Darlington, as we knew ’em at least, are no more. The Quakers ceased to be. Darlo’s adventure started back in 1883, but came to a shuddering halt in 2012. The club had gone into administration for the third time in less than 10 years and was taken over in that summer. Failing a CVA, however, meant they were expelled from the FA and wound up. So, it’s possible to argue (as some do) that Darlo lived on.
The FA, however, did not see it that way; ruling it was a “new” club: Darlington 1883.
Before it all went wrong, we came up against the Quakers in our 2002-3 FA Cup Round Two clash. If we hoped they were ripe for a cupset, we were quickly and easily proved wrong. The Quakers cast us aside in a 4-1 win to earn the spot in Round Three we so desperately wanted. It makes it worse to learn that we’d have played Farnborough Town in the next round; the winner taking on Arsenal. In the aftermath of that game, things went full mini-circle.
- 26 December 2002: Kettering inflict Boro’s fourth straight defeat – including the Darlo disaster. Wayne Turner gets the sack.
- 28 December 2002: Boro’ romp to a five-goal win against Graham Westley’s Farnborough
- 4 January 2003: Graham Westley’s Farnborough go to Feethams in the FA Cup Third Round and overcome The Quakers
- 28 January 2003: Graham Westley quits Farnborough to take up the Boro’ hotseat