POSTED: July 20 2016 22:59:26. By Keith Long - Beechy Archive 80's - 90's

In season 1980/1981 three teams (UNDER 13's/UUNDER 14's/UNDER 16's played in the Worsley and District Junior Sunday Football League. Hand written documents confirm that team colours were either All Red or Black/White Stripe Shirts/ Black Shorts. On Sunday 11th and 18th May 1980 Beechfield United entered two Under 14s team's into the Greater Manchester Federation of Boys Clubs 7-a-side Soccer Tournament. The event was held at Melland Playing Fields, Mount Road, Gorton.

Leigh and District Junior League Season 1981/1982. Entrance Fee per team £3.50 Cup Fee £1.50. A fee of 25p was payable regarding player transfers. Referee's Fee's were £1.50 and all team's were allowed to use two substitutes in each game. Some of the other club's who had applied for membership were Salford Lads Club, St Judes, Comit Youth Club, Boothstown United, Barriers FC, Crescent Rangers, Hindley United, Walkden Town and Atherton Central.

The club held a Christmas Disco on Saturday 28th November 1981. Moorside Library was the venue for the UNDER 12s winter indoor training at a cost of £3 per player.

An application was submitted by Secretary Karl Colehouse to City of Salford's Recreation Department for the use of a pitch on Brookhouse Playing Fields for season 1981/82. Cost of using the pitch (28 matches maximum) was £37.00 plus VAT.

A Newsletter was issued in December 1981 by acting Club Secretary Mark Banner. The UNDER 12's had produced some excellent results and found themselves holding a fifth place position in the table. Their home pitch at Brookhouse had taken a real battering due to a lengthy spell of heavy rain and with snow and freezing temperatures forecast forthcoming fixtures would obviously be cancelled. Every effort was being made to secure indoor training facilities notably Mossfield Hall in Pendlebury but while the search continues the team would carry on using Clarendon Sports Centre and Salford Lads Club. Unfortunately the club had lost the services of Mr K Colehouse who had resigned from his position of Club Secretary due to work commitments. He will be greatly missed because he was a founder member of the club and his experience and organising abilities contributed greatly to the efficient running of the club. A special thanks was issued to all the parents for their tremendous support and help especially those who used their own vehicles to ferry the players to the games.

From documents belonging to Ged Goodwin club meeting's in 1981/82 were held at the L.U.T. Social Club/Moorside Social Club & Pilkington's Club. In attendance at most meetings were Chairman was Colin Roden, Secretary Mark John Banner and Committee Members Barry Salisbury and Alan McMahon.

Before the start of the 1981-1982 season Beechfield United UNDER 12s who were members of the Leigh and District Junior League played a series of pre-season friendly games against various opposition. Four successive matches were held at Beechfield Road against Salford Lads Club, Erwood Rovers, Roach Dynamos and Stretford Junuior Blues. Then Beechy travelled to take on Erwood Rovers, Atherton Central and Freehold Juniors. In the away game against Erwood Rovers United made a positive start and both Duncan Roden and Jonathan Jones saw fine efforts flash inches wide of the target. The deadlock was broken in the 20th minute after Carl Horrocks and Neil Matthews combined for Malcolm Whipday to score the opening goal then Mark Jones made it 2-0 just before half time.Errwood Rovers looked more determined as the second half began and despite a series of fine saves by United keeper Graham Boothman they scored two goal's in quick succession. Midfielders Stephen Street and Karl Colehouse linked up well with the Beechfield forwards as they tried to get back in the game. Meanwhile defenders Paul Neill and new signing Justin Cole worked hard to stem the opposition's wave of attacks. Mark Jones scored his second and United's third goal when he lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper. But Errwood snatched the equaliser as they made it 3-3 on the stroke of full time.

United entertained Stretford Junior Blues in midweek and gained a deserved 3-2 victory. In heatwave conditions the visitors took an early lead when United were guilty of some poor defending. United's general play improved after the interval and they equalised when right winger Mark Jones sent the ball deep into the area and Karl Colehouse headed it low into the corner of the net.Minutes later there was a carbon copy goal as Jones and Colehouse combined and the latter gave Beechy a 2-1 advantage. Jones netted the third goal before Stretford Junior Blues completed the scoring minutes before the final whistle. Another pre-season friendly arranged was against Atherton Central and in a evenly balanced first half neither team looked capable of finding the back of the net and it was real surprise to see a 0-0 scoreline at the interval. But United couldn't have foreseen a nightmare second half in which they were totally outclassed and eventually suffered an 5-1 defeat.

Match reports were submitted to the Swinton Journal on a weekly basis during the 1982/83 season. Details of three exciting games played at Beech Farm involving the Under 13s (Dates Unknown) were as follows :-


United managed to win this entertaining match by the odd goal in seven. At first it appeared as if United were going to enjoy an easy victory after taking the lead in less than five minutes then scoring two more goals in quick succession. Some excellent saves by the Boothstown keeper foiled several fine efforts as Beechy looked to add further goals. Just before the half-time break Boothstown managed to get a goal back against the run of play. The second half carried on at the same roaring pace and both teams created some easy chances before United went 4-1 up but Boothstown fought back and increased the pressure on United after making it 4-3 inside the last five minutes. Ian Donnelly (Hat-Trick) and Mike McFarland got the goals.


Both teams came into this cup-tie looking for victory and although the match was played in atrocious conditions both teams created some extremely good football. United took the initative early on and went ahead thanks to a goal by Ian Donnelly. Their total committment to attacking play took Rangers by surprise and for most of the first half play was situated in the visitors half.. Goals from Ian Bagshaw and Mike McFarland who produced a tremendous solo effort gave Beechy a 3-1 lead at the break. As the second period progressed it was United who dominated possession and the Rangers defence was given a torrid time. Donnelly and Bagshaw were on target again while Rangers hit their second goal late in the contest.


Beechfield United Under 13s made an impressive start to this match and were 2-0 up after 20 minutes with both goals coming from Man of the Match Malcolm Whipday. Heathcliffe Rovers produced a great recovery and led 4-2 before United came roaring back thanks to some brilliant attacking play and goals from Mike McFarland (2) Mark Jones and Karl Colehouse guaranteed a well-earned two points.

The Under 12s opened their league campaign with a home game at Brookhouse Sports Centre where they faced a powerful Salford Lads side. Beechy dominated the early stages and led 2-0 thanks to goals by Duncan Roden and Mark Jones but the visitors fought back and the half-time score was 2-2. In the second half there was some sterling work in United's overworked defence from Man of the Match Neil Matthews but Salford Lads managed to score again to claim a 3-2 victory.

BUFC resigned from the Leigh and District Junior League and a letter dated 27th May 1982 was hand delivered to the league's committee by Colin Roden. Three teams were allocated places in the Salford Junior Sunday League (£10 per team) Annual Presentation Evening was held on Saturday 19th June at Pilkingtons Social Club Station Road, Swinton.

The UNDER 12s lost 3-0 to Salford Aztecs in the final of the Greater Manchester Police Federation 5-a-side Football Competiition (Salford Police Festival Cup) United entered two teams into the Competition with the first set of games being played at Clarendon Sports Centre, Liverpool Street, Salford on 13th and 27th July 1981. All group winners would then compete in the semi-final's which were held along with the final at the Salford Show, Buile Hill School on Sunday 15th August. The United team who reached the final were as follows :- Beechfield United (A) Carl Horrocks, Duncan Summers, Neil Matthews, Mark Jones, Duncan Roden, Peter Brown & Malcolm Whipday. Beechfield United's (B) team players were Michael Wolstenholme, Stephen Street, Lee Lomas, Ian Donnelly, David Higgins, Karl Colehouse & Andrew Fryer.

Friendly games for the UNDER 12s & 13s were arranged against Brooklyn Junior Football Club and Bispham Juniors who were based in Blackpool. Both players and parents travelled by coach which left Moorside Library at 9.00am on Sunday 22nd August 1982 and the cost of the trip was £2 per person which included transport, match fees and washing the kit. Light rain was falling when a total of 55 players and parents set off but the wet weather failed to dampen their enthusiasm. After the games, the teams spent the afternoon in Blackpool, mostly on the Pleasure Beach before returning home to Swinton both defeated and penniless.

On 12th March 1983 Acting Secretary Mark Banner issued a letter to both Players and Parents informing them about the forthcoming club Presentation Evening (held at Swinton Liberal Club on Friday 27th May) and possible friendly games in Blackpool and North Wales. He also apologised about the increase regarding the players sub's. With immediate effect they would increase from 25p to 35p per match.

UNDER 12s, 13s, & 14s played their football in the Salford Junior Sunday League while the Under 16s were members of the Bury Friendship League. (Season 1983/1984) It was announced that end of season Player of the Year Trophies were being sponsored by Mr.J.Whitehead, Mr.G.Brearley, Mr.P.Gillard and Drome Car Hire. The annual presentation evening was held at Eccles Liberal Club.

A letter written in April 1984 by Club Secretary Barry Salisbury was sent to the sports desk of the Swinton Journal. He was looking for Players and Adults to help run the teams in season 1984-1985.

Michael Wolstenholme remembers his playing days with the club in the early 1980's. He gave the names of three other players Andrew Fryer, Dennis Robbins and Mike McFarland who's father also called Mike was at the time Team Manager. With reference to an estimated guess Michael thinks the season the team won three trophies was when they played in the Salford Junior Sunday League in1984/1985. Michael's estimation proved to be correct because Ian Donnelly confirmed that he still has the trophies he won in that season which were League Champions, Supplementary Cup Winners and Cup Runners-Up. Ian has a Sportsman of the Year Trophy but unfortunately he is unable to name the year. Also he's kept trophies given to him when he represented the Inter League sides in 1984 and 1985. The team originally played in a Red kit but after being sponsored by Dolphin Taxis the colours were Orange shirts, Black shorts and Orange shorts. Another kit (all Silver/Grey) was worn for the first time in the cup final in 1984/85 which Beechy lost 1-0.

Another former player Karl Colehouse (Junior) provided some vital information about his time with the club. In 1981 he was a member of the UNDER 12s and says that he went to the same school as most of his team mates. Karl Colehouse (Senior) set-up and was Manager of the original Beechfield Juniors team, initally there was an Under 16s team, then in 1980 an Under 11s team. The club officially became known as Beechfield United in 1980 after a match was played on Moorside Junior School Playing Fields against the late Barry Salisburys team. It was then that Barry and Colin Roden came on board.

At an end of season Presentation Evening held in 1987 (no official date known) Trophies were awarded to players from the Under 10s to Under 16s teams. U/10s PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Michael Twiss, CLUBMAN OF THE YEAR - Stuart McLoughlin, MAN OF THE MATCH - Anthony Hodgson, MANAGER'S INDIVIDUAL AWARD - Ben Hamilton. U/11s POTY - Mark Johns, COTY - Craig Ramage, PPOTY - Steve Kelly. U/12s POTY - James Livesey, COTY - Phil Jones, PPOTY - Paul Modlinsky, MOTM - Neil Owens, MIA - Paul Hulme. U/13s POTY - Darren Brookes, COTY - Stuart Twiss, PPOTY - Lee Abrams, MIA - Steven Knield, SOTY - Colin Grounds, MOTM - (Shared between) Adrian Knott, Andy Watson & Mike Worsley. U/14s POTY - Richard Mellor, COTY - Mike Langabeer. U/16s POTY - David Curren, COTY - Lawrence Whelahan, PPOTY - Lawrence Whelahan. REFEREE'S AWARD - (Sponsored by Mike Wilde) - Adam Unsworth (U/11s)

Team Managers - 1988/89 U/10's Barry Salisbury/Paul Mullen. U/11's George Dunn/George Vernon. U/12's Steve McLoughlin/George Worley. U/13's John Ramage. U/14's Aidy Booth. U/15's Geoff Twiss/Sam Bradbury. U/16's Ged Goodwin. U/18's Paul Lumsley.

Former Club Official George Vernon kindly supplied vital information regarding Beechfield United's most successful team. In season 1990/91 the UNDER 13s won the Manchester FA Challenge Cup (beat Red Star in the final) Salford Junior Sunday League Championship, Supplementary Cup, Kearsley Shield and were Knock-Out Cup Runners Up. George has all the original trophies to prove it and also provided the names of the players who were the major part of this marvellous achievement. In alphabetical order they were Stephen Done, John Paul Elliott, Ian Gibson, Bobby Hodgson, Lee MacDonald, Craig McNichol, Carl Openshaw, Wes Pollard, Gary Roberts, Neil Rothwell, Michael Twiss, Paul Vernon, Chris Wallis and Danny Watson. The league's end of season Presentation Night was held at the Lancastrian Hall and presenting the trophies was a young Ryan Giggs.

On a date unknown in 1991 a Beechfield United Junior Team travelled to Stoke-on-Trent to take part in a pre-season competition organised by Trubshaw Cross Lads and Dads Club. This Beechy team were obviously successful because they came home with a winners trophy.

One day in 1992 a Trophy was presented to Beechfield United FC for it's 10 year loyal service to the Salford Junior Sunday League. This was confirmed by former committee member Ken Barnes.

Volume 1 of a Newsletter for distribution to persons with parental responsibility for players representing the UNDER 10s was prepared and compiled by Mike Hill and Paul Drench in September 1994. The team who were registered with the Salford Junior Sunday League started the season on 4/9/1994 with a home game against Swinton Boys. Each player paid a £6 signing on fee plus a £1 per week subscription which went towards the purchase of training equipment, refreshments on match days etc. Parents were made aware that each age group was expected to contribute £245 per year towards the costs of running the club. TEAM SELECTION. Team Selection will always be based on what the Manager/Assistant considers to be the best team for each game, this also applies to the substitutes. It should be noted however, that a boy who does not regularly attend training sessions or exhibits unacceptable behaviour, is unlikely to be picked for the team. It is inevitable that with a squad of 18 registered players some boys will not always get a game, it is also inevitable and understandable that parents may wish to query team selection, on this and any other issue, please feel free to discuss the matter with Paul Drench, Mike Hill or Keith Lawrence.

Steven Drench (goalkeeper) kindly provided details of his time spent with the club. He joined Beechfield United when he was 9yrs old and left at 11yrs old which would have been 1994 to 1996, his dad Paul was the Team Manager and he was assisted by Mike Hill. Steven clearly remembers the names of most of his team mates in the Under 10's to UNDER 12's and they were Mark Barrett, Paul Tattersall, Marcus Hill, Danny Livesey, Steve Owens, Chris Pitchford, Matthew Thompson, Sam Jackson, Andy Farrow, and Tom Baker. In his first season Steven won the Manager's Player of the Year Award and in the 1995/96 season he won another trophy when Beechy finished runners-up in Under 11's Section of the Salford Junior Sunday League. Steven began his professional career with the Blackburn Rovers youth system and played for England Schoolboys plus he was in England's 2002 UEFA European Under 17's Football Championship squad, following an injury to Ryan Robinson he joined Conference outfit Morecambe on loan as goalkeeping cover in November 2005. The loan was extended for a second month in December and until the end of the 2005-06 season in February, Following his release by Blackburn, Drench signed for Morecambe permanently in the summer of 2006. After beginning the 2006-07 season competing with Robinson for the starting goalkeepers spot, Drench was confirmed as the club's first choice goalkeeper when Robinson left to join Forest Green Rovers. However he dislocated his elbow in the play-off semi-final second leg with York City which forced him to miss the successful play-off final against Exeter City. He finished the season with 47 appearances and won Morecambe's Player of the Year Award. Following this injury, Drench struggled to regain his first team place and joined Conference North team Southport on a month's loan in January 2008. He stayed at Southport until the end of the season and made 26 appearances for the club. After being released by Morecambe in June 2008, he signed permanently in July. However, he was allowed to leave the club on a free transfer and had a one week trial with Conference team Stevenage Borough due to Drench's desire to remain full-time after the club reverted to part-time status following the departure of manager Gary Brabin to Cambridge United. Drench was reunited with Brabin after signing for Cambridge on a six month loan on 21st August. He subsequently left the club following the expiration of the loan in January 2009. Southport released Drench on 26th March 2009 and he signed for Leigh Genesis, finishing the season with five appearances for the team. He made 47 appearances in the 2009-10 season. He had a trial with Conference team Barrow in July 2010, he later joined York City on trial and after featuring in several pre-season friendlies he was not offered a contract by the club. He subsequently joined Conference North team Guiseley on trial in August and played a large part in Guiseley's debut season. In 2012 Steven Drench was goalkeeping coach for Blackburn Rovers Academy.

An UNDER 14s team playing in the Bolton Boys & Girls Federation won the B Championship Trophy in season 1994/1995. (More details to follow)

In the Winders Eccles Sunday Football League United's UNDER 19s were Youth Division Runner's-Up and beaten finalist's in the Denis Gartside Cup in season 1994/1995. Voted Youth Player of The Year was Scott Fisher. In 1995/1996 United were Supplementary Youth Cup finalists losing to Ashton United Juniors. Beechy had previously reached the final in the 1993/1994 season but were beaten by eventual winners Victoria Boys.

The UNDER 11s advertised for sponsors prior to the 1995/96 season in the Salford Junior Sunday League. A letter sent out to local companies provided an indication of the costs of certain items that the team required. For those sponsors who wished to purchase an item of clothing (kit, training tops etc) had the option of their company name printed on it, with the corresponding commercial value in terms of advertisement this could bring.

Michael Twiss born 26th December 1977 began his professional career as a Trainee at Manchester United, but despite being a regular in the Reserve Team from 1997 to 2001 failed to make the grade. At the club his only 1st Team appearance in 1997-1998 was as a 78th minute substitute in an FA Cup 5th Round replay with Barnsley at Oakwell on 25/2/1998. He spent most of the 1998-1999 season on loan with Sheffield United in the First Division. He returned to Old Trafford in March 1999 and made just one appearance in the 1999-2000 season. On 13th October he was in the United team who lost 3-0 to Aston Villa at Villa Park in a League Cup 3rd Round game. This was Michael's first and final start under Alex Ferguson and he was released at the end of the season. He signed for Port Vale in 2000, moving on to non-league outfit Leigh RMI a year later. In 2002 he transferred to Chester City, joining Morecambe FC two years later. He won promotion into the Football League with both clubs. After a six year association with Morecambe FC, he moved onto Altrincham FC via Stalybridge Celtic in 2010. MAJOR HONOURS 2001 with Port Vale - LDV Vans Trophy Winners. 2003/04 with Chester City - Football Conference Champions. 2007 with Morecambe FC - Football Conference Play-Off Winners.

The AJ KEARSLEY & SON SHIELD was presented to the Team of the Year. Winners from 1983/1984 to 1995/1996 were as follows: 83/84 - U/14's, 84/85 - U/12's, 85/86 - U/15's, 86/87 - U/13's, 87/88 - U/19's, 88/89 - U/11's, 89/90 - U/11's, 90/91 - U/13's, 91/92 - U/11's, 92/93 - U/16's, 93/94 - U/17's, 94/95 - Girls, 95/96 - U/13's.

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