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FA Vase 10th Year Anniversary Charity Game

Billy Interview

As we look ahead our FA Vase 10th year celebration game against 4 times winner Whitley Bay, we speak to three former players, Chris Swailes, Andrew Bulford and Andy Clark, as they prepare to grace the hallowed turf of The UTS Stadium once again this coming Saturday.


As we look ahead our  FA Vase 10th year celebration game against 4 times winner Whitley Bay, we speak to three former players, as they prepare to grace the hallowed turf of The UTS Stadium once again.

Current Dunston UTS FC Manager Chris Swailes, who won the FA Vase three times during his long career, who still holds the record as the oldest player to score in a Wembley Cup Final, explains why sitting behind him on the bus after celebrating a win at Wembley is never a wise move.

I was 41 at the time and older than most of the lads. In over 1000 appearances it was the first time ever in a game I’d had of feeling heavy leggy. That game at Wembley was first time I’d ever worn molds in a competitive game.

We didn’t concede many goals, I realised that if we got a few goals West Auckland wouldn’t get more, which is massive platform to build on.

There comes a time where you knew you’d won a games. I remember looking over at Ben Cattanach and Michael Robson, Ben was just emotional, but barring something catastrophic from happening, I knew we’d win. When the balls goes out for 5 seconds and you can take it all in, you know you’ve won and we knew we’d given it our all.

I scored a goal but it was ruled offside. It wasn’t offside, the liner was behind me, if he had of been on the opposite side, I think it would’ve stood.

Michael Chilton was stupid enough to sit behind me on the bus on the way back, I counted 52 farts on that journey all off the night before. After breakfast we were straight on the bus and carried on the drink, drinking back all the way to in the Tudor Rose. Michael Chilton’s face, all the way back up, realising he should never have sat behind me. His face went from jubilant to sorrow, pure sorrow.


Andrew Bulford

Dunston’s all-time leading scorer, who scored in every game of every round during the clubs 2021/22 FA Vase winning season, provides us with some of his memories from that famous run.

Everything flew over so quickly, but there are three things that always stand out in my mind, getting that first goal and the record for Matty. Running on the pitch when the final whistle had gone and my best mate Shawsy wiping me out. Getting to the top of the stairs and seeing all the committee there with us. It was just a perfect day from start to finish.

The stand out memory from that run was half time at the first game when we were 7-0 up. I was walking off with Shawsy and we tried to remain respectful,  but just burst out laughing as I don’t think we had ever been 7-0 up at half time before ever.

I can’t wait for the game to get back together with the lads, committee and fans. Also we get on really well with all the Whitley lads and let’s be honest, without their achievements in the vase we would never have believed it would be possible to go win it as well.


Andrew Clark

In three spells at The UTS Stadium in 13 seasons, Andy Clark finally announced his intention to leave at the end of the 2021/22 season. This coming Saturday could well be his last ever Dunston appearance. 

The day was amazing, walking up and the buzz of heading into Wembley to grace the hallowed turf, mind you they could have put a bit water on it.

Seeing the changing rooms set up and the faces of all the lads getting ready for the big game will always stay with me.

I missed the second goal as I had to pop to the changing rooms. When I came out it took about 5 mins for me to realise we had scored a second goal, and then the nerves kicked in over the last ten minutes. We weren’t holding on to a lead, we were attacking but there is still always that doubt. The whole day was amazing, I wish I could do it every weekend.

Published Wednesday 11th May 2022