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FA to erect statue for first black professional footballer

Former Darlington goalkeeper Arthur Wharton Credit: EMPICS/EMPICS Sport

A statue of the world's first black professional footballer is to be erected at the National Football Centre.

Former Darlington goalkeeper Arthur Wharton will be depicted in a 16ft bronze statue at St. George's Park, in Burton-upon-Trent, 125 years after turning pro when he signed for Rotherham United in 1889.

The Arthur Wharton Foundation, in collaboration with the Football Association, is set to unveil the full-scale statue of Wharton later this year.

Born in Ghana, Wharton moved to England in 1882 and went on to represent Darlington, Rotherham United, Preston North End and Sheffield United.

Wharton was an all-round athlete and also became the first official 100-yard world record holder and world champion in 1886, with a time of 10 seconds at the AAA Championships in London.

Rugby club confirm Darlington FC talks

Darlington 1883 FC have opened negotiations with Darlington RFC with a view to ground-sharing the club's Blackwell Meadows site in Darlington.

A statement on Darlington RFC's official website reads:

Unofficial talks with Darlington FC have been replaced with official ones following the signing of a Heads of Agreement (Memorandum of Understanding).

Darlington RFC will now enter official negotiations to see whether we can Darlington FC facilitate a move back to the town and bring home an important sporting institution for Darlington.

We still remain in the early stages and very soon Darlington RFC will hold an open meeting for its members to come and discuss the potential future development.

– Statement from Darlington RFC

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Darlington FC to begin ground-share talks

Darlington FC supporters Credit: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

Darlington 1883 FC have reached an agreement with Darlington RFC to discuss plans for a potential ground-share - bringing the football club back to its hometown.

The Quakers have been sharing Heritage Park in Bishop Auckland for the past two seasons after financial difficulties forced the club to leave the Northern Echo Arena.

However, the club has now signed a memorandum of understanding with Darlington RFC to enter official negotiations regarding the possibility of sharing Blackwell Meadows.

Rugby team set to takeover Quakers' stadium

The rugby club hopes to start using the arena early next year Credit: PA

Darlington Mowden Park rugby team have completed a deal to buy the town's former football stadium.

The Quakers left their 25 thousand seater ground earlier this year after severe financial problems saw them relegated to the Northern League.

The rugby club hopes to start using the Arena early next year.

Darlington Football club now plays it's home matches in Bishop Auckland.

Relegation 'not what the fans wanted'

The Chairman of DFC 1883 Ltd, Dennis Pinegar, says the FA's decision to place the club in the Northern League is not what the interim board wanted.

Following a hearing at Wembley Stadium this morning the FA dismissed an appeal against the decision on all counts.

The club will now be playing in level 5 of the football pyramid next season and not be allowed to play under the name Darlington FC.

I know there is nothing else that could have been done in order to get the result of the appeal changed, the FA have decided that we are to be viewed as a new club and as much as we can challenge that and argue the case we have to now accept that.

There has been a lot of uncertainty around this club in recent times, and the fans deserve better. It's our job now to work with the fans, get the fans to back the club and get the club back playing in Darlington - at the highest level we can, as soon as we can.

– Dennis Pinegar, 1883 Ltd Chairman

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FA confirm date for Darlington FC appeal

Darlington FC 1883 Ltd have been told by the FA that their appeal against the FA decision to class Darlington FC as a "new club" and to place the club at level 5 of the football pyramid will be heard on the 21st June 2012.

We have to be confident when we go down as we put forward a strong appeal, but we are taking nothing for granted. We will be well prepared and hope to come back with a positive and fair result.

– Laura Drew, director of DFC 1883 Ltd

Darlington appeal against FA relegation

Darlington FC have lodged an appeal against the decision to relegate the club four divisions.

The Quakers were relegated to the Northern League Division One on the recommendation of the Football Association after going into administration last season.

The club were recently taken over by the group Darlington FC 1883 Limited, and classed as a 'new club' as debts remained with the existing holding company and not the new company.

The FA said the Northern League Division One was the highest league they could be placed in.

Darlington FC 1883 argue that it is not a new club, and say they submitted their appeal last Friday afternoon.

Chairman Denis Pinnegar said:

"The amount of positive support we have had for this appeal has been a great boost, we have to be hopeful that it will be successful."

– Denis Pinnegar, Chairman of Darlington FC 1883 Limited
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