Welcome to Wythenshawe Amateurs
Mon 9th July 2018 | Wythenshawe Amateurs | By Ian Templeman
For Wythenshawe Amateurs, promotion to the Hallmark Security League for the coming season is the culmination of an ambition that has been nurtured by club stalwarts for over 30 years.
Club Secretary John Cotton explained: "Our President John Walker has been with the club since the age of 13, some 70 years ago, and he tells me the club have been planning for joining the NWCFL since the League was formed in 1982, which must be a record.
"We were approached to join the league when it was being formed, and although ground grading was not as strict in those days, because we used the facilities of the local cricket club we were not allowed to develop it. We therefore had to turn down the opportunity of joining the NWCFL at that time.
"But like we play our football, we never gave up, and this year achieved what is almost a lifetime ambition".
Club Chairman Basil Kabbani added: "It is one of my proudest moments to take the club into the Hallmark Security League.
"It has a rich history of playing football the right way, and the League will be ideally suited for the next chapter in our development".
Since being founded in 1946 as Wythenshawe Lads' Club, the club has been a member of the South Manchester amateur footballing establishment, joining the Manchester League in 1972-73 season, and winning automatic promotion to the Premier Division by becoming champions of the First Division in their first season.
The won the league three times, were runners-up ten times, including the last two seasons, and were three times winners of the Lancashire Amateur Cup and finalists on another six occasions.
However, despite the success, development of facilities was always a problem, until the club struck gold in 2013 when they won a £50,000 grant from the Budweiser Club Futures Programme in the North West, followed by a further £100,000 in a public Facebook the following year in the national awards.
In July 2016 the club secured further funding from the Premier League, the FA, and the National Lottery, and this along with the Budweiser money meant that work began in February 2017 on building a clubhouse, installing a new pitch and drainage, a car park and fencing when a new long term lease was finally agreed with Manchester City Council.
Now, with the facilities all in place, John Cotton believes the club is ideally placed to take advantage of the step up.
"We are looking forward to playing at a higher level, playing new teams and visiting different clubs", he said.
"We are probably one of the biggest clubs in the North West, with four adult teams, ranging from the Hallmark Security League, Manchester League, Altrincham League and Stockport Sunday League.
"We have two adult women’s teams, in the North West Regional and Cheshire League, and entered the Women’s FA Cup.
"We also have 23 Junior teams, including girls, aged from 5 to 18, in the Timperley League, Manchester Respect League and South Manchester Girls League.
"We have a very strong Junior Section and this promotion gives our youths something to aspire to.
"We believe we have a squad capable of challenging for the league, and we have made additions to our squad. Our assistant manager from last season, Mark Doherty, has had to step down due to work and family commitments, and we thank him for all his hard work. He has been replaced by Darren Lyons, who brings in a wealth of experience, to work alongside manager Shane Goldrick.
For his part, Shane is equally enthusiastic when looking ahead to the club's new adventure.
"I am looking forward to taking the club into the League, and I'm relishing the exciting opportunity", he said.
"It will be a new challenge but something the club, players and supporters are looking forward to".