Marsden Football Club - Late 80s - On the up

This period saw the club continue to develop and gain success quite rapidly with either six or seven teams operating each season. In 1987-88 the 1st team gained admission to the West Riding County Amateur League Division II, opening up a new era for the club.

1986-87 (7 teams)

1st team

3rd in Division II
Quarter finalists West Riding County FA Cup
Semi-finalists Barlow Cup

Reserves Reached Richardson Cup Final for 3rd consecutive year but lost 1-2 to Brackenhall Res

U 16s

Runners-up in league
Semi-finalists in League Cup
Runners-up in Junior Trophy

Thursday 15th August 1986

Charity match organised by Brian Shears and Steve Kindon (Huddersfield Town) raised £150 for Marsden Sports Hall. Result:- Marsden Select XI 2 Steve Kindon All Stars 2 and winners following penalty shoot-out. A crowd estimated at well over 600 enjoyed pre match entertainment provided by Marsden Junior Band. The All Stars included two ex-England players in Trevor Cherry and Joe Royle.

Tuesday 9th December saw the opening of the clubhouse extension, more than doubling the original space. By now it was becoming the centre of social activity in the village, opening every evening plus Saturday and Sunday afternoons with over 400 members. As well as the 7 football teams, adults and junior darts teams plus a pool team also operated out of the clubhouse where Marsden Meteors basketball team used it as their HQ. Party nights and quizzes were also very popular. All this supported by the committee, wives and girlfriends manning the bar on a voluntary basis. As a result sales that year hit a record £39,641 which was never beaten.

1987-88 (7 teams)

Premier teams first season back in the WRCAL in Division II saw them finish runners-up thus gaining promotion at the first attempt in to Division I. The acquisition of the 'Bubble Bus' (seating 15) to transport them to away matches proved a great success as well as enhancing the image of the club. Geoff Lodge had organised its purchase then garaged, maintained and drove it.

Thursday 20th August 1987

Charity match again courtesy of Brian Shears and now Keith Hanvey (Huddersfield Town)raised money for the Marsden Enhancement Scheme. Keith Hanvey's Select XII 3 Marsden FC Select XI 4.Saturday 24th October saw ex Marsden Junior goalkeeper Lee Martin, 19 years old, make his football league debut for Huddersfield Town in their 2nd Division game at West Bromwich Albion and 'saved his side from a mauling' in an 'outstanding debut' as Town lost 2-3. Lee had made a number of appearances for England Schoolboys and in 1984 played at Wembley against Scotland.

11th March 1988 saw legend Tommy Docherty as guest speaker at the club's annual dinner at the Huntsman Inn organised by Brian Shears.

Saturday 21st May 1988. Slatecraft Trophy, a competition for over 33s took place. Organised by Pete Kenyon in which 10 teams competed with Ainthorpe (Hull) beating Huddersfield Teachers Select XI on penalties following 1-1 draw in normal time.

Sadly in June 1988 Jack Midwood unfortunately passed away. What a fantastic job he'd done for the club in his many years there.

1988-89 (7 teams)

Premier team - 3rd in Division I and also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup. They opened the season winning all their first 12 games which added to their 10 match unbeaten run the previous seasonadds up to P22 W20 D2 L0 Goals F71-A18 and included 9 clean sheets. This produced records still standing - best opening sequence, seasons winning sequence, and longest unbeaten run.

11th February 1989

Wibsey FC 4 Marsden FC 4. Down 0-4 after 67minutes , Marsden rallied with goals from Paul Joyce (72 mins), Nick Howe (75), Paul Lewis (80) then Nick again (87).

May 1989 saw a Veterans Tournament at Fall Lane with 8 teams, one 'Whitby Old Timers' based 4,000 miles away in Canada comprising English, Scots and Irish emigrants plus a Canadian. They had lined up other tournaments whilst over here in Wales and Edinburgh. After 6 years in his second stint at the club, Barry Gibson resigned his post and Pete Kenyon was appointed for the following season. Off the field, problems in manning the bar resulted in the appointment of a Steward as some of the earlier enthusiasm from the volunteers began to wane. Sales of £37,433 and a gross margin of 30.8% remained healthy as the clubhouse continued to be well supported.

1989-90 (7 teams)

Premier team 8th in Division I and a disappointing playing season all round, all be it the Under 16's finished runners-up in the League Cup.

Sales slid a little to £35,102 but margins improved to 32.6%. However with unexpected cost increases of £6,350 the club suffered its worse ever loss of (£6.007) with the Steward's costs at £4,398 starting to bite. By the end December with the overdraft at £6,000, main sponsors Gelpack stepped in with a £7,000 interest- free loan to give the club breathing space. As a result, Committee Meetings concentrated their efforts on cost saving and income-improvement measures. Events increased as the Social Committee stepped up a gear.