Jarrow Roofing supremo Richie McLoughlin says his ‘heart is broken’ after the club sensationally folded after more than 30 years in existence.
The Roofers, formed by McLoughlin in the 1980s, resigned yesterday from the Northern League and will no longer be in operation.
McLoughlin, who started the club as a Sunday morning team in the Tyne & Wear Business Houses League before switching to Saturday football, has been manager, chairman, groundsman and main sponsor for more than three decades.
But he has decided to call it a day and Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Stockton Town, at their Boldon Sports Ground home, is the club’s last fixture.
McLoughlin said: “I just couldn’t go on any more. It was too hard.
“I’m very emotional about it. My heart is broken and it’s killing me, but it’s the right decision.
“I’m not daft, I know when it’s time to call it a day. No one can go on forever.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. This has been the worst season for 35 years. It’s been a long time coming and I need to enjoy my spare time now.
“I had a few drinks after the game yesterday and wanted to sleep on it, just to make sure, but it’s done now.”
Roofing finished third-bottom of the Northern League Division One table and were set to be relegated to Division Two.
McLoughlin admitted the change in culture around Saturday football and among players had contributed to his decision to step down, but he also wants to enjoy time with his wife Jan away from the game.
He said: “There’s been problems all season, but I didn’t want to chuck it mid-season.
“I can’t remember us having us having a full squad. We had six or eight players out all the time and just couldn’t get a run going.
“You used to be able to pick a team on a Friday night, but now you get players pulling out even later.
“The culture has changed among players. Sunday football comes first for some of them and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
Roofing’s high point came in 2004/05, when they reached the FA Vase semi-finals.
A spokesman for the Ebac Northern League said: “It’s sad to lose any club, and it’s even harder to lose one where someone like Richie McLoughlin has put so much hard work in over many years to build the club up from scratch and keep it going in what have often been very difficult times for many clubs at this level.
“We would like to thank everyone involved and wish them all the best for the future.”
Roofing bowed out with a 3-1 defeat to FA Vase finalists Stockton Town.
Liam Anderson did put McLoughlin’s men in front, blasting home after 17 minutes, but Chris Stockton levelled in the 58th minute.
Sonni Coleman’s well-taken brace, in the 68th and 90th minutes, sealed the Teessiders’ win.
Shildon rose above Sunderland RCA to clinch a third-place finish, thanks to a narrow 3-2 final-game victory over battling Ryhope CW.
RCA, who finish in a very creditable fourth place, were looking for a favour from their neighbours.
But, despite an excellent effort, Gary Pearson’s men succumbed to a 3-2 defeat at Dean Street to see Shildon move a point above RCA into third place.
The Railwaymen took an early lead through a Carl Jones header, but Stephen Ramsay’s header made it 1-1, just before half-time.
Two further goals from Billy Greulich-Smith and Matty Robson put Shildon 3-1 up.
Although Ramsay made it 3-2 immediately after Robson’s strike, the home side held on for the win, their second in three days against Ryhope, following Thursday’s 3-1 away triumph.
Ryhope conclude their campaign with a noon trip to Dunston UTS today. Victory would take them above Ashington into 11th place.
RCA’s fourth-place finish matches their memorable effort in 2011/12, when they only ended nine points behind champions Spennymoor Town.
Marske United were held to a goalless draw at home to Newcastle Benfield, however, the point was enough to crown them as worthy champions.
Although the game produced no real clear-cut chances, their success - as they moved four points clear of long-time leaders Morpeth Town - will make up for the disappointment of the FA Vase exit at the semi-final stage
Marske’s incredible run of fixtures continues at Guisborough today (noon) before they host Stockton Town on Wednesday. After the Stockton game, they will be presented with the trophy, their second Northern League title following their success in 2014/15..
Boss Carl Jarrett was thrilled with his side’s title triumph and tweeted: “wow, what a bunch of lads we have at Marske United. Heart, passion, desire, togetherness and a winning mentality all rolled in to one. That’s what makes you champions - this one is special.”
Morpeth finish off with a home game against Seaham Red Star on Wednesday.
Dunston UTS, with three games to be played in the next four days to end their season, climbed into 10th place thanks to a close-fought 1-0 win over Guisborough Town.
The all-important goal came in the 27th minute, with striker Mark Fitzpatrick slotting home following good work from Jack Elliott.
Dunston host Ryhope CW at noon today, then entertain relegated Washington on Wednesday and Stockton Town on Thursday.
Bottom club Billingham Synthonia lost 3-1 at home to Penrith to complete a torrid season for the Synners, who ended with a goal difference of -100.
Jonny Murray scored a goal in each half to put the Bonny Blues 2-0 ahead.
Callum Webster pulled on back with five minutes remaining, but Penrith responded immediately to make it 3-1, with Connor Shields striking.
Penrith finish nine points ahead of the bottom three.