Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Atherton Collieries AFC (England)

Atherton Collieries were created in 1916 in the small town of Atherton - halfway between Salford and Wigan - by a group of miners from the area's six pits, as a means to providing welfare and entertainment to the people who stayed back home to work on the war effort. Intrinsically linked to both the pits and the people who worked down them, the club was given to the people of the town when the mines were nationalised in 1946.

They currently play in the First Division of the North West Counties League - the tenth level of the English football pyramid. But don't think that this makes them a lowly team, as they have got a fine battling tradition in the local leagues of the Greater Manchester area. They've won the Bolton Combination ten times, and their six victories in the Lancashire FA Amateur Shield is a record that still stands to this day. 

Variously dubbed The Colls, The Miners, and most cutely, Sooty, they play at the 2,500 capacity Alder Street stadium - much of it built with railway sleepers - and despite having an average gate of less than 100, their record attendance was in 2007, when FC United of Manchester, on their charge through the lower leagues, pumped the gate for their home game up to 1461 - more than doubling their average attendance for that season.

They have hit the new more recently, however, after the local FA compained about their new kit, claiming that it was too similar to the local ref's kit. So after 94 years of playing in the barcode stripes, they've been temporarily force to change their colours until another black and white strip can be found. The good thing though is that their offending kit - seen above - had been retired unbeaten, having played just one home league game and one home cup game in the strip!

All photos © lays with the owners
Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

No comments:

Post a Comment