Ryton & Crawcrook Albion Football Club ("RACA FC") are an non-league football club based in Crawcrook (near Ryton) in the North East of England, currently playing in the Northern League Second Division - level 10 in the English football pyramid.
Shortly after the start of the 1970-71 football season John Oliver, the club’s first secretary, and Les Robson were approached to see if a club could be formed quickly to take over the fixtures of Prudhoe and West Wylam Co-op who had just resigned from the Northern Combination League.
After securing a loan from Ryton Social Club of 12 pounds 10 shillings John and Les approached local councilor Leo Murray and got permission to play football at Stargate.
Ryton FC played their first Northern Combination League game, a 3-3 draw, against works team Parsons Athletic on Saturday 17th October 1970.
The mid-1980’s saw the club transfer to Clara Vale for home games and during this period Ryton won the Prudhoe Hospital Cup twice, the Northern Combination League Cup as well as the Durham County FA Trophy.
Following the amalgamation, in 1988, of the Northern Alliance, the Northern Combination and the Northern Amateur League’s into three divisions, Ryton were allocated a position in the First Division of the newly structured Northern Football Alliance league.
Ryton won the Division One title in 1997, thus securing promotion to the Premier Division where the club remained until gaining promotion to the Northern League at the end of the 2004–05 season.
The 2005-06 season marked Ryton’s first campaign in the Northern League finishing a respectable 11th place in Division Two, followed by a 12th place finish in 2006-07 then a commendable 3rd place in 2007-08 which gained Ryton promotion to Division 1 for the 2008-09 season where the club finished a very creditable 10th place.
Unfortunately that was where the upward progress ended as the following season we finished 17th, then came the infamous 2010-11 season which saw us finish rock bottom with just 8 points, receiving a whole host of league & cup drubbings on the way including Shildon beating us 10-0 & 7-0 in the league & losing 8-0 at home to South Shields in the FA Vase.
Coupled with the fact that our facilities are based in Crawcrook, and wishing to involve the local community further, the club sought, and was subsequently granted permission by the Durham FA, to change the name to Ryton & Crawcrook Albion Football Club at the commencement of the 2011-12 campaign in which we finished 18th in our first season back in the second division.
The 2012-13 season saw a slight improvement in fortunes with a 14th placed finish. Then our new, very young outfit in 2013-14 under the guidance of manager John Wilson & his team, also then new to the club, faced a tough campaign with survival the target which was famously secured on our last match of the season. With the squad older and wiser & stability achieved, there was an upward progression with a mid-table finish in 2014-15.
The 2015/16 campaign started under the stewardship of Wilson's former assistant Paul Dobie with Sunderland academy coach Jordan Moore as coach for RACA.
However, despite a decent start Paul resigned in October & was swiftly replaced by former Ryton player Craig Robson with Carl Piecha, another ex player as his assistant, with Jordan remaining as coach. The campaign ultimately proved slightly disappointing with RACA losing every cup game & finishing only 16th in the table.
The 2016/17 season proved to be even worse and Robson stood down, Moore moving up to manager before Peter Bryson took over in January 2017 with Jordan reverting back to a coaching role. However, Brysa resigned just two months into the job & so Albion quickly acquired the services of Monkseaton boss Anthony Fawcett who steered the club away from relegation. Jordan moved to Whickham so Tony & new assistant Simon Moody transformed the squad in 2017-18 with a host of players from Monkseaton FC & North Tyneside signing on.
A steady season followed culminating in an appearance in the Ernest Armstrong Cup final, Albion’s first Northern League cup final which we lost 2-0 to Chester-Le-Street Town.
The 2018-19 season promises to be a season of steady improvement with a top-half finish the stated aim while in 2020 the club will celebrate it's half-century.
Off the field, a lottery grant achieved in 1998, saw a further move to our current home at Kingsley Park. A highlight being that this facility was officially opened by H.R.H. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
Thanks to a Football Foundation grant a third generation all-weather seven-a-side pitch has now been installed which is not only used by club members but is also open to the local community where it is often used by schools and youth organisations.
The football club is recognised as having achieved chartered status and offers the chance for a child to be coached in football skills from the age of 6 years of age, through all age groups, up to senior level.
The club currently has numerous teams, ranging from Under 7 years of age through to the senior side level & pyramid level 5 women’s side RACA Tynedale Ladies FC.