The Holmfirth & District AFL meeting in July 1923 confirmed that 13 clubs, including Netherthong, had applied for membership for the season 1923-24. After discussion it was agreed that the radius measure should stay at 6 miles from Holmfirth Town Hall.
Although there was no explanation given it became very clear in September, when the league fixtures were given, that Netherthong was no longer in the league and the club was effectively in abeyance.
However a new club was formed called the Netherthong Argyle Association Football Club which joined the Huddersfield District Football League for under 21 teams and fixtures were arranged from September 16 – April 7. Herbert Hoyle was the captain, C.Wood the vice – captain, S.Butterworth president and Lewis Dyson the secretary. Their pitch was in the field situated at Moor Lane on the right-hand side as you leave the village.. See below a photograph of the team.
Results were : Argyle 4 Golcar 6. Scorers for Netherthong were A. Sanderson with a hat –trick and A.Roebuck. Argyle won the return match 2-1. They drew with Flockton Juniors 2-2 at home but lost the return at Flockton by 5-1.
The home game against Cliffe attracted a large crowd and Argyle ran out 7 -4 winners with R.Hill bagging 4, A. Sanderson 2 and Harry Charlesworth 1. The return at Cliffe was won by the home team 3-1.
They drew 2-2 at home with Shepley ( L. Charlesworth and R.Hall the scorers) and also drew 1-1 at Shepley with R.Hall scoring but also missing a penalty. R.Hall was in the goals again, scoring 2 in their away loss to Honley United Reserves.
In the last game of the year, Argyle drew once again, this time 2-2 away to Golcar Reserves. Sanderson and R.Hall scored. In the first game of the New Year, Argyle visited Brockholes and lost 1 -2. The picture was very different when Brockholes came to Netherthong. The home team were 1-0 up at half-time and in the 2nd. half went on a rampage and won 7-0. A. Sanderson and R.Hall both got hat-tricks and the other was scored by H. Charlesworth.
Argyle were on a roll and when they visited Golcar United they won by 7-1 with the scorers being H.Charlesworth(3), A.Sanderson (2), R.Hall and F.Shaw. They won the return game at home by 9-0 but the scorers names were not given.
They lost 4-2 at Slaithwaite but drew 2-2 at home. J.Rothery and H.Charlesworth being the scorers.
In aid of club funds they organized a dance in January in the United Methodist School, Mr.C.Wood played the dance music on the piano.
Their next game was home to a strong Honley United team. It was 2-2 up to the last minute, thanks to goals by A.Sanderson and R.Hall, but unfortunately Honley snatched a late winner. When they visited Honley they were soundly beaten 7-1 with R.Hall scoring their only goal. Fortunately they rebounded and beat Brockholes 4-0 at home with A. Sanderson ( 2 ) , F.Shaw and R.Hall scoring. It seemed that the advantage of the home pitch and supporters played an important part – Argyle were trounced 9-0 at Cliffe but won the return game 4-1.
In the last game of the season they ended in grand style beating Brockholes 9-2. The scorers were H.Hall ( 3 ), E.Swallow ( 2 ), H.Charlesworth (2 ), A.Sanderson and H.Hoyle.
It is unfortunate that the local paper did not print the final league table.
Argyle once again entered the Huddersfield Sunday School League and in their first game of the new season they visited Elland to play Elland Congregational and lost 1-2. Their first home game against Cliffe resulted in a 1-1 draw with A.Roebuck scoring. Away at the Crosland Moor ground they lost 3-6 to the United Methodist team. At home to Berry Brow Wesleyans they won 3-2, H.Charlesworth(2) and F.Shaw. They drew 2-2 at Lockwood against the Baptists. Scorers A. Sanderson and H. Charlesworth. In October they beat Thurstonland 2-1 at home with A.Sanderson and H.Buckley scoring.
The club organized a very successful dance at the National School and the report stated “the company took part in the up-to- date dances “.
They lost 2-3 against South Street, J.Wilson and C. Dufton being the scorers and were well beaten 1-7 against Netheroyd Hill. A home match against Outlane gave them a 4-1 victory which was the same score they achieved the following week when they played Moldgreen Congregationals. R.Singleton, Wilson, Sanderson and Buckley scoring.
Continuing with their fund raising activities they organized a whist drive and dance in December.
They lost the last two games of 1923, 0-4 at Milnsbridge Baptist team and 1-2 at home against Lindley Zion.
The paper reported that Argyle were mid way up the table.
For the first game in 1924 they played Golcar at home and won 2-1 with goals by H.Hoyle and R.Buckley. The next game was also at home and they beat Elland Congregational 3-1 , H.Hoyle (2 ) and H. Charlesworth. The paper reported that J.Kingdom played a particularly good game. The next game was also at home and they lost 0-1 to a goal scored in the last minute by Crosland Moor United Methodists. Yet another home game saw them draw 1-1 with Berrybrow Wesleyans. The paper also reported on a game played in the Moor Road pitch by Netherthong Juniors against Wooldale Juniors which they lost 2-3.
Argyle were due to meet Elland Congregationalists in the 1st. round of the Town Shield but Elland were unable to fulfill their commitment so Argyle got a pass through to the next round. In February Argyle met Thurstonland for the first time and won 2-0 away with goals by F.Shaw and H.Charlesworth.
Argyle organized a whist drive and dance at the National School. Supper was provided by the ladies and Mr.H.Preston’s Band provided the music for dancing.
Argyle lost heavily 0-5 against the South Street Primitive Methodists but when they met the same team in the 2nd. round of the Cup they put up a much better performance and narrowly lost 1-2 with the goal scored by F.Shaw. In March, the Netheroyd Hill Congregationalists were the visitors and were beaten 6-3. Argyle were at home against Milnsbridge Baptists and won 4-1 , R .Hall ( 2 ) and A.Sanderson ( 2 ).
Unfortunately they next had Honley Primitive Methodists as visitors and lost 1-6. The following week the Lockwood Baptists visited and Argyle had a good 5-1 victory.
It would appear that that was the last game of the season although, once again, the local paper did not print a table so one can only guess how well Argyle performed. There were no reports of a team from 1925 through to 1932 but in September 1932 the Express reported that there had been much interest in the newly formed AFC in the village. 30 names had enrolled as players and the following officials were appointed – Mr.S.Butterworth, president . Mr.J.Walker, treasurer. Mr.A.Bray, League representative. Mr.L.Barnes, treasurer. Mrs.L.Haigh, secretary. The tennis pitch had been secured as the playing area and the Queen’s Arms as the headquarters. The team were to be called Netherthong United, NTU. The first game was a narrow loss to Scissett by 2-1. R.Dyson captained the team and John Roebuck scored the goal. The next result was aloss to Meltham Mills by 6-4 with Allsopp,Bray,Swaine & Taylor scoring. The team continued on their losing streak against Kirkburton Church before getting their first point with a 4-4 draw against hade Edge Rovers. Allsopp with 2, Sanderson and Kaulton with one apiece. Two further losses followed against Wooldale and Newsome and at that stage , after 7 games, NTU and Hade Edge were propping up the bottom of the league. A win 5-2 against Brockholes United was their first victory with Sanderson getting a hat-trick and their next game against St.Cuthbert’s Church was another win with Bray scoring a hat-trick .
In the Wooldale football book it showed that in the 1932-33 season NTU had come 10th out of 12 teams playing 22, winning 5, losing 15 and drawing 2 for a total of 12 points. The League was won by Scholes. In their two games against Wooldale they lost the away game 0-2 and the return at home by 2 goals to 5. Under the heading ” NTU tales of woe “, the Express listed details of five injured players. 1. N.Shaw broke his finger against Wooldale, it became septic and he sunsequently had it removed. 2. P.Smith, the goalkeeper, broke his nose also in a game against Wooldale. 3. A.Allsop received an injury to one of his knees playing against Meltham Mills. 4. Tom Hobson sustained serious injuries to one of his knees against Hade Edge in December 1932. A benefit game was played against Scholes in February 1933 which raised £3 to his benefit fund.. 5. And finally A.Sanderson, their left winger, was committed to Holme Valley Memorial Hospital with rheumatic fever.
The following season, 1933-34, there were 13 teams in the league and NT . In their first game they lost 2-6 against Hade Edge but then had a real end-to end game against Clayton West before running out winners by 6-2. Unfortunately they lost the next two games, one of them being a drubbing 9-0 against Scissett. Results continued to be very mixed with a 4-4 draw against Scholes, a loss to Emley by the odd goal, a 5-2 defeat against Sovereign Rangers followed by a 7-1 win against Aspley United with Jackson scoring a hat-trick. The year finished with them drawing with Wooldale Wanderers , losing 2-3 against Scholes and drawing 2-2 with Sovereign Rangers to end in 10th. position. 1934 followed the same pattern but they managed to end the season with three good wins against Brockholes, Emley and Denby Dale which enabled them to improve to 8th. position , playing 22 games with 6 wins and 4 draws and scoring 16 points. The league winners were Scissett.
However in September, because of the change in boundaries that the Football Association implemented , the Express football reporter under his by-line ” Arbiter” said that the decision had wrecked the Holme Valley League. Two of last seasons teams, Wooldale Wanderers and Sovereign Rangers had joined the Penistone & District League with the remainder of the clubs disbanding.
The Express reported at the beginning of 1938 that Netherthong United were in 3rd. position in the red triangle league for U-18. There were no match reports but in March the final table showed United came 7th. out of 12 teams having played 22 games, winning 10, losing 9 and drawing 3. In October 1938 the paper reported United were no longer in the red triangle league but no reasons were given.
In January 1938 Deanhouse Mills were playing in the Huddersfield Works League and were lying 5th.at the beginning of the year . By April they were still in 5th. position having played 18 with 8 wins, 7 losses and 3 . They remained in Section A of the Huddersfield Works League when the new season started in October.The season ended in May 1939 and Deanhouse Mills finished 4th. after 20 matches with 25 points from 11 wins and 3 draws.
In September war was declared and the football leagues were cancelled.
The Express reported in March 1972 that a Netherthong man, Max Taylor of Broomy Lea Lane, was one of only two players that season to be awarded a full purple by London University FC. He was selected for the squad to go to the British University Sports Federation tournament at Easter. ‘Purples ‘ are colours awarded to players for creditable performances and he had played in the side which beat Oxford University 2-0 and drew with Cambridge University 2-2.
A meeting was held at the Clothier’s Arms in February 1973 with a view to forming a new football club. There clearly had been a positive result as a team, called Netherthong SC ( Social Club ) was entered in Division IX of the Huddersfield & District A.F.L. Results and reports were far and few between in the local paper but in a game against Milnbridge the SC won by 3-2 scoring the winning goal in the last minute with goals by Battye, Sykes and Priestley. In the same month they drew 2-2 away at Park Rangers and the members of the team were listed as : O.Wood, D.Haigh, K.Leak, S.Cappleman, G.Baddeley, A.Dobson, J.Turner, M.Tinker, I. Battye, R.Priestley, P.Stead, T.Kimmage and the reserves A.Hirst and A.Muff. In November they beat Honley Lib. by 4-3 with Dobson, Turner and Priestley ( 2 ) getting the goals. This was followed by a 2-2 draw against Crescent FC with Priestley and Kimmage scoring. In January SC continued their unbeaten run to three matches scoring double figures and making it 31 goals for and one against. They beat Park Rangers 11-1 with Tinker, Battye and Priestley sharing the spoils. Their goalkeeper , Ashton, had some lucky escapes and their right back, not named, was sent off for an incident.
No final league table was given but Netherthong must have done very well and probably won the league because when the new season started in September 1974 they had been promoted to Div.VIII. Although the paper listed the weekly fixtures for all the local teams they gave no reports or results instead giving any space available to the exploits of the Upperthong teams. However they did record that in April 1975, the Huddersfield District League had asked the SC to try to improve their facilities and provide changing rooms and showers on their ground or risk being expelled from the League.
There was no final league table but once again the SC must have had a very successful season as they were listed as being in Division VII for the new season in September 1975. There was a match report for the game in October against Thongsbridge which was played in atrocious conditions. The result was 8-3 to the SC with Heap, Alsop and Holmes all scoring twice and Maude and Tinker also netting, The match between SC and Upperthong in the 2nd. round of the Invitation Cup merited a half-page report and photograph. The SC were leading 3-2 until the dying seconds when Upperthong equalised. The match went into extra time with Upperthong snatching the winner. Alsop and Baxter ( pen ) scored for the SC, The team were congratulated on their performance as there was a four division difference between the teams. In March the team beat Meltham Res. 3-2 in the quarter final of the Richardson Cup. Dobson in goal was in great form and Sykes and Alsop ( 2) were the scorers.
I hate to repeat myself but that was the last report for the season and no league table was give but the SC once again must have performed well because in the new season starting in September 1976, they had moved up into a higher division, this time Div.VI. There must have been a change of policy at the paper because more matches were being reported. After two disappointing results, they hit top form against Cartworth Moor winning 4-0 with a hat-trick from Alsop and a goal by Battye. Alsop scored twice against Paddock but that was not enough to stop his team losing 4-2. They bounced back in the 1st. round of the Sheffield Cup against Wath Sports winning 3-2. Alsop scored his second from a spectacular overhead kick from 20 yards.Dobson in goal was rock steady and Wakefield, Thompson and Lockwood played well in midfield. The winning goal was by from a corner by Brown which was chipped by Thompson over the keeper and into the net. In the second round against Flockton, despite a brace by Alsop, the lost 3-2. They played top of the table, Linthwaite Athletic in October and lost 4-2 – they had gone one up with a goal by Wakefield and Alsop made this 2-0 after 20 minutes but Linthwaite got on top and scored four times. The referee made Alsop man-of-the-match. Their next match was also a defeat by 4-3 to Milnsbridge with Alsop, Parsons ( pen ) and Priestley scoring. The team were obviously finding life in the higher league much more competitive but that didn’t seem to stop Alsop being a deadly striker.
In the first game in the New Year Alsop hit a hat-trick against Lepton but the team still lost 4-5. Heavy snow played havok with the fixtures but at the end of January they beat Cartworth Moor 5-1. Alsop scored the first goal followed by one by Sykes, Cartworth pulled one back and then the SC captain, Battye, was penalised for a foul but the Cartworth striker shot wide. Alsop scored twice more for his hat-trick bringing his tally for the season to 27. Baxter scored the 5th. goal from a penalty.
The Express were devoting more space to reports on the SC games particulary as the team were fighting hard to avoid relegation. A fluke second half goal robbed brave SC of a point against Paddock, the promotion contenders. They took two valuable points by defeating Kirsteel Wharf 4-3. Baxter scored the first from a penalty, Alsop netted next and Baxter scored direct from a free kick to put the team 3-1 up. They became rather complacent and Kirsteel scored in the 72nd. and 80th. minutes to draw level. With five minutes to go Alsop was clear with only the keeper to beat when he was hacked down from behind for a penalty. The ever reliable Baxter converted. Their next game against Honley United was an easy 7-1 win with the scorers being, Turner, Parsons, Alsop, Gray,Alsop, Alsop, Alsop. It looked like Alsop was going to bring his goal tally to five but he was brought down by the keeper. Dobson, the SC keeper, trotted up to take the penalty kick and shot wide. SC after taking a two goal lead thanks to Battye and Turner were unable to keep the advantage and ended up by loosing 4-2 to Linthwaite. The March 14 issue of the Express had a photograph of the team and a full match report with the comment that they had failed to halt the big slide by losing 0-2 to Milnsbridge YMCA. They suffered their third successive defeat by losing 3-5 to Bay Athletic Reserves – Alsop and Parsons sharing the goals. If that wasn’t traumatic enough for their loyal supporters they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat against fellow strugglers, Linthwaite. In April the headlines were that ‘Survival was likely for SC’ after they beat Lepton 1-0 way from home followed by another away victory by 3-2 at Honley which should have ensured another season for them in Div.VI.
SC were still in Div. VI for the new season which started in September 1977. The Express were continuing their policy of giving detailed match reports of their games. After three successive wins in which they had scored 16 goals they gave a disappointing display and surrendered the Division leadership when they lost 1-2 at home to Thorpe Green – Battye scored their goal. In their next match against Oakes they were outplayed and lost 0-3. However SC had developed an attacking formation in training and in their next game ‘hammered’ out a warning to the Div.VI defences when they thrashed Scapegoat Hill Reserves 8-2. The strike force was P.Livesey and the re-juvenated G.Alsop and both of them scored hat tricks. In very blustery conditions SC beat Lepton 5-3 with goals by Sykes(2), Battye and Alsop ( 2). However tempers became frayed and both Battye and MacCatrey were booked.
The good run continued when they crushed Holmbridge in the 2nd. round of The Sheffield Cup. The result was especially cheering because Holmbridge were in Div.III. Sykes scored a hat trick with Condie and Alsop also on the score sheet. In their next game they cruised into the next round of The Invitation Cup when they hammered Storthes Hall 11-1 even with their leading goalscorer, G.Alsop, absent. Sykes with two goals and one by McCaherty who also missed a penalty went 3-0 up. Netherthong looked sluggish and the biggest cheer came when a reporter fell in the water while retrieving the ball. At the stroke of half-time Livesey scored. After a verbal lashing from the coach, A.Kilcoyne, the second half brought more urgency. Condie, Battye with a brace and Livesey all scored before Sykes got his third for his hat-trick. The goal of the game came in the 75th. minute when Livesey split the defence and his centre was met by Battye with a brilliant diving header for his hat-trick and before the end of the game Battye scored his 4th. The next match against Bay Athletic Res. was a 2-2 draw with Condie and Alsop scoring. The Express commented ‘ what went wrong’ with SC after another disappointing result when they lost 1-2 to Lindley Lib.Res. Battye had put them ahead after 10 minutes but their passing was atrocious and A.Dobson in goal saved them from further embarrassment.
The next match was played in conditions more suited to Sherpa Tensing but SC beat Thongsbridge 8-3 in the Sheffield Junior Cup. Alsop grabbed four, Priestley and Ashton got one apiece and McCaherty with two in the bag missed a penalty for the third time in the season. In the Invitation Cup Tie SC played against Diggle, a Lancashire league side, but were not strong enough to beat them , going down 3-6 with Alsop getting a hat trick. The next report was titled ‘ Netherthong turn on a goal tap’. The coach, A.Kilcoyne, claimed that his team were fantastic when they thrashed Little John Res. away from home. SC went behind before Condle scored an equaliser but they looked sluggish and went in at half time 2-1 down. A pep talk had a great effect and Sykes levelled the scores followed in quick succession by D. P.Livesey, J.Lockwood, Sykes again, Alsop and Livesey again. The result kept SC in 4th. place.
With the team missing many chances they suffered a cup shock when they lost 3-6 to Wath Sports in the Sheffield Junior Cup. Livesey, McCaherty and Kilcoyne scoring the goals. The last game in the year was a cracker when SC played Upperthong Res. and, after the lead changed constantly, it wasn’t until the last five minutes that Upperthong scored the deciding goal. Sykes, Alsop, Condie ( pen), Turner and Battye all got a goal each.
SC started off the new year , 1978, in style beating Britannia Works 4-0. Sykes, Alsop scored two , one of which was a penalty, Ashton ( penalty ) and Livesey was voted man of the match.
The team photograph above was taken in December 1977.
The Express gave a short ‘biography’ of some of the players. “Paul Livesey – lives in Netherthong and works at David Brown Tractors and is 5’9″. John Lockwood , 5’10”, also comes from Netherthong, works at Hepworth Iron Company and fish and chips is his favourite dish. David Sykes, the baby of the team is 18, 5’5″ and lives in the village. He enjoys egg and chips and his ambition is to grow taller. Tony Brown is 31, married with two children and lives in Thongsbridge. John Turner is married, lives in Netherthong and is a keen motor-cyclist. Brian Gray is 31, married, lives in the village and works at David Brown Tractors. Frank Ashton is 19, 5’10” and from Dalton. Ian Battye, married with one daughter, lives in Netherthong, works in Honley and hopes that one day he will win the Holmfirth Darts Cup. Alex KIlcoyne, 30, lives in Honley and is a Muppet fan. Alan Dobson, 17, married with two children works at David Brown tractors. Geoff Alsop,24, goal scorer supreme, is a native of Netherthong but lives in Thongsbridge with his wife and two children. He likes scampi and chips “.
In June 1978 a Netherthong cricket team, comprising of many of the football team, played against Upperthong at the annual Upperthong Gala. The photograph is shown below but none of the players were identified.
The next report was headed ” Thongs disaster day”. They lost 2-6 at home to Cartworth Moor in spite of two very good goals by Alsop. In February a depleted side had no answer to the power of the joint League leaders, Oakes, and slumped to a 6-1 defeat with Livesey scoring their only goal. They turned things round in their next match when they beat Little John Res. by 5-1 with Alsop getting yet another hat-trick, Kilkoyne and Condie with a penalty also getting on the score sheet. They nearly caused a shock against unbeaten league leaders, Thorpe Green WMC, but, having led them 1-0 , they were finally sunk when the visitors scored twice in the last five minutes. After winning mid-week games against Bay Athletic Res, 5-2, and Lepton,3-0, they were back into the promotion race but their dreams turned into nightmares with a defeat against the already relegated Slaithwaite Res. by 4-3. Daykin, Ashton and Battye scored. In the last match of the season they visited Lindley Lib.Res. and won 7-0. The scorers were Alsop (2), Sykes, Halton, Ashton, Battye and Day. The reporter in his match report commented ” he was so disappointed he went car spotting on the nearby M62. It was with some reluctance that he returned for the second half. By this time SC were two goals up, Kilcoyne had been sent off and a stray dog made up the numbers”.
For the new season, which started in September 1978, SC started off with a win by 3-1 against Hade Edge in windy conditions. Alsop 2 and Sykes 1 were the scorers. The Express did not report the next few games but then said that SC had continued its unbeaten run of four games with a narrow victory over Honley Libs by 2-1 with Sykes and Priestley scoring. In October the reporter started his article with ” Oh,what a circus ” sings David Essex which summed up SC’s performance against Vulcan Sports when they suffered their biggest defeat losing 8-1 with Stoker getting the consolation goal. They didn’t do much better in their next game against Upperthong Res. in the Sheffield Shield match going down by 2-5. Holmes and Sykes got on the scoreboard. November started off well with two good wins. The first was against Park Ramgers who they beat 5-1 with goals by Stoker, Battye, Alsop (2) and Livesey who also missed a penalty. In the Groom Cup they defeated Thongsbridge Ath. by 2-0 with goals by Holmes and Livesey. Unfortunately they lost their next game against YMCA Res. by 3-2 , Sykes and Holmes scoring. At a very muddy local derby at Sycamore in December they beat Thongsbridge 3-1 with Sykes, Holmes and Alsop giving them a good win. To round off the year they won their last two games – 4-2 against Park Rangers – Holmes, Sykes, Battye all scored in the first half with Livesey netting a penalty in the second half., and 5-1 against the Town Hall. Livesey (2), Alsop, Baxter and Sykes. The resumption of football in the New Year was seriously affected by the bad weather and heavy snow. There were two references to games being played in April 1979 and, with the team having taken 32 out of 36 points, they were in with a good chance to win their league- once again no final table was given.
The village still had a football team playing in the 1980s but what I hadn’t realised ,until I came across the four photographs below, was that in the 1984-85 season they also had a reserve team.
In January 1986, the express printed a photo of Netherthong Juniors FC.
Back row from left : Jonathan Liversedge, Chris Gilleard, Robert Lloyd, Steven Worden, Gareth Gibson, David Part, Matthew Jackson. Front : Shane Parker, Sean Steepies, Wayne Jessop, Andrew Kilner, Mark Turner ( captain ), Robert Sparks. (I uploaded this photo in December 2108 so so the young lads will now be in their forties.)
The local derbies against Upperthong were always eagerly awaited and the game played on 14 March 1985 was termed Match of the Day by the reported even though it ended in a 0-0 draw. The toast of Netherthong was the stand-in keeper, Paul Hepplestone, following a spellblinding performance. The team were Paul , Timothy Walker,Neil Thomlinson, Richard Wibberly, David Sykes, Ian Glover, Richard Mallinson, Sean Jessop, David Hardy, John Lindley, Barry Marshall and Glyn Brown.