History 11 of 12

11. Story Of 1986/7 Season - Bob Haigh

After being without a football team for several seasons Shelley returned to the District League in the early 1980s and unearthed a seam of local talent both on and off the field that has seen the club continue until the present day.

At first there was just one team, which was followed by a reserve team and also one operating in the Sunday league.

This of course has been followed by Junior teams at various age groups.

The club are deeply indebted to the Sports and Social Club for acting as their headquarters and providing changing rooms with games being played at the Recreation Ground.

One who epitomises the efforts of those involved with the club is Stuart ‘Chip’ Armitage who rightly carries the tag of Mr. Shelley Football.

A player in his younger days, when he actually broke his leg playing for the club, he has been behind the club in some capacity or other for the past two decades.

He says he is no longer involved but is still a regular on the touchline shouting his advice and doing much behind the scenes.

Steve Shepherd was deeply involved in the club’s reformation and has been a long term secretary and treasurer and has maintained an active interest ever since.

It was Ashley Berry who became the club’s first coach and who is still active in football circles.

It was around 1982 when Chip took charge and immediately appointed Richard Gill as his skipper, a post he was to hold for the best part of a decade.

Gill was a great motivator and leader principally playing as a sweeper.

It was just reward when he picked up the third division championship trophy in 1987, the first trophy for exactly 25 years.

That was a great team, many of whom lived in the village and many who didn’t went on to play a part in nurturing sport in the village.

The goalkeeper was big Graham Halstead, a local lad who donned the green jersey for many years.

Paul Hirst, who still lives in the village has probably played more games for the club than anyone else.

He is as diligent a club man that you could ever wish to meet. He is still playing and during his career has captained both the first and reserve teams and only relinquished his position as reserve team coach in 2004.

Another long time worker for the club was Neil Sykes who for many years was player-coach and he went on to manage a successful under 18 team.

Tim Jones who unfortunately wasn’t a member of the championship side has also been a long term player-coach and as everyone knows has been very active in the village cricket circles.

It wasn’t until the very last match of the season that the championship was clinched against arch rivals, Linthwaite.

Shelley had to avoid defeat to become champions, if Linthwaite had won it would have involved a play-off.

The game was settled by a single goal scored by prolific goalscorer, Steve Auckland, his fortieth for the season.

Auckland was adept at converting many loose balls and was the perfect foil for his strike partner, Peter Whittaker who played for the club for many seasons.

Kevin Lockwood, the son of a long serving secretary, Roy, who had presided over the club’s previous success 25 years earlier was Shelley through and through before moving home to Bridlington. SPORTING SHELLEY The Football Club Story of the 1986-87 Season
by Bob Haigh He operated at leftback. He was replaced in this position by Graham Wadsworth who played for the club for the best part of a decade. Both were good value for their medals.

Jeff Walker was the left winger who must have brought good luck for it was his only season for the club.

On the other flank was skilful Dave Ingham who was versatile enough to play in midfield.

One of his midfield colleagues was Mr. Reliable himself, Shelley born and bred, Andrew Wilkinson who also played for many years. John Walsh had arrived late on the scene to play at centre half and he went on to become a regular member of both the village cricket and football teams.

Steve Gummerson also operated at centre half and only recently decided to come and represent Shelley at cricket. Andy Crookes, an adopted Shelleyer was another stout defender.

Last but not least is Alan Withers, a useful squad member.

There is one bad luck story involving Martin Garthwaite who in a clash with Mark England of Scissett, both broke their legs and in the clash the ball burst. Garthwaite never played again but still acted in an administration capacity. That was the spirit of the club at that time.

Throughout these years and since the club have been deeply indebted to many stalwarts.

Martin Sellars has been involved for many years as treasurer and undertaking other duties behind the scenes. Tony Stephenson has been involved as long as anyone can remember and is regularly called on to act as referee when no official is appointed.

Even opposition teams comment about his dedication and fairness.

Home C.A Whats On Local History Village Interests Sport Village Links Former players, Dave Jones, Tony England and Dave Rich are continuing their involvement with the club and after earning their coaching accreditation are passing on their knowledge to the budding young footballers.

Two of whom, Danny Lockwood and Alan Greenwood have joined professional club, Chesterfield, to play in their youth teams.

Bob Haigh,
September, 2004.