Sedge netting centenary celebrations

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A BOOK celebrating the centenary of Liversedge Football Club is ready to hit the shelves.

Liversedge AFC, The First 100 Years, is written by Bob Gawthorpe and Andrew Taylor, and 200 copies have been published.

Costing £7 each, they will be on sale at Saturday’s game against Hallam.

Bob, who has been associated with the club for more than 40 years, as player-coach, manager, committee member and now president, said 40 copies had already been sold.

“People have said they’ve found it really interesting — and it’s not just those connected with the club.” he said.

The book is the culmination of months of research. It charts the club’s beginnings showing how Liversedge FC emerged out of the rugby club that bore the same name and that its home ground was at Primrose Lane, Hightown, across the road from the Shears pub.

It tracks the ‘golden years’ after the great war, when derbies against Cleckheaton attracted crowds of over four figures, and documents how Sedge found a new home at the Clayborn Playing Fields, named after Herbert Ashman Clayborn, headmaster of Whitcliffe Mount Grammar School.

He and several sportsmasters from Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike noticed a shortfall in playing facilities in Spen and the Clayborn Trust was set up to build a pitch for Spen Valley schoolboys to play competitive matches.

The land offered was the former Cleckheaton tip at Quaker Lane, and pupils were invited to buy a ‘yard of turf’ to help finance it.

However when new schools were built they had their own playing fields and Clayborn became run down until Sedge applied to play there after the Second World War.

The book follows the highs and lows of Sedge throughout the last 100 years, including the biggest match in its history when they hosted Coalvill Town in the final qualifying round of the FA Cup in 2004. The game ended goalless with a Sedge goal being controversially ruled offside, and the team was beaten in the replay.

Copies of the book are also available at Spen Fairdeal in Cheapside, Cleckheaton, and the Spenborough Guardian office from next week.