Football in the village of Glapwell undoubtedly has its roots in the facilities provided for the community by the local Colliery. But, with the pit closing in 1974, Glapwell had to wait until the mid-to-late eighties to get its first taste of football at a senior level. And it was all thanks to the infectious ambition of local businessman Roger Caton and his wife Ellen who, together with a small band of tireless helpers, finally gave the village a chance to enjoy good quality non-league football in comfortable surroundings.
And success came quickly to Glapwell, the 1986-87 side winning both the Premier Section Subsidiary Cup and the Sportsmanship Trophy.
And that was followed with even greater achievements in successive seasons with the winning of the Premier League championship in 1987-88 and then the Premier Cup, Subsidiary Cup and Sportsmanship Cup again the following campaign.
In 1989-90, with the sad demise of the Sutton & Skegby League, the Club joined the Central Midlands League, entering the football pyramid for the very first time under the name of Glapwell Football Club and, in their first season, Roger Caton's side were crowned Division One champions, with promotion to the Premier Division. They also won the Derbyshire Divisional Cup. These were certainly good times for the Hall Corner outfit.
And now there seemed to be no way of stopping Glapwell's momentum. 1990-91 was only their second season in the Central Midlands League and, although not as successful in terms of silverware as the previous campaign, they finished as runners-up in both the Premier League Cup and the Stamper Cup, and, despite only finishing in fourth place in Division One, they successfully gained promotion to the Supreme Division, their third step up the Central Midland League ranks in successive seasons.
However, by the start of the 1991-92 campaign and concerned that he was now getting out of his depth with the promotion to the Supreme Division, Roger Caton decided to relinquish his role as first team manager. Ex Mansfield Town professional Jim McGowan took over as boss, but Glapwell were soon in trouble. Unable to win games, he soon left and Mick Heron took over part way through the season. But things didn't improve much and Heron was soon on his way also, leaving Roger Caton to try and salvage something from the disastrous season. But it was too late, Glapwell finished bottom with only 13 points. Staring relegation in the face for the first time in its short history, the Club was devastated. But fortune smiled and Glapwell successfully gained re-election to the Supreme Division.
With the arrival of the 1992-93 season came new manager Roy Overton and it was the start of a new era at Hall Corner. The new boss brought with him a regime of discipline not seen at the Club before. A reserve team was formed and they finished the season as Reserve Division One champions. An under-18 youth team also emerged and, called Steetley-Glapwell , with association to Worksop Town , they became Notts Imperial Youth League champions and Notts FA Youth Shield Winners that season. And the first team consolidated under Overton's guidance, finishing tenth out of sixteen in the Supreme Division, well placed to move on once again. The Club started to feel good again.
The following season, 1993-94, proved to be something of a landmark for Glapwell. For Overton had built a team that, by the end of that campaign, had proved to be almost unstoppable. Ex Chesterfield star Dave Waller arrived and finished the season as the Division's top scorer with 28 goals. Andy Womble with 11 goals and Willie Gamble with 10 also chipped in, and the Club finished the season as Supreme Division champions on 71 points, a fantastic 9 points clear of bitter rivals Oakham United in second spot.
And the side went on to cap their great season by lifting the Wakefield Cup, beating Oakham United 3-1 in a thrilling Final at Field Mill in front of a crowd of 370. Oakham took the lead early in the game with a goal from Brendan Yates, but Glapwell came back with two from Dave Waller, one either side of a goal from a young John Redfern, to clinch the trophy for the Hall Corner outfit.
Waller took the helm for the following 1994-95 season and, whilst the silverware of the previous season wasn't there, Glapwell finished a respectable fifth in the Division and also runners-up in the Wakefield Cup. In the very next campaign, 1995-96, Waller quietly took his side to runners-up spot in the Division, suitably placed for promotion to the NCEL.
And so began Glapwell's first excursion into the NCEL, but the start of the 1996-97 season brought yet another change in management, Waller stepping down in favour of Graham Gladwin who had been with the Club for the previous five years as a player and on Notts County's books in the late 70's.
Gladwin's first season in charge brought Glapwell a respectable league finish of fifth spot, but the undoubted highlight of the campaign was winning the Evans Halshaw Floodlit Cup at Ilkeston Town's New Manor Ground on 7th May 1997. The opponents were United Counties side Mirrlees Blackstone and the conditions on that Wednesday night were dreadful. But in driving wind and biting rain Glapwell ran out deserved 3-1 winners, in front of a meagre crowd of just 110, thanks to goals from Willie Gamble, Simon Poxon and Freddie Morgan.
The following season, 1997-98, brought more cup glory for Gladwin and his side, a win on penalties in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final against Matlock Town giving the Club one of its most memorable nights in its still short history. 2-1 down from the first leg at Hall Corner two weeks before, Glapwell travelled to Causeway Lane on 30th April 1998 as distinct underdogs to their Unibond Division One opponents.
Glapwell went behind to an early Matlock goal and looked all but dead-and-buried by half-time, but a second half penalty from Jamie Morgan and a goal from Willie Gamble, followed by a nail-biting extra-time period stalemate, set up an almost unwatchable penalty shoot-out. With the hosts 2-1 ahead after four penalties each, Town skipper Clark, their most impressive player, looked a certain bet to clinch the cup for his side but his effort flew straight at Etheridge, leaving Redfern to take the shoot-out into sudden death. Etheridge then guessed correctly to brilliantly block Darrell Fox's shot and Cunnington stepped up to coolly send Duke the wrong way.
On the League front that season, Glapwell improved by one place on the previous campaign's finish, ending up fourth behind champions Garforth Town, runners-up Staveley Miners Welfare and third-placed Hall Road Rangers. And finally the Club's success brought it the local recognition it probably deserved. Chairman Roger Caton received the Mansfield Sports Personality Of The Year 1998 Team Trophy from Ray Clemence .
The following season, 1998-99, Gladwin took Glapwell to third place in the NCEL First Division, frustratingly just missing out on promotion to the Premier Division on goal difference to second placed Brodswoth Miners Welfare, who were to join champions Harrogate Railway on the next step up the ladder because of two more goals scored than Glapwell throughout the campaign.
But in the 1999-2000 season, Glapwell were about to achieve their most recent desire and finally gain promotion to the NCEL Premier Division, after three previous season's of steady improvement of position in Division One. And the season proved to be a most memorable one for the Club again. As well as finishing in a promotion spot and runners-up in the Division to Goole AFC, Glapwell also reached the Final of the League Cup, but disappointingly lost 3-1 to Garforth Town on Ossett Albion's ground 10th May 2000.
In the 2000-01 season, Glapwell found themselves at last playing league football against the likes of local rivals Alfreton Town, relegated the previous season from Unibond Division One, and Brigg Town, FA Vase winners just a few seasons before.
In that first campaign, a respectable mid-table finish of 10th place was achieved by Gladwin's side. And, for many at the Club, it had been a season of consolidation at the new level. But success once again just escaped Glapwell, when a second chance to win the Derbyshire Senior Cup slipped away from their grasp. Taking a disappointing 3-3 aggregate score with them to Glossop North End after a first leg draw at Hall Corner a month earlier, Glapwell lost 4-2 on penalties to the North West Counties League side after drawing 2-2 with them after extra time in the second leg.
The following season, 2001-02, was something of a disappointment. Glapwell failed to improve on the previous season's league finish, ending up in 14th spot in the table. There had been some disappointing results along the way, notably a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Goole AFC following such a poor performance by the side that it caused Graham Gladwin to offer his resignation to chairman Roger Caton. Without hesitation the offer was turned down, but Gladwin left in the summer saying he thought he couldn't take the Club any further. His leaving came as a huge blow to Glapwell and for the first time in a long while they found themselves having to search for a new manager.
The 2002-03 season saw former Eastwood Town pair Andy Kirk and Junior Glave arrive at Glapwell as the new management duo, and their methods for training and fitness, for acquiring the right players and working within the tight budget gave hope of better things to come. However, the campaign ultimately ended in disappointment with early cup exits and an eleventh place finish in the Division.
The 2003-04 season was one which saw big changes in the structure of non-league football and clubs at Glapwell's level were anticipating what seemed to be a one-off opportunity to progress to the Unibond League. Glapwell could only manage a tenth place finish against that competitive backdrop and Kirk was replaced at the end of the season after announcing he was about to move away from the area.
Former Mansfield Town player Lee Wilson took over the following season, 2004-05, with Glave staying on as his number two. A thirteenth place finish followed with a two place improvement the following season, 2005-06, before Wilson was sacked and Glave left the Club to assist him at the helm at local rivals Sutton Town, taking all but one of the Glapwell players with them to their new club.
However, in his final season as chairman, 2006-07, Roger Caton made perhaps his most significant capture for the Club by bringing in the former successful Sutton Town boss Les McJannet as the new Glapwell manager, and the Club finished a record 6th in the NCEL Premier Division - quite an achievement given that it had started pre-season with a mere handful of players. Off the field significant improvements were made around the ground, including an extension to the existing changing rooms.
In 2007-08 the reins of the Club were passed to local businessman, and former Aldershot chairman, Dr Colin Hancock and the Club was restructured to make a serious attempt at promotion to the Unibond League. Further improvements were made to the ground in preparation for advancement and Kevin Gee became the Club's first commercial director. An extended unbeaten run through the autumn set the Club up for a runners-up spot, a finish which proved to be enough to secure promotion.
2008-09 was Glapwell's first ever season at level 4 and it saw the Club finish sixth in the UniBond League Division One South, disappointingly faltering in the final crucial games and just missing out on a place in the end of season promotion play-offs by single goal. And that was to cost manager McJannet his job.
So Glapwell had a new manager for the 2009-2010 season, First Team Coach John Gaunt taking up the challenge and going one better by taking the Club to a third place finish and a place in the play-offs, but narrowly failing to achieve promotion to the UniBond Premier Division after losing 1-0 to Staffordshire side Chasetown in front of a crowd of 1265 spectators at the Scholars Ground. 2010-11 saw the club enter an agreement with Mansfield Town to play their home games at Field Mill but they returned to Hall Corner at Christmas after The Stags were locked out by their landlord. The league campaign was slightly disappointing, finishing in ninth place but the club embarked on a good run in the Derbyshire Senior Cup, beating both Matlock Town and Alfreton Town away from home before bowing out with a 2-0 home defeat in the semi-finals to a Derby County side that contained five first team players. Unfortunately, the club were forced to resign from the Northern Premier League at the end of the season due to an ongoing dispute over the licence of Hall Corner. They dropped down to Step 7 to join the Central Midlands League North Division for the 2011-12 season.
To download a year-on-year brief history of Glapwell Football Club to date click: http://files.pitchero.com/clubs/5028/Timelines.doc