THE MOSSLEY MANAGERS
Clifford TARR 1932-1936
Appointed Manager: April 1932
Resigned: May 1936
First Game: 27.8.32 v Nantwich home D 1-1
Last Game: 28.4.36 v Winsford United home W 2-1
Games in charge: 195 Won 79 Drawn 28 Lost 88
Clifford Tarr joined Mossley as an amateur in 1922 making 5 appearances in the 1921-22 season but was understudy first to Ernie Moores and then Jackie Darley and he returned to play for Mossley West Lads, returning to Mossley to play in their newly formed reserve team in 1923.
It wasn't until Darley's retirement that Tarr got an extended run in the team and he made 40 appearances in the 1926-27 season scoring 11 goals. A direct and tricky winger who's favourite trick was to knock the ball past his marker and run around the other side of him, he was selected that season to represent the Northern Counties against the Southern Counties at Dulwich scoring the only goal. He was then honoured to play for the Amateurs against the Professionals ( a regular fixture in those days) at Manchester City where he again excelled.
He was a first team regular and oft goalscorer for the Lilywhites right up until the 1933-34 season when he retired from playing. He was selected to represent the Cheshire League on several occasions, one such being against the Welsh National League at Caernarfon in 1929.
Tarr was appointed Secretary and Player-Manager in April 1932, continuing playing until 1934 and then remaining as Secretary-Manager until 1936. A popular figure throughout his long association with Mossley AFC. Tarr played a total of 275 games for Mossley scoring 47 goals.
His son Dennis had a spell as a player at Mossley in the 1952-53 season and Clifford's brother Gilbert was Mossley Club President in the late 1960's and inaugurated the Club's Player of the Year award in 1971. Clifford Tarr's appointment as team manager came following Alt Jackson's defection to Ashton National and he became the first person to be solely in charge of team selection. Previously the team was selected by committee.
In his second season in charge Mossley beat Glossop to win the Manchester Junior Cup and the following season won the Ashton Challenge Cup in a twice replayed final against Droylsden. He also kept Mossley in mid-table in the Cheshire League despite having the lowest wage bill in the League. He resigned at the ned of the 1935-36 season.
Jim SCULLION 1936-1937
Appointed Manager: August 1936
Not retained: May 1937
First Game: 28.8.36 v Chester Reserves home L 1-3
Last Game: 8.5.37 v Ashton National (M/cr Shield Final) away L 1-3
Games in charge: 49 Won 13 Drawn 15 Lost 21
Born in Holytown, Lanarkshire on 4th August 1900. James Scullion was a former Carluke Rovers, Bury, King's Park, Workington, Fulham (1-0), Lytham, Crewe Alexandra (73-41), Wigan Borough (27-11) and Stockport County (33-10), inside forward who made 60 Mossley appearances scoring 45 goals in two seasons with the club in the early 1930's.
Scullion then had spells with Stalybridge Celtic, Hurst, Buxton, Darwen, Bacup Borough and Droylsden before he returned to Mossley as team manager in August 1936.
He saw his Mossley charges endure a difficult season finishing in 17th place in the League and losing to Ashton National in the final of the Manchester FA Challenge Shield. Jim Scullion died in 1981.
Sam COWAN 1937-1938
Appointed Manager:August 1937
Resigned: May 1938
First Game: 28.8.38 v Ashton National home L 1-2
Last Game: 14.5.38 v Ashton National (Manchester Shield Final) @ Hurst Cross W 2-1
Games in charge: 49 Won 23 Drawn 9 Lost 17
Born in Chesterfield 10th May 1901 Samuel Cowan arrived at Manchester City in December 1924 from Doncaster Rovers. Quickly he established a reputation for his heading ability. Matt Busby, who played with Cowan throughout the early 1930s remembered: "He could head a ball as far as most of us could kick it." The legendary Dixie Dean, who many would argue was the greatest header of the ball of all time, was also a great fan and aerial duels between City and Everton always became Cowan v Dean. In addition to the three Wembley FA Cup Final appearances, Cowan won a Second Division Championship medal, and earned three English international appearances (France, Belgium and Austria) between 1926 and 1931. He also appeared for the Football League and in an England trial match (The Rest v England 1931).
After a total of 407 League and Cup matches and 24 goals, he was transferred to Bradford City for a fee of £2,000 (Bradford's second highest at that time) but, in the summer of 1937 Cowan was appointed player-manager at Mossley. He brought in centre forward David 'Dai' James (later transferred to Chelsea) from Leeds United and James responded with 42 goals (including six in one game). Cowan led Mossley to a highly respectable 7th place in the then powerful Cheshire League and also to 2-1 Manchester Challenge Shield Final win over Ashton National at Hurst Cross.
He made several other crucial signings for the Lilywhites, not least inside forward Harry Brierley from Rochdale who scored 20 goals, former Manchester City favourite Dick Threlfall, former Sunderland wing half Arthur Welsby and ex Wrexham and Oldham Athletic goalkeeper Bob Foster. Cowan made 39 appearances for Mossley scoring one goal. At the end of the season Cowan resigned to become Brighton & Hove Albion's trainer. He then accepted the Manchester City manager's job in 1946.
Despite his many strengths, the appointment was not a long one. He guided the Blues to promotion, but found it difficult to concentrate at Maine Road. he wanted to continue his life in Brighton and he resigned in June 1947. He then set up a lucrative physiotherapy business in Hove and worked with Sussex C.C.C. and Brighton Ice Hockey Club.
Later he became masseur to the M.C.C. for their 1962 Australian tour. Sam Cowan collapsed on 5th October 1964 while refereeing a charity match in aid of Sussex wicketkeeper Jim Parks. It was a big showbiz affair with celebrities such as Tommy Steele taking part. Cowan, aged 62, died in the dressing room. Former Manchester City and England centre half Sam Cowan was a household name and a great appointment for Mossley. He led the team to 7th place in the Cheshire League and won the Manchester Shield against old rivals Ashton National. He unfortunately resigned to take a job at Brrighton & Hove Albion at the end of an exciting season.
Sam Cowan died in Haywards Heath 4th October 1964.
Robbie BRUCE 1938-1939
Appointed Manager: August 1938
Not Retained: May 1939
First Game: 27.8.38 v Witton Albion away D 1-1
Last Game: 6.5.39 v Hurst (M/cr Shield Final) @ National Park L 2-3
Games in charge: 47 Won 16 Drawn 12 Lost 19
Robert 'Bobbie' Bruce was born in Paisley, Scotland on 29th January 1906. and played for St Anthony's Glasgow before signing for Aberdeen in the 1924 close season. Bruce who stood only 5'6" tall was equally at home at centre or inside forward and proved an elusive opponent who could pass the ball accurately, even when running at top speed.
Despite his youth Bruce quickly became a regular Dons first teamer. He toured South Africa with Aberdeen in 1927 and just before joining Middlesbrough for £4,500 in January 1928, he created history by becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in a Scottish Cup tie and still finish on the lsoing side. He made his Middlesbrough debut in a 5-2 defeat at Bolton and was a member of the Middlesbroughside which won the Second Division championship the following season.
He was capped for Scotland against Austria in November 1933. After seven saesons on Teeside duriing which he made 253 League and Cup appearances he was transferred to Sheffield Wednesday in October 1935 for £2,500. He made only five League appearances for the Owls before signing for the then non-league Ipswich Town in July 1936 and in the summer of 1938 he joined Mossley as Player-Manager as replacement for Sammy Cowan. He spent one season with Mossley making 16 appearances but wasn't retained for the following season after Mossley finished in 12th position in the Cheshire League even with the prolific Jack Roscoe at centre forward.
James LEAVER 1939-1940
Appointed Manager: August 1939 WWII ended football for Mossley: May 1940
First Game: 26.8.39 v Stockport County Reserves home W 2-1
Last Game: 27.4.40 v Macclesfield away W 4-3
Games in charge: 30 Won 8 Drawn 8 Lost 14
Born on 26th December 1898 in Blackburn. Former Blackpool and Watford player James 'Jim' Leaver signed for Mossley as a player in August 1928 and was immediately appointed club captain.
He went on to make 141 appearances, scoring 6 goals from full back and wing half before departing for Stalybridge Celtic in the close season of 1932. He was appointed manager of Celtic but returned to Mossley in the same capacity in 1939 in the ill fated war-time season.
James Leaver died in 1959.
Alt JACKSON 1945 - 1947
Appointed Manager: August 1945
Resigned: May 1947
First Game: 25.8.45 v Oldham Athletic Reserves home L 1-4
Last Game: 24.5.47 v Rhyl away L 1-6
Games in charge: 94 Won 33 Drawn 15 Lost 46
Albert 'Alt' Jackson was football mad. He was a Mossley supporter from being a child and he joined the committee as a teenager after playing a few games for Mossley Juniors prior to 1909. Apparently injury had prevented him from taking his playing career further . He was assistant secretary to club founder James Howarth and became Club Secretary following the end of the Great War in 1918.
He was Secretary until February 1923 when the entire committee resigned en bloc after a row with the Supporters Club but returned to the helm in 1927 after Mr Howarth's health forced his resignation. Jackson gradually had more connection with team affairs and trainers Bob Brittland, Albert Onions and later J.C.Stanley were answerable to him.
He stood down again in May 1930 but by November had returned after his replacement Harry Heginbottom had failed to work out but resigned in April 1932 to become manager of the then powerful Ashton National. Following World War II Alt Jackson returned to Seel Park as Manager/Secretary but reverted to secretary in 1947 following the appointment of ex Stalybridge Celtic manager Joe Barlow. Alt Jackson departed from Mossley AFC to be replaced as Secretary by Robbie Buckley in May 1948.
Joe BARLOW 1947 - 1948
Appointed Manager: August 1947
Resigned: April 1948
First Game: 23.8.47 v Hyde United home W 1-0
Last Game: 24.4.48 v Runcorn away L 1-4
Games in charge: 51 Won 18 Drawn 6 Lost 27
When Alt Jackson returned to purely secretarial duties in the summer of 1947 Mossley appointed former Droylsden United and Hurst manager Joseph Barlow, who after just one season in charge of the team was not retained for the following term as he moved on to manage Blackpool's 'A' team and later managed , Droylsden, Stalybridge Celtic and Darwen.
As a player Barlow played for Hyde United, Hurst and the Army Royal Engineers.
Len BUTT 1948 - 1950
Appointed Manager: August 1948
Resigned: May 1950
First Game: 21.8.48 v Congleton Town home D 2-2
Last Game: 6.5.50 v Macclesfield away L 0-5
Games in charge: 111 Won 47 Drawn 28 Lost 36
Leonard Butt was born on 26th August 1910 in Wilmslow and began his playing career with Ashton National before joining Stockport County in 1928. Her made just 8 appearances scoring one goal for County before joining Macclesfield in 1931. He was picked up by Huddersfield Town in May 1935 and made 67 appearances for them scoring 11 goals in two seasons.
Butt then signed for Blackburn Rovers and in spells both sides of the War made 110 appearances scoring 44 goals. Then followed shorter spells with York City - 25 appearances 2 goals, and Mansfield Town 15 appearances 4 goals. Butt joined Mossley as Player-Manager in the summer of 1948 and embarked on Mossley's best spell for many years. Mossley finished 5th in the Cheshire League in 1948-49 and Butt made 50 appearances scoring 23 goals.
He was second top scorer behind former Stalybridge Celtic centre forward Jimmy Thorpe who scored a remarkable 30 goals in just 28 appearances in the 1949-50 season and he led Mossley to victory in both the Manchester Junior Cup (2-1 over Goslings at Hurst Cross) and the Ashton Challenge Cup (1-0 over Hyde United). The following season Butt led his team through the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup to the 2nd Round Proper beating Ashton United, Altrincham, Northwich Victoria, Buxton, Droylsden United, Runcorn and Witton Albion in an epic run. It was ended in a replay by Southern League giants Nuneaton Borough but Mossley had won many friends on the way. Butt made 37 appearances that season scoring 10 goals but resigned at the end of the season. He later managed his home town club Macclesfield.
Len Butt passed away in Macclesfield on 16th June 1994 age 83 after a series of strokes.
Alan FLETCHER 1950 - 1951
Appointed Manager: August 1950
Not Retained: May 1951
First Game: 23.8.50 v Winsford United away L 1-2
Last Game: 11.5.51 v Lanacshire Steel (M/cr Shield Final) away L 1-2
Games in charge: 48 Won 12 Drawn 6 Lost 30
Alan Frederick Fletcher was born in Pendleton on 28th October 1917. An inside forward he signed for Blackpool in January 1937 but failed to make their Football League side. He then moved to Bournemouth where he made 12 appearances in the 1938-39 season.
He joined Bristol Rovers in 1939 but the War intervened and following the cessation of hostilities he signed for Crewe Alexandra in September 1947. He made just one first team appearance for Crewe early in the 1947-48 season before joining Mossley as player-coach under Len Butt. He made 54 appearances for Mossley that season scoring 3 goals before taking up a coaching post with Sligo Rovers in Ireland.
Fletcher returned to Mossley as Player-Manager for the 1950-51 season and made 43 appearances scoring one goal but it was a poor season for the Lilywhites and they finished just three places from the bottom of the Cheshire League and also went down to a shock defeat in the Manchester Challenge Shield Final losing 2-1 to Lancashire Steel. Alan Fletcher passed away in Leigh in 1984 aged 67.
Jack BOOTHWAY 1951 - 1955
Appointed Manager: August 1951
Resigned: May 1955
First Game: 18.8.51 v Wellington Town away L 0-3
Last Game: 9.5.55 v Hyde United (Manchester Shield) away L 5-7
Games in charge: 210 Won 76 Drawn 32 Lost 102
John Boothway was born 4th February 1919 in Manchester. A rugged all action centre forward he was spotted by Mossley playing for amateur sides Rusholme and Sedgeley Park and in 1938 was invited to Seel Park for a trial by manager Robbie Bruce. He did well and impressed making 8 appearances scoring 4 goals in the 1938-39 season.
The following season was interrupted by the War but Boothway still managed to score 22 goals in just 21 appearances. During the War Boothway had a spell with Manchester City having signed for them in July 1941 but he moved to Crewe Alexandra and scored 5 goals in 11 appearances for them at the beginning of the 1946-47 season.
He was transferred to Wrexham and in three seasons at the Racecourse Ground he netted 55 goals in 95 appearances. In February 1951 Boothway returned to Mossley and helped to lift the side off the bottom of the League with 14 goals in only 16 appearances and following Alan Fletcher's departure in May 1951 Boothway was appointed Player-Manager. Mossley had a much improved first season under Boothway finishing 7th in the Cheshire League and winning the Ashton Challenge Cup with Boothway himself scoring the winner in the final against Ashton United. He made 45 appearances that season scoring 30 goals.
The form of the previous season wasn't maintained and Mossley finished 18th in season 1952-53 with Boothway scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances a season that also saw Boothway hang up his boots at 34 years old and concentrate on managing the team. The 1953-54 season saw Mossley reach the last qualifying round of the FA Cup unluckily losing to Rhyl in a replay but they did win the Ashton Challenge Cup again beating Stalybridge Celtic 2-0 in the final at Hyde United's ground but League form was again poor and following another unimpressive showing in the 1954-55 season
Boothway departed from Seel Park for the last time. He managed Northwich Victoria between 1955 and 1957, and Runcorn between 1961 and 1971 winning the Cheshire League championship in 1963.
Jack Boothway died on 7th April 1979 aged just 60.
Les BARDSLEY 1956
Appointed Manager: August 1956
Resigned: September 1956
First Game: 18.8.56 v Crewe Alexandra Reserves home W 7-1
Last Game: 5.9.56 v Witton Albion away L 0-3
Games in charge: 6 Won 2 Drawn 2 Lost 2
Les Bardsley was born in Stockport on 18th August 1925. He signed for Manchester City as a junior in January 1945 and then had a spell with Linfield in Ireland before a £200 transfer fee took him to Bury in April 1948. He made 200 appearances in six seasons at Bury as a wing half before moving to Barrow where he made 21 appearances in the 1955-56 season. He was appointed Player-Manager of Mossley in the summer of 1956 after Mossley had run without a manager in the 1955-56 season. Unfortunately for Mossley he stayed for just six games before the lure of a job as assistant coach at Bristol City left Mossley disappointed and manager-less.
He became a chartered physiotherapist in Bristol in fact the Bardsley Physiotherapy Clinic he established in 1960 is still in existence. LES BARDSLEY MCSP SRP. Quite simply a legend in Sports Therapy. Les finished his distinguished professional football career with Manchester City and Bury in 1954 and following his training as a Chartered Physiotherapist took up the post of Physiotherapist to Bristol City Football Club in 1956, a post he held until 1981.
A pioneer in his field, he established an International reputation in the treatment of sporting injury. During his forty two year career as a Physiotherapist, he successfully treated many thousands of Bristol people. After his retirement, he acted as non-practising consultant to the Clinic.
Les Bardsley died in Bristol on 30th January 2012 aged 86 following a short illness.
Frank MITCHESON 1956
Appointed Caretaker Manager: September 1956
Returned to playing capacity: October 1956
First Game: 8.9.56 v Rossendale United (FA Cup Pr) away W 1-0
Last Game: 20.9.56 v Horwich RMI (FA Cup 3Q) away L 0-1
Games in charge: 11 Won 6 Drawn 4 Lost 1
Born on 10th March 1924. Francis 'Frank' Mitcheson was a former Doncaster Rovers (22-5), Crewe Alexandra (181-34) and Rochdale (50-8) inside forward signed from Stalybridge Celtic making 31 Mossley appearances and scoring 6 goals in the 1956/57 season.
He reluctantly had a spell as Caretaker manager following Les Bardsley's sudden resignation agreeing to take charge until Mossley lost a game which they finally did having been unbeaten in 10 games under his leadership. He handed over the reins to the Ken Brierley in late October 1956 and reverted to a purely playing capacity.
Frank Mittcheson died in 1981.
Ken BRIERLEY 1956 - 1957
Appointed Manager: October 1957
Not Retained: March 1957
First Game: 27.10.56 v Buxton (League Cup) away L 0-2
Last Game: 9.3.57 v Winsford United Away L 1-4
Games in charge: 23 Won 4 Drawn 6 Lost 13
Born Ashton-under-Lyne on 3rd April 1926 Skilful left-winger Ken Brierley had played over 50 League matches for Oldham in Third Division North before signing for League champions Liverpool in February 1948. He appeared in 10 of the last 11 matches of the 1947/48 season and notched his first goal for the club as Everton were beaten 4-0 at Anfield on 21st April 1948. Brierley never really established himself in the Liverpool team and the highest number of League appearances he made in a season was 13, in 1948/49.
He returned to his former club Oldham in March 1953. He made a total of 125 appearances for Oldham and scored 10 goals and for Liverpool a total of 58 appearances scoring 8 goals. A spell with Stalybridge Celtic followed before he joined his local club Mossley in August 1956, going on to make 78 appearances for the Lilywhites in two seasons scoring 10 goals.
Following Frank Mitcheson's decision to step aside he had a spell in charge of the team which lasted from late October 1956 to early March 1957. The team won only 4 of 23 games in that period before he was replaced by the experienced Pat Murphy but remained at the club as a player through the following season. He was the brother of local Labour politician and one time Mossley Committee member, the late Geoff Brierley.
Ken Brierley passed away in 2004.
Pat MURPHY 1957
Appointed Manager: March 1957
Not Retained: May 1957
First Game: 16.3.57 v Ellesmere Port Town away L 1-3
Last Game: 22.4.57 v Hyde United home D 1-1
Games in charge: 9 Won 1 Drawn 4 Lost 4
North Easterner Pat Murphy was a much travelled former Blyth Spartans and Middlesbrough wing half who had managerial experience with Scunthorpe United, Llanelli and Eastbourne United. He had also managed the Combined Services team and German side Eimsbuttler-Hamburg.
He was appointed Mossley manager in March 1957 but it was to be short lived as he wasn't retained for the following season and was in charge for just nine games at the end of the 1956-57 season.
In 1959 he had a one year spell as manager of Wigan Athletic..
Eddie QUIGLEY 1957 - 1962
Appointed Manager: August 1957
Not Retained: May 1962
First Game: 24.8.57 v Altrincham away L 1-4
Last Game: 3.5.62 v Ashton United (Ashton Challenge Cup Final 2nd leg) home W 3-0
Games in charge: 241 Won 98 Drawn 37 Lost 106
Born in Bury on 13 July 1921, Eddie Quigley joined his home town club as a full-back in 1941, but through necessity was converted to an attacker. Although on his debut as a centre-forward he scored five goals, his best position turned out to be inside-forward, where he was able to control the attack, lying deep and having the ability to split defences with inch perfect long passes.
In October 1947 he joined Sheffield Wednesday for £12,000 and he scored 50 goals in 76 League appearances at Hillsborough. In December 1949, Preston North End paid a British record transfer fee of £26,500 for him. Quigley found goal-scoring at North End more difficult, but while at Preston he won a Second Division championship medal and represented England 'B' twice against Holland and Italy.
A two-year spell at Deepdale ended when a struggling Blackburn Rovers paid £20,000 for his services. In his five years at Ewood Park, he netted a remarkable 92 goals in only 159 appearances, but with the club failing repeatedly to win promotion, the presence of ageing players was used as a possible cause.
As Quigley was 35, it was a surprise when he was placed on the transfer list at £2,500. After the Football League reduced the fee to £l,000, he re-signed for Bury in August 1956 where he only made ten League appearances before retiring from League football at the end of the 1956-57 season with a Football League career record of 180 goals from 337 appearances. He joined Mossley as Player-Manager in the summer of 1957. It was Quigley's first attempt at football management and his first season couldn't really have been worse. Mossley finished bottom of the Cheshire League winning only seven out of 42 games. Quigley himself scored 10 goals in 44 games.
The following season 1958-59 saw Mossley climb to 15th position and Quigley netted 19 goals in 42 appearances and the side also reached the final of the Manchester Intermediate Cup. Quigley scored twice but Ashton United netted six and Mossley lost. The 1959-60 season saw Quigley's side climb to 8th place and the now veteran inside forward netted 10 goals in 41 appearances.
Season 1960-61 saw Mossley's best performance since the War, finishing 4th in the Cheshire League and winning the League Cup beating a strong Tranmere Reserve side 6-3 in the final at Hyde United's ground. Quigley scored 9 goals in 29 appearances. Quigley's last season at Seel Park came the following term as Mossley finished in 8th place and won the old Ashton Challenge Cup for the last time beating Ashton United 5-1 on aggregate in the final. Quigley made 31 appearances scoring seven goals and retired from playing age 41.
Quigley then returned to Bury yet again, as youth team coach, demonstrating his talents by unearthing, amongst others, Colin Bell and Alec Lindsay. Although Bert Trautmann had been appointed Stockport County's ‘administrative manager' from October 1964 and continued to be ‘general manager' until 1966, in October 1965, following the departure of Trevor Porteous, Quigley was offered his chance to manage a League club. Over a 12-month period at Edgeley Park, Quigley put together a side that would end up Fourth Division champions, success being based upon his signings of the vastly experienced central defenders Matt Woods and Eddie Stuart. In October 1966, he was offered the assistant manager's job at Blackburn, and when Rovers manager, Jack Marshall, left in February 1967 Quigley took over.
Other than in that season, Rovers hardly threatened to make a serious promotion challenge and, in October 1970, with the Ewood club heading for relegation to the Third Division for the first time in their illustrious history, Quigley moved sideways to become general/administrative manager, but was sacked a little over six months later. In May 1976, he returned to Edgeley Park and, for a short time. it looked as if he could repeat his success of ten years earlier. County won five of their first six matches and were in third position at Christmas before an appalling run saw them slump to a miserable 14th place and before the season had finished he was sacked. In 1979 he went back to Blackburn Rovers as chief scout but following Bobby Saxton's appointment as manager in May 1981, Eddie Quigley was again dismissed before moving to Blackpool in a similar capacity.
Eddie Quigley died in Blackpool in 1997 age 76.
Don WILSON 1963 - 1972
Appointed Manager: July 1963
Resigned: November 1972
First Game: 24.8.63 v Winsford United home L 2-3
Last Game: 18.11.72 v Netherfield away L 1-2
Games in charge: 487 Won 214 Drawn 101 Lost 172
Donald Wilson was born in Heywood, Bury on 4th June 1930 and signed professional for his home town club in May 1951 this after he had begun to show talent with a football while he was at school and went on to play with Manchester United Colts from 13 to the age of 18, when he joined the RAF.
When his national service was over, he was soon back on the soccer pitch – this time as a professional wing half with Bury FC. He played for the Shakers for nine years, before taking the brave decision to train for teaching. A clever yet tough wing half Wilson went on to make 63 first team appearances for the Shakers between 1952 and 1959.
He joined Mossley under Eddie Quigley in August 1962. Quigley resigned in November 1962 and Wilson was put in charge of the team but not team selection through to the end of the season. In August 1962 he was appointed player-manager of Mossley and became the Lilywhites longest serving manager remaining until November 1972. He rebuilt Quigley's ageing team with the 1966 signing of inside forward Lennie Dickenson being his master-stroke. Wilson's occupation as a Heywood schoolteacher gave him a methodical approach to his team and after a couple of hit and miss seasons Mossley started to become a force in the Cheshire County League. Wilson had all but retired from playing by the 1967-68 season and then followed Mossley's best spell for many years. From 1967 to 1970 the team got better and better and in the 1969-70 season Mossley finished as League runners up, their best position since 1920, reached the 1st round proper of the FA Cup for the first time since 1949 taking Stockport County to a replay, and reached the quarter final stage of the inaugural FA Challenge Trophy competition.
It was an exhilarating spell of the club's history with Wilson pulling the strings off the field and Dickenson on it. Twin brother strikers Bruce and Gordon Birtwistle were an absolute menace to defences whilst the half back line up of Kevin Burke, Mike Batty and Jimmy Dowthwaite was as good as any in non-league football at that time.
The successes of the late 60's weren't repeated in the early seventies but Wilson remained as manager as the Lilywhites stepped up into the Northern Premier League in August 1972. In November of the same year he tendered his resignation stating that he had led the team as far as he could. Wilson then had spells in charge at Radcliffe Borough, Stalybridge Celtic and Rossendale United before retiring from football management to concentrate on his teaching career.
He spent the whole of his 28 year teaching career at Moorclose High School in Middleton, specialising in PE and Maths. His involvement with adult education in Heywood began when he was asked to run keep fit classes at the former Bamford Road gym. Interest mushroomed and Mr Wilson was asked to develop a wide-ranging further education programme for Heywood . He was the town's adult education principal from 1970 until his retirement in 1988. He was a member of the professional business club Probus in Heywood and was its president in 2000. He was a keen golfer and was a member of the Manchester Golf Club at Slattocks.
Don Wilson sadly died on 11th October 2003 after a long illness. Obituary
George SIEVWRIGHT 1972 - 1974
Appointed Manager: November 1972
Sacked: January 1974
First Game: 20.11.72 v Witton Albion (NW Floodlit Cup) home D 1-1
Last Game: 27.1.74 v Fleetwood away L 0-3
Games in charge: 82 Won 29 Drawn 19 Lost 34
The delightfully named George Edgar Smollett Sievwright was born in Broughty Ferry, Scotland on 10th September 1937 and signed for Dundee United from his local junior club Broughty Ferry Athletic in 1957.
A physical combative hard as nails wing half, he was signed by Oldham Athletic for a £500 fee in the summer of 1963 and made 37 appearances for the Latics scoring 4 goals in the 1963-64 season. At the end of that season he was released to join Tranmere Rovers but spent the year playing for their reserve side in the Cheshire League.
He then moved to Rochdale where he was able to get back into League football making 32 appearances scoring 1 goal in the 1965-66 season. Sievwright then spent the next six years with Macclesfield Town and played for them firstly in the Cheshire League and then the Northern Premier League also appearing in the inaugural 1970 FA Trophy final gaining a winners medal as Macc beat Telford United at Wembley Stadium.
Following Don Wilson's resignation as Mossley manager in November 1972 Sievwright applied for the position and became a shock appointment as everyone outside of the boardroom believed that midfield maestro Lennie Dickenson would get the job. Dickenson left the club as a result and the Saddleworth based Sievwright spent the next few months dismantling Wilson's team and replacing them with an odd-ball assortment of failed ex League club apprentices and unsuccessful local non-league players.
After having just two managers in the previous fifteen years Sievwright's stay was to be comparatively short and he was dismissed to cheers of relief from the fans following a 3-0 defeat at Fleetwood on 27th January 1974. He had been appointed as a player manager but in 14 months in charge he made only 2 appearances in the team.
Sievwright had a later equally unsuccessful spell in charge at Stalybridge Celtic.
Bob MURPHY 1974 - 1976, 1978 - 1983, 1992 - 1993
Appointed Manager: January 1974
Sacked : November 1976
Appointed Manager: January 1978
Resigned: December 1983
Appointed Manager: Dec 1992
Retired: May 1993
First Game: 2.2.74 v Lancaster City home W 2-1
Last Game: 1.5.93 v Leek Town away D 3-3
Games in charge: 534 Won 276 Drawn 112 Lost 146
Robert Murphy was born in Moston, Manchester on 29th April 1932. His football playing career was short lived, playing while in the army for Stadt Verden while stationed in Germany. He later played for Mather & Platt and St. Dunston's Parish in the Manchester Amateur League but a series of injuries was to curtail his career and for some years his interest in football.
In the late 1960's Bob Murphy's brother Ged was running the Newton Heath Working Mens Club Sunday team and Bob was talked into joining him. A young winger who had been with Bradord Park Avenue, Alan Brown, was playing for the WMC and Bob recommended him to the then Mossley trainer Eric Mathews.
Following a call from Mossley manager Don Wilson, Brown was signed and Murphy was asked to become a scout for Mossley. He duly accepted. When Wilson resigned in November 1972 Murphy was promoted to Assistant Manager under new boss George Sievwright, and when the Scotsman was sacked in January 1974 Murphy was appointed Caretaker-Manager, a post he held until the end of the season when he was offered the job on a permanent basis.
The 1974-75 season saw Mossley in great form, they finally finished 6th in the League and reached the 3rd round proper of the FA Trophy before losing unluckily at Burton Albion, won the Reporter Cup beating Stalybridge Celtic 6-4 on aggregate in the final.
The £100 signing of striker Dave Moore had a great influence on the team and the arrival the following January of Leo Skeete from Rochdale was the coup-de'tat. Murphy's team finished 9th in the 1975-76 season and reached the final of the Northern Premier League Cup for the first time losing to Boston United in a two legged final.
The 1976-77 season started well enough but the team ran into trouble by November and following a 5-2 home defeat by Goole Town on 13th November Murphy was dismissed. Spells with Stalybridge Celtic and Northwich Victoria followed and Vics were top of the League when Murphy was invited back to Seel Park in January 1978 following Dick Bate's dismissal.
What followed was the greatest spell in Mossley's history. Manager of the Month awards became commonplace for Murphy as his side marched to the NPL title in 1978-79 scoring an amazing 117 League goals and winning the League Cup against Murphy's former club Northwich in the final at Maine Road into the bargain. If that wasn't enough what followed was even more amazing.
The 1979-80 season saw Murphy's team retain the NPL title with a dramatic 31 match unbeaten run in League and FA Trophy which saw the Lilywhites once more crowned champions and Murphy's greatest moment as he led his team out at Wembley for the 1980 Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium. Mossley lost the final of course but Bob Murphy was a hero anyway and the song 'We're on the march with Murphy's army' echoed around the town as Murphy and his team were given a heroes welcome on their return home.
The 1980-81 season saw Mossley go out of the Trophy at the quarter final stage and finish runners up in the League but Murphy's guile caused an FA Cup upset as Crewe Alexandra were beaten in 1st Round at Seel Park.
The following season 1981-82 saw Mossley again as runners up in the League and again reaching the final of the NPL Cup, this time losing by the only goal to Gainsborough Trinity at Maine Road. Then in Murphy's last full season in charge the Lilywhites finished League runners up for the third successive season and were unlucky to lose an FA Cup tie at mighty Huddersfield Town.
Things turned sour for Murphy in the 1983-84 season as early in the season the wage bill was slashed as the club experienced financial difficulties and unrest amongst the players finally saw Murphy depart from Seel Park following a 4-2 defeat at Southport on 3rd December 1983.
The following January Murphy became Manager of Southport and stayed there until December 1984. He spent the remainder of that season at Barrow and following term he was back in management again this time with Buxton and he was to stay there for seven years up until October 1992 when he decided to retire from football management.
However, when Mossley found themselves bottom of the NPL and with a very poor team Murphy came back to attempt to save them from relegation in December 1992. An almighty effort to save a desperate situation ensued but despite Murphy's best efforts the team was relegated from the top flight of the Northern Premier League and Murphy left Management for the last time.
His involvement with Mossley wasn't finished though and he attempted to help later managers Steve Taylor and Roy Soule but he was invited to become a scout for Leeds United under Howard Wilkinson's chief scout Geoff Sleight and then former Chelsea and Wigan boss Ian McNeil.
He was tempted away from Leeds by an offer to scout for Oldham Athletic and held that post for several seasons.
When Mossley again found themselves manager-less in the 2001-02 season Bob again stepped into the breach and acted as caretaker manager for two games prior to the appointment of Ally Pickering.
He was popularly appointed Club President of Mossley AFC following the passing of his predecessor Jim Wharmby in 2003.
Bob Murphy sadly passed away in Blackley, Manchester on Wednesday 17th February 2016.
1976 - 1976
Appointed Caretaker Manager: November 1976
Reverted to playing capacity: December 1977
First Game: 15.11.76 v Macclesfield Town (NW Floodlit League) home W 3-1
Last Game: 6.12.76 v Leek Town (NW Floodlit League) home W 2-1
Games in charge: 6 Won 4 Drawn 1 Lost 1
Born in Barnsley on on 20th June 1943. Geoffrey "Geoff" Sleight joined Bolton Wanderers after leaving school and was thrust into the first team spotlight almost immediately by then Bolton manager Bill Ridding and made his debut against Manchester City in September 1961.
During his time with the club he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Nat Lofthouse, Eddie Hopkinson, Doug Holden, Bryan Edwards and Francis Lee. Sadly, after just three first team games in the Outside Left position and in the shadow of England international Brian Pilkington he was told there was no long term future for him at Burnden Park and he was released in 1963. He went on to play for Wigan Athletic then still in the Cheshire League, making 16 appearances in the 1963/64 season.
Sleight then went to Asutralia and signed for the Prague club in Sydney and won representative honours, firstly in 1965 when he played for Sydney XI vs Hapoel Tel-Aviv. On the back of his performances in Australia he was invited to represent the Australian National team and made two appearances in World Cup qualifiers against North Korea and Cambodia.
Returning to England in 1967 Sleight returned to Cheshire League football and joined Stalybridge Celtic before moving on to Buxton where he made 174 appearances. Bob Murphy brought Sleight to Mossley in August 1974 and he made his Mossley debut on the left side of midfield in a 0-0 draw at Scarborough on 17th August 1974 playing in all bar one of Mossley’s 75 competitive games that season. Mostly employed at left back in the following seasons Sleight proved to be a very consistent and popular player at Mossley as he went on to make 148 appearances, scoring 10 goals for the Lilywhites.
When Bob Murphy’s first spell as Mossley manager ended in November 1976, Sleight took over as Caretaker-Manager and took charge of six games which saw Mossley win 4, draw 1 and lose 1. He was overlooked for the manager’s job which went to fellow Yorkshire man Howard Wilkinson and Sleight departed to play for Droylsden after just four games of Wilkinson’s reign. Sleight briefly returned to Mossley in September 1978 but made just 2 further appearances again under Bob Murphy. He was then appointed as player-manager of Frickley Athletic, and guided the team to promotion to the Football Conference in 1980. He then later had a spell as manager of Goole Town.
Sleight was later reunited with Howard Wilkinson as he was appointed as chief scout for Leeds United between 1993 and 1996.
Howard WILKINSON 1976 - 1977
Appointed Manager: December 1976
Resigned: May 1977
First Game: 18.12.76 v Chorley (FA Trophy) away D 0-0
Last Game:18.5.77 v WItton Albion (NW Floodlit Cup Final 2nd leg) home L0-4
Games in charge: 31 Won 17 Drawn 7 Lost 7
Born in Sheffield on 13th November 1943 former England Youth International Howard Wilkinson had a fairly ordinary playing record, he made only 22 appearances in his time at Sheffield Wednesday but after his transfer to Brighton he clocked up 116 appearances with the south coast club.
His managerial career started at Boston United as player-manager, and during this time he gained a degree in physical education at Sheffield University. He also spent time during this period teaching at Abbeydale School in Sheffield and led Boston to two successive Northern Premier League titles.
In December 1976 he was enticed away from Boston to join Mossley as Player-Manager and helped the Lilywhites climb the Northern Premier League table to finish 9th being unbeaten in 19 successive games in the bargain. The side also won the Manchester Senior Cup beating Droylsden 12-3 on aggregate in the final. Wilkinson made 30 appearances for Mossley scoring just one goal.
He left Mossley at the end of the season but not before taking the unprecedented step of appointing his own successor at Seel Park, the now England under 15's manager Dick Bate. Wilkinson was appointed FA regional director of coaching for the North East before being tempted back into the pro game by Notts County.
He managed England' s semi-professional team and in 1982 he became the coach for the England Under-21 team. At Notts County he started as assistant-manager to Jimmy Sirrel, although his role was effectively that of manager. He managed Notts County in the middle of three seasons they spent in the First Division during the early eighties and achieved 15th place in the table on very low gates.
He moved to Sheffield Wednesday in the 1983 close-season and in 1983-84 took Wednesday back to the First Division in his first season. Wednesday were close to winning the Second Division championship, but it was Chelsea who eventually took the title which went to the last game of a thrilling season. His Wednesday team became formidable First Division opponents and the first season back 1984-85 included memorable league victories at both Anfield and Old Trafford.
The following season 1985-86 Wednesday finished 5th in the league and had it not been for the appalling scenes at the Heysel stadium, which led to a ban on English clubs, Wednesday would have played in Europe. In 1986-87 & 1987-88, they finished in a mid-table position in the First Division and it was two months into the 1988-89 season when he left the club to manage Leeds United. It' s a great credit to Wilkinson that the performance of his teams always seemed to exceed the sum of their individual abilities.
During his time as manager, the Wednesday board were reluctant to speculate too heavily in the transfer market and the club' s wages structure proved a deterrent to some players who might otherwise have joined the club. It remains a matter of debate, that if Wilkinson had been given the kind of budget that was later afforded to Atkinson and Francis, he might have enjoyed the success he eventually had at Leeds.
On his arrival at Elland Road, he improved the fitness and discipline of the existing players and staved off relegation to Division 3 in his first season, but with the inspired signing of Gordon Strachan, and the arrival of defensive solidity in the shape of Chris Fairclough and Mel Sterland, Leeds looked set to make a promotion push. The escape bid got a major shot in the arm with the biggest surprise signing of all - Vinnie Jones! Leeds went top before Christmas, Lee Chapman's arrival brought more goals, and the title was sealed in the last game of the season.
1991-92 saw Wilkinson get the better of Alex Ferguson in a season-long tussle for the title, and things were looking bright for the following season. Wilkinson always said that the title arrived a year too early. Leeds failed to capitalise on the position, money (admittedly peanuts by today's standards) and opportunity to make the big signings that were needed as injuries, age and lack of squad depth were reflected in the results. Cantona stomped off over the Pennines, Rangers knocked Leeds out of the Champions Cup, and Leeds failed to win a single away League game all season.
Wilkinson went back to the drawing board and started to rebuild the side managing to qualify for the UEFA Cup in 1994-95, and reaching the final of the Coca-Cola Cup the following year. A Wembley final is the peak of many managers' careers - but this one ended with the Leeds fans screaming for Wilkinson to go after a very disappointing performance.
The club was taken over in the close season, and after giving Wilkinson a chance to sign some players and seeing him make a decent start to the season, the board realised that they needed some sort of excuse to ease him out and bring in their crony George Graham. A 4-0 home defeat by Manchester United provided the pretext, and Wilkinson was shown the door.
He went on to become FA Technical Director, managing the U-21 side and taking charge of the national side first after the departure of Glenn Hoddle and then following Kevin Keegan‘s resignation.
He returned to Premiership football as a surprise choice as Sunderland manager in the 2002-03 season but his reign was short lived!
Wilkinson briefly returned to management in March 2004, taking charge of Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on a short term contract, but left two months later due to personal reasons.
In October 2004, he was temporarily appointed as first team coach of Leicester City, following the departures of manager Micky Adams and coach Alan Cork. Wilkinson returned to Notts County in December 2004 where he became a non-executive director. He held a coaching role as technical director from June 2006 until September 2007 when he left the club altogether.
On 9 January 2009 Wilkinson was confirmed as the new Technical Adviser of Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Also becoming the chairman of the Football League Managers Association.
1977 - 1978
Appointed Manager: July 1977
Sacked: January 1978
First Game: 20.8.77 v Macclesfield Town home W 2-1
Last Game: 2.1.78 v Frickley Athletic home D 1-1
Games in charge: 35 Won 12 Drawn 10 Lost 13
Richard Bate was a Sheffield schoolteacher and spent his early playing career with Alfreton Town before joining Boston United where he made a name for himself as an accomplished centre half under player-manager Howard Wilkinson and also took coaching badges.
When Wilkinson moved to Mossley in December 1976 Bate had already been appointed player-manager of Buxton. When Wilkinson resigned as Mossley manager the following May he recommended Bate to Mossley and he was appointed Player-Manager in June 1977. It was hoped that Bate would carry on the good work started by Wilkinson but his defensive style of play didn't suit the Mossley fans and he soon became a target of abuse.
He did however, help the team through to the first round proper of the FA Cup for only the third time in the Club's history and played in the 0-3 defeat at Rotherham United. However, his days at Mossley were numbered and he was dismissed following a 2-2 draw against Frickley on 2nd January 1978. Bate made 34 appearances for Mossley and scored 5 goals.
Bate then had a spell with Frickley Athletic before he joined Sheffield United as a youth team coach in 1978 before succeeding his mentor Howard Wilkinson as Football Association North West Regional FA, Staff Coach in 1980, a post he held until 1985 when he joined Notts County as chief coach.
In June 1987, Bate was appointed manager of Southend United by the club's chairman Vic Jobson without consulting his fellow board members. He reign lasted just ten games with a solitary victory in the Football League Cup and he departed with the worst record of any Southend manager in history.
Bate moved on to join Lincoln City as assistant manager to Colin Murphy, helping the club regain its Football League status at the end of the 1987–88 season. He moved on to rejoin Wilkinson at Leeds United acting as a coach between 1988 and 1992.
He moved to Malaysia as Technical Director, a role he held from 1992–1995, before joining the coaching staff of Hereford United.
In 1998, he became the coach of the England youth set-up working with the U16, U17, U18, U19 and U20 teams. He was caretaker manager of the England women's national football team for a match against Italy in April 1998; between the resignation of Ted Copeland and appointment of Hope Powell.
In September 2005, the appointment of Bate as the Canadian Soccer Association's Technical Director was announced with the role commencing on 14 October 2005. He held the role for ten months before resigning in order to join Watford.
In July 2006, Bate was appointed Technical Director at Watford with the Hornet's then manager Aidy Boothroyd being quoted as saying "I want Watford Football Club to have the best Academy in the world and I believe we have captured the best developer of talent in the world in the shape of Richard."
On 2 November 2012, it was confirmed that Bate was to take on the role of the Head of the youth Academy for Cardiff City, replacing the departing Neal Ardley.
More recently Bate worked with Burnley on a consultancy basis during the clubs redevelopment of the Barnfield Training Centre.
Dick bate passed away on 25th April 2018.
Appointed Caretaker Manager: January 1978
Reverted to playing capacity: January 1978
First Game: 7.1.78 v Boston United Away W 1-0
Last Game: 9.1.78 v Ashton United (Mcr Cup 1) Home L 2-3
Games in charge: 2 Won 1 Drawn 0 Lost 1
Assistant Caretaker Manager
Born in Liverpool on 3rd August 1949. Stylish 6' 3" centre forward Leopold Skeete began his football career with Burscough and then Ellesmere Port Town before signing as a professional with Rochdale in 1973. He was leading scorer for Rochdale in the 1973-74 season before a change in management at Spotland saw him left out of the side and available for loan. That loan arrangement saw Leo arrive at Seel Park in January 1975.
Leo had scored 15 goals in 40 Rochdale games. He then scored 15 goals in 18 games before the 74/75 season’s close and struck up an almost instant understanding with fellow front man Dave Moore. He was signed on a permanent basis in August 1974 and moved to live in Oldham and work for Club President Ronnie Ward’s Engineering company Weldem Ltd. In Mossley.
After scoring 20 goals in 58 appearances the following season, in 1976-77 Leo broke the Club’s post war scoring record, netting 45 goals in 60 appearances. His partnership with Moore yielding an incredible 77 goals that season. 1977/78 saw Leo win the first of two successive Mossley ‘Player of the Year’ awards while scoring 26 goals in 57 games. He also spent two games along with club trainer Bernard Keeley as Caretaker Manager immediately prior to Bob Murphy's return as Manager in January 1978.
1978-79 saw ’the dusky destroyer’ lead from the front as Mossley won the Northern Premier League and Cup double in superb style, scoring 26 goals in 53 games and was team captain as Mossley retained the League title in 1979-80 and reached Wembley in the FA Trophy. He scored 29 goals in 55 appearances that season and 19 in 42 in 1980-81.
He won representative honours with the NPL and was named in the England Semi Pro squad in 1980. The 1982-83 season was to be his last at Mossley as he scored 7 goals in 14 games before a £3,500 move to Runcorn where he again won the NPL title. He ended his playing career two seasons later with Altrincham. Leo made a total of 350 appearances for Mossley scoring 174 goals. He is second only to his former team-mate Dave Moore in Mossley’s all time scorers list.
Nowadays Leo, lives back in his native Liverpool where he is a company director and is also an Everton season ticket holder.
Appointed Manager: December 1983
Sacked: October 1984
First Game: 7.12.83 v Burton Albion Home D 1-1
Last Game: 27.10.84 v Goole Town Home L 0-1 (FA Cup 4Q)
Games in charge: 43 Won 7 Drawn 9 Lost 27
Brian Grundy was born in Atherton, Lancs on 9th May 1945. An outside-left who was just 5'5" tall, Brian was a schoolteacher who was spotted by Bury playing part-time for Wigan Athletic in a Lancashire Cup tie against the Shakers at Gigg Lane in November 1967. He scored against Bury that day and so impressed boss Les Shannon that he paid out £3,000 to take him to Gigg Lane just a week later.
Originally a part-time -professional at Bury, he signed full-time forms in January 1968 and played his part in helping the Shakers to promotion from Division Three later that season. In all he played in 94 league games for Bury over the next four seasons and scored ten goals. Perhaps like all wingers, he was lacking in consistency at times and in July 1971 joined Great Harwood from where he had spells with Bangor City, Morecambe and Winsford United before arriving at Mossley for a bargain £100 fee under Bob Murphy in March 1979.
He helped Mossley secure their first Northern Premier League title and played in the League Cup final win over Northwich Victoria at Maine Road. He was in the side as it started the following season but was released in November 1979 making his last appearance in the FA Cup defeat at York City on 24th November having made a total of 30 appearances for the Lilywhites scoring just one goal but creating many more.
He became manager of Glossop and spent the next three years at Surrey Street before returning to Seel Park as a popular choice of manager to replace the departed Bob Murphy in November 1983. Unfortunately for Grundy, who was by now landlord of a public house in Glossop, things didn't go as he hoped. Mossley were struggling financially and the team slipped down the table and finally finished bottom of the NPL and had to apply for re-election. Strangely, Mossley had won their last two games of the 83-84 season and Grundy was given another opportunity to build a contending side.
He had managed only three wins from taking over to the end of his first season as the mighty Mossley fell to earth with an almighty bump finishing in bottom place of the then one division NPL and was probably saved in his job by two of those wins coming in the last two matches.Sadly he failed - and just four wins in the opening 19 games of the 1984-85 season saw Grundy dismissed following a home FA Cup defeat by Goole Town. Brian Grundy never returned to football management and now resides in Spain.
Tony STEENSON 1984
Appointed Manager: November 1984
Not Retained: December 1984
First Game: 6.11.84 v Gainsborough Trinity away L 0-4
Last Game: 17.11.84 v Goole Town home L 0-2
Games in charge: 8 Won 3 Drawn 1 Lost 4
Anthony Steenson began his playing career with Salford Amateurs in the late 1960's signing for Mossley under Don Wilson in November 1972. Wilson resigned within a week of Steenson's arrival and he didn't settle under replacement George Sievwright and returned to Salford but re-signed in August 1973. He spent the next two seasons as an almost ever present at the hear of the Mossley defence but left in September 1975 to join Hyde United having made 133 appearances and scoring 4 goals.
Steenson returned to Mossley as assistant manager to Brian Grundy in August 1984 and following Grundy's dismissal at the end of October 1984 Steenson was appointed manager. His stay in charge was brief when he made himself unavailable to attend a home League Cup match against Goole Town that Mossley lost on 17th December 1984 and was in-gloriously sacked along with his assistant Peter Mayo two days later.
Steenson's later involvement in football consisted of arranging celebrity matches.
1984 - 1987
Appointed Manager: December 1984
Sacked : February 1987
First Game: 26.12.84 v Witton Albion home L 0-2
Last Game: 17.2.87 v Irlam Town (M/cr Premier Cup) away L 2-3
Games in charge: 125 Won 44 Drawn 40 Lost 41
James Kelly O'Connor was born in Lanark, Scotland on 27th June 1951. He began his playing career in Scottish junior football with Kirkstyles before moving south and signing professional for Bury in July 1970 as a right winger.
He made 7 appearances for Bury scoring 2 goals before injury cost him his place with the club and he was released. Having been recommended to Mossley boss Don Wilson he duly signed for Mossley in August 1972 and played in Mossley's first ever Northern Premier League game at South Liverpool. He quickly became a fixture in the side and remained so through the next two seasons making a total of 191 appearances scoring 30 goals before being transferred to Macclesfield Town in May 1975.
Following successful spells at Macclesfield and Runcorn, O'Connor played for Droylsden and cost Mossley a three figure fee when Bob Murphy re-signed him in August 1978. By now a central midfield player O'Connor became a key figure in the all conquering Mossley side of the late 70's and early 80's and remained with the club well beyond the break-up of the Wembley team. He was overlooked when he hoped to get the manager's job following Brian Grundy's departure in 1984 but following Tony Steenson's quick departure was offered his chance as Player-Manager in December 1984.
He quickly brought stability back to the club but was never going to take Mossley beyond mid-table. The team was treading water by February 1987 and following a shock Manchester Cup defeat by Irlam Town O'Connor and his assistant Paul Webb were dismissed. O'Connor is remembered more for his playing skills than his abilities as a manager and in two spells with Mossley he made an incredible 613 appearances (by far a Club record) scoring 77 goals. He had later spells as a player with Horwich RMI and Buxton and ended his career with Colwyn Bay after taking over as a pub landlord in that area.
O'Connor later became a director of League of Wales Club Rhyl.
Appointed Caretaker Manager: February 1987
Returned to playing capacity: March 1987
First Game: 21.2.87 v Marine Away L 0-1
Last Game: 9.3.87 v Droylsden Home (Lancs Floodlit Lgue) L 1-4
Games in charge: 5 Won 1 Drawn 0 Lost 4
James Connor was a commanding central defender and former Stockport County (2-0) player signed by Jimmy O'Connor from Dunedin City (New Zealand) in February 1985. He went on to be voted Mossley supporters Player of the Year in 1985/86 and 1986/87. He made 146 Mossley appearances, scoring 14 goals before he was transferred to Macclesfield Town for a £1,500 fee in October 1987.
He was briefly caretaker manager at Mossley in the 1986/87 season, being in charge five games between Jimmy O'Connor's February 1987 departure and John Sainty's March appointment. Connor later played for Witton Albion before spells as manager of Buxton and Curzon Ashton and then on to a youth coaching position with Manchester City. Jim's brother Joe Connor also played for Mossley during his time at Seel Park.
Appointed Manager: March 1987
Sacked: October 1987
First Game: 16.3.97 v Goole Town home W 2-0
Last Game: 31.10.87 v Alfreton Town (FA Trophy) away L 0-3
Games in charge: 33 Won 10 Drawn 9 Lost 14
John Albert Sainty was born in Poplar on 24th March 1946 and served his football apprenticeship with Tottenham Hotspur signing professional in July 1963. He failed to make the first team though and moved to Reading where he made 71 appearances scoring 19 goals between 1967 and 1970.
He then moved to Bournemouth for a £5,000 transfer fee where he then went on to make 118 appearances scoring 21 goals from an attacking midfield position. A transfer to Aldershot was less successful and he made just 29 appearances in two seasons. He then joined Norwich City as a coach under John Bond and went with Bond when he took over at Manchester City where he served as assistant manager.
A spell as manager of Chester City followed but he then dropped out of League football altogether and took over as manager of Glossop North End. He joined Mossley in March 1987 and turned around a struggling team. The following season didn't begin as hoped though and Sainty was sacked on 31st October 1987 after a 3-0 FA Trophy defeat at Alfreton Town.
He reappeared sometime after as assistant manager at Stockport County to former Mossley assistant boss Dave Jones at Stockport County and after a successful spell followed Jones to Southampton and was appointed Director of Coaching.
After switching to the role of Academy director at Saints, he snapped up England star Adam Lallana from AFC Bournemouth's Centre of Excellence for a fee of £10,000 at the age of 12 in September 2000.
Sainty, who now lives in Verwood, Dorset, also acted as chief scout towards the end of his five-year stint at Southampton before coaching at Lymington & New Milton and a year-long spell as head coach at Bemerton Heath Harlequins in the Wessex League.
Appointed Caretaker Manager: October 1987
Stepped down: November 1987
First Game: 20.10.87 v Barrow Away L 2-3
Last Game: 28.11.87 v Horwich RMI away L 0-1
Games in charge: 7 Won 1 Drawn 2 Lost 4
Neil Wilson had coached for John Sainty at both Chester City and Glossop and was Sainty's assistant during his time at Mossley. When Sainty in October 1987 Wilson was given the job on a Caretaker basis and he did apply to make the position permanent but Mossley instead plumped for Keith Hicks.
1987 - 1988
Appointed Manager: November 1987
Resigned: September 1988
First Game: 30.11.87 v Buxton home D 1-1
Last Game: 5.9.88 v Gateshead (Inter League Cup) home L 0-2
Games in charge: 38 Won 13 Drawn 7 Lost 18
Keith Hicks was born in Oldham on 9th August 1954. He signed associate schoolboy forms for Oldham at 15 and signed professional with his home town club in August 1972 making his League debut at 18. After just 3 appearances in his debut season he began the 1972-73 season as first choice in central defence and remained their for 242 appearances scoring 11 goals.
He was transferred to Hereford United in September 1980 and made a further 201 appearances in five seasons at Edgar Street, ending his Football League career with Rochdale where he made 32 appearances up to the end of the 1986-87 season. Hicks then signed for Hyde United but after a short spell at Hyde.
He was appointed Player-Manager of Mossley on 29th November 1987 shortly after bringing with him his long term friend and team mate Graham Bell as his assistant. A complete change in the Boardroom meant that he was suddenly working under a new chairman and it was no surprise when Hicks and Mossley parted company on 5th September 1988 just six games into his second season. He made 38 appearances for Mossley scoring 2 goals.
Appointed Caretaker Manager: September 1988
Stepped down: October 1988
First Game: 10.9.88 v Southport Away L 1-4
Last Game: 1.10.88 v Leek Town (FA Cup) Away L 0-2
Games in charge: 7 Won 2 Drawn 1 Lost 4
Graham Thomas Bell was born in Middleton, Manchester on 30th March 1955 and began his playing career with Chadderton before being signed by Oldham Athletic in December 1973.
He quickly established himself as a lively attacking midfielder with good vision and he went on to make 170 appearances scoring 9 goals. He was transferred to Preston North End in March 1979 for a £80,000 fee and he made 143 appearances for the Deepdale club before being given a free transfer in 1983. Then followed a short spell with Carlisle United before a move to Bolton Wanderers where he made 92 appearances scoring 3 goals and his Football League career ended with a 42 game spell at Tranmere Rovers in the 1986-87 season.
Like Keith Hicks he then signed for Hyde United and arrived at Mossley player-assistant manager in January 1988 being signed in exchange for Joe Connor and Walter Nisbett. A very unpopular move with the fans! When Hicks departed in September 1988 Bell was made Caretaker-Manager and applied for the job. However, form had not improved in seven games in charge but he remained as a player following the appointment of Bryan Griffiths in October 1988.
He rejoined Hicks at Hyde at the end of the 1988-89 season after winning a League Cup winners medal with Mossley and having made 83 appearances scoring 6 goals. Keith Hicks and Graham Bell both amazingly returned to Mossley as players under Les Sutton in October 1991 Hicks making 23 appearances and Bell 27 before both were released by Sutton's successor Ged Coyne in February 1992. Hicks also played for Radcliffe Borough while Bell had a spell with Horwich RMI.
1988 - 1989
Appointed Manager: October 1988
Resigned: November 1989
First Game: 3.10.88 v Horwich RMI home W 1-0
Last Game: 2.12.89 v Gateshead away L 2-4
Games in charge: 79 Won 39 Drawn 17 Lost 21
Bryan Griffiths was born in Liverpool on 21st November 1938. Known as 'Yogi' during his time at Southport for his ultra-short crewcut hairstyle, Bryan Griffiths was a bustling yet cultured left-back who had started out as a centre-forward with Bootle Schoolboys.
Never full-time - he was a draughtsman by profession - he joined Everton as an amateur in May 1954 but after two fairly disastrous Division One games he was picked up by ex-Evertonian Wally Fielding at Southport. Though Fielding left almost immediately, Griffiths embarked on a successful run of 97 consecutive league games; but at Rochdale in March 1963 he suffered a badly torn cartilage which effectively ended his career.
He stepped into management and had successful spells with Burscough, South Liverpool and Southport before arriving at Mossley in October 1988 to completely transform an ailing team. He drafted in ex Everton player Dave Jones as his assistant along with several Merseyside based players and Mossley started to climb the League finally finishing in 10th place but they then won three cups - the Northern Premier League Cup (2-1 over Fleetwood), the Manchester Premier Cup (3-1 over Flixton) and the Reporter Floodlit Cup (3-0 over Ashton United). This was followed by success in the NPL Shield at the start of the following season (2-1 at Barrow).
There was much disruption going on at Boardroom level at the time though and following the departure of the financial backers at the end of November 1989 Griffiths and his assistant Dave Jones were asked to work with a halved the wage bill and they promptly resigned. He then became manager of Morecambe and club secretary Brian Cowburn who had jumped ship with him also moved to Christie Park. Something of a non-league journeyman-manager, Griffiths, after leaving Morecambe in December 1993 had spells with Bangor City, Witton Albion, Chorley, Kendal Town, Congleton Town and Rossendale United before retiring from the game.
David Ronald Jones was born in Liverpool on 17th August 1956. He signed professional forms for Everton in May 1974 after serving his apprenticeship at Goodison Park. He went on to make 86 appearances in defence for Everton before a £250,000 transfer to Coventry City in June 1979 but he only made 3 appearances before departing for a spell in Hong Kong with Seiko FC.
Returning in August 1983 he signed for Preston North End and made 50 appearances up to the end of the 1984-85 season. He had the perfect physique and boundless enthusiasm but lacked the necessary finesse to become a top-class defender. A former captain of England youth, he was the subject of much optimism at Everton and subsequent Under-21 international honours revealed that independent judges nourished similar hopes. However, regular exposure to First Division football highlighted too many technical shortcomings. While with Mossley he made two appearances as a player.
He later became assistant to Danny Bergara at Stockport County and stepped up to manager following his departure. Later becoming manager of Southampton before problems in his personal life forced him to quit football. He returned to the game in December 2000 as manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers and then manager at Cardiff City and later Sheffield Wednesday.
1989 - 1990
Appointed Manager: December 1989
Sacked : October 1990
First Game: 5.12.89 v Witton Albion away L 1-2
Last Game: 20.10.90 v Atherstone United (FA Trophy) home L 1-3
Games in charge: 46 Won 14 Drawn 12 Lost 19
Mark Hilton was born in Middleton, Manchester on 15th January 1960. He joined Oldham as an apprentice in 1976 and signed professional in January 1978. After 50 league games in midfield for Latics he signed for Bury in July 1981 on a free transfer and was a regular throughout his first season appearing in 34 games.
He suffered a broken leg in a Lancashire Cup game in August 1982 against his former club Oldham and appeared in only two games during 1982-83, being granted a free transfer at the season's end. Hilton then made his mark in the north-west non-league scene playing for Witton Albion and Ashton United (two spells).
He signed for Mossley under Bryan Griffiths in August 1989 as a centre half and when Griffiths resigned amidst internal upheaval on 2nd December 1989 Hilton was hurriedly appointed player-manager. He brought in his brother Mike as his assistant and with the arrival of strikers Paul Bowler and Brendan Burke things started to look up for the once more financially struggling Lilywhites.
The Hilton brothers were retained for the following season but a poor run of results saw the Lilywhites struggling near the foot of the table and following a 3-1 home FA Trophy defeat by Southern Leaguers Atherstone United on 20th October 1990 Mark and Mike Hilton were dismissed. Hilton had made 50 appearances for the Lilywhites scoring 4 goals. He returned then for another spell as a player with Ashton United and then Oldham Town.
Mark Hilton returned briefly to Seel Park as a player in the 1993-94 season during Dave Denby's brief spell in charge and made a further 6 appearances scoring 1 goal.
John COOKE 1990 - 1991
Appointed Manager: October 1990
Resigned: March 1991
First Game: 6.11.90 v Bangor City (Inter League Cup) home W 2-1
Last Game: 23.3.91 v Southport away L 0-4
Games in charge: 25 Won 9 Drawn 3 Lost 13
John Cooke's playing career took him to Manchester United, Altrincham, Goole Town and Wigan Athletic. He stepped into management with Droylsden in 1977. He later had spells as assistant manager (to Brian Kidd) at Barrow, Stalybridge Celtic and Altrincham and was the reserve team boss with Preston North End.
Cooke was appointed manager of Mossley on 26th November 1990 and had a quite impressive spell in charge. Assisted by Kevin Gorman, the future looked rosy. It came as a great shock to everyone when Cooke suddenly resigned following a second successive defeat on 23rd March 1991 citing business commitments as the reason for his departure. Mossley then offered the job to Gorman again but he reluctantly turned it down again due to business commitments. Kevin Gorman was born in Manchester on 26th October 1953.
His early playing career saw him play for Bacup Borough, Horwich RMI, Barrow and Droylsden before signing for Mossley in January 1979 for a £500 fee. A gritty but skilful midfield general Gorman quickly established himself in the team and was a mainstay of the all conquering side of the late 1970's and early 1980's under Bob Murphy. He made a total of 247 appearances for Mossley scoring 32 goals before moving to play for Southport in December 1983 following Bob Murphy's resignation.
Spells with Hyde United, Buxton, Chadderton and Stalybridge Celtic followed before he returned to Mossley in the twilight of his career in December 1989 under Mark Hilton. Following Hilton's departure he was made Caretaker-Manager but his work was to prevent him from taking the job permanently, though it was offered to him.
When Gorman was put in temporary charge he brought in John Cooke to help him and it was Cooke who was to become Manager with Gorman agreeing to stay and assist as Player-Coach. In his second spell as a Mossley player Kevin Gorman made a further 51 appearances scoring 5 goals. John Cooke later became a youth coach with Manchester United. John's son Christian signed for Mossley from Macclesfield Town in August 2005.
Les SUTTON 1991 - 1992
Appointed Manager: March 1991
Sacked : January 1992
First Game: 30.3.91 v Witton Albion away L 2-3
Last Game: 18.1.92 v Stalybridge Celtic away L 0-5
Games in charge: 43 Won 17 Drawn 6 Lost 20
Les Sutton had been a solid defender throughout his playing career with Droylsden, Stalybridge Celtic and Hyde United he had also managed all of those clubs prior to his appointment as Mossley manager in April 1991 bringing in former Stockport County boss Eric Webster as his assistant.
He was in charge as Mossley then won the Manchester Premier Cup beating Droylsden 3-2 in the final at Maine Road. The following season saw Mossley in inconsistent form and following a 5-0 defeat at Stalybridge Celtic on 18th January 1992 Sutton was dismissed.
Ged Coyne who had replaced former Stalybridge Celtic, Hyde United and Stockport County manager Eric Webster as Sutton's assistant in the closed season was to replace Sutton as Mossley manager.
Appointed Manager: February 1992
Resigned: October 1992
First Game: 4.2.92 v Curzon Ashton (Manchester Premier Cup) home W 3-2
Last Game: 28.10.92 v Accrington Stanley away D 2-2
Games in charge: 34 Won 11 Drawn 6 Lost 17
Former Ashton United player Ged Coyne was appointed to replace Sutton in January 1992. Coyne, brother of well known former Manchester United and Crewe striker Peter Coyne had had a successful spell in charge at Manchester League side East Manchester before taking over the reins at Seel Park, after a spell as assistant manager to Les Sutton.
Mossley had made an average start to the 1992-93 season when Coyne resigned on 28th October. He was installed as manager of Hyde United within a week of his departure from Mossley and later managed Glossop North End and Curzon Ashton. Later resident in Australia.
Terry CURRAN 1992
Appointed Manager: November 1992
Sacked : December 1992
First Game: 7.11.93 v Trafford (M/cr Premier Cup) away L 2-5
Last Game: 8.12.93 v Emley (NPL Cup) home L 1-6
Games in charge: 7 Won 0 Drawn 0 Lost 7
Edward 'Terry' Curran was born in Hemsworth, Yorkshire on 20th March 1955. He signed for Doncaster Rovers from junior football as a highly promising winger in July 1973 and made 68 appearances scoring 11 goals before being transferred to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest for £60,000 in August 1975.
In two seasons at the City Ground he played 48 games scoring 12 goals before a £50,000 move to Derby County in November 1977. 26 games and 2 goals later he moved to Southampton for £60,000 and made 26 appearances for the Saints in the 1978-79 season.
Curran was then signed by Sheffield Wednesday in March 1979 for a £100,000 fee and made 125 appearances scoring 35 goals in three seasons. Curran was considered one of the most talented players to ever play for Wednesday but after helping them to promotion he moved on again - across the city to Sheffield United. For another £100,000 fee but was less successful making 33 appearances scoring 3 goals.
He then moved to Everton after a promising loan spell but only made 24 appearances scoring 1 goal in three seasons at Goodison Park before a free transfer move to Huddersfield Town in July 1985. He scored 7 goals in 35 games for Huddersfield but then moved to play abroad signing for Greek club Panionis, returning to England in October 1986 to play a brief spell with Hull City.
His non-league management career began with Goole Town before he was appointed manager of Mossley in November 1992. His spell at Seel Park was considered disastrous and seven successive heavy defeats later he was dismissed along with his assistant Paul Jones - ex Bolton Wanderers (445 appearances - 38 goals), Huddersfield Town (73 - 8), Oldham Athletic (32 - 1), Blackpool (37 - 0), Galway United (Ireland), Rochdale (14 - 2) and Stockport County (25 - 0).
Terry Curran was later a newsagent in Bradford.
Appointed Manager: August 1993
Resigned: October 1993
First Game: 21.8.93 v Great Harwood away L 1-2
Last Game: 5.10.93 v Bamber Bridge away L 1-7
Games in charge: 12 Won 1 Drawn 4 Lost 7
Steven Jeffrey Taylor was born in Royton, Oldham on 18th October 1955 and served his football apprenticeship with Bolton Wanderers where he signed professional in October 1973. A prolific goalscorer he netted 16 goals in 40 appearances before a £38,000 transfer to Oldham Athletic in October 1977.
He scored 25 goals in 47 games for Oldham and was transferred to Luton Town for £75,000 in January 1979. An unsuccessful spell at Luton saw him sold on again for the same fee to Mansfield Town where he fared little better before £35,000 brought him back to Lancashire and Burnley where he scored 37 goals in 86 games. Then followed spells with Wigan Athletic (30 games 7 goals), Stockport County (26-8), Rochdale (84-42), Preston (5-2), Burnley again (45-6) and Rochdale again 17-4) playing the final League game of his career in March 1989.
He spent a lengthy time out of football before being a surprise appointment as Mossley manager in August 1993. He was soon found to be out of his depth and his lack of managerial experience became quickly evident and after only one win in 13 games which included a couple of heavy defeats Taylor left 'by mutual agreement'. Taylor made just 4 appearances for Mossley scoring 1 goal.
Appointed Manager: October 1993
Resigned: December 1993
First Game: 12.10.93 v Goole Town home D 1-1
Last Game: 6.12.93 v Curzon Ashton away L 2-4
Games in charge: 16 Won 5 Drawn 4 Lost 7
David Denby was born in Manchester on 16th November 1941 and began his career as an associate schoolboy with Blackpool. Spells as a player with with Glossop, Droylsden and Abbey Hey. He spent eight years as a coach with Abbey Hey before spells as assistant manager at Curzon Ashton and then Macclesfield Town under Peter Wragg.
A spell scouting for Manchester City was followed by three years in charge at Ashton United. Denby was appointed manager of Mossley in October 1993 but never really settled to the job and resigned suddenly after just two months in charge following a 4-2 defeat at Curzon Ashton.
He became assistant manager at Stalybridge Celtic again under Peter Wragg before a second spell at Curzon Ashton, this time as manager.
Denby later scouted for Droylsden.
Gary RILEY 1993 - 1994
Appointed Manager: December 1993
Resigned: April 1994
First Game: 18.12.93 v Alfreton Town away W 3-2
Last Game: 26.4.94 v Congleton Town away L 0-1
Games in charge: 18 Won 5 Drawn 4 Lost 9
Gary Riley was born on in Ancoats, Manchester on 23rd March 1959. He began his playing career as a midfield player with Oldham Athletic but never reached first team level and moved on to have spells with Droylsden, Stalybridge Celtic and Hyde United before signing for Mossley in August 1984 under Brian Grundy.
Switching to right full back Riley had a lengthy spell with the Lilywhites making 194 appearances scoring 33 goals before receiving a broken leg on the opening day of the 1988-89 season against Marine.
He was granted a testimonial match which was played on 9th May 1990 against an All Star XI. He attempted a brief comeback two seasons later with Ashton United but returned to Seel Park as assistant manager to Dave Denby in October 1993. Following Denby's sudden departure in December, Riley took charge of his first game as Mossley Manager on 18th December 1993, a 3-2 win at Alfreton Town. Riley was asked to stay for the following season but resigned at the end of April due to work commitments.
He is now involved in youth and Sunday football and is a scout for Manchester City.
Appointed Manager: August 1994
Sacked: October 1994
First Game: 20.8.94 v Fleetwood Town home L 0-2
Last Game: 8.10.94 v Radcliffe Borough home L 0-1
Games in charge: 14 Won 2 Drawn 3 Lost 9
Richard Dawson was born in York on 6th July 1962 and played for local club New Earswick before signing for York City as an 18 year old in 1980. He made 45 appearances in York's first team as a midfield player between 1981 and 1983 before signing for Scarborough where he helped the Yorkshire coast club to the Conference title and promotion to the Football League.
He then played for Frickley Athletic, Boston United, Goole Town, Chorley and Northwich Victoria. Dawson then had a spell as manager at Bridlington Town before arriving at Mossley as player-manager in August 1994. His spell in charge at Seel Park was short and completely disastrous. He was in charge for 14 games. Eight League games of which Mossley lost seven and drew one, and six cup games of which the Lilywhites managed to win two.
Following a 0-1 home defeat by Radcliffe Borough on the 8th October 1994 Richard Dawson's spell at Mossley was ended by mutual consent with Mossley placed at the bottom of the UniBond League Division One. Dawson had signed a number of Yorkshire based players who were evidently not good enough and they all left within a couple of weeks of Dawson's departure. Richard Dawson made 8 appearances for Mossley scoring 2 goals.
1994 - 1995
Appointed Manager: October 1994
Sacked: March 1995
First Game: 15.10.94 v Moor Green (FA Trophy) home L 1-3
Last Game: 11.3.95 v Radcliffe Borough away L 0-1
Games in charge: 25 Won 7 Drawn 3 Lost 15
Roy Soule was born in Enfield on 25th May 1953. He played for Manchester United as a junior in the youth teams playing in the Lancashire League from 1968 -1970 under the coaching of Wilf McGuinness, and John Aston snr. When released he played semi-pro until being scouted and asked to join Crewe Alexandra. Whilst playing there he played reserve and first team football under the management of Jimmy Melia (ex Liverpool).
He went back into Semi Pro football and when finishing playing went into Semi Pro management. He went on to manage five semi professional clubs Castleton Gabriels, Glossop North End, Caernarfon Town, Mossley and Droylsden.
Soule was appointed Mossley Manager in October 1994. Mossley were at the time bottom of the League and Soule had to build practically a new team. Everyone believed he would help to stave off relegation but new Chairman Frank Whelan had other ideas and Soule was dismissed amid much controversy following a 1-0 defeat at Radcliffe Borough on 11th March 1995.
After a spell in charge at Droylsden Soule later became a scout for Crewe Alexandra and then held a similar post with Oldham Athletic. From 1988 - 1995 he was North West area scout for Rotherham United and assisted in the coaching in the youth setup. He was invited to rejoin Crewe Alexandra in a scouting and coaching capacity between 1995 - 1999.
He was senior scout working directly for manager Dario Gradi. He coached and assisted in the running of the reserves with Crewe's assistantant manager Neil Baker. In 1999 he was head hunted by Andy Richie, manager of Oldham Athletic, to join their scouting system to work directly for the first team doing reports and scouting missions. Through his coaching qualifications he was asked to coach in the School of Excellence, being given the responsibility of the U12s, this culminated in the team winning the Brittania Cup beating teams from Wycombe Wanderers, York City, Tranmere Rovers, and Scunthorpe United.
He went on to coach the U14s, the Youth and First Year Professionals. Promoted to the position of Chief Scout working for the Manager in assessing opponents prior to our fixtures with them, and scouting for potential first team players. The managers that he worked with included Andy Richie, Mick Wadsworth and Iain Dowie. Added to his coaching and scouting experience Soule holds Diplomas in Sports Science and Sports Pschology. He played in the Maltese League and regularly had visits to the U.S.A. to coach their young and up and coming players.
Since 2002 he has been coaching in the U.S.A. in the capacity of Technical Director of Soccer for a club in Virginia. This role is in the development of the players and coaches (some 1500) in their pursuit of furthering their skills and abilities. He still has strong ties in the U.K. professional game and on his return from the U.S.A. works for Grimsby Town scouting future opponenets and new first team players. He was appointed assistant manager for FC United of Manchester in 2010.
He was appointed as Manager of New Mills in the 2012/13 season.
Appointed Manager: March 1995
Not Retained: August 1995
First Game: 18.3.95 v Farsley Celtic home W 3-1
Last Game: 29.3.95 v Eastwood Town away D 3-3
Games in charge: 13 Won 4 Drawn 2 Lost 7
Paul Cuddy was born in Kendal on 21st February 1959 and signed for Rochdale from junior football in August 1977. However he made only one substitute appearance for Rochdale and was released in May 1978.
Cuddy then played for a variety of non-league clubs most notably Altrincham where he was capped three times for the England Semi-Pro team then managed by Howard Wilkinson. He then played for Witton Albion, Chorley and Horwich RMI before arriving at Mossley along with ex Chorley boss Glenn Buckley in March 1995 with Mossley staring relegation from the UniBond League in the face.
A large number of players left following Roy Soule's departure. Despite Cuddy's best efforts Mossley didn't avoid the drop and when Buckley left to coach in the USA. Cuddy was asked to stay on and work with Kevan Keelan for Mossley's first season in the North West Counties League. However, it became obvious that the combination wasn't working and Cuddy departed from Seel Park and joined Fleetwood as a player in October 1995.
He later had a spell with Ramsbottom United before joining Nantwich Town as manager. Cuddy's assistant Glen Buckley left at the end of the 1994/95 season and former Mossley player Kevan Keelan was brought to work alongside Cuddy.
Kevan KEELAN 1995 - 1997
Appointed Manager: August 1995
Resigned: May 1997
First Game: 19.8.95 v Nantwich Town home W 2-1
Last Game: 10.5.97 v Holker Old Boys away W 3-1
Games in charge: 115 Won 62 Drawn 18 Lost 35
Kevan Keelan was born in Manchester on 22nd June 1953. He played his early football with Radcliffe Borough, Northwich Victoria, Buxton, Stalybridge Celtic and Newcastle (Australia). He signed for Mossley on his return from 'down under' in September 1979 for a £375 fee as replacement for Eamonn O'Keefe who had been sold to Everton in the summer of 1979.
Keelan enjoyed a superb first season with the Lilywhites and scored the two all important second half goals that saw Mossley win at Boston United in the 2nd leg of the 1980 FA Trophy semi final. His 16 goals helped Mossley to a second successive Northern Premier League title.
Keelan was transferred to Macclesfield Town in the summer of 1981 for a £1,000 fee after making 86 appearances scoring 27 goals for Mossley.In March 1990 and at the end of an illustrious career Keelan returned to Mossley for a short spell under Mark Hilton and made a further 7 appearances scoring 2 goals before going to Rossendale United as manager at the end of the season.
Later spells as team boss at Stalybridge Celtic and Ashton United followed and in the summer of 1995 following Mossley's relegation to the North West Counties League Keelan was approached to work alongside Paul Cuddy. That didn't work out but it was Cuddy who moved on and Keelan's rebuilt team had a reasonable first season. They finished 4th in the NWCL and reached the final of the Floodlit Trophy.
The following season Keelan's team reached the quarter finals of the FA Vase finally going down to eventual winners Whitby Town. By the end of the season with Keelan's interest visibly waning he resigned. He then returned to management for a second time with Stalybridge Celtic and had a short spell as assistant manager at Leigh RMI.
Kevan Keelan is no longer involved in football.
1997 - 2001
Appointed Manager: July 1997
Resigned: November 2001
First Game: 16.8.97 v Warrington Town away L 0-3
Last Game: 3.11.01 v Kidsgrove Athletic home W 5-2
Games in charge: 242 Won 122 Drawn 53 Lost 67
Benjamin Phillips was born in Hazel Grove on 9th June 1960. He signed for Crewe Alexandra as a right full back as a teenager in 1977 but was released and signed for Macclesfield Town. Phillips signed for Bury in September 1980 for whom he made 14 appearances in the 1980-81 season. Upon his release from Bury he signed for Stalybridge Celtic but signed for Mossley in August 1992.
He had a successful first season with Mossley and was voted Player of the Year by the supporters. He made 50 appearances scoring 1 goal for Mossley in the 1982-83 season. The following season he made 24 appearances before moving to Witton Albion in the wake of Bob Murphy's departure in December 1983. He then had spells with Macclesfield Town, Winsford United, Barrow, Buxton and Rossendale United returning to Seel Park under John Cooke in November 1990. He made 21 appearances for Mossley in the 1990-91 season but departed 9 games into the following campaign under Les Sutton and joined Curzon Ashton.
He then had spells as assistant manager at Stalybridge Celtic, Congleton Town and Ashton United, and coached Mid-Cheshire League sides Grove United and Bramhall before returning for a third time to Mossley in the summer of 1997 as Manager and bringing with him as assistant former Manchester United and Exeter City player Danny Keough as his assistant. Keough had recently returned from nine years coaching in Germany.
The pair took the side to a very unfortunate runners up spot in the NWCL in 1998-99 losing the title in controversial fashion on the last day of the season at Workington, and to the final of the Manchester Premier Cup in 1999-00.
Phillips resigned in November 2001 to become manager of Witton Albion, taking Keough with him along with several of his Mossley signings, notably Paul Barrow, Ross Clegg and Steve Mallinson. He was later assistant manager at Leek Town, Clitheroe and then back at Witton Albion before becoming manager of Bradford Park Avenue in March 2007.
Later became assistant manager at Stalybridge Celtic and then manager of Radcliffe Borough.
2001 - 2003
Appointed Manager: November 2001
Sacked: July 2003
First Game: 24.11.01 v Prescot Cables home D 1-1
Last Game: 7.5.03 v Clitheroe (NWCL Cup Final) @ Bury W 2-1
Games in charge: 85 Won 51 Drawn 15 Lost 19
Albert Gary Pickering was born in Manchester on 22nd June 1967. He began his playing career under former Mossley manager Bob Murphy at Buxton and was later transfered to Rotherham United in 1990 for an £18,000 fee.
After making 88 appearances he was transfered to Coventry City for £80,000 in 1993. He made 65 appearances for Coventry before moving to Stoke City for a £280,000 fee in 1996. He made 83 appearances for Stoke before moving to Burnley on a free transfer where he made a further 21 appearances. He then had brief spells with Cambridge United and Chester City before returning to non-league with Hyde United and then Gainsborough Trinity.
He joined Mossley as a player in March 2001 and was appointed manager in November 2001 aand led them to their first silverware for 10 years in winning the NWCFL Worthington Trophy beating Clitheroe 2-1 at Bury FC's Gigg Lane. He departed from Seel Park in controversial circumstances in July 2003 and a month later became assistant manager at Woodley Sports.
Pickering later became manager of Woodley Sports and New Mills.
2003 - 2007
Appointed Manager: July 2003
Resigned April 2007
First Game: 16.8.03 v Warrington Town home W 6-4
Last game: 28.4.07 v Gateshead away L 0-2
Games in charge: 206 Won 99 Drawn 31 Lost 76
Jason Beckford was born in Manchester on 14th February 1970. A former striker with Manchester City, Birmingham City, Millwall and Northampton Town his career was ended prematurely by injury and he arrived at Mossley after coaching Bolton Wanderers Academy side.
He was appointed assistant manager in June 2002 and following Ally Pickering's shock departure in July 2003 he was appointed team manager leading Mossley top promotion back to the UniBond League in his first season in charge. In 2005-06
Mossley won promotion back to the UniBond Premier as Division One champions but following Mossley's relegation after just one hugely disappointing season Beckford resigned.
After leaving Mossley in April 2007, he returned to Bolton in 2008 as part of the club's restructured youth academy, and also worked as the under-16 coach alongside Steve Morgan at Oldham Athletic. In August 2012, he moved to Canada to work as Newmarket Soccer Club's technical director.
2007 - 2008
Appointed Manager: July 2007
Resigned June 2008
First Game: 18.8.07 v Garforth Town away L 1-2
Last game: 26.4.08 v Wakefield home D 0-0
Games in charge: 48 Won 12 Drawn 7 Lost 29
Gerry Quinn had success at all his clubs most notably taking Emley to the FA Vase final and gaining successive promotions with Ashton United from the UniBond First division to the Conference North. He also had successful spells as manager at Altrincham and Ossett Albion.
In 2006/07 Quinn was in charge at Northern Counties East League club Liversedge FC. A season of financial troubles didn't aid Quinn's cause at Mossley and he left by mutual consent in June 2008.
2008 - 2010
Appointed Manager: July 2008
Resigned January 2010
First Game: 16.8.07 v Clitheroe away W 2-0
Last game: 20.1.10 v Glossop North End away L 1-2
Games in charge: 87 Won 37 Drawn 15 Lost 35
Appointed manager in July 2008. As a player Chris Willcock played for Flixton, Warrington Town, Altrincham, Netherfield (Kendal Town), Leigh RMI, Mossley and Ramsbottom United before becoming player coach at Salford City.
He was then NWCL 2nd Division Manager of the Year in 2006/07 after gaining promotion with Winsford United. 2007/08 was spent at Woodley Sports before internal wranglings precipitated his departure from Lambeth Grove. As a Mossley player, striker Willcock made 96 appearances scoring 34 goals between 1997/98 season and 2000/01 under the management of Benny Phillips.
He was a key player in the Mossley side that narrowly lost out on promotion to Workington in 1999. Resigned in January 2010 to briefly become assistant manager to Benny Phillips at Stalybridge Celtic. Appointed manager of Winsford United for a second time in the close season of 2010 before returning to Woodley Sports.
Willcock later became manager of Glossop North End and led them to Wembley in the FA Vase and the NWCL title in the 2014-15 season. He was appointed as manager of Shaw Lane FC in April 2018.
John FLANAGAN 2010
Appointed Manager: January 2010
Resigned April 2010
First Game: 02.2.10 v FC Halifax Town home D 3-3
Last game: 24.4.10 v Rossendal United home W 4-1
Games in charge: 24 Won 13 Drawn 5 Lost 6
Appointed manager in January 2010 followng Chris Willcock's resignation. Former Woodley Sports manager between 2000 and 2003 who arrived initially at Mossley as assistant manager to Chris Willcock in the close season of 2008. He was also previously a player for Woodley and also served at Stockport County, Hyde United, Stalybridge Celtic and Droylsden.
After a great run during the second half of the 2009/10 season Flanagan helped to lift the side from 16th place up to 7th placed finish but unfortunately resigned due to business commitments at the end of the season. He later became manager of Curzon Ashton.
Coach Lee Merricks arrived early in the 2009/10 season after coaching at Leigh Genesis and Chorley and was appointed assistant manager in February 2010 but left to take a full time coaching job in Canada near the end of the season.
2010 - 2011
Appointed Manager: June 2010
Resigned April 2011
First Game: 21.8.10 v Bamber Bridge home L 0-1
Last game: 5.4.11 v Salford City L 1-3
Games in charge: 50 Won 17 Drawn 9 Lost 24
Appointed manager in June 2010 following John Flanagan's resignation. Former Stalybridge Celtic Reserve and Youth team manager and previously a youth coach at Stalybridge Celtic.
Started the season patchily but picked up to enjoy a great FA Cup run and climbed the table to the fringe of the play offs. A terrible run began in February 2011 with a 4-0 defeat at Skelmersdale. The team then picked up only 1 point frrom their next ten matches culminating in Higgins departure in early April 2011.
2011 - 2012
Appointed Manager: April 2011
Resigned January 2012
First Game: 9.4.11 v Woodley Sports home D 0-0
Last game: 7.1.12 v Farsley home L 1-2
Games in charge: 39 Won 10 Drawn 13 Lost 16
Gareth McCelland was born in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland on 22nd February 1982. He played for Lisnaskea Rovers before retiring early through injury. His coaching career includes working with Cheadle Town, New Mills, Maine Road and Woodley Sports.
Gareth was appointed Mossley Caretaker Manager in April 2011 following Shaun Higgins departure and was given the job on a permanent basis for the start of the 2011/12 season. He resigned in January 2012 to take up a position with FC Halifax Town. At 29 years of age he was Mossley's youngest ever team manager.
McClelland's assistant Eddy Haslam was also appointed in April 2011. He was vastly experienced in non-league football and although based in Formby his connections were mostly in the Manchester area. He then became manager of Winsford United following Lloyd Morrison's move to Mossley in August 2013.
As a player Eddy appeared for New Mills, Glossop, Buckingham Town, Stoke Manderville & Buckingham Athletic. Eddy then served as Coach/Manager at Formby, Atherton LR, Cheadle Town, New Mills and Woodley Sports FC before joining Mossley and also scouted for several clubs notably Blackburn Rovers, Chester and AFC Fylde. Eddy Haslam passed away in October 2018.
2012 - 2013
Appointed Manager: January 2012
Resigned July 2013
First Game: 10.1.12 v Abbey Hey (Mcr Prem Cup) home W 4-1
Last game: 6.5.13 v Cammell Laird (Play Off SF) L 0-1
Games in charge: 68 Won 35 Drawn 17 Lost 16
Born on 21st September 1980, Stephen Halford started his career at his hometown club Bury where he played 5 games in the Football League, before joining Chester City in 2001. He then joined Accrington Stanley in the 2002 and made 57 appearances, scoring 2 goals for Stanley.
After a brief spell at Radcliffe Borough he joined Droylsden in 2005 and made 106 appearances scoring 6 goals in five seasons for the Bloods before his release in September 2010. He signed for Hyde on 1st October 2010 and made 32 appearances scoring 2 goals in the 2010/11 season. Halford took over as joint player-manager on a caretaker basis late in the season at Hyde and was awarded the Hyde FC Player's Player of the Year for 2010/11.
Signing for Mossley as a player in August 2011, he was then appointed Mossley Player-Manager in January 2012 following Gareth McClelland's departure appointing fellow Mossley player peter band as his assistant. He he then led Mossley to a comfortable mid-table finish in his first season and to success in the Manchester FA Premier Cup. In his first full season as amanager he led Mossley to the promotion play offs where the Lilywhites lost in the semi final at Cammell Laird but Halford's team did retain the Manchester FA Premier Cup beating Salford City in the final at Edgeley Park, Stockport.
As a player Halford made 58 Mossley appearances, scoring 4 goals before resigning as Manager on the eve of the 2013/14 pre season friendlies to join Paul Phillips as joint managers of Ashton United. Halford has since been joint manager at Glossop North End and Buxton.
Peter BAND &
2013 - current
Appointed Joint Managers: July 2013
Sacked: March 2018
First Game: 17.8.13 v Kendal Town home L 1-3
Last game: 27.3.18 v Colne away D 1-1
Games in charge: 245 Won 96 Drawn 38 Lost 111
Joint Team Manager:
Joint Team Manager:
Born on 18th December 1973. Peter Band joined Mossley as a player in August 2011 and made 42 appearances for the Lilywhites in the 2011/12 season. As Peter wound down his playing career he made just 6 appearances and was more often than not named as an unused substitute while honing his management skills as Steve Halford's right hand man in the 2012/13 season and last season made just a solitary app[earance as a substitute.
Peter is now in his third season as joint Team Manager at Mossley with Lloyd Morrison, having previously been assistant manager to Chris Willcock at the former Woodley Sports and then to Halford at Mossley following Gareth MClelland's departure in January of 2012.
As a player, Peter was late into the semi pro game having played for Cheshire amateurs Bollington Athletic for several years before joining Hyde United in 1998 at 25 years old. He started out as a striker but reverted to midfield and was often used as a centre back as well, a position he eventually featured in regularly for his later clubs.
He left a struggling Hyde team to join Altrincham and then stepped up to the Conference with Northwich Victoria. On Altrincham's promotion to the Conference he switched back to Moss Lane in the summer of 2006, making his 200th appearance for Altrincham in that season. He re-joined Hyde for his second spell at the club in 2007, quickly making his 200th appearance for them also. He joined New Mills in the summer of 2008 and then on to Woodley Sports from where he joined Mossley.
Born on 13th November 1971, Lloyd Morrison was appointed as joint team manager alongside Peter Band in July 2013 having spent the previous season in charge at North West Counties Leaguers Winsford United where he led his side to a 4th place finish, just 4 points behind champions Padiham and also led them to success in the Mid-Cheshire FA Cup where they beat Northwich Victoria in the final.
After an amateur playing career which saw him play for Chadderton, Maine Road and Mid Cheshire League side Styal, Morrison became player manager at Styal winning the League title in his second season in charge and also the Cheshire Amateur Cup. He then stepped up to the North West Counties League with Flixton and with little or no budget took the now disbanded club from adrift at the bottom of the NWCL when he took over to avoiding relegation. They then finished 15th in his first full season and 8th place in 2011/12 before he took over at Winsford in July 2012.
Band and Morrison were sacked in March 2018 following a poor run of results.