Rishton United Junior F. C.

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On the 9th September 1943, The Council Clerk reported an application for the use of Holt Street Recreation Ground Football Pitch by the Rishton Youth Football Club. The Council resolved that permission would be granted for the 1943-44 Season at a charge of £1. The same was true again for the following season, 1944 - 1945.

Rishton United Juniors F. C. were re-formed in 1970 by Dave Lord, Olive Tate, and Sid Hodson, and help of the first team members Peter Tate, David Hill, Kevin Andrews and Neil Cowgill.

Olive Tate was the Clubs first Secretary and Elizabeth Lord was the club Treasurer.

The first official manager was Alan Smith, who managed the team from 1970 till 1974, it was he and his late mother Jean H Smith who bought the very first official strip for the team, This they played in an assortment of odd red shirts. Mrs. Smith and her son Alan bought the original first team strip which was white shirts and black shorts, until after one season, Mrs. Smith bought the team the now famous black and white strip, which has remained the official strip of RUJFC into the millennium.

The club initially consisted of one team of 10 to 13 year olds who raised their own funds by collecting waste paper and holding raffles. The team originally met in the cellar of Jim Cruise Butchers across from the Roebuck Inn and they also used to meet once a month at Mrs Jean Smiths home in Fielding Street.

R. U. J. F. C. joined the Accrington and district boys' league and remain in this league to this day, as the oldest club in the league.

After a few years the club was helped by Roy Carter, Pete Nellany and Mick Presho as it became more popular.

The original home ground was the "top rec" off Harwood Road, and was partly sponsored in travel to away games by Walter Barnes who ran THE local coach firm.

The club initially consisted of one team of 10 to 13 year olds who raised their own funds by collecting waste paper and holding raffles. The team originally met in the cellar of Jim Cruise Butchers across from the Roebuck Inn and they also used to meet once a month at Mrs Jean Smiths home in Fielding Street.

By the early eighties the club had grown and it was decided to form a formal committee to run the clubs finances with R. Carter as chairman, Robert Sinton (Scotty) secretary and Jim Guilfoyle, as treasurer. In the mid eighties Scotty resigned and the secretary's position was taken by Stuart Hogg.

Stuart Hogg took over as Secretary for the boys, and by 2003 the Juniors were fielding 7 teams every week! 84 children every weekend! This increased to 15 junior sides for the 2003/2004 season, including a girls team.

In 1986/7 the committee decided to set up a training programme for youngsters between the ages of 5 to 9 year olds, so that we could possibly raise more than one team in an age group in any one-year for the future. This was probably the best venture that R. U. J. F. C. have undertaken since the formation. The team who were promptly nicknamed the `nippers` and do not participate in any competitive games.  The nippers have grown to numbers of over thirty youngsters and it is still our biggest team!

Into the nineties saw the best achievements for the club.

By the end of the 1990's they had 4 or more teams playing in either or both Accrington leagues and hoped to continue to grow from strength to strength.

The main aim was and still is to get young lads off street corners and interested in sport whether it is playing, training, keeping fit, even supporting the teams and helping out. And with more and more ladies participating in the so-called macho sports, getting young people regardless of gender involved.

June 2006 saw "Juniors" being dropped from the team name, and part amalgamation with the senior team of the town.

Couple’s Africa charity winner

On Saturday 8th April 2006, Young footballers in a west African country were cutting a dash on the pitch in Rishton United and Blackburn Rovers shirts.

The youngsters have been helped by a Rishton couple, who regularly travel to Gambia to give aid packages to schools and sports teams.

As part of a recent trip, Allan and Carol Hindle, of Cedar Close, took a package of donated Rishton United and Rovers football strips which were welcomed with open arms by the players.

The local football academy was so grateful they have even voted to change their name officially to pay their respects to Rishton United.

Allan and Carol are not part of any charity, and do not make any money from their trips, and say the smiles on the children's faces is their reward for the hard work.

Carol, who works for Capita in Blackburn, said: "We have been out there about ten or 12 times. I have been going about twice a year until February this year. I realised they were very dedicated people but the children had no kits at all. I had a word with Rishton United and they had a lot of kit they didn't need. Everybody was overjoyed to get it. I used to buy something every week to take over to the schools. By buying something every week I was not laying out the money all at once."

The donations to Gambia began when Carol and Allan, a self employed caterer, went on holiday to the country a number of years ago, and took some school equipment with them to donate.

While in the country, a poor nation and one of Africa's smallest, the couple made a number of contacts at the school the Guntur Lower Basic School, and the Sanyang football academy now the Sanyang Rishton academy.

So far they have taken football kits including goalkeeper's gloves, running shoes, drinking bottles and even flags, thanks to the support of Rishton United and Blackburn Rovers.

And the African academy has even returned the favour, and had a set of T-shirts drawn up with their new name, and sent them to England with Carol and Allan.

Carol said: "They had some T-shirts printed for our children. Some people did without meals to be able to provide them. A little goes a long way over there and they really do appreciate it."

See Rishton United Football Club for further Updates.

ACHIEVEMENTS

1996/97- u10's cup, semi-finalist's.
Reached the final of the Blue Star 5 a side competition.
U13's Sportsmanship award -M Pendergast

1997/98- u11's Consolation Cup Finalist's v Huncoat.
R. U. J. F. C. lost 3-1 after extra time with Alex Rogers suffering a broken leg.
U13's Consolation Cup winners, played at the ground of Accrington Stanley.

U14's Cup finalist's

1998/99- u11's Consolation Cup semi-finalist's
U10's sportsmanship award from the league.
U12's sportsmanship award from the league.
Sportsmanship award for Peter Ackers

1999/00- u13's Cup semi finals

2001/02- u14's Cup semi finals

u14's League Runners Up

2002/03- u15's Cup semi finals

u15's League Champions

References

Rishton United Juniors Website (Many thanks for their permission for using the information on this page).