A Brief History
Crook joined the Northern League in 1896 and first won the Amateur Cup in 1901 beating Kings Lynn 3 – 0 at Ipswich after a 1 – 1 draw at Dover Court in Essex.
In 1913 Crook toured Barcelona to help establish football as the main sport in the region of Catalonia instead of bullfighting. Feeling was so high against this that King Alfonso of Spain who had hoped to attend the three games but couldn’t do so because of the attempts on his life. Crook man Jack Greenwell organised the tour and went on to become the first English manager of Barcelona until the mid thirties when he took over the Spanish national side until the civil war. He managed Peru in 1938 which capped off a remarkable life for the son of a miner!
There were two further successful tours to Barcelona during the 1920-21 & 1921-22 seasons.
The infamous ‘Crook Town Affair’ where several players and officials were suspended for making illegal payments to amateur players made front page news in 1928.
Crook became a semi-professional club during the 1930-31 season as Crook F.C. and reached the third round of The F.A. Cup for the only time during the 1931-32 season. Centre forward Colin Cook scored a remarkable 72 goals that season.
The 1936-37 season saw Crook revert back to amateur status and became Crook Town.
During the 1945-46 season Crook Town become Crook Colliery Welfare.
In 1949 Crook reached the semi-final of the Amateur Cup losing 3 – 0 at West Ham to Romford after a 2 -2 draw at Roker Park.
In the early 1950’s gates of 10,000 were the norm for cup ties. The highest recorded gate was 17,000 plus v Walton and Hersham in a 0 – 0 draw. That season Crook were involved in the first non league cup tie to be shown live on TV on a Saturday afternoon. Crook winning 3 – 1 at Romford in front of a 13,000 crowd.
Crook won the Amateur Cup in the 1953 – 54 season playing in the longest cup final ever v Bishop Auckland with 200,000 in attendance over the three games. The final scores for the three games were 2 – 2 A.E.T. at Wembley, 2 – 2 A.E.T. at St. James Park and 1 – 0 to Crook at Ayresome Park.
Crook played Derby County in the first round of the FA Cup during the 1955-56 season drawing 2 – 2 at the Millfield, but losing 5 – 1 away in the replay.
Crook were League champions and Amateur Cup winners beating Barnet 3 – 2 in the final at Wembley in the 1958-59 season.
In the 1961-62 season Crook once again won the Amateur Cup beating Hounslow Town 4 – 0 at Ayresome Park after a 1- 1 draw at Wembley.
During the 1962-63 season Crook had a two match tour of Norway. Crook defeating a South Norway XI 4 – 3, but were beaten 3 – 2 the next day to Vikings.
Crook were Amateur Cup winners in the 1963-64 season beating Enfield 2 – 1 at Wembley.
During the 1964-65 season Crook beat Carlisle 1 – 0 in the first round of the F.A. Cup, but lost 1 – 0 to Oldham Athletic in the second round.
In 1976 Crook became the first English club to tour India playing six games. A gate of 100,000 watched Crook play the Indian national side, but they were beaten 1 – 0 in 90 degree temperatures.
During the late 70’s there was an increase of interest and also brief revivals during the 80’s and 90’s and the early part of the new century, but without the help and encouragement of Sir Tom Cowie the club would not have survived.