This is the website of Darlington Away Far Travelling Supporters – DAFTS.
We will be updating our away guides for 2021/2022 with Darlo again in the Vanarama National League North.
We’re hoping the disruption affecting the curtailed previous season is a thing of the past – and we can all start enjoying football again, with things as normal as possible.
2021/2022 away trips:
Monday 30th August – Curzon Ashton
Saturday 11th September – Blyth Spartans
Tuesday 14th September (rearranged) Brackley
Saturday 16th October – Boston Utd
Tuesday 26th October – Southport
Saturday 6th November – Kettering Town
Saturday 13th November – Chester
Saturday 4th December – Chorley
Sunday 26th December – Spennymoor Town
Saturday 8th January – Farsley Celtic
Saturday 22nd January – AFC Telford Utd
Saturday 5th February – Guiseley
Saturday 19th February – Gloucester City
Tuesday 22nd February – AFC Fylde
Saturday 12th March – York City
Saturday 19th March – Hereford
Saturday 2nd April Leamington
Saturday 9th April – Alfreton Town
Easter Monday 18th April – Gateshead
Saturday 30th April – Bradford Park Avenue
Saturday 7th May (DAFTS Flat Cap weekend) – Kidderminster Harriers
If you have information to share about any trips to come for this season, please leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org
WHO ARE WE?
We are a group of far-flung and exiled fans of Darlington FC – and in the winter of 2019 we celebrated our 25th anniversary.
This is the erstwhile Football League club which fell on hard times. Remember the mad owner who built us a 26,000-seater stadium and we went bust? Yes, that one.
Well, thankfully we are living, breathing and thriving. The club is now fan-run and we are playing a sixth season in the Vanarama Conference North in 2021/22 after four promotions in five seasons.
Darlington are also back in Darlington again (with our original name).
The disruption from the Covid pandemic, with Darlington only able to play 11 games in the expunged 2021/22 season, means fans are raring to go.
What do we do?
DAFTS has been going for 27 years in 2021/2022. There is no longer an email list of “members”, but we will advertise and share any offers of lifts, transport and meet-ups. We try to meet for as many Saturday away games as possible, with recommended pubs; we plan weekenders. We also meet in Darlington for many home matches
The group can put fans in touch to help share travelling costs, or just help provide a focus for meeting before a game.
It can be a lonely existence being a Darlo fan in some parts of the country…(even in Darlington at times..)
DAFTS can put you in touch with other members in your local area – it can lead to car-shares or just sharing knowledge of handy places to meet for a pre-match pint or snack. It’s all free and a mailing list with information pack goes out once a season and for the last three years we’ve been on-line!
We’d be pleased to receive any suggestions and contributions – so if you’ve got suggestions for a place to stay, drink or eat for forthcoming games, or any messages or appeals, get in touch.
Have you got room in your car or need a lift to the game? Have some pub recommendations or wonder if there’s a Darlo fan living in your area? Why not email us?
DAFTS was founded back in the winter of 1994 by the sadly departed Bob Barnes, a fan living in the Midlands.
He got the idea for the name after hearing of a Rochdale exiles fan-club run by former students in the south west – Bath University Rochdale Keen Supporters (BURKS..)
From a first meeting before a FA Cup tie, in recent years with the hard work of Darlo fan Neil Johnson (London, Aberdeen and for many years in Norway!) and his trusty notebook, the membership has grown and since the Summer of 2001 we’ve also had a website presence (you’re already here in case you didn’t realise) and an e-mail group of around 220 fans and growing.
DAFTS are a group of exiles and far-flung fans, who meet together at Darlington FC away games – and some at home matches too – and can put fans in touch to help share travelling costs, or just help provide a focus for meeting in the pub or on the more scenic trips or weekends away.
As well as “weekenders” at matches, from seaside towns to London, we have been on pre-season tours to the Isle of Man in 2000 and 2002 and Ireland in 2001. Those were the days when Darlo played pre-season tours!
What others said
“Darlo may now be haemorrhaging spectators as quickly as they were spunking away currency between their 914 periods in administration, but in DAFTS they retain one of the friendliest and most distinctive fan sites you’ll come across. A joyful jumble of a thing, with writing that’s unpretentious and kind, it evokes a very real sense of the life of the club and fans.”
Cod Alimighty (Grimsby)
“A top site this, one of the best in the whole division, sorry League Two (puke). Well put together, useful, tells you things you actually want to know. Oh and independent. That’s not official; not a franchised effort; that’s INDEPENDENT. Sadly there are fewer and fewer such sites.”
Recommended among a dozen independent football fans’ websites, for having “variety, depth, strong writing, original design and history” – When Saturday Comes