Marsden Football Club - Late 30s and 40s

1937-38 saw the club enter the South East Lancashire Amateur League where it made an immediate impact winning the Challenge Cup that season then both the Challenge Cup and Challenge Shield the following year. After the third year the war intervened following which in 1946 the club had moved into the West Riding County Amateur League only to return to the SELAL 3 years later, immediately winning the Challenge Cup in 1949-50.

The earliest Minute book available covers the period 8th July 1938 to 28th June 1948, recording details of everything to do with the club:-

Membership cost 3/6. Youths 14-18 years 2/6. Ladies 2/-. Admission charges 5d. Ladies & Boys 2d. 2d for Reserve games. The Committee appointed a Linesman (each team had to provide one) and four Gatemen, two for each one situated at the Carrs Road and Manchester Road ends of the ground. Registration of players in the SELAL are detailed at the back of the book both for 1938/39 & 1939/40. Included are their full names, address and position played. It is not surprising that given the league they were in, many came from “over the top” to play. 1938/39 shows out of a total of 31 registered (5 Inside Rights) only 6 were from Marsden, whilst 11 came from the Saddleworth/Oldham area, one lived in Leeds whilst the rest,13, came from local villages. That year they had a Reserve team playing in the H&DAFL.

1939/40 and back to one team shows 21 registered with only Arthur Matthews and Jack Hawley from Marsden, 9 from Saddleworth/Oldham and 10 from local villages. Team Selectionwas by a sub-committee of 7 members. Teams and Results were all recorded. Coach transportto away matches was provided with supporters paying 2/3 each to visit Carlton Utd in Nov. 1938 for a West Riding Cup match. Each year this was put out to Tender, with W.H. & F. Schofield being accepted that year at £3-2-6 per game. They retained it the following year at £3-5-0. Kit was supplied by the club including boots, a set of which cost 18/9 whilst a set of shirts cost £5-3-6. Fundraising efforts included regular dances at The Mechanics, clubs in the village and Huddersfield Town Hall.

At the AGM 6th September 1940 it was decided 'that playing activities be suspended for the duration of the war but that Committee Meetings should continue'. Meetings were then held:- 4th November – Agreed to hire Marsden Conservative Club dance room to raise funds. 16th December – Agreed to send Postal Orders to the value of 5/- as a Xmas present to all players and officials serving with H. M. Forces (Signals). That they accept Mallinson FC application to play them in a Charity Match on 4th January 1941 and that 1500 tickets be printed (the clubs’ share was £2-19-3). HM Forces based in Marsden allowed use of the field on Wednesday 18th December. 30th December – Agreed to allow HM Forces use of the ground on condition the club had sole rights to raise money by gate charges or any other means in aid of either Club funds or the Central Comforts Fund. 1941 24th February – Agreed to organise a dance at the Mechanics Hall in about six weeks and that the Xmas gift of 5/- be repeated as an Easter gift. 27th March – Agreed the dance be held Saturday 19th April with admission1/- and 6d for HM Forces. Councillor W. D. Crossley (President & Chairman) offered to provide a 'Spot Prize' of 10/-

The next meeting recorded then moves to the end of the war 5 years later on 20th May 1946, reporting 'the healthy position of the clubs finances'. & that the AGM be held at the Old New Inn 19th June 8pm. Here they went on to approve the Minutes of the last AGM 6th September 1940, 6 years previous. Apart from the normal AGM Agenda, it was agreed to purchase a hut for the sum of £2/15/-. 1946 24th June – Agreed to accept Marsden Senior School bands offer to play at home matches that coming season. 5th August – Agreed to hold 'trial' matches Weds/Fri 21st/23rd August KO 6-30 with a collection to be taken and that 250 Membership cards be ordered from A. Farrand Printer. Membership to be six shillings and sixpence. Meetings were then held weekly. 19th August – 'the Secretary shall approach some likely person who would accept the washing of football equipment at a fee of 7/6 with power to offer a maximum of 10/-'. Mr Wood was accepted as 'Skipman' with Mr Hudson is assistant. 26th August – Schofields were awarded the coach contract at an average of £5-14-10 per bus or 3/7 per person per journey. 2nd September – Arthur Matthews selected as team Captain and that after the first match the players elect their own Captain. The team went on to loose their first game 0-2 at Rawdon Old Boys. The following week they drew 3-3 at Fall lane against Thackley and then again 3-3 against Guiseley 21st September. Depressing results of 1-5, 2-2, 1-2, 1-5, 2-4, 4-7, 1-2 followed then on 16th November they finally won 4-3 at home to Heckmondwike Spen, their eleventh game. 1947 4th August – Agreed that 30 000 draw tickets be purchased from Williamsons of Ashton u Lyne – yes 30 000!!