The Bishops - Celebrating the story of Bishop Auckland’s Amateur Footballers

All Images ©Alastair Flindall

Bishop Auckland, a town in County Durham, is home to one of the most successful amateur football teams of all time. During their heyday in the 1950’s, they dominated the league tables, winning multiple amateur FA cup titles and filling Wembley Stadium with audiences of 90,000.

On one of these trips to Wembley, 19 year-old Bob Thursby, stepped onto the turf and helped Bishop Auckland FC to a historic win. He went on to become one of the team’s most successful players and was selected to play for the England amateur side 20 times, captaining them 7 times. Despite his hugely successful footballing career, he never received anything more than travel expenses, meaning most players had to pursue another career. Bishop Auckland residents had the unique position of being able to say that their dentist was also the captain of England.

I have been working in Bishop Auckland for a digital artist residency commissioned by No More Nowt, to reveal stories of men’s pastimes to raise aspirations for future generations. Through a series of community engagement activities, I created an analogue mural celebrating Bob’s story, which could then be brought to life with an augmented reality animation.

On November the 15th, we unveiled the mural at the BATH Gallery in the Town Hall. It was our great pleasure to have Bob and his family there to see the mural for the first time. It was truly a special evening.

The piece will be touring the region after the exhibition closes, so if you are a sports venue, gallery or museum and want to house the portable mural as part of it’s tour, get in touch with us via

To learn more about the project, please visit the No More Nowt website.

And you can follow me on Instagram @neckofthewoodstudio

The project was funded by No More Nowt and supported by Durham Amateur Football Trust (DAFT) and Bishop Auckland FC.


Related links

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.