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The origins of the club are a little vague but it is thought that a local Burton and District referee who lived in Newhall called Tony Smith, originally came up with the idea having seen his son ‘Clive’ play in a talented Newhall Junior School team. Not wanting to see the team disband, Tony came up with the idea of ‘Newhall Boys FC’ and so a club was born.
The club was originally known as ‘Newhall Boys FC’ and was founded in 1978 with initially one boys team at Under 11’s playing in the Burton and District Junior League, sporting a kit of Green and Yellow vertical stripes.
The home pitch being the ‘recently’ laid pitch on the revamped Newhall Park. This was the days before mini-soccer when young lads were expected to play on the same size pitches as the adults. It was certainly a challenge for 10 year old goalkeepers!!
The first club chairman is understood to be Gerry Baxter, with team coach of the first ever team being Peter Milligan who had eldest son Dean amongst his players.
As interest in the new ‘phenomenon’ of junior football grew, there were enough younger lads to enable to club to grow and form additional teams. The next team included amongst others Paul Slater (whose son currently plays for Newhall Tigers Youth) was coached by local Scotsman Jim Fair, a popular figure on the local football scene and a qualified referee who took charge of many games in the locality.
Another team was added the following year, this time coached by Londoner Dave McIntosh in partnership with John Farrow. This team included current club coaches Paul Cantrill and Martyn Collins amongst its ranks. (Dave’s grandson Jake has played for the club in recent times and John went on to become club chairman before standing down in 2000 to be replaced by local businessman Rob Kavanagh in June 2001 who endured a brief spell at the helm before Colin Robinson took the chair in December 2001.)
By the end of the 1970’s the club had also started to standardise on a common kit of Yellow Shirts and Blue Shorts.
Annual trips to Alton Towers from the early days are fondly remembered with long queues for the new ‘Corkscrew’ ride. Christmas parties and Presentation evenings were held in several venues including the Grove Hall, Newhall Social Club and the Parochial Hall (Now demolished, but previously next to Swadlincote Catholic Club)
The club continued to grow and the personnel began to change as the number of local teams in the area began to multiply offering more choice. Strong local teams were always Edgehill Boys from Stapenhill and Gresley Swifts.
Dave and John were succeeded as team coaches by Tony Chinnery, who led a cosmopolitan team of lads from Newhall, Midway and Stapenhill. Tony’s grandson Connor currently plays for the U15 Cougars.
The next team out of the stable was coached by Ian Bambrick and Roy Howes, another two guys who would remain prominent on the Newhall football scene long after their sons had ceased playing junior football. Ian’s grandson Tyler currently plays for the U13 Lions. This was a successful team winning several trophies.
The period following these teams is rather vague, although renowned local player Nigel Tilley is known to have coached a team to success in the mid to late 90’s, winning the League and becoming Leicester County Cup champions (despite being from Derbyshire!)
The club committee during this period was known to comprise of John Farrow, Eve Maw and Alison Clarke.
Following a number of years of decline and dwindling interest from the youth of the area, the club began its ascent to its current status in 2002 under a new committee comprising of Colin Robinson as Chairman, Steve Poxon as Vice Chairman, Darren Pritchard as Secretary, Dave Kitson as Treasurer and Marnie Aston as Child Protection Officer.
Colin had previously joined the club in 1998 when there were only four teams, all playing in the Derby City League.
The club started to run a ‘Soccer School’ on a Sunday morning to attract new younger players to the club. This was an incredible success and although all of the committee has stints as the Soccer School coach, Dave Kitson is largely remembered as the inaugural ‘school master’, before he was succeeded in 2002 by Paul Cantrill, who then passed on in turn to Steve Adams and then Nigel Steele, before Lee Cantrill took over for a five year period between 2006 and 2011.
Many achievements have been made by the club over the years, but many acknowledge the Soccer School as the single biggest contributor. In every year since its inception, it has produced at least one new mini soccer team, often more.
The advent of the new progressive committee coincided with new FA policies on junior and youth football, including the launch of mini-soccer and the increasing involvement of girl’s football. As such the club was renamed Newhall FC in 2002.
The achievements of this period during the early to mid-noughties will go down as instrumental in the club’s fortunes:
- The club became tenants of its present ground based at Oversetts Road.
- The establishment of an annual five-a-side tournament held in May each year as the main fund-raiser for the club.
- The afore-mentioned Soccer School was setup.
- A dedicated club website www.newhallfc.com was designed and developed by Dave Kitson.
- A container was purchased and sited at Oversetts for the storage of equipment purchased for the club.
- The club was awarded the FA Charter Standard.
- A distinctive kit based on the Ajax strip, but in royal blue and white was designed by Steve Poxon along with a club badge by Darren Pritchard to provide a uniform for all of the club teams.
- Player Subscriptions were fixed along with set training days for each team.
- Annual presentation evenings and monthly meetings were held at the Newhall Labour Club.
- Girls football was introduced with Colin Robinson’s wife Diane, coaching the first ever girls team in the club.
- Chairman Colin Robinson received an award from Sir Geoff Hurst for his services to football.
- Newhall FC was awarded the Midland FA Charter Standard Club of the Year Award.
- Newhall FC was awarded the BJFL Club of the Year Award.
- The club celebrated its 25 year anniversary in 2003 with fellow quarter centurions Marlborough Rovers FC. An inter club tournament was held which culminated in a challenge match between the coaches of the respective teams at Moira Miners Welfare. This game was the first of what have been many games played by the coaches and veterans team in recent years.
Colin Robinson stood down as Club Chairman in 2004, receiving a letter of thanks from the FA signed by Sir Trevor Brooking in recognition for his efforts for grass-roots football.
Colin was succeeded by Steve Poxon as Chairman with Paul Cantrill and Mark Adamson joining the club as Vice Chairman and Development Officer and Child Protection Officer respectively.
Despite the remarkable progress the club had enjoyed in the early part of the decade, the momentum remained and the new committee oversaw continued growth with an incredible 22 teams representing Newhall FC in the 2006/7 season, comprising Mini-Soccer, Girls and Youth football.
In September of 2004 the club launched a free full colour club newsletter and held a sponsors evening at the Navigation Inn at Spring Cottage to both reward existing and attract new sponsors to the club.
The 2004/5 season also saw the return of the distinctive yellow shirts with the Newhall FC badge on as the club adopted the ‘retro’ club colours of the seventies for new away strips for several youth teams.
The summer of 2005 saw a change in venue for the club’s annual presentation evenings. Previously held at Newhall Labour Club in preceding years, Vice Chairman Paul Cantrill steered the club to the nearby Bretby Conference Centre and devised the format for the now familiar evenings that would see every team enjoy its own awards ceremony within the umbrella of a club occasion.
Club meetings were also moved to Newhall United’s Hawfields ground at this time as a strategic partnership between the village’s Junior and Senior clubs was established.
The beginning of season 2005/6 also saw the club embark on a new venture in the form of the Academy. Paul Cantrill established the idea of the Academy to allow all children coming to the club to have formal training irrespective of age and ability. The Academy Head Coach was and currently remains as Martyn Collins who was helped by coaches of many teams in the early years before being joined by Steve Poxon in establishing the Academy as a continual source of new players for teams within the club. To date the Academy has been solely responsible for the establishment of our current U12 Lions and U14 Girls Eagle’s teams and is acknowledged as a unique service provided by Newhall FC.
Under the tenure of Steve Poxon’s Chairmanship, all Newhall FC teams came to play in the Burton Junior Football League (BJFL)
The end of 2005/6 also saw the U10 Lions coach Steve Smith awarded the Derbyshire FA Coach of the Year Award. This capped a fantastic season for Steve who had steered his team to the BJFL Div 3 League Title. He was rewarded with a magnificent trip to watch the Charity Shield game at the Millennium Stadium with his son Josh. What made Steve’s award all the more special was that he was deaf.
As the club reached its optimum size of almost two teams at every age group, the task of the club committee changed to one of maintenance and improvement.
In 2007 Steve Poxon stood down as Chairman and was succeeded by Ray Lock. Mark Adamson succeeded Darren Pritchard in the role of Secretary and Paul Cantrill took over from Dave Kitson as Treasurer.
In 2009 the club started to establish formal links with Derby County FC, enjoying several discounted matches and parades, and culminating in a Club morning at Pride Park which saw the U13 Tigers and U16 Tigers play at the prestigious venue at the end of May. This event was repeated in the summer of 2010 in what is hoped to become an annual event in the club diary, and a means of saying farewell to our departing U16 teams.
The club committee changed again in 2009 with Nigel Steele becoming Chairman and Neil Onions and Wendy succeeding Paul Cantrill as Treasurer.
As Newhall FC embarks on its 33rd year in Junior football, it heralds the beginning of another chapter in the clubs rich history, this time under the stewardship of Chairman Mark Adamson and new committee member, Secretary Dave Banton.
Note: This brief history of the club has been put together based on memory. If anyone has any further information and /or pictures relating to the club history, please contact Paul Cantrill so we can update.
The following is a list of league honours since 2000 following the inception of the Burton Junior Football League (BJFL).
2001-2002 Under 9 Division 3 Champions – Newhall Boys A – Coach: Steve Poxon
2003-2004 Under 11 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Tigers – Coach: Steve Poxon
2003-2004 Under 11 Division 3 Champions – Newhall Panthers – Coach: Dave Hatfield
2005-2006 Under 10 Division 3 Champions – Newhall Lions – Coach: Steve Smith
2006-2007 Under 13 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Tigers – Coach: Ray Lock
2007-2008 Under 11 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Lions – Coach: John Simms
2007-2008 Under 13 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Tigers – Coach: Darren Pritchard
2008-2009 Under 13 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Tigers – Coach: Paul Cantrill
2010-2011 Under 13 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Cougars – Coach: James Wheeler
2011-2012 Under 12 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Lions – Coaches: Dave Keach & Phil Shakespeare
2011-2012 Under 14 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Lions – Coach: Brian Hughes
2011-2012 Under 15 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Panthers – Coach: Dave Saunders
2013-2014 Under 16 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Cougars – Coach: James Wheeler
2014-2015 Under 11 Division 2 Champions – Newhall Tigers – Coach: Lee Cantrill
2015-2016 Under 14 Division 1 Champions – Newhall Rams – Coaches: Daz Cooke & Nige Morris
2006-2007 Under 11 Cup Winners – Newhall Girls – Coach: Samantha Yates
2013-2014 Under 15 Floyd Davidson Memorial Cup Winners – Newhall Tigers – Coach: Nigel Steele