Emley dominate the Yorkshire League – the 1970s

July 7, 1980

This decade saw Emley build on the wonderful Amateur Cup success and a golden generation of local players such as Mick Pamment, Dennis Brookes, Stuart Greaves, Melvyn Matley, Ian Kettlewell and Roger Wood.  Emley had finished runners-up in Division 2 in 1970 but much to the Club’s surprise neither Emley, nor champions Dinnington were promoted as the League carried out a re-organisation to three smaller leagues.  In 1971 Emley finished fourth but were promoted!  Again this was due to a re-organisation as the divisions were expanded.

The club was developing off the field with the building of the clubhouse (now the Wentworth) in 1972.  This provided much needed income for the club in times when such a facility was the centre of the social life of the village.

Club Secretary Gordon Adamson remembers the people who were behind the development through the sixties and seventies:

“The club grew and became successful because of the hard work of the people involved.  Alec Hardy, who was the chairman for many years and wrote the club history.”

“I also remember Arthur Haigh, who ran the second team, Charles Mason Exley, the president, and Trevor Heywood who was great goalkeeper as a player and later the sponge-man and groundsman.”

“Later on, others moved the club even further forward, Eric Moorhouse took over as president and was important through the seventies and later still Peter Maude took over from him.”

“As our success grew, the amount of work needed to run the club grew as well, and all the committee helped out with the jobs required.”

Emley had won the Yorkshire League Cup in 1970, overcoming Division One champions Rawmarsh Welfare and by the 1972-73 season they were pushing to win the League.  That season they were runners-up and the following season they agonisingly missed out to Lincoln United on goal difference.  After a disappointing fifth in 1975, Emley finally got it right to win the Yorkshire League in 1976.  Along with this, the Club also won the Sheffield Cup, defeating Northern Premier League Worksop Town at Hillsborough on a memorable night.

This was the start of seven years of dominance in the Yorkshire League which cemented Emley as a force in non-league football in Yorkshire.  The team evolved slowly with players that would become Emley legends introduced to the side such as Dave Cook, Steve Fielding, Nicky Bramald and Ray Dennis.  Emley were runners up in 1977, champions again in 1978, then runners-up in 1979, whilst winning the League Cup.  The title came again in 1980 and 1982 along with another League Cup and further success in the Sheffield Cup.

The Sheffield Cup in those days was a highly coveted trophy at the Club as it provided a chance for Emley to prove themselves against some of the best non-league clubs in the area, namely Worksop Town and Frickley Athletic, both well established Northern Premier League sides.  The 1979-80 final resulted in the same scoreline (2-0) over the same club as in 1976, though this time it was played at Barnsley’s Oakwell ground.  The star of the show was John Wilkinson, a prolific goal-scorer in his time with the club, and Gerry Quinn who would go on to take Emley to the next level and be a key man in Emley’s development through the 80s.

Emley squad 1978-79

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