Andrew Clarkson, Alex Francis and Jack Honour will lead Birtley into their first ever season in Northern League Division One. 

Birtley are delighted to announce that Andrew Clarkson has been made club captain for the 23/24 season. Clarky has been with the club for a number of years and plays a key role within the club, making his debut in August 2015 in a 1-0 defeat against Billingham Town. Since then he has went on to make 63 appearances scoring 15 goals.

Last season Clarkson’s game time became limited with striking duo Aidan Rutledge and Glen Hargrave scoring 80 goals between them. Clarkson’s contribution to the team did not go unnoticed by Paul Foster and Paul Bryson who are delighted that he has agreed to become club captain.  

Clarky celebrates our promotion after a frantic play-off final win against Billingham Town. 

The manager’s wanted to reward Clarky with an appropriate role. “Clarky did this role last year just without having the title. He’s a great club man. He’s brilliant for all of the management team but also in the changing room with the lads. Every club needs someone like this in their dressing room. Its obvious that he loves the club and he is being rewarded with this role. He will also play his part on the field with the attributes he has.”

Jack Honour and Alex Francis will remain as the team captains. Jack has made 131 appearances for The Hoops scoring 37 goals. His debut came on 11th August 2012 when Birtley drew 1-1 with North Shields in the FA Cup. Jack lifted the Northern Alliance League Cup in 2018 whilst ensuring promotion back to the Northern League.

His leadership and mentality on the field were a huge miss at the end of last season when he suffered a serious knee injury but the skipper has returned for pre-season and continues to work on his fitness.

“We expect Jacky to be out for a little while yet, we spoke many times last season about what a big miss he was for us. The key thing for Jack is that he continues to work hard and get back to full fitness.”

Jack Honour missed the end of the 22/23 campaign but is looking to regain full fitness this season.

With Jack Honour certain to miss the start of the season, the armband will be back with Alex Francis. Franco was our team captain as we secured our play-off position and led the team and two tense play-off games. Alex played a leading role in both of our play-off games when leadership on the field was key when both games went to nail-biting penalty shootouts.

“Alex will remain as the skipper on the field, he’s been excellent in that role. He is an experienced player and knows how to get the best out of those around him. He still hits the high standards that he sets for himself.”

Alex will be supported in his role by long-serving defender Sam Hedley

Alex Francis looks composed after scoring his penalty against Billingham Town

The club would like to pay thanks to Joe Barwick who was a fantastic servant to the club as vice-captain for a number of years.