Ben Clark – Manager
Gateshead manager Ben Clark first arrived at the International Stadium as a major signing following his release from Hartlepool United in 2010. Born in Consett, the centre-half signed for Sunderland after leaving Manchester United as a teenager, going on to make a handful of appearances for the Black Cats at first-team level. A successful six-year spell with the Victoria Park outfit followed, before Clark linked up with Ian Bogie’s Gateshead. A virtual ever-present in 2015/16, Clark made almost 300 appearances for the Tynesiders in all competitions before his retirement from playing in September 2016. Since then the long term Heed captain became part of the coaching and community set-up at the club and was appointed as first-team manager in January 2019 following the departure of Steve Watson.
Ian Watson – Assistant Manager
Former Spennymoor Town and Blyth Spartans left-back Ian Watson has been part of the coaching set-up at the International Stadium for a number of years as the Heed’s strength and conditioning coach. ‘Busted’ had two separate spells at Spartans between 2013 and 2019, making just shy of 100 appearances for the Northumberland based outfit, scoring twice. Watson’s spell at Blyth was brought to an end when he was named as Ben Clark’s assistant manager at Gateshead in January 2019.
A familiar name to those on Tyneside, experienced centre-back Mike Williamson returned to the north east to sign for Gateshead in the summer of 2018, three years after leaving Premier League side and cross river neighbours Newcastle United. The Stoke-born defender amassed over 130 top-flight appearances for the Magpies over a six year spell and was part of Alan Pardew’s side who claimed a surprise fifth-place finish in 2011/12. Prior to his spell at Newcastle, Williamson made just shy of 200 appearances for Football League sides Torquay United, Wycombe Wanderers and Watford. The 6ft 4in defender has earned three promotions as a player, most recently with United, as they claimed the 2009/10 Championship title. Since leaving Newcastle with 170 appearances and two goals to his name, Williamson spent two seasons at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship before moving to League One side Oxford United last season, making 17 appearances in all competitions. After leaving Oxford, Williamson joined up to train with the Heed in pre-season before being offered a contract at the club soon after. In January 2019, Williamson was named as an official player-coach as part of new Heed manager Ben Clark’s coaching team.
Heed Debut: home v Dover (11/08/18)
Individual honours at the Heed:
Gateshead FC Player of the Month – October 2018
National League Player of the Month – October 2018