4th April 2017

It’s terrible to start this blog on a sour note but it is impossible to ignore the resignation of West Allotment Celtic and the resignation earlier in the season of Norton & Stockton Ancients. But before all that, what on earth am I doing here?

First off I am taking inspiration from the excellent daily Football Blog by former Northern League Chair Mike Amos, who uses the date as his blog title. I like this approach as readers immediately know what’s going on and it eliminates the need for a creative headline for the post.

Staying with Mike for a moment I actually considered standing as Northern League Chair and despite my relatively tender age of 34 at the time, Mike took my interest seriously and met me at a Morpeth FC match to discuss the role. I greatly appreciated his time and love his writing.

But back to my first point.

Whenever I visit a Northern League ground, the well-kept pitches and facilities are looked after by an increasingly elderly group of always fiercely loyal and dedicated men. Unfortunately there is a distinct lack of younger people that will be the future custodians of the more mundane aspects of running a Football club.

The clubs who have the money are always the ones who make the headlines. The South Shields of the world draw in the crowd with ambition and big signings, but the unsung heroes are the committee members who volunteer and help keep the club going, running into the trees to find those valuable match balls and ensure referees are looked after.

This reminds me of another club I have a soft spot for which is Wolviston FC in the Wearside League. Their committee invited me down to consider becoming the new Manager in 2014. Myself and a friend who was planning to coach with me received a very warm welcome and plenty of advice from their Manager, who was a UEFA A full-time coach himself and happy to pass on the reigns if someone could be found.

Alas, the travel was a bit much for us but being taken seriously even when things don’t work out was very much appreciated. The Wolviston committee have over 120 years service to the club between them. This is fantastic and they deserve unlimited praise, but for that excellent club to keep going they need new volunteers.

Check them out if you are in the area, it’s a great set-up.

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