THE ORIGINS OF SUNDAY FOOTBALL
IN THE VILLAGE OF HUNMANBY.
Hunmanby Hornets played their first competitive game in the Sunday Football League 4th Division back in September 1976 against Bunzl, a team from the Bunzl adhesive factory on the Eastfield Industrial Estate. They were soundly beaten 8-0 but undeterred carried on and were again heavily beaten in there second game versus Territorial Army Reserves at Burniston Barracks. The score was 8-1 this time, Phil Tindall becoming the first player to score a goal for the newly created village team. The first victory came in the 4th match versus NEGAS at home, Phil Tindall again scoring the only goal to secure a 1-0 victory. Some other players from that very first team included Jock Skelton in goal, who was succeeded by Gary Habberley, Tim Warhurst, his brother John (Rusty) Warhurst, John (Polly) Alden, Tim Peate, Chris Skelton, Pete Murton (Mad Murt) Andy Elley and big Bill Barkley.
The Hunmanby Hornets football club owes its origins to a group of men who would gather after work in the long summer evenings to pass there time having a kick about at the school playing fields in Bowling Green Lane off Stonegate.
These kick abouts soon became a regular event in the summer evenings of 1976 when it was suggested that a team should be formed to play in the local Sunday League. The village already had two well-
established Saturday teams, Hunmanby United and Hunmanby United Reserves, run very successfully for many years by the late and well-respected Harry Robson of Simpsons Avenue. So the suggestion was that any new village team would play Sunday football, as there was only one Sunday side, the Taveners who got there name from the Railway Tavern public house on Sands Lane and played on a pitch close by opposite the present playing fields. (Which was also the home of the popular junior side the Hunmanby Terriers).
A few of these aspiring footballers and younger lads who met at Bowling Green Lane included some of the following (and previously mentioned). Andy Elley, his brother Chris, (who played a few early games for the team despite suffering from a painful in growing toe nail), John Alden, the late and sadly missed John Gilpin (who was tragically killed in a motoring accident while holidaying in Athens Greece on the 7th July 1985), Chris Skelton, Tim and (Rusty) John Warhurst, Nigel Stephenson, Alan (Libber) Gibson,) Alan Austwick, Robert Burton and Bill Barkley (who stood at least 6 foot 6 tall in his stocking feet, indeed finding a shirt to fit this giant of a man became quite a challenge and the final solution to this problem was to fashion one shirt out of two to fit Bill).
Asked by some of these people, Chris Elley who knew the then league secretary a Mr Eric Sedgeman was asked to enquire what was required, and would it be possible to enter a team in the Sunday league.
As a result of these enquiries a meeting was arranged for the 6th June 1976 and a committee was formed that had to include at least three main officers, a secretary, treasurer and chairman. Chris Elley became that first chairman; Marilyn Skelton became the first secretary, (and also doubled up as the first treasurer, due to no volunteer coming forward at that time to fill that position). J.Gilpin became the trainer /coach. C. Skelton was elected the first club captain. This first committee meeting of the soon to be christened Hunmanby Hornets took place at the White Swan public house. A total of thirteen players signed on at that first meeting such was the enthusiasm.
After much deliberation the newly formed team was duly christened Hunmanby Hornets at this meeting. The team colours were to reflect this name by being Blue and White hooped shirts and socks, with Blue shorts. The change strip as it was known in those days (not the away strip as it is known now) was Red shirts and socks with Black shorts.
The search then began to find a pitch to play on, Hunmanby United were approached but reluctantly had to turn the Sunday side down as they themselves were having trouble finding a permanent pitch to play on since been asked to vacate their regular pitch on Station Road which had been their home for many years, (they went on to play at various locations in and around the village after that).
A pitch off Malton Road on the way out of the village was their home for a short while loaned to them by Farmer Bates. Unable to share this pitch another local farmer Mr Dick Coates agreed to the use of a field he owned at the top of New Road Hill, which was used as grazing land for his sheep.
Players, wives, girlfriends etc. pitched in (no pun intended) to clear this field and render it playable for the Hunmanby Hornets. Rocks boulders stones and the odd barrow load of sheep droppings were cleared and a pitch was marked out. Hunmanby Hornets were now ready to play there first home game of the season, 1976/77 versus the afore mentioned Bunzl.
An agreement with the Taverners secretary /manager Mr Mick Heaton was brokered where by the Hornets would play the odd game or two on there pitch when they were playing away. Thus began the Hunmanby Hornets Sunday football club who had by now adopted the White Swan as their headquarters encouraged by the then landlord Harvey Lee and latterly Peter Wrightson.
A grand jumble sale, which became a regular event for the first few years, took place at the village hall in Stonegate to raise funds to finance the club and a weekly tote was launched to continue the financing required to run a football club. Ten pence bought two numbers (reversed) on the tote and the players and committee members were encouraged to sell a few numbers per week to aid funds. Some players competed with one another to see who could sell the most tickets per week.
As a result it was not uncommon for £15/£16(a lot of money in those days) to be handed in when the weekly draw took place by the likes of J. Alden and C.Skelton. In later years major fund raising events were held to raise funds, the Lykewake walk was completed twice. The first time in June 1980 the second in July 1985, some of the following people took part and completed both walks P. Murton, R. Norris, Tim Warhurst, Geoff Hill, Paul (wag) Hebden, J. Mccormick, M. Randerson and Andy Ringrose who actually ran all the way.
The draw took place in the bar of the White Swan every Sunday after the weekly football match and was eagerly anticipated as the prize money could sometimes reach £100.
This was also the place where the social side of the Hornets developed and many a good time was had here. Players wives and girlfriends were encouraged to get involved, and as a result some of the teams from the Sunday League were regularly invited to the White Swan for an evening of darts and dominoes etc. The club in partnership with the landlords would organise food and visits to the White Swan, at the invitation of Hunmanby Hornets, became much talked about among the footballing fraternity in and around the Scarborough area.
This then was how Sunday football was introduced to Hunmanby and the Hornets went from strength to strength in the ensuing years. A dedicated group of people soon took up the regular positions within the club to oversee its running and continued to do so for the next 10 to 15 years that this writer was himself involved. Robert Burton took over as chairman.
Ray Norris became the treasurer and after giving up his love of hockey went on to establish himself as the regular centre half forming a partnership in defence with the much respected and sometimes feared P. Murton who himself captained (and later managed) the Hornets for a number of years. Completing the defensive line up during those early years were Chris Skelton, (after a couple of early seasons as a striker notching up a fair number of goals along the way) and John McCormick. John went on to become the secretary for the club in 1977 and after only a short break continues in that roll to this day clocking up the best part of 24years loyal service to the club along the way.
After fleeting in and out of the side for a few years Andy Elley became the President of Hunmanby Hornets. Holding the post to this day Andy will be the longest serving member of the club and continues his efforts as enthusiastically today as he did during the early years.
Meanwhile on the pitch the club suffered mixed fortunes in its infancy and on several occasions had to re apply for league membership, this never proved to difficult as the club gained a lot of respect from league officials due to the efficient way it was run and the facilities that Hunmanby now had with the opening of the playing fields on Sands Lane in 1977.
A few cup runs stoked up support and one or two semi finals were reached playing the likes of the Black Swan and Filey Flyers.
Sunday league rules only permitted the inclusion of three Saturday players this was to enable players who worked Saturdays to enjoy their soccer on Sundays. Indeed Sunday football catered for players who were not quite up to the standard of Saturday football or who worked on a Saturday and gave them the chance to play on a Sunday morning.
Hornets did have a small group of players who played both Saturday and Sunday football and much thought had to be given on who to select for the Sunday side as a result. P. Murton, J. Gilpin, J. Alden usually got the nod.
With a firm foundation now in place the Hornets management committee continued to provide a club that brought much pleasure to those who both played and became involved.
From 76/77 seasons to 86/87, many players signed up to play Sunday football. Who can forget players like John Hardy (nick named Chalkie White) a bustling little midfielder, who crafted out many a goal with his skill? Stationed at RAF Staxton, Chalkie took up residence in one of the flats above the local ironmongers on Bridlington Street, and soon had a number of other clubs clambering for his signature.
Or indeed Tony Dixon who pointed out to us the need for a competent keeper and took up the green jersey himself to prove the point. Tony lived in a small cottage at Royal Oak and ran some sort of company from an office in Scarborough his goalkeeping ability soon became obvious and the Hornets management assumed they had the answer to a sometimes-leaky defence. Alas Tony mysteriously disappeared as fast as he arrived and has to my knowledge never been seen since in this area.
Other players who also seemed to come and go included Phil and Gary Holt (no not Neville) who occupied the old school house in Stonegate, Kevin Smith a fiery little character with a rather engaging smile that would often put visiting players off there stride who worked in the kitchen at the Veterinary Arms public house and had married a local girl.
The arrival of such players plus the influx of more players who played on Saturdays brought about the need to introduce a second team. The Sunday League had by this time decided to abolish the three Saturday player rule, which meant that clubs could effectively put out a full Saturday side and thus deny other less fortunate players a game on a Sunday. Like it or not and there were those who vehemently opposed it, the rule stuck and is still with us today, this rule had a somewhat lesser impact on Hornets players as a result of them forming a second team, in other words the so called less fortunate players still continued to get a game albeit with the reserve side which was now been run by Brian Benson.
With the continuing addition of more players the Hornets first team achieved more and more success on the field.
Promotion to the top flight was gained in season 82/83. While the second team continued in the 4th division with more or less the nucleus of the original founder members who were by this time becoming regarded as veterans. However with the addition of a few good young lads coming through from the U16s (run by the late B.kelly) and despite they're increasing years continued to enjoyed their football.
Colin Yorke was at the helm of the first team and as mentioned Brian Benson took charge of the second string both for lengthy periods.
Prior to this various people had tried their hand at running the teams with relative success.
John Watson from Eastfield is one name that springs to mind in this department, he answered an advertisement placed in the local paper to manage the Hornets and was duly given the job, bringing with him two players Colin Short and Roy Large (who were soon amusingly referred to as Short and Large).
A major highlight of the season was the presentation nights held at the end of the each season, these were usually organised by the secretary J. McCormick the first one taking place at the White Swan.
In later seasons John would shop around for other venues, the ticket price and location been an important factor in the final choice, one could often negotiate a reduced price by assuring the proprietors that up to fifty or sixty people would be attending these functions with a pocket full of money to spend.
Other venues that spring to mind include The Monarch Hotel at Bridlington, Ferns Farm Carnaby, Revelstoke Hotel again at Brid and the Hackness Grange Hotel Scarborough.
A coach was hired and everyone donned their best attire to attend these functions, in some cases a guest speaker was asked along to present the player of the year awards and entertain the guests with an after dinner speech. Bernard Kelly became quite a dab hand at this and many a laugh could be heard at his amusing anecdotes.
This then was the way the club was run more or less up to the writers retirement as a player and briefly a committee member when J. McCormick decided to take a break from his duties as the club secretary (I took over for a short spell as secretary).
By this time some of the stalwart elder players were feeling their years and calls for the U16s to be given there chance at senior level were made and duly answered.
This signalled the end of some playing careers, indeed this writer remembers well the effort required to fend off the challenge for his place by a budding young 16 year old and so reluctantly decided to hang up his boots in 1992.
Other long serving players continued for a few more years before bowing to the inevitable father time.
Indeed P. Murton went on to co form another Sunday side in nearby Filey after leaving the Hornets taking with him and no doubt using the experience he gained, from his years with Hunmanby Hornets.
The nineties saw the Hornets consolidate their position as a well-respected Sunday football club, with the second team now been run by Rob Cawkhill.
A number of Bridlington players were having a major influence on the first team, brought to the club by the much travelled and Bridlington born striker Shaun Gascoingne who had settled in the village after marrying a local girl and was signed on by Chris Skelton.
Steve Lidster was at the helm of the first team when Hunmanby Hornets achieved there crowning glory by beating Filey Flyers 5-2 in the final of senior Cup at McCain's.
This was in fact the first time Filey Flyers had been beaten in almost four seasons after an unprecedented run in the top flight or local Sunday soccer.
The result brought about such comments as "it wasn't Hunmanby who beat us it was Brid" sour grapes was the cry from the victors.
Later in the nineties a couple of Filey players most notably Kevin Chapman and Dave Brannon were to join the Hornets for a short spell under much scrutiny from other Filey players who accused them of been disloyal to Filey football such was and still is the rivalry between these two teams.
This success was however short lived and in the 1995/96 season the first team had to be withdrawn from the first division due to no manager coming forward to run the side.
The secretary J. McCormick had to make the difficult decision, which unfortunately meant that the reserve side were promoted to the top flight.
This was soon recognised by the secretary as been unfavourable as the second team were obviously not well enough equipped to compete at this level and representations were made to the Sunday league management committee (of which J. McCormick was a member) to find a solution to this tricky problem.
After much soul searching the league agreed to allow the second team to remain in the fourth division and the first division was re structured to allow for the first teams withdrawal.
This then has more or less brought the club full circle and back to its original concept of providing and maintaining (as it has done now for the past 24 years) the addition to the village of Hunmanby of Sunday Football.
Some players who play in the present team include some of the following D.Butcher (who actually played in the early teams of the seventies), John Hodgson, Rob Cawkill, Dave (mitchy) Mitchell, P. (sully) Sullivan.
The secretary of Hunmanby Hornets football club is as mentioned Mr John McCormick who can be contacted for any matters pertaining to the club on, 01723/892315 or writing to J. McCormick. At 2 Outgaites Close, Hunmanby. Or alternatively contacting C.Skelton via Email at email@example.com
RETURN TO MAIN PAGE