‘More than a Game: the story of football in South Tyneside’ will open at South Shields Museum & Art Gallery on Saturday, June 29, to celebrate the centenary of South Shields FC’s entry to the Football League.
The exhibition, due to be on show until October 12, 2019, will explore the stories of players and fans from the early days of the sport up to the present day.
From legendary players such as Boldon Colliery’s Sam Bartram and South Shields’ Len Smith, through to the local and the unsung heroes of the game.
Female players will also star in the exhibit, including England player Demi Stokes, and Mary Lyons of Jarrow, the youngest player to play and score for England in a senior international match, age just 15 in July 1918.
More than a Game will chart the Mariners’ evolution, since its origins in 1888 through to the legendary FA Vase victory in 2017, and the club’s ongoing development and ambitions today.
Curator Adam Bell undertook research with South Tyneside club historians, former players and those involved with football in one way or another across the borough, to put the exhibition together.
He said: “This has been a fascinating exhibition to research and put together. A real passion for football bonds communities and generations across South Tyneside; much like the industries that created these communities.
“It has been fantastic to meet so many people willing to share their memorabilia and contribute their own reminiscences for the exhibition.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has come forward and who has contributed to the creation of this exhibition, it couldn’t have happened without them.”
Visitors can see a wide range of team photos, programmes, medals, cups, trophies, strips and kit from the late 19th century up to the present day, all connected to teams or players from South Tyneside.
Loans from the Fans Museum will feature, as well as objects associated with South Shields’ born Stan Mortensen from the National Football Museum.
Entry to the exhibition is free, but donations are welcome.