Gateshead cleared for Filtrona Park

Gateshead Football Club today received the consent of the UniBond League to host three fixtures in April at Filtrona Park, South Shields.  The temporary re-location has been necessary due to the unavailability of the International Stadium because of the installation of a new athletics track.  

Representatives from the UniBond League inspected the ground of the Albany Northern League club on Sunday and after carrying out all of the necessary protocol have granted Gateshead permission to stage the Premier Division fixtures against Runcorn FC Halton (Saturday 5th April), Whitby Town (Wednesday 16th April) and Worksop Town (Saturday 19th April) at Filtrona Park.

Gateshead Chairman Mike Coulson paid thanks to South Shields counterpart John Rundle, “The unavailability of the International Stadium put us in a very problematical position.  After investigating several options for alternative venues, South Shields turned out to be the most co-operative and obliging club.  They have done us a massive favour in allowing us to use their ground and I’d like to put on record my thanks to John Rundle.  We won’t forget what they have done for us and I only hope that we will be able to return the favour in some way”.

Inspectors and Gateshead officials were met with tragic news upon their arrival at Filtrona Park last Sunday morning.  South Shields officials were busy coming to terms with the news that one of their players had been killed the previous evening in a car accident.  22-year-old Keith Wealands had just featured for the Mariners in their 2-2 draw with Eppleton CW before the car that he was travelling in lost control on the town’s John Reid Road.  The up and coming defender had just broken into the first team and was believed to have a bright future ahead of him.  Gateshead FC have passed on their deepest sympathies and condolences to those who knew him at South Shields.  The club have offered to play a friendly match with the Mariners with all proceeds going to the family of Keith Wealands.  A bucket collection will also take place at tomorrow’s League Cup Semi-Final match with Rossendale United.