team of Alan Sides (manager) and Dave Buckley (coach). This duo led the club into Division I of the North West Counties League by finishing runners-up in Division 2 in 1991/92, a season which saw the club's best run to date in the FA Vase as well as winning its first major honour since joining the league by lifting the Lamot Pils Trophy.
In their fourth season in the FA Vase, Newcastle reached the Fourth Round, as well as seeing their first entry into the FA Cup.
Town finished their first season in Division One in fifth position, as well as lifting their second piece of silverware, the Tennants Floodlit Trophy, by beating Chadderton at Wigan Athletic's Springfield Park ground.
In November 1994, the club appointed Glyn Chamberlain as their new manager. GIyn, along with assistant manager Trevor Brissett, were former professional footballers and shared a vast knowledge of the non-league scene. These appointments paid huge dividends for the club.
Within a few months they collected their first trophy when the club retained the Walsall Senior Cup, as well as finishing a creditable fifth in the League.
The 1995-96 season was a momentous one in Newcastle Town's short history as a leading Saturday football side in North Staffordshire. The team finished runners-up in the League, just missing out on promotion to the UniBond League and were finalists in the Staffordshire and Walsall Senior cups, although they did win the NWCL Floodlit Trophy for the second time.
Season 1996-97 saw the club enjoy a tremendous run in the FA Cup. Town defeated UniBond League sides Winsford United, Frickley and Bamber Bridge on their way to the first Round and a meeting with Notts County -the oldest Football League club in the world. Town eventually bowed out to the Second Division side at Stoke's Victoria Ground - one of the last Cup ties ever to be staged at the famous old stadium.
The club also once-again narrowly missed promotion, finishing runners-up to Trafford. but they did manage to liftthe League Challenge Cup for the first time - defeating the champions in the final - and they also finished Runners~up to Penrith in the Floodlit Trophy.
1997-98 was another case of what might have been in the league with the side eventually finishing outside a promotion place in third behind Burscough and local rivals Kidsgrove. In an attempt to shake off their tag of the"nearly" team the club appointed former Port Vale star Ray Walker as manager in the summer and the appointment has reaped dividends with the club leading the table for a long time before finally settling for fourth.
The following season was another exciting one for Town with the club narrowly missing out on promotion, once again finishing second. Cup fever hit the club with Newcastle coming runners-up to Skelmersdale in the League Cup and a fantastic run saw them narrowly fail to reach Wembley when they lost out to the eventual winners of the F.A. Vase Deal Town in an exciting semi-final over two legs.
2000-2001 saw a disappointing season for Town with a sad semi-final defeat in the Worthington Trophy the only thing to show for another fruitless year which saw manager Ray Walker moving full-time to Crewe Alex and hope being revived by the appointment of Jimmy Wallace whose success through the years already appeared to be rubbing off on the club with an upturn in form and performance following his arrival. With Jimmy and his assistant Mickey Bates at the helm Newcastle seem to have an exciting and entertaining season ahead of them.
The following season saw Town again up near the top finishing fifth and reaching the final of the Staffs. Senior Cup where they narrowly lost over two legs to Tamworth who had missed out on promotion to the Conference on the last day of the season. A good run in the FA Cup saw Town lose out to Stafford Rangers of the Dr Martins Premier, having beaten another team from that league and the champions of the NE Counties League Alfreton who they also beat in the FA Vase. Town did gain revenge over Stafford by beating them in the SF of the Staffs, Senior Cup.
With Town in the experienced hands of Chairman J Walker, Club President J. Blakeman and Vice-Chairman K. Walshaw along with stalwarts J. Cotton, R. Tatton, C. Spencer (who recently won honours for the magnificent work on the pitch), A. Butler, Steve and Dawn Lewis who do such sterling work in the club and with the catering, the future is again beginning to look good for the Club both on and off the field.
2003-04 saw Town miss out in the re-organisation of the leagues by one point and finish runners-up in the League Cup. A new Chairman Carl Birchall moved in with the drive to take the club on and he appointed the highly-rated Nigel Gleghorn from Nantwich Town as his manager and former skipper Neil Griffiths as assistant as Newcastle look to go one better and progress up the Pyramid.
Their first season at Town went right to the wire with Fleetwood pipping Castle to the single Unibond place with a 2-1 victory at the Lymme Valley in the penultimate game of the season and condemning Town to another season in the North-West Counties League.
Another season of frustration as inconsistency put pay to Town's hopes of being promoted in the re-organisation of Step 4 despit beating two of the promoted teams by 4 goals on their own ground.
2006-07 saw Town fall away after a promising start leading to the sacking of Manager Nigel Gleghorn just before Christmas and following a short spell in charge by Chris Holmes, the management duo of Greg Clowes and Dorian Garner took over the reins after a successful spell at Unibond team Alsager Town. Results picked up, new players arrived and with Castle losing only 4 of the 18 games in which Greg and Dorian were in charge hopes are once again high that Town will finally achieve their aim of promotion.
Throughout the season 2007-08 the management duo continued to build a side that would challenge for promotion but once again Town were denied at the death finishing third with two teams being promoted. Highlights of the year saw Town beat their record score with a 10-1 victory over Nelson with Nick Wellecomme scoring 5 and Richard Minor 4. Both Nick Wellecomme and Simon Eldershaw won the Player of the Month award and Jon Ritchie won the Safe Hands award. The season ended on a bright note with the highly talented Richard Minor winning the Player Of The Season for Division 1.
Town once again went so close and yet so far in 2008-09 finishing third after dropping too many points at home and dropping points to sides in the lower half of the table. Having built a good looking side it was a disappointing end to what promised to be a successful season. Injuries played a major part with players such as Richard Minor, top scorer Jordan Johnson, Neville Thompson and Karl Espley missing large parts of the season.
Season 2009-10 finally saw Castle achieve their dream of winning promotion to Step 4. They led the Vodkat League from day 1 and by the time they dropped their first points having won the first 28 games the title was almost secure. Best start, most League wins in a season and most points were three of the records that the club broke and they also reached the Final of the Staffs Senior Cup that they won for the first time with an amazing 6-1 victory over Port Vale at Vale Park.
Town’s first season at Step 4 saw them make a fine start and throughout the season they were always in the hunt for promotion but they unfortunately lost the play off semi final to Grantham Town. A fine FA cup run saw them go down 1-0 to Conference North Side Vauxhall Motors just one round before the First Round Proper and a semi-final appearance in the President’s Cup completed a fine first season at this level and laid the foundations for future progress.
Town were rocked in the close season when Manager Greg Clowes and his assistant Dorian Garner left for Stafford Rangers taking the whole squad with them. Following current club policy the club appointed from within, promoting John Diskin, Dave Sutton and Ivan Lodge from their respective roles with both the Second Team and the Youth Team. Paul Groves was elevated to Second Team Manager. Their brief was to rebuild a First Team squad capable of confirming our position within the Evo-Stik League First Division South.