The History Of Gedling Miners Welfare Football Club
The Club was formed in 1919, at the same time as the Notts Alliance Football league
resumed playing football again after the First World War. In their first Season they
finished 3rd in the League and won the League Cup by defeating local side Sneinton FC (now Carlton Town FC) 1 - 0.
At the end of the 1929-30 Season the Club changed its name and became known as Mapperley St. Judes and enjoyed moderate success during this period. During the Second World War they reformed as Gedling Miners Welfare FC and with the restart of football for the 1945-46 Season they went on to win both the Notts Alliance League and Notts Alliance Senior Cup. This was repeated on numerous occasions and this success spilled over into the 1950s, which was the most successful period of the Club. We won the Notts Alliance League and Cup Double many times and at one point remained unbeaten for three Seasons.
In the FA Amateur Cup they entertained two of the top sides of the time. Pegasus were the visitors to Plains Road in 1954 and temporary stands were erected all around the Ground to house a crowd of 7,000 plus. Two Seasons later Bishop Auckland visited and the Police put a limit of 10,000 on the Gate. We saw Gedling lose 4 - 1 to the best amateur team in the country, having missed a penalty at a crucial point in the game. The ‘Bishops’ had six amateur England Internationals on show and the most famous being Bob Hardisty who was the Captain of England. The staggering record attendance at Plains Road, will surely never again be surpassed by a Nottinghamshire amateur Club
These were the good times at Plains Road and unfortunately, the Club has not had the same degree of success since then. The lowest point came at the end of the 1998-99 Season when we had been relegated to Division 2 of the Notts Alliance FL. Only three Committee Members remained with only half a kit, half a team and no money, but the next Season saw us bounce back and under the guidance of Vic Hulme, Gedling won the League, Intermediate Cup and were semi- finalists to Retford United in the Notts FA County Cup. At the end of Season 2001-02 Vic stepped aside as Manager and took up the post of Chairman of the Club. This left the way open for the appointment of Duncan Broad and Mark Allison as the management team for the start of the 2002-03 Season. They had the task of building a team to match the ambitions of the Club and this was achieved when at the end of the next Season we applied and were accepted into the Central Midlands Football League, we then gained promotion to the Supreme Division in our first season which was more than we had anticipated. The club spent five years in the Central Midlands Football League under the guidance of Duncan Broad and Mark Allison before they left the Club, to take up appointments with our near neighbours Gedling Town in May 2009.
During that time the Ground has seen a remarkable transformation from virtually a ‘Parks Pitch’ to what is now probably the best amateur ground in the area. Since the floodlights, fencing and hard standing was installed, it has had a profound effect on the Club. We have recently staged Notts FA Cup Finals and various representative games, which speaks for its self. We are have seating on one side of the pitch and have plans to extend this to the road side of the ground. We feel that our facilities are starting to match those of local teams like Arnold Town and Carlton Town and as a result, Gedling were starting to put themselves on the map as one of the premier clubs in Nottingham and thus attracting a higher caliba of player into the fold.
These facilities stood us in good stead when we applied and were accepted for the start of the 2008-09 season into the newly formed East Midland Counties Football League at Step 6 of the Pyramid System. This promotion has also enabled us to apply to play in the FA Cup. We played and lost away to Westfield FC of the MFA in our first attempt, but have great hopes of progressing further in the years to come.
With Dunc and Ally leaving one Gedling club for another, it opened the door for the committee to appoint the respected Craig Maddison as manager in time for the start of the EMCL, where he was joined by ex- professional Calvin Plummer as his assistant. The pair finished their first season with a respectable league position of 8th, winning 15 of the 34 games available. Craig and Calvin had a further season at the helm before deciding to resign their position at the end of the 2009-10 campaign with a better finish of 7th.
Graham Walker was appointed as manager in the June of 2010 and in his second year in charge took Gedling to a creditable fourth position finishing 4 points behind the champions. In a final game at Derbyshire club Gresley FC a 1-0 victory for the hosts in front of a record-breaking 625 crowd was enough to gain promotion to MFA for Gresley. Graham left the club at the end of the 2010-11 season to join up with Bret Marshall at Retford Town. The committee turned to 1st team coach Lee Boulton to take the managerial reigns who in turn appointed Kuki Morley as his Assistant and Steve Towle as coach. After several difficult results and early exits from the FA Cup and Vase by mutual consent Lee and Kuki stepped down as managers.
Committee acted quickly to appoint ex Arnold Town Manager Andy Muldoon as our next manager for the remainder of the 2011-12 season. Andy managed to keep the services of Steve Towle as coach and also brought in the ex Forest duo Bryn Gunn and Calvin Plummer of the Brian Clough era, to assist him. By the end of May 2012 Andy has steadied the ship and the club finished with a respectable points total of 38 and a final league position of 13th. This was enough to persuade Andy and his team to stay for another season, with some new players brought in and a good pre-season behind them optimism was high for the start of the 2012-13 campaign. unfortunately this expectation didn’t really manifest into results so with very little progress being made, Andy felt it was an opportune time to make way for someone else for the start of the 2013-14 Season
The ‘someone else’ who the Committee appointed is Jonathon (Trigger) Simpson who has spent his previous three years managing Southwell City in the CMFL. Prior to that Trigger had played for Radcliffe Olympic and Gedling under Duncan Broad, So he knows the Club well and just the type of young manager the club were looking to appoint, we were delighted when he accepted our offer of management. The first season for Jonathon and his assistant Mark Foster was really one of transition, both for the club and them as managers, but sound solid decisions being made as the season progressed, with the team finishing a reasonable 12th with 42 points. This is something Jonathon is keen to build on for the 2014-15 Season and the prize of an FA Cup place being the main target.
So we are all looking forward to a successful campaign this season, and a squad capable of competing at this level, the training sessions have never been so well attended, we can all see progress is being made, and we are confident that Trigger and his team will deliver. They will be backed up by the Committee and everyone at the Club to produce a team that we can all be proud of!
Secretary – GMWFC