Interesting Bits from Great Harwood Town Matchday Programmes 2003/04

August 2003

My. my, my how times have changed

Remember last season and how we began with our top 10 chants from the Pop-Side in our relegation season?

Here’s a reminder and how they changed into the most popular chants for last season.

2001-02 2002-03

1) Bloody rubbish Harwood!
2) Great ball!
2) Get t’ sub on!
3) Well player ‘Arrud!
3) Geddit up t’ field!
One John Eastham, there’s only one John Eastham!
4) Offside! Open yer bloody eyes liner!
4) Offside,! Open yer bloody eyes liner!
5) Push up midfield!
5) Great ball!
6) Underwood out!
6) Hughesy, Hughesy, Hughesy!
7) You dirty bugger number three!
7) You dirty bugger number two!
8) We’re never gonna score!
8) Come on ‘Arrud, let’s ‘ave another!
9) Where’s yer guide dog ref.?
9) Well done ref. good decision.(Only joking!) Penalty ref. everyone could see that, where’s yer white stick?
10) I’m goin’ shoppin’ next week!
10) Who do we play next week?

August 25th

Just to put you in the picture, for several seasons we ran a feature called Fat Dave’s Quest, where some of our away supporters tested the food and drink at away grounds, something like this:
Each week Fat Dave and his lieutenants will be munching their way around the grounds of our NWCFL rivals in the hope of finding the perfect pie, and then reporting back to the Harwood faithful.

The spotlight this week falls on…..Daisy Hill.

TESTED-Potato pie
PASTRY-Rather crusty, either been re-heated or over cooked.
FILLING-Red hot and tasty.
STAFF-Very friendly.

OVERALL JUDGEMENT-The fact that we hadn’t had any tea due to the 6.00 kick-off, may have clouded our opinion of the pies. We were starving by the time we got them and consequently we scoffed them down.


Sad news reached us at the Showground this summer when we heard of the sad demise of our expert pie-muncher Fat Dave.

Our overweight chum went over to Malaysia for his holidays and due to the intense heat he decided to go for a swim. After a few minutes of ‘wallowing’ about in the water he dragged himself, puffing and panting, back onto the beach. Some members of Greenpeace witnessed this and thought that he was a whale in distress and half a dozen of them pushed his back into the sea. Unfortunately, they weren’t the only ones who mistook him for a great sea mammal and one of a party of Japanese fishermen shot him with a harpoon!

Now before anyone gets too despondent, don’t worry because the Great Harwood Town pie quest will continue. Fat Dave’s cousin, ‘Big Dave’, has volunteered to take over the spot so we’ll still be letting you know where to buy, and where not to buy your pie from.

September 8th

Blimey O’Reilly!

These days almost every Premier League game is sold out but it wasn’t always so. Just look at the attendances from the top league just 20 years ago.

Hopkins Halsall     ATT 11931
Adams   Sheedy ATT 12532
Rush     ATT 31376
Hill Walsh Stein Munroe og   West ATT 10543
Deehan 2 Burchin     ATT 13713
    Fashanu og Mariner ATT 9023
Stainrod Withe og     ATT 16922
Baird     ATT 10377
    Muhren ATT 23704
    Whitton Swindlehurst ATT 38042
Whitehead     ATT 12016

October 11th 2003


During the Challenge Cup win at Maine Road on Saturday, one of our oldest and best supporters, Eddie Hadfield, made an innocent remark, along the lines of Maine Road being bad losers, no swearing, no shouting. The home goalkeeper, who should have already been red-carded for his first half assault on Matt Derbyshire, proceeded to bombard Eddie with a barrage of foul and abusive language-see me if you want to know what he said. This man, and I use the word ‘man’ very loosely, is not only unfit to clean Eddie’s boots, he’s unfit to lick them. He’s a disgrace to the game and a disgrace to Maine Road Football Club. The Great Harwood ladies were also showered with four-letter words from the moron and it really is about time that the officials clamped down on this type of behaviour.
Dear Moron, please send your written apology to: Great Harwood Town Football Club, Wood St., Great Harwood.

October 18th

BLIMEY! We might not get too many people through the gate on matchdays but they’re coming from far and wide. Last Saturday we had two young ladies here from America for their second trip in recent weeks. They had already been here for the Norton game which was unfortunately postponed due to the non-arrival of our visitors. Determined to see the Robins in action, and in particular Matt, they made the long trip for the Ashton fixture and saw their hero score one and get ‘dropped’ for the penalty which gave us our second. Mum Corry Holbrook and daughter Emily, who plays for Blackburn Rovers Ladies, come from Kentucky, and enjoyed their first game at the Showground, even though we couldn’t provide them with a win. Emily said: “Gee, it sure is swell round here, and those Holland’s pies are finger lickin’ good!”

November 1st

LET THAT be a lesson-Liam Southgate of Eagle Bitters side Eye United has been banned for four months for spitting at an opponent.

WHAT A COMEBACK! In the Ryman League two weeks ago Cheshunt provided what must surely have been the fightback of the season so far. Trailing to Wivenhoe Town at half time by three goals to nil, Cox scored twice within 15 minutes of the re-start to give the home side hope. With only 6minutes of the game left, it seemed that the visitors would hang on for the three points but goals from Harris (two in two minutes), Archer, and a third by Cox in the last minute, completed an amazing game. Unfortunately the 6-3 victory was witnessed by just 86 fans.

TALKING OF CROWDS, we were disappointed with the attendance of 78 last week against Daisy Hill but top of the table Colne drew just 41 for their home game with Oldham Town. Castleton could muster only 25 for the ‘derby’ with Chadderton, Norton United only 24 and Holker Old Boys registered just 12 against Cheadle Town!

EX-BIRMINGHAM CITY, Leyton Orient and Plymouth Argyle midfielder Steve Castle was recently appointed manager of Ryman League St. Albans City. His first game in charge-a 9-1 defeat at Grays Athletic!! Having second thoughts Steve?

The following piece appeared in the NWCFL newsletter;


Great Harwood Town manger John Hughes might have unearthed another gem for the future. Sam Pope, a former Langho under 17’s junior player, made his debut for Great Harwood in last Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Blackpool Mechanics.

And referring to Pope, Hughes couldn’t resist mentioning the name that’s on everyone’s lips in the North West Counties Football League and much further up the football pyramid at the moment.
Hughes said: “I brought Sam on at wide left for the last 15 minutes because I’m looking to do what I did with Matt Derbyshire and bring him on gradually.”

Although still the same age as Pope at 17, Derbyshire is making giant strides towards a professional career.

His hat-trick at Blackpool took his tally to 18 goals in 8 games and maintained the Robins’ status as the league’s only unbeaten team.

Hughes added: “My telephone didn’t stop ringing on Wednesday. There are a lot of big clubs coming in for Matty now. It’s good for the club if the kids go through and progress, like Andy Proctor has at Accrington Stanley.”


Last week we had a letter asking about the outcome of the Norton United ‘no-show’ fiasco. (Norton didn’t turn up for a game at the Showground after we received conflicting calls telling us that they couldn’t raise a team then that they’d broke down en-route and for some reason couldn’t get a replacement coach or travel in cars).

I phoned the league secretary who let me know in no uncertain terms that he wouldn’t tell me what the punishment was! A further call to our secretary Mark Jones enlightened me. Norton have been fined for their breach of rules but have not been docked points. That’s a great consolation for the 20-30 hours of work which I put in compiling the programme!!

November 10th

HIGH-FLYING VAUXHALL MOTORS’ season has taken a turn for the worse LATELY. A 5-0 HOME DRUBBING BY Radcliffe Borough was followed up with a 6-2 defeat at lowly Bradford park Avenue four days later.

FOLKSTONE INVICTA made a great comeback last week at Hastings United. Trailing 2-0 after just 11 minutes, the visitors pulled one back before half time, then rattled in five more goals without reply after the break in the Dr. Martens Cup.

THAT AWAY WIN was eclipsed the following evening when former non-league giants Wealdstone completed an amazing 8-0 away win at Kingsbury Town in the Ryman Cup.

AFC WIMBLEDON, who we’re keeping a close eye on this season, won their fourteenth consecutive league game of the season, 2-0 at Reading Town. They’ve also scored a fantastic 56 goals during that period and must surely be odds on to gain the first promotion of their short history. Last season’s 105 points could only land them the runners-up spot.

December 20th

Blackburn Rovers latest signing Matt Derbyshire has been tipped to go all the way to the top. That’s the view of Great Harwood Town manager John Hughes, one of the men responsible for unearthing the teenage goal-machine. Derbyshire fulfilled a life time’s ambition last week when he signed a contract with Rovers. Hughes believes his 17 year-old protégé is destined for stardom after making the bold claim that he’s a better prospect than Brett Ormerod was at a similar age.

“I think Matt has the ability to go to the top. I’ve known Brett Ormerod a long time and no disrespect to him but I think Matt’s better than Brett Ormerod was at a similar age. Obviously Bret has gone on to do very well for himself but I think Matt’s a better prospect. I just hope he works hard to prove me right.
“There wasn’t just one club looking at him. Manchester United, one of the best clubs in the world, Liverpool, Everton, Leeds United and Burnley all showed an interest as well. I took him down to both United and Everton but he’s a Blackburn lad and he just wants to play for his home town club, which is perfectly understandable.”

Derbyshire was a complete unknown 18 months ago, despite an impressive goals record in under 18 football with Darwen.

But Hughes was quick to spot his potential when the team then switched venues to Great Harwood Town and it wasn’t long before he invited the teenager to train with senior squad at the Showground.
That show of faith was then rewarded with a raft of goals as the youngster began to make his mark in the North West counties Football League division Two. The scouts started flocking as he blazed his way to 20 goals during the second half of last season. Then an incredible goal-scoring spree during the first half of this season whetted the appetites of clubs like Rovers even more.
Nineteen goals in eight games prompted a scramble for his signature but it was Rovers who ended up winning the battle after agreeing to pay a fee of £20,000 plus a sizeable sell-on and various add-ons if he makes it to the first team.

So what will Rovers be getting for their money?
“Someone who’s got an eye for goal and pace to burn,” said Hughes.
“He also works hard, his first touch is good and he wins his battles in the air but his biggest asset is the way he hits the ball. He strikes it like David Beckham with inside of his foot and he manages to generate tremendous power.”


Paul Mashiter NWCFL 2nd Division player of the month. Not only has Paul been scoring goals regularly-nine in five games- he’s been putting in some tremendous performances and his award is well deserved. Keep up the good work Paul.
John Hughes, manager of the month. At long last John has received recognition for the superb job which he’s done since his appointment here. Together with his trusty assistant Dave Sharples, he’s turned this club around from perennial losers to winners.

December’s record:

6th Atherton L.R. Away Won 4-2 Mashiter 3, Taylor
9th Winsford United Away Drew 1-1 Mashiter
13th Eccleshall Home Won 4-0 Mashiter 2, Rogers
16th Winsford United Home Won 3-1 Baron, Dean, Goulthorpe
20th Daisy Hill Away Won 4-0 Mashiter 3, Dean

January 26th 2004

17 year-old keeper scores for Atherton L.R.

In an eventful game at Crilly Park on Saturday which saw Nantwich finally emerge 6-5 winners, Atherton L.R.’s final goal was scored by 17 year-old keeper Ashley Timms.

A flurry of goals late in the game saw Nantwich’s 4-0 half time lead reduced to 5-4 before they added the sixth. Moments later L.R. won a corner kick and Timms ran upfield to hit a perfect low hard drive past Simon Pay in the Nantwich goal. Although last season’s keeper Cyril Sharrocks scored in local cup competitions while playing up front, it’s going to take a long search through the record books to find the last time an L.R. keeper got on the scoresheet.

ATTENDANCES have been a talking point in the programme recently. I’ve been bemoaning the lack of support from the Great Harwood public but having played against the two leading teams in this division over the past couple of weeks, maybe we haven’t got it so bad. Maine Road came to the Showground as league leaders two weeks ago and we were expecting a few visiting supporters. In the event they had a following of………TWO!

Last week we were at second placed Formby and as the game kicked off the crowd consisted of around a dozen Harwood supporters and maybe twenty locals. The official attendance of 61 must have included the players! The programme had reports of the previous game against Southport for the official opening of the floodlights when over 600 fans passed through the turnstiles. It was hoped that three figure crowds would become the ‘norm’ but if Saturday’s poor turnout is anything to go by, those days are a long way off.

COLNE’S MAGNIFICENT WIN in the F.A. Vase at Wimbledon was helped in no small way from two ex-Harwood players. The opening goal came from a PAUL WALKER long throw-in, and what proved to be the winner, was set up by a LEE SLATER cross.

The Dons are finding life rather more to their liking in the Combined Counties League where they trounced bottom of the table Chessington United 9-0-AWAY!

AT THE OTHER end of the scale, Upper Beeding, bottom of the Sussex County League Third Division, had a close the gap on Forest, who were just above them, when they met at the weekend. It wasn’t to be though and a 7-1 defeat left them with a goal difference of 8 for and 84 against. Things could be worse-they do have ONE POINT from their 19 games.

February 13th

NICE TO SEE Harwood old boy Matt Derbyshire on the score sheet for the Rovers under 19’s in the recent 1-1 draw with Bolton, and equally nice to see him cheering on his mates at the recent Harwood game against Castleton.


CASTLETON GABRIELS and Daisy Hill may be struggling in our division and conceding plenty of goals but they’re going to have to fall apart to match the record of Sarratt in the World Class Homes Hertfordshire League. Although they’ve actually won one game from their seventeen fixtures, they’ve conceded a mammoth 140 goals-that’s an average of over EIGHT goals per game!


Top Ten

‘Why I missed an open goal from 5 yards –my excuse plus what really happened!’

10) James Dean v Chadderton (home) first game of the season.
“I’d only just got the boots (borrowed from Matt) and I wasn’t used to them.” (oh yeh, sure!)
9) Centre-back Neil Kennedy v North Ferriby (home).
“I forgot that I was attacking and cleared the ball into the stand.” (as usual)
8) Anthony Green v Nelson (away).
“With it being a local derby game, the Press were there in force and there was a photographer behind the goal. I was just smiling for the camera and mis-timed my shot.” (poseur)
7) Paul Mashiter v Castleton (away).
“Matt Derbyshire had already scored four goals and as he made his way into the box I didn’t think he’d pass. He did, it took me by surprise, and I fluffed the shot.” (fell over your own feet)
6) Chris Heslop v Leek CSOB (away).
“Just as I drew back my trusty left foot, I swallowed a fly and choked.” (and now he’s got more brains in his stomach than in his head!)
5) Darren Rogers v Darwen (home).
“As the cross came over, a voice behind me shouted ‘Paul’s ball’ so I left it. I thought it was Paul Mashiter. I was wrong, it was Paul Baker!” (It’s true, Bakes was playing against Harwood at the time)
4) Matt Derbyshire v Castleton (away).
“I’d scored four and I felt sorry for them and put it over on purpose.” (completely mis-hit the shot)
3) Andy Taylor v Eccleshall (away).
“There was a whistle from the crowd and I knocked the ball (more like scuffed the shot) to the keeper thinking I was offside.”
2) Ryan Parr v Ashton (home)
“I hit a scorcher that was heading towards the top corner before it got a deflection (very slight!) and went out for a throw-in.”
1) Sam Pope v Winsford (away)
“I was cutting in from the left, beat five defenders, drew the keeper, was about to score, and fell down a hole!!”
This story is true, as anyone who travelled to Winsford will verify.

February 25th


Celtic fans who sat down to watch T.V. highlights of their team’s 7-1 thrashing of Rangers in the 1957 Scottish League Cup were dismayed that only the first half was shown. The problem was caused by a forgetful cameraman who forgot to remove the lens cap after the half time break!



Chat show host Des O’Connor was a nippy winger with Northampton Town just after the war. Angus Deaton once had trials with Crystal palace while Stuart Hall played for their reserves in 1953. Rod Stewart was an apprentice with Brentford.



LOVERS of the science of numbers(and I’m sure that there’s a proper word for it)will have been in ‘number heaven’ last week when the football results started coming through the teleprinter.

The time-4.44 p.m.
The score-Chesterfield 4 Grimsby Town 4
The attendance-4,444-UNBELIEVABLE!


The Cheshire Senior Cup Final ended in controversy when Witton Albion defender Pritchard, a serving police officer, was sent off for violent conduct. 15 minutes into the 2nd half a streaker ran on to the pitch from the Woodley supporters end and cavorted amongst the Witton players for some considerable time before Pritchard tried to ‘tackle’ him but missed. The referee then sent off the defender despite protests form both sets of players. Woodley went on to win the game 2-1 after extra time to record the finest moment in their 34 year history.


WELCOME TO THE SHOWGROUND and good luck to new signing Neil Burton. Neil is the son of former Robin Nigel (Nidge) Burton who graced the Showground in the 1980’s. If Neil is only half as a good a player as his Dad, then he’ll be a valuable asset to the club in the next few years.


CASTLETON GABRIELS must be given great credit for the way they’re playing the game in recent weeks. Despite conceding goals left right and centre, they’re scoring plenty themselves. In a recent home game against championship contenders Maine Road, they found themselves 4-2 down at half time but fought back to level the scores within 15 minutes of the break. Sadly they conceded four more goals before the end, but they’ve taken over from Darwen as the Second Division’s top entertainers.


CONGRATULATIONS to another of our local rivals Colne who have done fantastically well by reaching the semi-finals of the F.A. Vase. With just 10 minutes remaining of Saturday’s first leg at Sudbury, they found themselves 2-0 up and odds on favourites to make it through to the final. Sadly the home side scored three times, the winner coming in the last minute of stoppage time. Let’s hope that they can overcome the one goal deficit in the second leg next week. They are the competition’s rank outsiders at 25-1 and must surely be worth a couple of quid at those ridiculously long odds.

FAVOURITES for the Vase are Winchester City of the Wessex League. Currently standing in 2nd position with 22 wins from 25 games, City have scored an incredible 112 goals. Even more incredible is the record of leading scorer Andy Forbes who has scored 62-YES SIXTY TWO goals this season.

April 5th

SATURDAY’S F.A. Cup semi-final and the Grand National certainly ha an effect on the attendances in the N.W.C.L. High flying Maine Road could attract just 30 spectators to Daisy Hill, Castleton v Blackpool was watched by just 25 and Holker drew only 23 for their clash with Leek C.S.O.B. Even the mighty Colne had their attendance of 204 on Thursday almost halved for the visit of Winsford two days later.


April 19th

Editor’s Opinion

Good evening everyone. It’s rant and rave time , and tonight’s lucky recipients are Flixton F.C.
You all saw the shenanigans that they got up to here at the Showground in February, well the return match on Easter Monday proved why they have such an abysmal disciplinary record this season. Their manager and several of their ‘players’ behaved disgracefully by verbally and physically abusing anything or anyone who moved. I shan’t name them but the guilty parties were numbers five, seven, nine, one and last but not least number seventeen. Amongst the verbally abused were most of our supporters, most of the players, Hughesy, who after shouting “referee” was given a right ‘telling off’ by the manager, who I might add looked like he’d just come off the set of ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’. The three officials really got hammered And the ref. could quite easily of sent most of the team off for constant ‘four letter’ verbals throughout the 90 minutes. As it happened, he only sent off one player and the manager. Anyone who he’d already booked, seemed to get away with ‘murder’ from then on. Deano kicked the ball away and was booked yet five minutes later one of the ‘booked’ players did similar and was not even spoken to.
The animal who had 17 on its back, leathered Nicky Hand, no second booking. As it turned away, it was clenching its fists and snarling-I kid you not, he was obviously delighted that he’d hurt someone. Poor Nicky was soon substituted. Our boys must take huge credit for not getting involved and also standing up to them, no one was hiding from the challenge.

To Flixton Football Club-You’re a disgrace not only to non-league football, you’re a disgrace to football in general. Some of your players are lucky if they ever manage to complete 90 minutes without getting sent off. The manager must take most of the blame because his thuggish behaviour really stet the tone at both matches against the Robins. How on earth the Chairman of Flixton can look at his football club and be satisfied with what’s going on is a complete mystery to me. I sincerely hope that we don’t meet again, at least for the next hundred years, and I hope that when the promotion places are decided, Flixton’s atrocious behaviour is taken into account by the league’s hierarchy.


Many thanks to all the people who’ve helped with the programme this season

Dave Sharples for his manager’s notes.
Mark Jones for the opponent’s information.
Graham Lightbown, Pete Smith, Paul Baker, Ronnie Clayton, Roy Vernon’s daughter-in-law Wendy and Bob Jones’ widow Kay for all their help with the ‘Legends’ features.
Geoff and Bob on the gate for doing their best to persuade supporters to buy them.
Eileen for information and newspapers.
Sandra for accosting fans and players after the game. Last but not least, all the regular programme readers, I hope that you’ve enjoyed the ‘remember when’ and ‘legends’ features as well as the up to date stuff ‘and humour’. If you didn’t but them in such huge quantities, I’d be wasting my time-Thanks everyone.

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