Darlington Football Club was an English football club based in Darlington, County Durham. The club was founded in 1883, and played its games at Feethams, before moving to the Darlington Arena in 2003. The arena is an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 25,000, although this was restricted to 10,000. The cost of the stadium was a major factor in driving the club into administration. The club originally played in regionally organised leagues, and were one of the founding members of the Northern League in 1889. They were first admitted to the Football League when the Third Division North was formed in 1921.
They won the Third Division North title in 1925, and their 15th place in the Second Division in 1926 remained their highest ever league finish. After their admission to the League, they spent most of their history in the bottom tier. They won the Third Division North Cup in 1934; their first victory in nationally organised cup competition. They reached the last 16 of the FA Cup twice, and the quarter-final of the Football League Cup once, in 1968. In the early 1990s they won successive titles, with the Conference National in 1990 and the Fourth Division in 1991. In 2011 they won the FA Trophy, defeating Mansfield Town 1–0 at Wembley Stadium.
In May 2012, the club was bought out of a period of administration without entering into a Creditors Voluntary Agreement (CVA). The Football Association ruled that it should be treated as a new club, which required a change of playing name. The name chosen was Darlington 1883, and that team was placed in the Northern League Division One, which is the ninth tier of English football, for the 2012–13 season.
The club's main rivals were Hartlepool United. The club's traditional colours were black and white shirts, black shorts and black and white socks. The club's crest depicted Locomotion No 1, referring to the town's railway history; as well as a stylised Quaker hat, referring to the religious movement that had a historic influence on the town, and which was the source of the team's nickname, the Quakers.Close