Brandon United were originally formed as a Sunday morning side called Rostrons, the name of the waste paper company where most of the founders worked. They began by playing in the Durham & District Sunday League in 1968/69, Joining the Third Division and gradually played their way up to the First Division. They were basically local lads, however the inclusion of Northern League and Wearside League players turned the club into one of the most powerful Sunday football sides in the North East. From 1968/69 until 1976/77 they were First Division champions four times, Durham County FA. Sunday Cup winners three times, then the ultimate, F.A. Sunday Cup winners in 1975/76, defeating Evergreen 2-1.
One of Brandon United's highlights came in 1979/80 when entering the F.A. Cup for the first time, they reached the first round proper, on the way taking care of Northern League opponents Spennymoor United, Tow Law Town, South Bank and North Shields. In the first round proper, Brandon were beaten 3-0 by Football League opponents Bradford City, in a game played at Spennymoor.
The club joined the Wearside League in 1981/82, winning the Sunderland Shipowners Cup. The following season they reached the quarter finals of the F.A. Vase and repeated the same the following season. Brandon United's dream came true when they were admitted to the Northern League's Second Division for the start of 1983/84 season and won the Second Division title the following season. In 1988 United once again reached the first round proper of the F.A. Cup playing Doncaster Rovers twice at Belle Vue before losing 1-2. In 1992/93 Brandon played Seaham Red Star in the League Cup final at Bedford Terrace home of Billingham Town, only to lose after a penalty shoot out.
At the start of the 1998/1999 season Brandon appointed Ken Lindoe as manager and the clubs fortunes began to change. He brought a number of players with him to Brandon and started the team rebuilding job. He quickly assembled a team that could compete in the league and also play good attacking football. In season 2000/2001 he led the team into Division One as champions. A season of consolidation then followed, but with further strengthening of the team came Brandon United’s finest moment; the League Championship was attained in 2002/2003 and the club were Champions of the Northern League.
The following seasons until the present day have been rather tumultuous for Brandon United both on and off the pitch. The couple of years following the League Championship saw management, players and committee all leave the club as finances stretched the club to breaking point. A few seasons of flirting with relegation finally happened and the club were relegated back to the 2nd division at the end of the 2005/06 season.
A bit of stability was required and following a further season of consolidation Adam Furness joined the club as assistant to BJ Heijmanns and the club again started to rebuild. Although results on the field were poor this really was the start of the club getting back on its feet football wise. The club finished bottom of the league but, with no relegation taking effect, it survived to play again in the Northern League.
Younger players with a seasons experience behind them and the recruitment of some senior and more experienced players meant the club finished a very respectable 6th in 2008/09. Relative success caught the eye of other clubs however, and many players left the following season, most to 1st Division teams.
Over the last few seasons the club has flirted with the very real danger of relegation from the Northern League. In 2010/11 Brandon finished in the relegation places only to escape because there was only team ready for promotion. At the end of 2014/15 things looked even bleaker when we again finished bottom of the table and with two teams ready to come up it looked as though our time in the Northern League was up. However the demise of Gilford Park meant a last minute reprieve and we were saved yet again.
Managers have come and gone and with them the players, every season starts as a rebuilding process. Following the reprieve of the season before, momentum was started in the close season and we ended up having one of the best campaigns since 2005/06. The dreaded “R” word was never mentioned. But manager Lee Jewett left at the end of the season to be replaced by Chris Blakelock. Unfortunately for Chris, things never took off and Lee Jewett retuned and steered us away from the drop zone again - with Chris staying on to help. Lee, Chris and coach David Rush helped Brandon achieve their best finish since 2009 last season finishing 14th.
The trio started back for 2017/18 with a ‘re-branding’ of the club which had new strips, a new club badge and much needed renovation of the changing rooms. But with the team in 10th position Lee Jewett left again. Whilst a successor was being found the club struggled and plummeted to the bottom of the table. Stephen Skinner was brought in at the helm and who brought with him a host of experience at a higher level and a host of new faces with similar experience and whose primary role was to get Brandon United away from the relegation zone and safe in our Northern League position. This was ultimately achieved on the very last day of the 2017/18 season with a home win whilst others in danger around us were losing. With a massive re-haul of the National Non-League pyramid we escaped relegation – again, by a single point.
We are still in the process of rebuilding and the Club has a vision of giving youth a chance wherever possible. We also aim to reintegrate ourselves back into the community and to this end there are now nearly twelve ‘youth teams’ associated with the Club and we have just set up our first Brandon United U13 girl’s team. With other developments in the background with the clubhouse the 2018/19 season begins optimistically but also realistically. Chris Blakelock and Ritchie Howe are at the helm for this season and it is their turn to steer the club as far up the table as possible.
COME ON BRANDON!!!