Former managers

Arthur Jepson

Born: 12th July 1915. Selston, Notts

Died: 17th July 1997. Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts (Aged 82)

Long Eaton United Manager: 17th June 1956 - 1st March 1957.

Managerial Record: 29 Games (Won 15, Drew 9, Lost 5).

Arthur Jepson has the distinction of being Long Eaton United's first Manager, having been elected at a meeting that established the club on 17th June 1956. Although he had already managed the defunct Long Eaton Town side the previous season, he was instrumental in bringing in a number of quality players to the new club that raised expectations during the first campaign in the Central Alliance League in 1956. After a disappointing result in the club's first ever game, he guided the team on a twenty-one match unbeaten run that saw United briefly top the League by Christmas.

A former professional footballer himself, who played in goal for Port Vale, Stoke City and Lincoln City in the years immediately after the Second World War, Arthur was one of a rare breed of dual sportsmen who also played professional cricket. It was as a cricketer that he was more renowned and he continued to play for Nottinghamshire throughout his time as Manager of Long Eaton United and he didn't actually retire from professional cricket until 1959, having played 392 First Class Matches and taking over 1000 wickets. Later he became an umpire on the County Cricket circuit and acquired his test status in 1977, presiding over four Test Matches and five One Day Internationals. He began his own football career before the war with Newark Town and also had semi-professional spells with both Mansfield Town and Grantham Town. In later years, after his league career ended, he played for Northwich Victoria and Gloucester City.

Not averse to an abrupt response when required, he also possessed a clever and witty sense of humour and was clearly respected by the players who came under his charge during Long Eaton's initial season. United's first goalkeeper Arthur Warry had a particularly high regard for Jepson and it was understandable that the Manager's sporting connections enabled the club to bring in a higher calibre of player into the Long Eaton ranks.

Due to his cricketing commitments, and perhaps frustration over the financial restrictions that prevented him from bringing other players to the club, he left United at the end of February 1957. Later he managed both Hinckley Town and Hinckley Athletic.

One interesting facet of his time with the club, and possibly management of a non-league football team of the day, is that when United played their inaugural league fixture at St Neots on August 18th 1956 Arthur was appearing for Nottinghamshire in a County Championship match against Yorkshire at Headingley. Despite little play on the day, due to poor weather, it is unlikely that he was able to know the outcome of United's first match until some time later.

Following his death in 1997, Arthur Jepson's obituaries in the national press made no reference to his time spent with either Long Eaton Town or Long Eaton United.

Where next?

Albert Hitchin Albert Hitchin Born: 27th February 1909 Birthplace: Long Eaton, Derbyshire Died: Sep 1994

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