Darlington will return to their home town after an absence of over four years after their new Blackwell Meadows home passed a Football Association inspection.

That means that their Vanarama National League North fixture against FC Halifax Town on Boxing Day will be their first game in Darlington since 2012.

The move sees the Quakers groundsharing with Darlington Rugby Club.

FA inspectors spent two hours at Blackwell Meadows on Monday and after expressing their satisfaction with the facilities, gave the green light for Boxing Day’s all ticket game with the Shaymen to go ahead.

Darlington FC director Richard Cook said; “I am very proud and absolutely delighted that we have been given the go-ahead to return to the town. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work by so many people. I am sure that a lot of Darlington FC fans are, like me, greatly looking forward to the first game back in the town. We are also looking forward to a long and happy working relationship with Darlington Rugby Club.”

Darlington Rugby Club chairman Mike Wilkinson, who also expressed his great pleasure at the news, said; “We are delighted that we have now got to the point where rugby and football will be played at Blackwell Meadows. It is a good Christmas present for the supporters of both clubs and the town in general. Everyone is looking forward to 2017.”

Darlington FC director John Tempest commented “I’m sure that many Darlington fans will be very happy with the news that the club will be returning to the town. Everyone will feel the same as I do, that the return to the town has been a long time coming for us. We would like to thank everybody who has helped us along the way, their help and advice is much appreciated. We would also like to thank Bishop Auckland Football Club, who have been excellent hosts since we moved there to groundshare in 2012.”

Malcolm Cundick, who has been the Blackwell Meadows project manager since the start, said; “I am very, very pleased, because I have been working on this project for four years. I am more than happy with the end product, and am very excited for the future.”

Source and Image: Darlington FC

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