PAUL QUINN was born to be a manager.
The 28-year-old from Huddersfield who is making his mark at Northern Counties East League club Brighouse is the son of Gerry Quinn, who was hugely successful when boss of the original Emley, and the grandson of Ian Greaves, who took both Town and Bolton into the top flight.
As the roses rivals prepare to meet in the Championship on Saturday, Quinn is getting ready for a big match of his own, at home to Holbrook Sports in the third round of the FA Vase, and is quick to confirm the memory of his grandad, who died in 2009, is driving him on.
“My grandad was a massive influence and help, and my dad still is,” said Quinn, who cut his managerial teeth with successful Sunday side Huddersfield Irish Centre and Kirkburton, of the West Riding County Amateur League.
While Greaves enjoyed Second Division title glory with Town in 1970 and Bolton eight years later – flamboyant striker Frank Worthington featured prominently in both sides – Gerry Quinn took Emley to Wembley in the 1988 Vase final, and 12 months later, from the Northern Counties East into the Northern Premier League, a promotion his son is determined to emulate.
And in 1991, the man who was later to take charge of Altrincham, Ashton United, Ossett Albion, Liversedge and Mossley led former Huddersfield District League Emley, who were later to controversially relocate to Wakefield, into the first round proper of the FA Cup and a tie with ... Bolton.
“The links are incredible really,” said Paul Quinn, who watched the cup clash, which took place at Town’s old Leeds Road ground, from the home dug-out.
“I was only seven, but I was well used to being around football clubs and seeing what was involved in management, and I grew up getting advice from my grandad and hearing stories about Town, Bolton and the other clubs he managed (Oxford, Wolves and Mansfield).
“I was only thinking the other day that it’s 25 years since my dad took Emley to Wembley and 55 years since my grandad won the FA Cup there with Manchester United – against Bolton!
“It’s amazing to think he would go on to manage Bolton, and live there, and bring through top players like Peter Reid.
“Peter was spotted playing local football in the Liverpool area, and my grandad used to tell me how Manchester United first saw him playing for Buxton, and signed him in the car park!
“It shows what you can achieve in the non-league game, and I’ve told our players that they should use stories like that as an incentive.
“I’m ambitious and I want my players to be, and while I would love to think they can be successful with Brighouse, I wouldn’t stand in their way if they wanted to better themselves by moving to a higher level of football.”
Quinn, appointed just over a year ago, is enjoying the challenge of creating a competitive and close-knit squad at Brighouse, who are currently third in the Northern Counties East League and have got further than ever before in the Vase.
His signings include Tom Mathews, the league’s 27-goal top scorer, and a string of other players from Huddersfield as well as Bradford, Keighley and Leeds.
“One of the things which attracted me about Brighouse is the location, because there are a number of nearby places we can draw on for players,” he explained.
“We will never be able to compete budget-wise with the big clubs in our league like Bridlington and Scarborough, but we have a very hard-working committee, and ground with potential and a loyal bunch of supporters.
“The players are buying into what we are trying to do and while getting into the Northern Premier (Evo-Stik) League is the big objective, we would love a good run in the FA Vase, both for the financial effects and the publicity it would bring.
“It’s also got the ultimate prize of playing at Wembley, and while that might sound fanciful, just remember that Emley did it.
“Of course you have to take it one match at a time, and we’ll be giving Holbrook Sports (of the East Midlands Counties League) maximum respect.
“My dad, who gives me a huge amount of help and advice, went to watch them play on Saturday, so we have an idea what to expect.
“A win on Saturday would put us into the last 32, when the competition goes fully national as opposed to regionalised, and that would be a great achievement in itself.”
The first result Quinn will look for after Brighouse’s tie is over is that from the John Smith’s Stadium.
“I’m very proud of everything my grandad achieved, and I’ve spoken to quite a few of the people who were at Bolton with him,” he added.
“But I’m a Town supporter and I’d love Simon Grayson to do what my grandad did winning promotion to the Premier League.
“Town and Brighouse both going up would be quite a double!”
AFC EMLEY, one of Paul Quinn’s former clubs, are also in FA Vase third-round action on Saturday.
They visit Barnoldswick Town, of the North West Counties League Premier Division.
It will be their fourth tie in this season’s competition, and Brighouse’s third.