Rugby Town

Southern League
Div One Central
Rugby Town 1
Hanwell Town 1
Atten 203

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View Official Rugby Town Website

In 2005, after a gap of 32 years, the name Rugby Town appeared once more on the Southern League fixture list. 
 The first competitive match was in the Rugby and District League in September 1956 under the name of Valley Sports; the name was taken from the "Happy Valley", the local name for New Bilton. At this stage, The club played at Hillmorton Recreation Ground, and in due course moved to share the Oakfield ground of Southern League Rugby Town.

As with so many other towns supporting Non-League football teams, the history is not straight forward, and this particular Rugby Town club traces its origins back to the early 1950’s when Keith Coughlan formed a team in the New Bilton area of Rugby.Sky blue was introduced as the club colour in 1959 combined with navy blue.
The first competitive match was in the Rugby and District League on September 8th 1956 as Valley Sports, the name taken from the local name for New Bilton, “Happy Valley”. At this stage, The Valley played at Hillmorton Recreation Ground, and in due course moved to share the Oakfield ground of Southern League Rugby Town. In 1971, the club changed its name to Valley Sports Rugby.

In 1973 the club moved to its own ground at Butlin Road and in the same year Rugby Town folded after 15 seasons in the Southern League.Valley Sports became the senior club for the town, and abbreviated their name to VS Rugby.VS moved from the United Counties to the West Midlands League in 1974, and in 1976 entered the FA Cup for the first time.
In January 1981 Jimmy Knox was appointed manager.Jimmy had been a successful player and manager at Rugby Town, before a spell as top Non-League manager at AP Leamington.His reputation enabled him to survive defeats in his first five matches and ten defeats in the first eleven. The following season he led VS to success at Wembley in the FA Vase and into the Southern League.
In1992 with the team 3rd in the Premier Division and the Birmingham Senior Cup again behind the bar, and Knox's departure led to a rapid decline in club fortunes.VS were relegated for the first time in their history, and then put into liquidation.

A group of supporters, rescued the club, and manager Ron Bradbury stayed on to gain promotion behind newly formed Rushden & Diamonds.
That season led on to the lot of most clubs – years of struggle. However, developments around the ground with a new 500 seater cantilever stand with dressing rooms underneath, a refurbished club house bar and a pitch better than it had ever been before put the now renamed Rugby United in a position to compete in the Southern League Premier Division following the reorganisation of Non-League football.

A new club was formed in 1945, starting in the Central Amateur League and then moving into the United Counties League. In 1950 they turned professional, amalgamated with Oakfield and moved to their ground.They joined the Southern League in 1958, and completed 15 years before folding.
Under many names the the clubs fans remain loyal in the extreme and they have followed Valley Sports, Valley Sports Rugby, VS Rugby, Rugby United and now Rugby Town.

Today there is a great vibe around the place and greater success will happen because of the friendliness and open welcome everyone at the club gives to visitors old and new. Butlin Road is a fantastic venue and a visit is a must for any so called football lover. May i suggest you get down to Butlin Road as soon as possible as you will not regret it.

Harrogate Railway

Northern Premier League
Division One North
Harrogate Railway 2 
Northwich Victoria 1
Atten 93

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Really enjoyed my visit to the spa town of Harrogate. Railway's number 9 Nathan Cartmen is claimed to be the most prolific striker in Europe in all the league games. His strike rate is most impressive. Today he scored again with a typical 'sniffers' goal to equalise in first half stoppage time. High flying Northwich Victoria probably deserved to go in leading as they had the better of things. But Railway never gave up and scored what was to be the winner early in the second half. It was a most entertaining end to end game which never relented with both teams having plenty of chances. 
The people at Railway were super friendly and were a pleasure to visit. The Clubhouse is one of the best i have seen in Non League for a long time with a very spacious modern bar/lounge with large comfy leather sofas and large plasmas. It had a touch of class about it. The tea hut was excellent with pride of place being the Local Butcher made Warm Pork Pies with mushy peas & mint sauce - they were delicious and were worth the journey alone. Also think that Railway have the most enthusiastic/eccentric/ebullient matchday announcer in football ! He was most entertaining and his team announcing has to be heard to be believed.

Great day out ! 


South Yorkshire Amateur League
Grimethorpe 8 

Horse & Groom 0
Atten 25 

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I think i have finally reached the bottom of the football pyramid barrel. I remember someone saying to me sometime ago that the lower we go down the football pyramid the more enjoyable our hobby becomes. But i am not sure he meant this low !. This was an unexpected 'tick' yet somehow most enjoyable. NL footy does not get more gritty than at Grimethorpe. 

Grimethorpe has had two senior football clubs – Grimethorpe Athletic, who played in the FA Cup from 1904 to 1953, and Grimethorpe Miners Welfare, who competed in the FA Vase. Not long after the Miners strike which gripped the nation they played a team from Nottinghamshire who were also a Miners Welfare team. Sadly the place became like a battlefield as around 200 of the finest local recidivsts ran down the banking and charged the visitors. Imagine Michael Cane in Zulu and you will get the picture. A heavy police presence was required as they 'ring fenced' the visitors dressing room until peace was restored. One of the reasons for the attack was different beliefs regarding a certain lady's behaviour. Her name was Margaret Thatcher.

Grimethorpe is known for its brass band, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and was used as the location for the film Brassed Off – a black comedy which tells the plight of the village and the effect on its band. The band today plays world wide and tickets are much in demand.For the band members the itinery is just like they breed them round here ...... tough ! 

Today the new Grimethorpe team called all the tunes with a 8 goal thrashing of the Sheffield based team. They could even be forgiven for blowing their own trumpets (if you will pardon the pun) .