It was Saturday 14th May 2011. Sheffield Parramore, as we were known then, were at home against Blidworth Welfare for the season finale. Both clubs on 82 points and occupying 1st & 2nd, although Blidworth boasted a superior goal difference and it was literally winner takes all. It proved to be Parramore’s day and Scott Lowe scored a dramatic late winner for Parramore to win the game 2-1 and go up as Champions. A special mention must go to Mark Clements, who’s penalty save was equally as important. That day Parramore made history in getting promoted to the NCEL for the first time in their history.
We had a busy summer with Chairman/Manager Pete Whitehead steering the Club forward alongside Vice Chairman/Club Secretary Max Ross. The standout change for the Club was the move from Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium. Pete and Max had been working feverishly behind the scenes for many months to secure a new permanent home that Parramore could call their own. Many avenues were discussed and explored but eventually, Sandy Lane at Worksop was pursued. The added chance to bring back former tenants, Worksop Town was a bonus for Pete and the deal was concluded. The Club and ground were re-branded to Worksop Parramore and The Windsor Foodservice Stadium, Sandy Lane respectively.
Turning to on field matters, the club lost influential players such as Craig Mawhood and Kieran Gallagher in the summer. Craig left football behind for personal reasons and Kieran moving to NCEL rivals Dinnington Town. New players were required, not only to replace the ones that had left but also to improve the overall depth of the squad. Many players were given a trial at the club, and the signings of Ryan Hindley, Nicky Haywood, Cyrus Lewis, Andy Wood, Reece Littlejohn and Adam Walker we made.
The season started off with a bang and Pete Whitehead led the team to our maiden victory, not only in NCEL but at The Windsor Foodservice Stadium, against AFC Emley where Parramore were convincing 4-0 winners. Two defeats on the bounce against Worsbrough Bridge Athletic at home in the league then away at Louth Town in the Wilkinson’s Sword Trophy brought the NCEL new boys crashing back down to earth. It was today’s visitors who were the team Parramore bounced back against, winning 5-2 away at Olivers Mount. Convincing wins against Hemsworth and Appleby brought down the curtain on Pete’s managerial career as he decided to step down and concentrate on his Chairman duties. He left Parramore at the top of the table.
So a new era had begun at Worksop Parramore, Darren Bland was appointed the new manager, officially taking over on 3rd September 2011, choosing to work with the current coaches and players at the club for the time being. But as with any new manager for any club, Darren had his own philosophy and type of player he needed to be successful. So began a transition over the next 6 months. Darren’s mandate was simple, get the team ready for promotion next season, do it with players who can handle themselves in the division above and possibly beyond. To be fair to Darren and the players he inherited, they were all given a chance to prove what they could do and some impressed, others didn’t quite fit into what Darren wanted and some fell short of the required quality to last the full season. At this point, we place on record our thanks to all the players, past and present, for their efforts in putting Parramore where they are today.
Darren has been around non-league football for a long time and his knowledge of players is quite extensive, one of the reasons the Chairman decided to step aside. The first of the new players brought in was Danny Lindley from Dinnington Town in September, shortly followed by Steve Hernandez from Askern Villa. Both players have been worth their weight in gold since joining. Matty Thorpe and Andy Brownrigg were also brought in due to injuries. Darren enjoyed a good start with wins against Teversal, Yorkshire Amateur (twice, league & cup) and an impressive 7-1 win against Hallam. Teams started to sit up and take notice of Parramore, and results were ground out affairs from this point on with some clubs setting their stall out and hoping to prove a point against the newcomers.
The manager took the decision to shake things up again a few months later to add more quality and cover for injuries that often happen during the winter. Adam Fretwell (Handsworth), Grant Allott (Handsworth), Teo Ringrose (Worsbrough), Paul Staniforth (Askern Villa) and Lee Holmes (Rossington Main) all came in as Simon Asquith, Adam Walker, Nicky Haywood, Andy Wood and Ash Emson all moved on. Players from outside the NCEL were also brought in; we briefly had two Jamie Smith’s and Karl Colley, but they didn’t settle and quickly moved on. Performances and results instantly improved. Parramore also welcomed back Mark Wall during this time, the committed centre half solving the problem at centre back that had hindered Parramore for a large part of the season. Unfortunately, injuries and work commitments of some other players meant more new faces were needed for the run in, Gavin Allott (Goole), Josh Wright (Eccleshill United) and Jordan Hatton (Rossington Main) have now joined and settled in very well.
The title decider involved Worksop Parramore and Handsworth on the final day of the season with Handsworth in 1st positions, Parramore 2nd and Glasshoughton 3rd. Unfortunately, Parramore lost 2-0 and Glasshoughton won which meant the leap-frogged us into 2nd place. It soured the hard work we’d put in all season to miss out at the final hurdle, but that takes nothing away from the great season we’ve had. 3rd in the first season is a fantastic achievement and we’re well placed for next year to be even better.
It’s been a roller-coaster season for Worksop Parramore with lots of change and development both on and off the pitch. The ground ownership was new territory, new rules and regulation to adhere to and now Parramore are a Charter Standard Club. The manager and players have done a phenomenal job in ever changing circumstances and that ability for find the right blend week in week out and to grind out results when necessary hasn’t gone unnoticed. We continue to grow and develop as a Club and always working on ways to get fans through the turnstiles and give value for money.