A FORMER football club president has compiled a history of his village team.
Brian Irving started his labour of love four years ago.
The 70-year-old was involved with Marsden FC from 1962 until 2000.
He said: “Over the years, I didn’t throw any papers away that had anything to do with the football club.
“We started to have reunions of players from the 1950s era and some of the old players gave me their memorabilia, such as shields.
“My wife Beryl was clearing out the attic and asked what I was doing with all those papers. I said ‘don’t throw it out’.
“That’s when I came up with the idea of writing the history of the club.”
Brian started work in 2008, publishing the first section on Marsden History Group’s website the following year. The second section of the story went online last month.
Brian, who lives in Meltham, said: “It looks as though the club was probably formed around 1900 – that’s the first year I have anything saying there was a club there.”
The club went into hibernation during the Second World War.
Brian said: “The minute books almost give you a social history of the time. The committee carried on during the war and organised dances in the Mechanics so that when the troops came back there would be sufficient finances to play.”
Marsden FC was at its peak in the 1950s, when the team was led by captain Stanley Matthews – no relation to the Stoke City Blackpool and England winger of the same vintage.
The side dominated the Southeast Lancashire Amateur League and won the Huddersfield and District FA Challenge Cup several times. After falling on hard times, the team came back to prominence in the 1990s.
Brian, who started as a 20-year-old player in 1962, said: “I’ve seen the club in the tough times and the good times.
“It was one of the worst teams in the district in the 1970s, but by the 1990s it was undoubtedly the best team, winning the West Riding Premier division twice.”
Brian played for the team for 24 years, making his way down the pitch from forward to defender.
He also served as club secretary from 1967 to 1981 and president from 1983 until 2000.
Brian, who grew up at Warehouse Hill in the village, said: “I made this in co-operation with Marsden History Group who are doing their best to look after the history of the village and this is just one part of it.”
For more information visit www.marsdenhistory.co.uk.
Anyone wishing to see Brian’s memorabilia can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org