Newcastle Town FC emerged in its current format from a merger with Parkway Clayton in 1986 and are now enjoying life in Evo-Stik Northern Premier League football.
Their recently renamed Aspire Stadium in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire has a capacity of 4,000, covered accommodation for 1000, seating for 300, a tidy well equipped clubhouse which offers amongst other beverages quality cask conditioned ale, and a £60,000 floodlighting system. The playing surface is surrounded by one of the few recognised cycling tracks in the north of the country which hosts many competitions and has been used by the Great British Cycling Team in the recent past.
In the season immediately after the merger with Parkway Clayton Newcastle Town enjoyed much success ending runners up in the Mid Cheshire League and moving into the North West Counties League as a limited company in 1987. After promotion from Division Two in the early 1990’s the club enjoyed a lot of success in Division One winning the Tennants Floodlit Trophy, the Walsall Senior Cup and the NWCL Floodlit Trophy although constantly just missing out on promotion at the death.
In the 96/97 season the club enjoyed a tremendous run in the FA Cup defeating Winsford United, Frickley and Bamber Town from the Unibond League on their way to the first round proper where they narrowly lost to Notts County, the oldest league club in the world, at what was to be one of the last cup ties at Stoke City’s famous Victoria Ground. Following the turn of the century promotion continued to escape the clutches of Newcastle Town although playing extremely entertaining football under the likes of managers Ray Walker before his move to Crewe Alexandria and Nigel Gleghorn formerly with Stoke City.
In the season 2006/07 Towns form fell away after a very promising start and management duo Greg Clowes and Dorian Garner took over the reins after a successful period with Unibond side Alsager Town. Results picked up and new players arrived with Castle only losing 4 of their last 18 games in the new duos first season in charge. Paul Ratcliffe also took over as Chairman of the club at this time. The next couple of years saw the management continue to build a side that would challenge for promotion although both proved disappointing with Castle again narrowly missing out mainly due to key players injuries. Despite the disappointment of no promotion Newcastle players Simon Eldershaw (Player of the Month) Jon Ritchie (Safe Hands) and Richard Minor (Division 1 Player of the Season) brought success with their awards.
Finally, in season 2009/10 Newcastle Town achieved their dream of promotion. 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. They also lifted the Staffs Senior Cup for the first time with an amazing 6-1 victory over Port Vale at Vale Park. Hardly had the team’s success sunk in when Newcastle Town were rocked in the close season with both Manager Greg Clowes and Assistant Dorian Garner leaving for Stafford Rangers taking the whole squad with them. Undaunted the club followed current policy and appointed from within with John Diskin, Dave Sutton and Ivan Lodge being promoted from their respective roles with both the second Team and the Youth Team. Their brief was to rebuild a First Team squad capable of confirming their position within the Evostik First Division.
Castle ended the 2011-12 season in a respectable position but with higher hopes as there was a great deal of success from the younger players coming through at the club. Town continued to build for the future in 2012-13 in a season which saw an influx of their successful Youth Team into the First Team Squad as the season progressed. Season 2013-14 saw Castle’s young side improve throughout the season and finish a very respectable eighth in the League. With the Young Reserve side reaching the final of the Leek Cup and the Youth Team winning the County Youth Floodlit Cup Newcastle will be looking to push on and continue their development.
Further improvement came in 2014-15 with Castle reaching the play-offs where they were defeated by Sutton Coldfield Town who were promoted to the Premier Division. Town’s policy of developing youngsters looks to be paying dividends as more trophies were forthcoming. Newcastle also won awards for Fair Play and their lack of dissent as they build a reputation of playing the game in the right manner with good football.
Last season saw Town struggle with injuries culminating with manager Ivan Lodge suffering a stroke. Ivan decided to step down to concentrate on his recovery and at the end of the season his brother-in-law and former Norton and Witton manager Scott Dundas was appointed with assistant Steve Chadwick to the role to take the club forward.