Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Glapwell FC (England)

Glapwell are a relatively new club, formed as recently as 1985 in the Derbyshire village of Glapwell - only five miles from Mansfield and seven miles from Chesterfield. Mentioned in the Domesday Book, it became a thriving pit village during the industrial revolution, although when the pit closed in 1974 nearly all employment left the settlement, and now people mostly work in the two aforementioned towns. however. Glapwell - or The Well as they are known to their fans - commemorate the mining tradition of the town by both playing in the black and white stripes usually beloved of pit teams, and featuring a davy lamp on their club crest.

Currently members of the Northern Premier League Division One South - or The Evostick League as its gluely sponsor would prefer you to call it - they played for most of their short history at the minimal Hall Corner ground in the north of the village - a proper small-town facility holding up to 1500 punters. However, after their gentle rise up the league pyramid began to clash with the new exacting league stipulations, it was required that they either improved their ground or made other arrangements. The latter alternative saw an unexpected turn when the club convinced Conference Premier team Mansfield Town to let them use their hefty 10,000 capacity Field Mill ground for home games from the 2010/11 season onwards.

Their rise up the leagues from plucky village faves to a pretty decent level of league was both quick and surprising. The brainchild of local businessman Roger Caton and his wife Ellen, they started out in the parish leagues of Derbyshire, and had already notched up a couple of league and cup wins before they were accepted into the Central Midland League and gained a much sought after place in the pyramid in 1989. Each of the next three seasons saw them earn successive promotions, and from there they gradually climbed their way up to the NPL with very limited resources.

But they have one other claim to fame. That popular, mulleted former England star may have started his footballing career at a team from a small pit town playing in black and white stripes - Tow Law Town - but he also felt compelled to end it at another - Glapwell, for who he kicked his final competative ball in 2002. I believe he played for some other team in black and white stripes somewhere in between, but for the moment I can't for the life of me recall who it might be...

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