This is the website of Darlington Away Far Travelling Supporters – DAFTS.
We will be updating our away guides for 2020/2021 with Darlo again in the Vanarama National League North.
With the uncertainty over coronavirus, we still don’t know when clubs will allow fans back in – and whether away supporters will be accommodated.
Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we can make a trip…
2020/2021 away trips:
Tuesday 6th October – AFC Fylde
Saturday 17th October Leamington
Saturday 31st October – Curzon Ashton
Saturday 7th November – Brackley
Tuesday 17th November – Guiseley
Saturday 21st November – Alfreton Town
Saturday 12th December – Farsley Celtic
Saturday 26th December – Spennymoor Town
Saturday 9th January – Southport
Saturday 23rd January – Kettering Town
Saturday 30th January – Chester
Saturday 13th February (DAFTS Flat Cap weekend) – Kidderminster Harriers
Tuesday 13th April – Gateshead
Saturday 24th April – York City
Saturday 1st May – Blyth Spartans
Saturday 8th May – Chorley
Saturday 29th May – Gloucester City
If you have information to share about any trips to come for this season, please leave a comment or email email@example.com
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 fourth season in the Vanarama Conference North in 2019/20 after four promotions in five seasons.
Darlington are also back in Darlington again (with our original name).
In a bizarre, ironic twist – thanks to coronavirus and the need for social distancing, the club is moving for the start of the 2020/21 season from its stadium at Blackwell Meadows off Grange Road back to the Darlington Arena. Who would have thought having 26,000 seats would be just perfect?
What do we do?
DAFTS has been going for 25 years in 2019/2020. 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