A VERY WELCOME RESURGANCE FOR MORPETH TOWN
The re-emergance of Morpeth Town.in the 2011-12 season, which culminated in a forth place finish in the Northern League Second Division, one spot from promotion, has provided a welcoome lift both for the club and for the town.
The economic downturn coupled with the protracted roadworks, which have had a significantly negative impact on Morpeth's High Street shops in the town centre, has ment that locals have had precious little about which to be cheerful in recent months.
The success of Morpeth Town Footballl Club has at least provided a boost to general spirits.
In terms of the football club itself, the turabout has been remarkable
and to be frank, for those of us looking on from the outside, not realy anticipated. The credit goes first and foremost to the plabsers of course because in the final analysis it is what they produced on the field that determined how successful the season would be.
However, two individuals have provided the building blocks that gave the players the platform. Club President Ken Beattie and manager Nicky Gray.
Ken Beattie is quite simply a Morpeth marvel. A top quality local playerin his day, he has backed Morpeth financially for many years and without his input they would be in a parlous state if they even existed. No one deserves to bask in the glow of the past season's sucess more than he does.
Nicky Gray, until this season, has been a repectable manager waiting for an opportunity to prove himself at Northern League level. In charge at Northern Alliance club Seaton Delaval Amateurs when the Morpeth job became available, Nicky told BBC Newcastle.
"To be honest I vertually begged Kenny Beattie for the chance to manage Morpeth. I had confidence in my own ability but I needed his backing and support. He took a chance on me and I am delighted to be able to repay his faith. It has been a fabulous season and I can't thank Kenny and the pkayers enough. It's wonderful to see the club back in contentionand our next task is to make sure we continue to improve."
Morpeth Town came into existance in 1884 and for the bulk of thier time, they played in the Northern Alliance, winning the league championship in 1983-84 and the NFA Benevolant Bowl and the Northern Alliance League Cup in 1986.
The move from their Storey Park ground to thier present home at Craik Park took place in 1994 and was celebrated with another Northern Alliance title, which saw them promoted to the Northern League at the start of the 1994-95 season.
Morpeth's first season in the Northern League saw them reach the final of the Northumberland Senior Cup and thier finest hour in recent seasons can when they won the Senior Cup by beating Blyth Spartans at St James' Park in 2007.
In recent years, Morpeth have felt the cold draught of defeat too often and they reached thier lowest ebb at the end of the 2009-10 season, when they finished 21st in the Nirthern League Second Division.
Ken Beattie, though, remained steadfast in the face of adversity and his masterstroke in appointing Nicky Gray has resulted in a magbnificent turnabout in the clubs fortunes, which is welcomed throughout the region.
Morpeth is a popular club and everyone in the local game hopes the dark days are behind them. With Ken Beattie and Nicky Gray at the helm there is plenty about which to feel optomistic.