Formed in 1965 after a collection in the Welding Department of H & W's Musgrave Yard, it was agreed to enter a team into the Saturday Morning League. The first fixture in the league was against Primrose Star on Saturday 25th September 1965.
Progression was fairly swift and by 1967 we had secured our first trophy by winning the league title. Our main aim was to move to the Amateur League and a permenant ground was needed to enable this. This became our priorty and no stone was left unturned in our quest for a new home.
The social side of things was moving on as well, and from that first meeting in the Vulcan Bar when ballots and sweeps were distributed to raise funds, we were actually planning to take over 13 Castlereagh Street as our first home. We remained there until we took up residence in our current home in Dee Street, which is now one of the biggest and best social clubs in Northern Ireland.
The word was spreading that this 'wee team' from East Belfast were making people sit up and take notice and we in turn were keen to progress to a higher level of football. This was being hampered by the ground problem, which was resolved by Brantwood allowing us to share Skegoneill Avenue.
We then entered the Amateur League and in our first season made a little piece of history by winning the Clarence Cup by beating league Kingpins Chimney Corner 2-1 in the final. In our Amateur League days we also won Division 2A in 68/69, Division 1A 78/79, plus reached three Cochrane Corry Cup Finals.
Intermediate football was our next goal and we achieved this in the mid 70's which allowed us to play in competitions like the Steel and Sons and Intermediate Cups. A pitch of our own was still a huge problem and for the next few years we continued to move around until we could find a permanent home. This came in the shape of two donations, one from the Managing Director of H & W, John Malabar and one from a Norwegian shipping company which allowed us to build a pitch at the Belfast Harbour Estate.
The emphasis was always on improving ourselves both on and off the pitch and although we settled in quickly it never felt that it was ours forever. The Parent Committee of the Club were engaged in seeking out a suitable plot of land for a permanent home and that actually became reality when we moved to Tillysburn Park in 1983, a date which coincided with our debut in the irish league B Division.
We have gone from strength to strength at this level we have won the Intermediate Cup in 2003 and 2007, and the Smirnoff Cup on three occasions namely 1998, 2001 and 2002. We have also added Championship league and cup doubles back to back in 2009 and 2010 and gained promotion to the Ladbrookes Championship 1 in May 2010.
In January 2011 we clinched the prestegious Steel and Sons Cup. In a fantastic final against Championship 2 side Knockbreda, the Welders won the game 3-1 and in doing so brought the Trophy back to Dee Street for the first time in the clubs history.
Fred Magee (Football Secretary)