FOOTBALL IN PONTEFRACT
ADDED 31 MAY 2006
have only recently discovered the "Pontefract Digest" and what
a superb magazine it is. I wish I had known about it sooner but have
started ordering back issues already to catch up with things. My own
connection with the town is relatively recent, having moved here in
1999, and with no previous connections, although I have lived in various
other parts of the White Rose county most of my life. Nevertheless, the
local history of the town fascinates me.
Since moving here I have been involved with the running of the local
football club, PONTEFRACT COLLIERIES. My current involvement is mainly
as Programme Editor and Website Manager, as well as being on the
Committee. I have also taken it upon myself to try and piece together
the club's history, as no proper records have ever been kept by the club
due to lack of continuity of personnel over the years, and, I suppose,
other priorities at the time, like just putting a team out and making
sure there is a pitch to play on, etc.
I have managed to contact a couple of local people who have been
involved with previous regimes at the club, which has proved extremely
useful. I have also recently started camping out in Pontefract Library
going through the Express to get results of previous seasons and start
to piece the history together as best I can. However, this tends to lack
the personal touch which people who will have been involved in the club
over the years could no doubt bring.
have been fascinated to see the recent photographs published in the
"Digest" of teams from the fifties. Incidentally, the picture
in Issue 15 of Pontefract Rovers includes our present Treasurer's father
in the line-up!
I was particularly interested to read about Prince of Wales Terrace in
Issue 14, and have ordered Issue 12 which I believe contains some more.
This is because what I understand to have been the "original"
Pontefract Collieries played there, certainly they did in the late 50's
to early 60's. But it appears this club disappeared in 1960, although
the name was reborn again for the 1961-62 season when I gather
Pontefract United merged with a local youth club to form the new club.
This is contrary to the "history" which has been passed down
through successive generations via the programme - that this new club
was formed "from the remnants of Pontefract United in 1958".
This is clearly incorrect.
The thing that is of particular interest to my research is why did the
original Collieries club resign from the West Yorkshire League in 1960?
Did they lose their ground, or what? Unfortunately the Express gives
nothing away on this subject.
Through your pages, therefore, I wondered if you could mention that I am
interested in chatting to anyone who has had involvement with either
Pontefract Collieries or Pontefract United, or any other significant
local clubs (eg Pontefract Rovers), or who can recollect any happenings
at these clubs about this time. In the longer term, I will be spending
many a day in the Library (and also in Leeds Library) getting past
results and any information, match reports, etc, so that it can all be
logged and recorded for history's sake. I anticipate this task will take
years rather than weeks! Again, if you could mention this in the
"Digest", so that other local historians are aware of my
project and may be able to help in any way, I would be most grateful.
There are also I am sure many ex-players, ex-managers and ex-secretaries
of the club out there - if anyone has any photographs, records, team
sheets, tales, or anything to do with these clubs I would be very
interested to hear from them.
Eventually, I hope to publish this collated information in the form of a
partly statistical, and partly anecdotal, book, which I see as plotting
the whole history of the round ball game in the town since a ball was
first kicked. I already know there was a team of soldiers, Pontefract
Garrison, playing in the West Yorkshire League as long ago as 1895, and
a side called Pontefract Borough who reached the dizzy heights (as it
was then) of the Yorkshire League in the 1920's. I don't know if
there is anyone around who can help this far back but you never know!
In my research so far, one of the most fascinating photographs I have
come across, and it is very well preserved too, is a picture of the
double-winning Pontefract United side of 1936-37 (the double being the
Pontefract League and Cup). I will ask the owner of this picture if he
will offer it for publication in the "Digest" as I am sure
many people would like to see it, and it may jog a few memories.
Thanks for listening, thanks for a great magazine, and I hope you can
give this project a mention. If you can, my contact details are as
48 Baghill Lane
Tel: 01977 602266
Mob: 0781 560 6922
Letters Page ] [ Next> ]