Stories

Defying doctor’s orders
Mellor first team manager Phil Norbury defied doctors on Sunday 9th 2000 and completed a gruelling 60 mile bike ride to raise money for the club and Christie's Hospital.(PIC 1) Phil, 53, was knocked off his bike by a woman motorist the day before the annual Manchester to Blackpool charity event.

He was rushed to Stepping Hill Hospital and treated for cuts, bruises and shock. His right arm suffered a deep wound that couldn't be stitched and doctors told him to do nothing strenuous for at least three days. But the next morning Phil was back in the saddle with five players to help raise around 1000 for Mellor and Christie's.

Dad-of-three Phil was injured on Gorsey Brow, Stockport near his home in Romiley. The electrical engineer said: "I had just gone out for a training run when a woman cut right across me. I couldn't believe it. But after hospital treatment I didn't think I could let people down by pulling out of the Blackpool run. There were times, too, during the ride when I thought I wouldn't make it but the lads coaxed me along. My right knee was also badly swollen and I had to pack it in ice afterwards. But it was a terrific feeling to finish the course."

The other riders were Alex Wharton, Chris Boydell, Paul Cornwall, Paul Andrews and Eddie Nickson. Among the sponsors were printing firm Multiprint, based in Offerton, Stockport.

Sponsorship
Mellor Football Club's finances were boosted in August 2000 by a 500 sponsorship deal with the Woolwich Independent Financial Advisory Service.(PIC 2)

The deal was organised by Mellor stalwart John Bellis's daughter Tracy who worked for the firm. The club stands to benefit further if players, members and their families agree mortgage, pension, loan and other deals with the The cash injection with go towards repayments on the newly opened clubhouse in Wood Lane, Marple.

Mellor chairman George Dearsley said: "The Woolwich is an excellent company with a solid reputation and we hope this will prove a long term relationship which will benefit both parties."

Woolwich spokesman Mark McCormack said: "We are delighted to be helping a highly motivated and well run local club. I'm sure this agreement will continue our successful track record of providing high quality, reliable financial advice to clients."

The day we beat Manchester City!
Mellor Football Club celebrated the opening of its new 267,000 clubhouse with a 2-1 win over a Manchester City veterans X1.(PICS 3&4) In a close fought game two first half goals from John Cosgrove overcame a City side including Keith Barnes, Mike Lester, Alan Reilly, Barney Daniels, Kevin Tully, Andy Reid, Russ Hooton, Stewart Anderson, Stuart Saint and Anthony Lawler.

Injuries and work commitments ruled out ex City stars like Alex Williams, Peter Barnes, Paul Power, and Frank Carrodus. More than 300 people watched the match on Sunday 10th September 2000 at Wood Lane, Marple.

The club raised 400 through gate receipts, a raffle and programme advertising. Gaynor Norbury and Katherine Conner provided a mouth watering buffet for the players. The clubhouse is the dream come true of the Ridge Sports Association, a partnership between Mellor FC, Marple Rugby Club and the Ridge Danyers College.

John McGrail the college's Finance Director said: "Since it was formed 10 years ago the Association has tried to secure funding to improve dilapidated facilities. We now have a venue we can feel justifiably proud of."

Mellor FC chairman George Dearsley said: "I would like to thank all the many people whose hard work has made the clubhouse a reality. It's a tremendous asset for the clubs and the college and also for the community in general, through the college's Football For Life programme."

This week's game is postponed – due to the war!
The club still has many of the minute books compiled during its long history.(PIC 5)

One in particular is especially poignant. The blue covered volume spans the years from 1938 to 1948, including, of course, the Second World War. On one right-hand page there is an entry for a meeting held on 10th June 1940, with Arthur Hambleton presiding. It reports how the club's accounts were accepted and that a further general meeting be postponed until 29th July "owing to the uncertainty of the present circumstances due to the War."

The entry on the very next line is for a meeting held on 9th May 1947. Arthur Hambleton was again in the chair and the minutes report how the meeting discussed the possibility of reforming the club and re-entering a local league. The minutes read: "On information of various members it was understood that a team in Mellor would be very popular, so the members resolved to do their utmost to make this possible, so it was."

At a subsequent meeting on 23rd June 1947 Mellor FC was officially reformed. The club's bank balance stood at 10. The sale of a spare set of shirts to Newton FC raise 25 shillings.

An earlier entry for July 1938 reports that the club had agreed to hire a field for matches from a Mrs Royle at 6 per year. In those days a set of navy blue and white football shirts cost 40 shillings and six pence, just over 2. Footballs, of course, were the lace-up type. One entry asks for nine pence to buy an awl, an iron tool to lace the ball.

In December 1947 the committee agreed to purchase a "latrine bucket" for the dressing room, with a warning that someone should be appointed to be in charge of emptying it!

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Charity Bike Ride
PIC 1 Back row (left to right) Phil Norbury, Paul Andrews, Eddie Nickson, Alex Wharton and Paul Cornwall. Foreground Chris Boydell.
Woolwich Cheque
PIC 2 Chris Foster (right - glasses) of the Woolwich presents a sponsorship cheque to Mellor FC officials Roy Conner (far left) and Phil Norbury (centre)
Mellor team v Man City
PIC 3 The Mellor squad which played Manchester City veterans in September 2000, winning 2-1. Far right back row is Chris Foster, representative of the club's newest sponsor The Woolwich Independent Advisory Service.
Mellor & Man City
PIC 4 Players of Mellor FC and Manchester City Veterans X1 before Sunday's game at Wood Lane, Marple to celebrate the opening of Mellor's new 350,000 clubhouse.
Minute book page
PIC 5 The clubs'minute books provide a revealing and poignant insight into our history.