Calverton Miners' Welfare FC

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Club History

Club History

This is a new section added for season 2007-08 season. It is not yet completed but I am aware of the contibutions from a number of people so will add additional pieces when I have the time.

The following is a potted history. I have received some good material and it is my intention to try to continue to build on this.

Many thanks to everybody who has helped me so far, please get in touch with any other info and I'll certainly add it. I have added my acknowledgements where appropriate....

A Potted History

The earliest evidence of a Calverton Colliery team dates back to 1946 which was formed by Arthur “Jocky” Matthews. It is believed that this team played a number of friendly games before entering the Nottingham Spartan League Division 2 (now defunct) for the 1947-48 season. They played their first competitive match on 13 August 1947 at home against Whatton United with the result finishing all square at 1-1. The Nottingham Football Post from the time stated that “Reports are to hand of the splendid amenities of Calverton”, something that we still pride ourselves on today.

With absolute proof of a definitive date, Calverton Miners Welfare FC, having gone through a number of name changes over the years, can now look back at over 60 years of football history linked to the Colliery. Incidentally, the pit was not worked until 1952 so the football team even pre-dates the Colliery.

Calverton football dates back much further and as research continues we have evidence of a Calverton team having played league football in all the pre-war years from at least 1926, firstly as Calverton FC and later as Calverton Athletic FC.

Calverton Colliery finished their inaugural season in eighth place and despite being mentioned in the “Arrangements for 1948-49” they did not compete again until 1951-52. This time they played in the Notts Realm League Division 2 (also defunct), where they finished bottom with just 4 points from 24 games having conceded 141 goals.

The following season (1952-53) was a different story with a team finishing as Division 2 Runners Up, to the marvellously named “Crittall and Luxfer FC” ( a company which was engaged mainly on Government contracts for munitions) , and as League Senior Cup Runners Up.

The following season 1954-55 they joined the Nottingham & District League (also defunct) and again finished the season as Division 1 Runners Up. The images of the medals (front and back) are those of Roy Truman who is pictured on the 1952-3 and 1955 photographs in the Colliery & Miners Welfare section accessible to the left and also in the 1949-50 Calverton United photograph accessible in the Other Village Teams section.

Calverton competed in this league until 1956 when they joined the Notts Alliance before taking the bold move in the 1964-65 season of joining the Central Alliance. This was a semi-professional league in which Calverton finished fourth from bottom winning 9 of 30 league games – by no stretch of the imagination being a disaster. However, the following season the club decided to move into the Notts Combination where it stayed until 1988.

There was some successful times in the 1970’s where the club made real progress in the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup and were involved in matches against both Arnold Town (away) and Eastwood Town (home) which both drew sizeable crowds.

In 1988 there was pressure amongst the players to shift back into the Notts Alliance. A number of senior committee members of the club at that time, namely Eddie Varney, Jeff Kirk and Bob Kinton were also officials of the Notts Combination and it was very difficult for them to continue effectively as officials of a club in a ‘rival’ league and all three resigned. It should be mentioned here that in 1980 Calverton Welfare entered a team into the Sunday Section of the Combination and remain to this day being only one of two founders members left.

Shortly afterwards, the club went through a difficult phase culminating in only seven players turning up for one match and eventually folded.

Also in 1988 the current Calverton Colts were formed as a junior football sub-section of the Miners Welfare and within a short space of time the senior team re-formed under the same ‘umbrella’. There was just the one team who initially played in the Notts Amateur League. Calverton Colts teams had existed prior to 1988 but appeared to have been both formed and disbanded in the early to mid-1970's.

Ambitions to re-join the Notts Alliance were thwarted as another team were playing in the village under the name of Calverton Town. This team had no links to the village and was a team from the Maid Marian pub in Arnold playing out of the William Lee Centre. However, the Notts Alliance management committee of the time would not allow two clubs from Calverton into their league. When Calverton Town themselves folded, Calverton MW were allowed into the Notts Alliance in 1997-98. Then, ironically, Arnold Kingswell were also allowed in despite playing their home games at the William Lee Centre and so the two teams from the same village rule was overlooked.

Two seasons later Calverton MW finished as runners up in Division 2 and gained promotion. This triggered the Club’s change in fortune and the start of their recent rise since.

In 2002-03 they were invited to accept promotion to the Senior Division after finishing seventh. This coincided with the formation of a reserve team.

At this time the management committee of the Welfare Football Club had put together a funding bid to the Football Foundation which gained acceptance and, along with matched funds, came almost £1million of enhancements including the laying and levelling of four full sized pitches, two mini-soccer pitches, refurbishment of the existing changing rooms, erection of a new changing room complex and floodlighting to the main pitch. At this time the club were invited to become founder members of the new Nottinghamshire Senior League which was to be formed in 2004-05.

Despite finishing at the foot of the table in their last season in the Notts Alliance, the move to the NSL was made where they made an impression in their first season by finishing a creditable third. This season also saw the formation of teams both in the Northern Alliance Under 19 floodlit league and in the Midland Amateur Alliance where they still compete.

In 2005-06 the team finished seventh in the Nottinghamshire Senior League and despite some views that the club weren’t quite ready, a decision was made to move into the Central Midlands League for 2006-07. This move needed further investment in the form of a perimeter fence, dug-outs and hard standing behind one goal. The season before last (2007-08) the club finished runners-up and gained promotion into the Supreme Division.

Last season, the club finished third.

During the close season our first team management and almost the entire first team squad defected to Gedling Miners Welfare leaving new manager Tony Cox with a massive rebuilding exercise in a short space of time.

Last summer the club erected a small stand behind the clubhouse end goal and we are hopeful of fitting seating during this season.

We now have four teams playing in men’s football and 20 teams in total. A measure of how far we have come from the one senior team of a decade ago.

 

 
....Click on the image of the newpaper clippings above to see enlarged copy

....Click on the image of the newpaper clippings above to see enlarged copy - note the league tables have 4 Calverton teams (Colliery, Estates, Institute & Welfare and Reserves).

 

(acknowledgement Eddie Varney)

 

 

 
I am still trying to build up a fuller history of football in Calverton. If you have, or know anyone who has any old photos, memorabilia , facts from any era or any Calverton team please click here to send me an e-mail. All I would want to do is scan them and will return them immediately.
 

 

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