The Steelmen have teamed up with Land of Iron to launch the Steel and Iron Cup.

Land of Iron and Redcar Athletic Football Club, with support from Tees Valley Combined Authority, have teamed up to create the inaugural Steel and Iron Cup at Redcar Athletic’s Green Lane ground on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th July 2024. 

Born from a conversation between staff at Land of Iron and Redcar Athletic around the historic Bury Cup – the inter-departmental football tournament at Skinningrove’s ironworks which ran from 1912 until 1972 – the idea was formed to create a tournament between teams from former and current iron and steelworking communities.   

With a firm focus on industrial heritage, and how sport and recreation played a large part within iron and steel communities, the pre-season trophy will be contested between Redcar Athletic and Barrow-in-Furness’ Holker Old Boys on Saturday 20th July at 1pm.  

Holker Old Boys were formed in 1936 and are based in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria. With a long tradition of iron mining and steelmaking in the area, they were the perfect choice for this inaugural fixture between the east coast and west coast teams.   

On Friday 19th July a free Heritage day will take place at Redcar Athletic’s Green Lane ground with music, stalls, and family activities. Land of Iron’s Mine on the Move display, Teesside Archives, British Steel, Teesworks, Unite the Union, Community Union, and MFC Foundation – including an appearance by Middlesbrough FC’s Roary the Lion – will also be represented. Doors will open to the public at 3pm with a range of activities running until 6pm.  

From 7pm, a panel of experts on industrial heritage will take part in a discussion around iron and steel making on Teesside, how our industry helped build the infrastructure of the world in the 19th and 20th centuries, and how our shared heritage feeds into the future of industry on Teesside today and into the future.   

Partnering with Redcar Athletic to create the Steel and Iron Cup is a brilliant way for us to make history relevant to more people

The idea for the Steel & Iron Cup was born during a chance conversation between Ryan McKnight, Managing Director of Redcar Athletic, and Nick Wesson, Marketing Manager at Land of Iron.  

For Land of Iron, the chance to work with Redcar Athletic on such an exciting project was too good an opportunity to turn down.  

Marie Woods, Chief Executive of Land of Iron, said: “Since Land of Iron re-opened to the public in 2023, we have reached out to, and worked with, our community as much as possible.” 

“Our aims are not only to preserve our iron and steel heritage for future generations, but to engage people with our local history in different and new ways.

“Partnering with Redcar Athletic to create the Steel and Iron Cup is a brilliant way for us to make history relevant to more people and to celebrate the social history of our area too.”


Find out more about the Land of Iron museum.

Ryan McKnight, Chief Executive of Redcar Athletic Football Club said:Redcar Athletic are ‘The Steelmen’ and this launch event is hopefully the start of a fantastic annual event that will celebrate the heritage of our steel making and iron mining history.”   

“We are grateful to Holker Old Boys of Barrow – a town which has a proud steel making history of its own – for supporting the weekend. 

“We’re calling on everyone with a direct or family connection to the steel works or iron mining – and if you don’t, come and find out more about our local history – to come down to Green Lane on the 19th and the 20th July as it will be a fantastic event.”

Our area has an incredible industrial heritage, and is it important we pay tribute to that history

The Steel and Iron Cup is being supported by Tees Valley Combined Authority.  

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen said: “Our area has an incredible industrial heritage, and is it important we pay tribute to that history as we also look forward.”

“The Steel and Iron Cup is a fantastic way of celebrating that past, and I look forward to this being the start of a great annual event bringing together steel communities from across the country.” 

The Steel and Iron Cup Heritage Day will take place between 3pm and 6pm on Friday 19th July at Redcar Athletic’s Green Lane ground. A panel discussion will take place at 7pm.  


See Redcar Athletic’s full pre-season schedule.

The Steel and Iron Cup football match will take place between Redcar Athletic and Holker Old Boys at 3pm on Saturday 20th July and will also feature stalls and entertainment at the ground from 12pm. Entry is £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and just £2 for under-16s.

Tickets can be purchased on the day.  


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