Normanby & Marton
Junior Football Team
Ryedale Junior football cup final
L to R,
Peter Bower, Laurie Thackray, Peter Preston,
Andrew Lumley, Stephen Husband, William Atkinson, Christopher Marton.
L to R, front row: Graham Bell, Richard Bell, Rodney
Skaife, John Hodgson.
It is little remembered today that the village
had a junior football team between the years 1969 and 1974. Called
Normanby & Marton Junior Football team, they competed in the Ryedale Junior
League and even won it once.
They evolved in 1969 when David Crummack
suggested a team of under 13's from the villages of
Marton and Normanby as he was managing a similar one in Nawton near Beadlam.
The team was originally going to be managed by several Mothers of prospective
players in the villages but eventual responsibility was solely assumed by
Shirley Marton. Comprising mostly of local families from both villages
such as the Bells, Martons, Hodgsons and
Turnbulls, they played and lost their first game
away at Nawton. They lost their second game at Sinnington football
ground. However, thanks to the timely addition of goalkeeper Andrew
Lumley and the Atkinson's from Marton - Robin Atkinson, I believe, had trials
at Middlesbrough - they won their third game 3-2 at Nunnington. The club
was coming together and they soon had a home ground on Bell's fields on the
roadside between the 2 villages - on one of the most prominent slopes in the
game outside Yeovil.
The Ryedale Junior Football league was formed for
the season 1969-70 and Normanby came third from bottom. The winners were
Kirkbymoorside. Other competing teams were
from Nawton, Nunnington, Ampleforth,
Welburn Hall, Kilburn and Sheriff Hutton.
However, for their second season, they wisely added several "ringers" from
outside the village environs from Pickering who were
eager for some weekend soccer action of their own owing to the lack of a team
in the town. They also recruited Laurie Thackray
from nearby Brawby.
By now, they were playing in their distinctive
Tangerine "Blackpool" shirts which Shirley Marton had enhanced with a club
insignia - an "N" and an "M" neatly interlocking in homage to both villages.
She had run the sewing up one night for wont of nothing better to do on her
new automated sewing machine. The club also held fundraising events such
as a Barbecue at Reg Marton's - son Simon had
played for the club since the early days - and sold special biro pens with a
miniature footballer and a message of support for the team on them.
Their ranks swelled with the additions from
Pickering, Normanby's second league season was a distinct improvement on the
first and they actually won the League Championship in a tight 2-horse race
with Kilburn. However, Kilburn got their revenge by beating Normanby in
the final of the League's cup 6-1 at Beadlam School playing pitches.
However, for Normanby, and all the other
villages, there was a cloud on the horizon. The second season saw the
addition of Bright Steels from Malton. With an unlimited supply of
physically superior and talented players at their disposal - and at an "age"
when height and strength tend to count - they could effortlessly beat the
villages with their meagre resources. Normanby and Kilburn held them off
for that first season but in the third ever season, Bright Steels swept all
before them. Normanby had been weakened by the absence of their star
players from previous - who were now overage - and although several "ringers"
were recruited via Laurie Thackray from the Malton
area, they didn't mesh well with the local players, in spite of being decent
footballers. Also, the recent addition of Ryedale Sports Club to the
league ensured that Pickering-based under-13 footballers had a club of their
own. Normanby finished near the bottom of the league once more but, in
the long run, it didn't count as the villages realised that Bright Steel's
dominance would destroy any sense of competition and reduce the league to a
bigger one-horse race more than the Scottish Premiership.
The 72-73 seasons saw a suspension of the League
and the village clubs resorted to playing friendlies.
Shirley Marton gradually ceded managing the club to Ray
Goodbold of Marton. By now, the club had mostly ceased to recruit
outside "ringers" and relied exclusively on local players. The League Cup
competition was still being held and Normanby reached the final at Sinnington
- only to be soundly slaughtered 12-1 by Ryedale. A junior under-11 side also
reached their Cup final only to suffer a similar fate.
After that, the author reached the age limit and
lost all contact with the club. I'm not sure how they fared afterwards.
Perhaps someone can fill in the missing spaces.
But it had been fun while it lasted.
Son of Manager Shirley Marton
Player of Normanby & Marton Junior
F. C. - 1969-1973