Football club folds due to lack of players

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A Heavy Woollen Sunday League football club has folded because it no longer had enough players who consistently turned up for matches.

Thornhill Lees manager Christopher Ward, who has been at the club for more than 30 years, said it was a difficult decision to make but carrying on had become impossible.

“It breaks my heart to do it,” he said.

“It was a sad day – it just got to a point where enough was enough.

“I’m totally lost with what to do on a Sunday. For 30 years I have got up and gone to do my duty.

“Some of the players had said we couldn’t carry on like that. They are absolutely distraught.”

He said Thornhill Lees had been a particularly successful local club and he found it difficult to understand why some members could not offer more commitment.

“I haven’t a clue – some of the young lads are a different breed these days,” he said.

But he hoped that some of the players might be able to rekindle the side by the next season.

“I am hoping that a couple of the lads will start it up again. I don’t know if I would take my old role back but I would gladly help if they needed me for anything.”

Mr Ward, 55, said he wanted to thank current and former club secretaries, Martin Brook and Alan Squires, and the Galactico squad of 2008, which won the county cup.

He said: “They were an absolute manager’s dream and they dominated local football.”

Mr Ward, of King’s Head Drive, Mirfield, played for the club from 1982 and became its manager in 1993.

He said Thornhill Lees would often draw crowds of up to 50 to its Sunday League matches.