Special thanks to long-serving Linby chairman

The Linby players ahead of their cup final with Bulwell.

The Linby players ahead of their cup final with Bulwell.

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RETIRING Linby Colliery Welfare FC chairman Dave Ingram was thanked for his ‘inspiring’ contribution to the club at its end of season presentation.

After 37 years at the helm, he has decided to stand down and was given a special mention at the celebration of the 2011-12 season, held at the Empire Club.

Club secretary Adrian Ward said: “Dave is an inspiration to us all for the way he has driven this club forward during the last 37 years. He was at the forefront of the move from the old Gatehouse ground to the present ground at Church Lane.”

The evening toasted the success that the club has seen during the last season. New managers Dave Marlow and Dave Bradshaw took the team to fourth in the NSL Senior Division, just a year after they finished bottom of that league.

Linby won their first seven games of the season and were leading the table until a lean spell around Christmas. However, they refound their form and finished strongly, losing only one of their last 17 games.

They also came extremely close to winning the NSL Senior Cup, losing on penalties to Bulwell in the final after the game finished 0-0 after extra time.

The individual awards given out to the first team were: Players’ Player - Matt Murphy; Manager’s Player - Scott Miles; Most ‘Man of the Match’ Awards - Damian Mann; Sportsman - Richard Howell, Top Scorer - Matt Murphy.

Murphy’s haul of 32 goals for the season also saw him win the prize for NSL Senior Division top scorer, while Damian Mann was voted in at second place in the NSL Player of the Year award.

The Reserve team finished ninth in NSL Division Two, with 11 wins, three draws and 12 defeats. It came second in the Division Two Fair Play awards.

Its individual award winners were: Players’ Player - Paul Prewett; Manager’s Player - Jonny Bernard; Most Consistent Player - Phil Riley; Sportsman - Ross Cheeseman; Top Scorer - Jonny Bernard (19 goals).

Adrian Ward thanked the players, managers and committee for the good work put in during the season and said that the appointment of Dave Marlow and Dave Bradshaw has proved to be ‘an excellent one’.

Outlining Linby’s plans for the future, Ward said that the first team have entered the Central Midlands Football League for the 2012/13 season and so will be playing against the likes of Sutton Town, Newark Town and Blidworth, as well as AFC Hucknall Town, Hucknall Town’s second team, in the South Division.

The Reserves are to remain in the NSL.

A planning application for floodlights and a new dressing room complex have been submitted to Gedling Borough Council and in the meantime, new toilets and a new post and rail pitch surround and hard standing have been installed at the ground.

A new youth section has been formed, with Hucknall Rangers and Linby amalgamating to operate under 10s and 13s ‘Linby Rangers’ teams, while the former Hucknall Warriors Under 16s Yellow have joined as ‘Linby Colliery Welfare Youth FC’ and will be playing in the Chad Mansfield Youth U18 League.