The following will be updated throughout the season for use in away programmes. Please note that Guisborough Town have also changed the badge for the 2012-13 season to incorporate the year of the founding of the club 1973.
A COLOURFUL AND SUCCESSFUL PAST CREATED AS ‘LIFE BEGINS AT 40’ FOR THE PRIORYMEN
They say ‘life begins at 40’ and nowhere is this wise old saying more true than in the wonderful world of football.
And for Guisborough Town FC, the 2012/13 campaign represents the 40th consecutive season in the Priorymen’s relatively short history.
This is a proud milestone for the King George V-based club, formed on June 25th in 1973.
This historic development followed a meeting in Sunnyfield House where it was agreed that Guisborough Town Football Club be formed with Jack Mapplebeck as the Chairman.
A meeting on July 4th 1973 at Blackett Hutton’s agreed to apply to the Middlesbrough & District League and they played their first match two months later on 8th September and thrashed Teesside DHSS 12-1 at Middlesbrough.
The crowd of 3,112 witnessed Guisborough beat Hungerford Town in the semi-final of the FA Vase in 1980. Town then went on to appear in the Wembley final but lost 2-0 to Stamford after a hard-fought encounter in front of 11500 people.
Town did play in front of an even larger crowd in 1988 in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup against League side Bury, a tie which was switched to Middlesbrough’s old Ayresome Park ground to accommodate what was expected to be a bumper crowd – and so it proved with 5990 fans turning out to watch a thrilling match which saw Town just edged out 1-0.
The Vase run and the progression to the First Round Proper seven years later are undoubtedly two highlights in Town’s illustrious history – a quite amazing record for a team based in a relatively small market Town of around 20,000 people.
The Bury tie saw a Town team full of stars and characters, including flying winger and club top-scorer Mark Davies (affectionately known as ‘Maggot!’) who notched an incredible 341 goals for Town in 587 appearances stretching over 15 seasons from 1980 – 1995.
Also in the Town line-up was former Leeds United and Arsenal player Ray Hankin, who made 82 appearances for Town in three seasons, scoring a very respectable 26 goals. Another prolific scorer was Neil Hodgson, who played 355 matches over 10 seasons and scored 79 goals.
Over the years, Guisborough have produced great goal keepers including Wiley who represented England as an amateur, Syd Tremaine who went to Preston North End, David Campbell who has kept goal at Whitby, Andy Rafferty who joined Hartlepool just a few years ago and of course Dennis Wheeler who along with Mike Hodgson managed the Guisborough Town FC in 1973.
In 1945, an earlier incarnation also called Guisborough Town played in the Teesside League for one season and one of the keepers was Joe Morgan who became the president of the 1973 Guisborough Town. His ashes were buried in the Northern goalmouth at the imaginatively-named ‘Allotments End. Guisborough Boys’ Club were formed in 1946 based at the Belmont Field - a club house was even built and Dennis Wheeler kept goal at some point.
Even further back into history, a Guisborough Church League commenced in 1920 and in the 30‘s a team called Guisborough Brigantes played at Gisborough Hall and won the North Riding Junior Cup.
Some years later, the local foundry formed the Blackett Hutton Football Club entering the Cleveland League in 1953. Tommy Milward was on the committee and the team with Wheeler in goal played on the field behind the foundry and soon won both the Division Two and Division One titles before progressing to the South Bank League. They subsequently won the First Division championship, before winning entry to the Teesside League. They won the McMillan Cup and the Jefferson Cup against Broughton who had a teenage Brian Clough playing.
The Milward family is still very much represented as daughters Gill Wood , Susan Paisley and Pauline McCallum are part of the Ladies Section, Gill’s husband Carl is Welfare Officer and their teenage son Chris can be heard manning the PA on matchdays. Gill was also acting Chair until Dr Stephen Hill became the current Chairman late in 2011.
When Guisborough Town formed in 1973, they took their colours from the winners of the FA Cup final - Sunderland. In their first season in the Middlesbrough & District League in 1973-74, the team lost only two games, and finished champions.
The Priorymen moved to the South Bank & District League Div 2 where they only lost one game to gain promotion to the 1st Division, losing just three games and winning the North Riding County Cup by beating Smiths Dock 1-0. The scorer of that crucial only goal was Brian Hodgson whose ashes were later buried in the ‘Swimming Bath’ end goalmouth to the South of the ground.
The following season saw only one League defeat and once more Champions rapidly outgrowing the League so the Priorymen joined the Northern Football Alliance and spent three seasons there (1977-80) until topping the League with an unbeaten run in 1979-80.
They moved to the Midland League in 1980-81 and finished 5th for two seasons before the League merged with the Yorkshire League to become the Northern Counties East League, where Town stayed for three seasons.
Football teams from Guisborough (pronounced ‘Gizbra’) are no strangers to Cup Final appearances with the earliest known victory happening in 1906-07 when Guisborough Red Rose thrilled the town by capturing the North Riding Amateur Cup. After a long break, the current Guisborough Town won it again in 1976-77 and 1977-78. Grounds used in the early days were a park near Sparrow Lane and then the Hospital Field which went on to be known as Belmangate, which housed Guisborough Belmont and Belmont Miners.
In 1910 Guisborough United and Guisborough Celtic were formed and United won the Whitby Hospital Cup in 1911 travelling to Whitby on a flat wagon drawn by a horse called Albert, who should have been working at Spawood Mines that day!
Despite that disappointing Vase Final defeat at Wembley in 1980, Guisborough Town have had much success in other competition Finals, particularly the North Riding Senior Cup.
They won in three times in the early 1990's and once again in season 2010-11 when a 1-0 result defeated local rivals Marske United. Other Cups won include the Northern League Cup in 1988-89, Cleator Cup 1989, Northern League Runner-up trophy 1986-87 and 2010-11 and the Northern Alliance League Cup 1978-79.
START OF TOWN’S NORTHERN LEAGUE JOURNEY…
Town joined the Northern League in season 1985-86 with their first game on 17th August 1985 and beat West Auckland at the KGV 2-0 with Mark Davis and Paul O’Brien scoring. They have now played in this famous old league for 27 seasons – representing some two thirds of their whole history. They enter the 40th season having played 1040 Northern League games.
They play in the 1st Division of the Ebac Northern League, after promotion at the end of the 2010/11 season in a glorious year when the Priorymen lost just 6 league games and for good measure Town also won the North Riding Senior Cup in that tremendous season.
The last previous time the Priorymen had gained promotion to the top echelon of the Northern League was at the end of season 1986-87 when they finished runners-up to Billingham Synthonia and moved up to the1st Division. They spent 18 seasons in the top flight initially and now head into their 20th season in the 1st Division.
Guisborough Town were relegated at the end of 2004-05 season to the Northern League 2nd Division until the promotion-gaining campaign in 2010-11 where they scored an amazing 124 goals (in all competitions). David Onions scored 36 goals in that glorious season, including a very, very rare feat of completing a hat trick of hat tricks in three consecutive games. The campaign was successful primarily thanks to the manager Chris Hardy, who took over the management in February 2008 and built up a promotion-winning team.
Last season Chardy celebrated his 100th competitive victory with the Priorymen and ended the season having managed over 200 games. They finished 16th and took 4 pts from Spennymoor Town who became League Champions for the third successive year.
This season Chardy notched up his 250th game on Thursday 7 March with a 2-2 draw away at Spennymoor.
Chris and Julie Garbutt continue to head the Junior Section which is growing every year and provides opportunities for many children in Guisborough and a new Ladies team is based at the club this season. The Honorary President continues to be Tom Blenkinsop MP.
The 2012/13 season sees Stephen Dowling step up to become assistant manager and welcomes David Markham as coach and a new development Under 21 squad has been formed.
Guisborough Town play at the King George V Stadium at Howlbeck Road which has grown over the years. A grandstand and floodlighting were added and in 1992 fixed seating was added. In 1982-83 a Social Club was built and in 1991 a large extension which acts as a function room was added. In 1996 a covered standing area on the east side of the ground was built.
To celebrate their 40th season Guisborough Town revert to their original colours of red and white striped shirts, black shorts and red socks sponsored by Taylor Wimpey and the away kit is all blue sponsored by Cleveland Land Services.
UPDATED 9 March 2013 - There is a condensed version available on request.
Come on the Priorymen!!!
Now in our 40th Season 1973-2013
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