Founder of St Mary's Soccer Squad in Bishop Auckland returns as president

Junior football club founder returns as president

Junior football club founder returns as president

Junior football club founder returns as president

Young players

First published in News by , Reporter (Barnard Castle & Teesdale)

THE founder of a junior football club has returned to take up the post of president.

Tommy Kelly formed St Mary's Soccer Squad after spotting a group of young lads kicking a ball about on Cockton Hill recreational ground, Bishop Auckland, in 1985.

The venture developed into Bishop Auckland St Mary's Juniors, which now boasts 18 teams and more than 350 players.

Mr Kelly spent more than a decade with the club, stepping down after the 1996-97 season when the Bishop Auckland Northern Echo Youth League folded and St Mary's joined the Teesside Junior Alliance.

Now aged 77, Mr Kelly, who lives in Cockton Hill, said he was glad to be back.

“It was quite lucky how it started. At the time I was convalescing from an accident and I just noticed this group of about 20 kids kicking a ball around,” he said.

“I asked them if they fancied a game and I refereed.”

Twice weekly coaching sessions followed as well as friendly matches before St Mary's started playing other teams from the area.

“I wish I was still running a team,” added Mr Kelly.

He was introduced to the current St Mary's teams at a special get-together at Bishop Auckland FC's ground, Heritage Park.

Club secretary Steve Coulthard said: “We have been wanting to do this for some time.

“We have made Tommy our president, but some people don't know him or where the club came from.”

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:43am Fri 28 Mar 14

LeeHarris1989 says...

Where is the mention of the clubs actual founder George Nicholson?
Where is the mention of the man who took the club from just 2 teams to what it is today, Fred Anderson?
Without those two men the club would probably have folded in the late 90's.
Tommy Kelly may have co-founded the club with George in the 80's but he had no impact on what the club turned into. That was purely George and more specifically Fred. I am ashamed of this football club for it having turned it's back on its roots and forgetting who made it what it is today. While I have nothing against Tommy Kelly it has to be said that he left the club over an argument with Fred and George over the direction of the club. Tommy wanted to keep it how it was, virtually nothing. Fred and George wanted tp turn it into what it is today, but since Fred's death George has been pushed out by the clique's that came about afterwards. I am disgusted at the club. Having been involved with the club for over 10 years prior to joining the Army I have always kept a close eye on developments and all this club is now is a money making scheme. That is all the clubs hierarchy are interested in along with getting their own faces seen and into lucrative positions within Bishop Auckland FC.
It is despicable that Tommy should be hailed as some sort of hhero when he actually did nothing to get the clu to where it is now. It appears that the club are trying to rewrite its history and I am fuming about it.

Lee Harris
Where is the mention of the clubs actual founder George Nicholson? Where is the mention of the man who took the club from just 2 teams to what it is today, Fred Anderson? Without those two men the club would probably have folded in the late 90's. Tommy Kelly may have co-founded the club with George in the 80's but he had no impact on what the club turned into. That was purely George and more specifically Fred. I am ashamed of this football club for it having turned it's back on its roots and forgetting who made it what it is today. While I have nothing against Tommy Kelly it has to be said that he left the club over an argument with Fred and George over the direction of the club. Tommy wanted to keep it how it was, virtually nothing. Fred and George wanted tp turn it into what it is today, but since Fred's death George has been pushed out by the clique's that came about afterwards. I am disgusted at the club. Having been involved with the club for over 10 years prior to joining the Army I have always kept a close eye on developments and all this club is now is a money making scheme. That is all the clubs hierarchy are interested in along with getting their own faces seen and into lucrative positions within Bishop Auckland FC. It is despicable that Tommy should be hailed as some sort of hhero when he actually did nothing to get the clu to where it is now. It appears that the club are trying to rewrite its history and I am fuming about it. Lee Harris LeeHarris1989
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree