All-conquering Hucknall Sports defy loss of Wigwam

CHAMPIONS -- Hucknall Sports Under-12s Saturday (from left), Back Row: Leigh Vickers (assistant manager), Lewis Wright, Joe Collison, Cameron Vickers, Lewis Radford, Bradley Wass, Darnel Beeson, Declan Ford, Dean Nuttall (manager). Front Row: Ethan Fells, Nathan Whitehouse, Harry Brown, Jay Wilby, Jack Cockram, Josh Tomlinson.
CHAMPIONS -- Hucknall Sports Under-12s Saturday (from left), Back Row: Leigh Vickers (assistant manager), Lewis Wright, Joe Collison, Cameron Vickers, Lewis Radford, Bradley Wass, Darnel Beeson, Declan Ford, Dean Nuttall (manager). Front Row: Ethan Fells, Nathan Whitehouse, Harry Brown, Jay Wilby, Jack Cockram, Josh Tomlinson.
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They might have lost their home ground -- but they haven’t lost their knack of winning.

That’s the story from the young footballers of HUCKNALL SPORTS, who have enjoyed an unforgettable first half of the 2013/14 season.

Sports have been a permanent sporting fixture in Hucknall since 1977 when old stalwarts Derek Day and Bob Wheat, with the help of others, first launched the club (as Riden Sports) during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations.

But their main base for 36 years, the Wigwam Playing Fields on Wigwam Lane, finally bit the dust this season.

A long campaign to save the Wigwam from housing development was defeated, leaving Sports to find new pitches elsewhere in the Dispatch district.

However, if the upheaval was expected to trigger a downturn in the fortunes of Sports’s teams, the reality is a very different tale.

For in a fantastic half-year, no fewer than NINE of their teams won trophies, either as champions or runners-up, in the Young Elizabethan League (YEL).

The format of the YEL has changed in that they split the season into two phases -- one for winter before Christmas, complete with promotions and relegations, and one for spring after Christmas, complete with promotions and relegations for the following year.

It’s fair to say that Hucknall Sports took the winter campaign by storm, racking up this impressive roll of honour --

HUCKNALL SPORTS UNDER-9S RED -- Saturday champions, managed by Danny Watson.

HUCKNALL SPORTS UNDER-11S -- Sunday Third Division champions, managed by Stewart Pontings.

HUCKNALL SPORTS UNDER-12S RED -- Saturday Third Division champions, managed by Dean Nuttall.

HUCKNALL SPORTS UNDER-13S RED -- Sunday Third Division champions, managed by Dave Jayes.

HUCKNALL SPORTS UNDER-9S BLACK -- Saturday runners-up, managed by Donal Houlihan.

HUCKNALL SPORTS UNDER-10S WHITE -- Saturday Third Division runners-up, managed by Rob Goodman.

HUCKNALL SPORTS UNDER-12S WHITE -- Sunday Second Division runners-up, managed by Paul Markham.

HUCKNALL SPORTS UNDER-13S WHITE -- Sunday First Division runners-up, managed by Neil Shooter.

HUCKNALL SPORTS UNDER-14S BLACK -- Sunday First Division runners-up, managed by Martin Whitley.

Proud Sports chairman Alan Spray paid tribute to all the teams. “The success is a direct reflection of all the hard work put in by the managers and the players,” said Spray.

“It is also the result of our very successful soccer school, enabling us to promote these young individuals to play in their respective leagues.

“We are always on the lookout for players and also for youngsters to join our soccer school.

“Anyone wanting more information should contact us via our website, www.hucknallsports.com, or ring 0115 951122.