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Much has been written about the beautiful game of football and, to paraphrase Bill Shankly, for some, football is more serious than life and death.

The 1926 General Strike in Britain and the impact on coal mining communities, has been researched thoroughly and has, rightly, highlighted the deprivation, famine, and hardships endured.

Here we find the official minutes, written contemporaneously by the secretary, of a football club formed in the North East of England in August 1926 at the height of the strike in a mining community. As such this is a valuable primary source for historians.

Alongside the minutes is context for the story from historical records to follow the team’s fortunes during their first important season.

This is not a story of hardship or self-pity; it is a sunny and uplifting tale and a rich example of the power and reach of football to sustain a community in times of austerity with lemons at half time and plenty of cups of tea.

These minutes and the context in which they were written prove that any story about football is never just about football.

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