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Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive.
It may not be related to the new club Gresley FC.
Story posted: Saturday, 7th April 2001

Gresley Rovers - 100 Years
To mark the centenary of Gresley Rovers Football Club in 1982 the late Brian Spare produced "Gresley Rovers - 100 Years," a history of the club based on information collected by Burton Mail sports editor Rex Page. The series was published in the Mail's "Green Un", from the extensive records of club historian and statistician Derrick Kinsey and from Brian's own wealth of knowledge of the club's past.
Much has happened at the Club in the intervening years, so now, in a continuing series of articles, we attempt to update Brian's history of the Club in what will effectively be 'Gresley Rovers - The Next 100 Years.'

We now continue with Nigel Tilley's recollections of the 101st season with the Club.

"Where the clubhouse was - they'd just done the club that season - there'd been an old stand there. Mrs Reed from Moat Street used to bring the sandwiches for the bus. "It was far better than Newhall but still not too clever. They had training lights but they weren't good enough to play league matches. They'd been in the same league as Newhall not too long before. Newhall and Gresley on New Year's Day and Boxing couldn't get down Oversetts Road for cars. There would be a thousand people there. Newhall used to get the odd decent player but they always went to Gresley because they had a bit of money while Newhall didn't pay that much. Chris Cowlishaw was one. "Quite a few of the lads were local with just odd ones from Derby. Ray Skeemer was a good player from the West Midlands area. He broke his leg at Walsall Wood the following season. There was another good player who played alongside him (Ian Earley). Kevin Hector played on the right side of midfield - they'd got better strikers up front! He was just winding down and Nishy's contacts got him there, I suppose. He didn't do a lot of running and the crowd used to get onto him for that but when he got the ball he used to do something. It was same with Nishy - they used to think a fast winger would give him the run-around but he was too clever for them. He took good free kicks and he was a good passer of the ball. You'd make a run and you'd know you were going to get the ball. You didn't waste many runs with Nishy in the team. "We used to get 250, 300 crowds. When Halesowen came they used to bring a few. It was the year they got to Wembley and there were about 600 there that night. It was the Tuesday before they played at Wembley on the Saturday and we beat them 1-0. I got the goal and we used to say we beat the lads that were going to Wembley.

"We went to Atherstone on Boxing Day with only 10 players and Peter Hall had to play. He had an absolutely storming match and we drew 3-3. "The whole structure of the leagues has changed now. If you look at the sides that have gone, Shifnal, they went higher before coming back down again, Armitage went on to quite a high level before packing up, Atherstone, Halesowen, Hednesford. Hednesford knocked us out of the league cup. Roger Davies got sent off for an elbow. We lost 7-2 on aggregate. "Tony Parry was the oldest guy in the side, older than Nish and Hector, he must have been. He played sweeper and he was clever, very clever. Cunning. Nothing was ever his fault! He'd been a pro, and he was a big influence on the side. Parry was so enthusiastic about his football. If he knocked a ball up to you and you didn't control it you knew you were going to get a right ear bashing. But for a bloke of his age he showed so much enthusiasm - probably for his win bonus! He only missed two games out of 52 that season, which speaks for itself. Geoff Kemm had not long been released from Derby. He was up there the year before me and he scored all the goals that previous season. Mick Collins was the main one I played with up front. He was a very good player, a big centre forward. There was a reserve team. I played a few games. I used to play for them in midweek when they were short. They were in the Derbyshire Premier League - Newhall United's first team were still in it. That's how the gap had widened. It was only a couple of years before that we beat Gresley in the Derbyshire Senior Cup. "Nishy just packed up in the end. He was a milkman but then I think he went into a pub at Donisthorpe as I recall, and he couldn't manage the football as well, he didn't have time to do it. Roger Davies took over. "I had one real good season. The second season I scored a few goals, but then I tore my cartilage and that was the end as far as that standard was concerned for me. I came back the following season and had one game, but my knee went again, so I packed up."

Nigel Tilley's last game for Gresley Rovers took place on a massively important day in the history of the club. It was the first game in charge for a new manager who was to take the club to heights it had never before even dreamed of. His name was Frank Northwood.
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
2 Marske United 12 8 22
3 Brighouse Town 13 7 22
4 Lincoln United 13 4 21
5 Tadcaster Albion 12 6 19
6 Belper Town 12 0 19
7 Gresley 13 -10 19
8 Ossett United 12 6 18
9 Pontefract Collieries 12 3 18
10 Stamford AFC 12 3 17
11 Frickley Athletic 11 -5 16
12 Loughborough Dynamo 11 8 15

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Forthcoming Fixtures
Spalding United
Sat, 27th Oct 2018, 3.00pm (Away)
Carlton Town
Integro League Challenge Cup 2nd Round
Wed, 31st Oct 2018, 7.45pm (Away)
Spalding United
Sat, 3rd Nov 2018, 3.00pm (Home)
Mickleover Sports
Derbyshire Senior Cup 2nd Round
Tue, 6th Nov 2018, 7.45pm (Home)
Newcastle Town Action
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