|Colours||White, Purple, Yellow|
|Exited||1999 (merged into Hull F.C.)|
Gateshead Thunder was a professional rugby league club founded in 1999 in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England, which merged with Hull Sharks after only one season. A new club, bearing the same name, was later formed to retain rugby league in Gateshead.
In 1998, Gateshead were officially granted a franchise in the Super League ahead of bids from Swansea and Cardiff. The club was named Gateshead Thunder, the name chosen in a contest, with Shaun McRae as head coach.
Fan attendance in the early part of the season was poor, but rose to 3,895 by season's end. The Thunder finished in sixth position, just two points outside the play off places. They had defeated St. Helens home and away, as well as beating Wigan Warriors in the 'on the road' fixture at Tynecastle, Edinburgh. Matt Daylight was the joint leading try scorer in Super League IV and winger Ian Herron was one of the leading goal kickers in the league.
During their sole season in Super League in 1999, the Thunder claimed to have lost £700,000, so on 15 November 1999, the board announced their intention to merge the Thunder with the Hull Sharks, for which they were paid a fee £1.25 million by Super League Europe. The Association of Premiership Clubs blocked attempts for the newly merged company to enter a separate Hull-based team in the Northern Ford Premiership and so the new club would be called 'Hull FC' and play all their home games in Hull itself. The 'merger' has since been accepted to be a simple takeover of Thunder by Hull F.C. to allow them to retain their Super League status.
Fans of the original Gateshead club who were opposed to the merger established Thunder Storm, a grassroots organization to keep the clubs separate. Although this ultimately proved to be unsuccessful, the degree of local fan support resulted in the formation of a new Gateshead Thunder club. The new Gateshead Thunder was accepted to play in the Northern Ford Premiership for the 2001 season.
(As Gateshead Thunder)
|1999||Super League||30||19||1||10||775||576||39||6th||Did not qualify||Did not participate|
|7 March||Leeds Rhinos||H||L 14-24||5,960|
|21 March||St Helens||A||L 22-34||5,910|
|2 April||Wakefield Trinity||H||W 24-6||3,460|
|5 April||Warrington Wolves||A||L 18-23||4,919|
|10 April||Halifax Blue Sox||H||W 22-14||2,340|
|18 April||Castleford Tigers||A||W 17-14||6,489|
|25 April||Salford Reds||H||W 38-14||1,760|
|3 May||Huddersfield Giants||H||W 36-10||2,616|
|9 May||Wigan Warriors||A||L 13-16||7,717|
|16 May||Bradford Bulls||H||L 12-22||6,631|
|19 May||Hull Sharks||H||W 25-6||1,580|
|23 May||London Broncos||A||D 18-18||1,788|
|30 May||Sheffield Eagles||H||W 26-18||1,800|
|4 June||Leeds Rhinos||A||L 14-32||10,821|
|13 June||St Helens||H||W 32-20||6,220|
|20 June||Wakefield Trinity||A||W 22-18||3,247|
|25 June||Warrington Wolves||H||W 26-20||3,457|
|29 June||Sheffield Eagles||A||W 23-6||3,000|
|4 July||Halifax Blue Sox||A||L 14-35||3,305|
|11 July||Castleford Tigers||H||W 24-16||6,108|
|18 July||Salford Reds||A||W 31-18||5,611|
|25 July||Huddersfield Giants||A||W 40-16||2,219|
|1 August||Wigan Warriors||H||W 20-16||4,978|
|4 August||Hull Sharks||A||W 40-12||3,321|
|8 August||Bradford Bulls||A||L 14-30||12,492|
|15 August||London Broncos||H||L 22-28||2,631|
|22 August||Leeds Rhinos||H||L 18-30||5,498|
|30 August||St Helens||A||W 36-32||5,993|
|5 September||Wakefield Trinity||H||W 66-6||3,286|
|12 September||Warrington Wolves||A||W 48-22||4,834|
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Paul Franze is a former professional rugby league and rugby union footballer. He played for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and the Penrith Panthers in the NRL, and for the Castleford Tigers in the Super League, Gateshead Thunder in the Championship and Pia Donkeys in the Elite One Championship as well as a stint as a rugby union player for the London Irish in the Guinness Premiership. In both codes, Franze primarily played as a centre.
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Ian Herron is a Northern Irish former professional rugby league footballer.
Matthew "Matt" Daylight is a former Scotland rugby league footballer who played on the wing. A speedy outside back, he played for five different clubs throughout his career in both Australia and England.
David Maiden is a former professional Scotland international rugby league footballer and coach played in the 1990s and 2000s. A lock or centre, he played for the North Queensland Cowboys, Gateshead Thunder and Hull F.C..
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Gateshead Thunder may refer to: