Saturday, January 14, 2017

Chairman’s Notes - Gloucester City

wayne-photo.jpgGood afternoon and a warm welcome to Blackwell Meadows to everyone connected with Gloucester City for this Vanarama National League North match.

As 2016 is now at a close I thought it would be a good idea to give a summary update of everything which the DFCSG have delivered or been involved in – it’s certainly been a busy 12 months.

But before I do that let me remind you that we currently have an open poll for the proposed playing name change from “Darlington 1883” to “Darlington”. The Football Club Board will be tabling the motion at the forthcoming AGM and the DFCSG is seeking guidance from its members as to how the Group should vote. As we hold a controlling interest in the Football Club the motion will be carried regardless of how other shareholders vote. Once the motion is known it will then be passed to the FA who will make the final decision in time for the beginning of the 2017/8 season. At the time of writing over 530 members have voted and to ensure that you have your say make sure you either visit or fill out a form today on the ground side of the “home” turnstiles. You will need your DFCSG membership number to verify your vote. If you’re not yet a member you can still join for £20 and cast your vote today. Voting closes 26th January.

So, 2016….it was a funny old year – Leicester winning the Premier League, Britain voting to leave the EU and Donald Trump elected President of the USA. The combined odds for these outcomes in excess of 4.5 million to 1! If only one of us had the foresight to place that bet, we’d have secured the Clubs future for many years to come. Thankfully things have been a lot less turbulent for us over the last 12 months.

We’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes that not many will be aware of in the second half of 2016 to really define what the DFCSG is, what it does and how it does it. This is the bedrock on which the success of the Group will be based on and allow us to deliver our core function which is to: create an environment which will help Darlington Football Club to succeed. We do this via three distinct pillars:

  1. Finance, Strategy & Governance
  2. Fundraising
  3. Community & Supporter Engagement

You’ll hear more about these in 2017, what they cover at a lower level and how YOU can get involved in the work streams that fall out of each pillar to help DFC succeed. For now I will use these pillars to outline the great work the DFCSG has undertaken in 2016.

Finance, Strategy & Governance

As an advocate of the Supporters Direct ownership model one of the objects which DFCSG must adhere to is good governance of the Football Club. John Bell has been instrumental in pulling together a framework for how the Group interacts with the Football Club on a regular basis to ensure the Club Board has the support it needs from us to go about their jobs on a daily basis.

Post Football Club AGM we will have a strong three man Football Club Board with a broad range of skills which we feel will allow the Club to stabilise and grow off the pitch and begin to match the great progress we’ve seen on the pitch.

The DFCSG Board itself acquired new blood at the recent AGM and we now have a full quota of Board members who are all now beginning to pick tasks up and drive the Group forwards.

Through the Community Share offer which was delivered by Neil Raper, John and I we have increased the shareholding of DFCSG in Darlington 1883 Limited resulting in a controlling interest with a voting share of 79% This is important for a number of reasons, the main one being that as a one member one vote body the DFCSG allows all members to have an equal say in the future of our Football Club through a governed, democratic entity.


Fundraising is probably the task that the Group has been best known for and it’s critical to secure the Club’s future that this continues and we keep finding interesting and appealing ways to bring funds into the Group. In 2016 we raised over £130,000 to support the Club and the move back to Darlington.

I’ve already mentioned that the Community Share offer allowed us to increase our voting share in the Football Club to 79% and it also raised in excess of £100,000 which has been loaned to the Club over a 25 year period. £10,000 was raised for the purchase of the dugouts and we have also recently invested over £20,000 of membership money into the Club which will further increase our shareholding after the FC AGM.

Another star of the show is the Fans Lottery which has gone from strength to strength. Colin Tinkler handed the baton over to Sue Connor late last year and with the help of the Board has grown the lottery to now have a monthly prize of £1,000 and two weekly prizes of £50!

It’s been a quiet year on the events front, however both Joanne Cameron and Rob Duncan have been involved in promoting the Club at various community events over the summer and Jo organised the fantastic end of season bash at the Kings Head in May.

Our treasurer Andrew Matthews continues to keep our finances in order, succeeding Colin Tinkler late in the year.

I will be heading up the fundraising pillar going forwards so if anyone wants to get involved please contact me directly – we’ve already got some great ideas for 2017 but the more the merrier!

Community & Supporter Engagement

Our number one objective for 2016 was to increase the membership base – the group is only as strong as its membership. A the beginning of the year we had around 450 members which via a number of initiatives we’ve managed to increase to just under 1,000 almost bang on target. An achievement I’m immensely proud of for so many reasons.After the departure of membership secretary Stuart Ford in the summer, Neil Raper has done a fantastic job handling the large increase we’ve seen, especially over the last three months as the Club neared a return home.

A key aspect of this pillar is volunteering and we have many Board members who not only support the DFCSG but work in a voluntary capacity to support the Football Club. Jo Cameron organises and looks after our superb Corporate Hospitality. Lynn Jasper, Glenn Bowes and Terry Black help run our fantastic retail shop at the Dolphin Centre and help out with matchday operations, whilst Sue Connor can often be spotted hiding in a turnstile and Michael Cansfield’s dulcet tones are broadcast over the airwaves via Darlo Fans Radio.

Board member Mel Prescott will be heading up this pillar going forwards as we look to build on the good work to date and really embed ourselves at the heart of the Darlington community. If this is something that interests you please get in touch with Mel.

I must also mention Angela Raper and Stacey Fletcher who whilst not Board members of DFCSG have pitched in and helped us over the calendar year. There’s much more but I’ve only got a set number of characters. In summary I’ve been really pleased with the Group’s progress in 2016 and am full of optimism for 2017.

Wayne Raper
Darlington FC Supporters Group

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

More chances to win in the DFC Fans Lottery!

This month sees the ever growing DFC Fans lottery hit a new landmark. Just weeks after the very first £1,000 super draw the lottery is expanding and offering additional weekly prizes. Tomorrow sees the very first midweek draw, the winner of which will receive £50.

It now means you have almost double the chance of winning with 7 draws a month rather than 4.

The current payouts are as follows:

Midweek: 3 x £50 prizes
Weekend: 3 x £50 prizes
Monthly Superdraw: 1 x £1,000 prizes

Sign up online at for your chance to win!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Poll: Change of Club Name

The Board of Darlington 1883 are proposing a name change of the Club back to “Darlington”. This change must be presented and voted upon at the Football Club AGM which will be held on Friday 27th January at 6.30pm. As DFCSG hold a controlling interest in Darlington 1883 our vote will determine the outcome of the AGM vote. To allow time for the votes to be counted and verified in time for the vote at the AGM this poll will close at 8pm on Thursday 26th January.

As members of the DFCSG we would like to hear your opinion on the proposed change and the vote will be determined as a result of the poll. In order to ensure that only members of DFCSG vote we require your membership number and full name to match with our records. If you are unsure of these details please contact our membership secretary at:

Please note that the final decision for a name change rests with the FA. Our large membership base can be proven to the FA to represent an exceptionally high and significant proportion of our fan base so the more people who vote for the name change the stronger our case will be when we make our application.


Are you in favour of the name change from “Darlington 1883” to “Darlington”?



Only votes with both a membership number and name will count.

Membership Approaches 1,000

We’re delighted to announce that membership of Darlington FC Supporters Group is fast approaching 1000 full paid members.

We set a target at the beginning of 2016 - when membership was around 450 - to reach 1,000 members by the end of the year and although we’re a few days over we’re almost there!

With today being 5 years since the away day at Barrow which looked like it could be the final time we saw our Club play, what better time to give the final push to get us to the magic 1,000 mark.

If you’ve been thinking about joining up then don’t wait any longer! It’s so easy to sign up via our online platform and we’ve even waived the joining fee so it’s now just £20 to join, or £1.67 via Direct Debit each month.

There are many benefits to joining including priority tickets, Virgin rail travel discounts and money off food at The Oven and Ginger Village Inns.

PLUS our 1,000th member will receive free membership for the year!

Don’t delay, join today….



Click here for travel information

The DFCSG - strengthening the roots of our club

The DFCSG created and manage the B2D fund, which is funding available to help establish the Club back in Darlington. The fund acts as the primary collection pot for monies raised from direct donations and events organised by the DFCSG Fundraising Group.

Of course, there are many ways in which you can help the club directly but, if you’re specifically looking for a quick and easy way to support the establishment of a solid foundation for the Club in its new home, then it only takes a few minutes to set up a one-off or regular donation to the B2D Fund either by your online or high street banking service.

For monthly standing orders or a one off donation please send monies to the following account:

“Darlington FC Supporters Group”
Lloyds Bank
Sort code: 30-84-43
Account No: 30283268

To pay by cheque please make cheque payable to
“Darlington FC Supporters Group” and send to

Darlington FC Supporters Group
c/o Blackwell Meadows
Grange Road
County Durham

Please quote your name in the reference area when using internet banking and, on the back of your cheque, include your name and address.

Remember there are many ways to help the Club… can you think of any more? Please tell us about it either by email or in person at the Fans Table in the bar at all home games.

  • Buying a Season Ticket helps to provide the Manager with additional funding needed to strengthen the team at the start of each new season
  • Attending matches provides the club with a constant stream of money throughout the season, from additional match-day ticket sales and revenues from catering and other sales (e.g. programme sales, match-day raffle tickets, 50:50 match-day draw, Club merchandise).
  • The Come On Darlo Prediction League is a fun way to add a little bit of an edge to your season - use your skill and judgement to predict how we and the other local clubs will do in the coming season, and who will be the big winners and losers nationally, come the end of the season.
  • The Sponsor a Goal scheme is a fan-run initiative which has raised over £8000 for the Club since it began in season 2012-13.
  • For as little as £5/month the DFC Fans Lottery Draw provides you with the chance to win either £50 in each weekly draw, or even more in the monthly Super Draw. The Lottery has raised more than £10,000 for the Club over the past 12 months.
  • The Fundraising Group runs a series of entertainment fundraising events over the year, the proceeds of which go into the B2D fund.
The Darlington FC Supporters Group (DFCSG) was established on April 10th 2015 with the merger of the CIC, Supporters Club and Supporters Trust. Darlington FC Supporters Group holds approximately 62% of the equity of Darlington Football Club and is therefore the major shareholder as well as being the Corporate Director of Darlington Football Club 1883 Ltd.

quaker-retail-160x200.jpgQuaker Retail is the club shop and is open Monday to Friday between 10am and 1pm in the foyer at the Dolphin Centre, in Darlington Marketplace.

To contact the shop either telephone 07717345004 (only available during shop opening hours) or send an email to:

You can also shop online at

Join the DFCSG

Join the DFCSG online right now and have a say in the future of your club.


Join the DFCSG


Renew Membership

Contact us

If you have any questions for the DFCSG Board, or would like to get more involved by contributing your thoughts or ideas on how to make our Club even more successful, or if you have any other matter that you’d like to raise or perhaps even stand for election to the DFCSG Board then you can contact us here.