Social club team players hoping to be united again

FORMER players from a Hartlepool social club’s various football teams are set to be re-united.

Anyone who ever played for Owton Manor Social Club’s football sides is invited to a reunion at the club.

It will be held in aid of a fund at the University Hospital of Hartlepool that helps leukaemia patients, in memory of former club chairman Allan Martin’s wife Pat and former footballer Steven Tierney, who both died from the disease.

It will follow a memorial match of the club against players from the Lion Hillcarter team on the field between Manor College of Technology and Grange Primary School on May 29.

The 53-year-old social club, in Wynyard Road, was the base for various teams, including the town’s first over-40s league side, which was set up in 1988 and ran for 20 years. The club also had teams which played in the Hartlepool Sunday League, which was set up around 1967 following an idea by Harry Baker.

This side, whose manager was Philly Ross, ran until last season, and one of its players, John Borthwick, went on to play for Hartlepool United.

There was also a team from the club in the Hartlepool Church League in the 1970s and a squad in the local district league from the late 1970s.

The club also had a side in the under-13s League in the 1980s.

Tommy Price, 65, who played for the fledgling Sunday League team in the late 1960s and was manager of the under-13s side, said: “We are looking at at least 300 people that are going to be coming to the reunion.

“We would love to get all the lads there, as well as information and pictures from over the years.”

Allan Martin was the manager of the over-40s team and Bobby Gibbon was the assistant manager.

Allan, 63, said: “I used to play for the over-40s league in Sedgefield under the manager Malcolm Dawes, who played for Hartlepool United.

“Me and some lads from Hartlepool played Sedgefield in a pre-season friendly, and we tonked them.

“The following season we decided to start our own over-40s side and we were the first in the town.”

He added that a personal highlight was winning the ‘Swag Stag’ award after the over-40s team won 50 games in two seasons.

Allan, Tommy, Bobby Gibbon and Davey West, who was the first person to sign up to play in the Sunday league and played for the over-40s well into his 50s, are organising the reunion.

Davey also helped to run the over-40s league towards the end of its run.

Bobby, 64, said he would love to see as many former players at the event as possible, including Eddie Stokle and Micky Larkin.

The reunion will take place at the club from 7pm on June 10 and entertainment will come from a trio called Formidable.

For more information, call Tommy on 07972090120, Allan on 07930673733, Davey on 07946 530273 or Bobby on 07845200041.