A PE teacher at St John Fisher School in Dewsbury, Quinn guided Emley to the FA Vase Final at Wembley in 1988, when they lost 1-0 after extra time to Colne Dynamoes, while he guided the Huddersfield side to the FA Cup first round, where they met Bolton Wanderers at the old Leeds Road ground.
Gerry Quinn has 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. Gerry recently has been in charge at Northern Counties East League club Liversedge FC.
Back in the 1987/88 season Gerry Quinn was appointed manager of Emley and astutely put a very well balanced side together, containing some quality non-league players. The team were drawn away in every round of the Vase, but this did not prove an obstacle. The run contained some memorable games against sides such as Bridgenorth Town (beaten 6-0 after a 3-3 draw), Gresley Rovers and Durham City. The semi-final was against Bashley of the Wessex League. After a 1-1 draw in the away leg, Emley could not be complacent at home. The second leg was played in a gale force wind, and John Francis, who was to go on to a long professional career with Sheffield United and Burnley, scoring the all important goal to take Emley to Wembley.
10,000 fans made the journey to the world centre of football on 23rd April 1988. another 5000 came to cheer Colne Dynamoes from Lancashire. Colne were very much an up and coming non-league club, built and financed by their manager Graham White, a millionaire. The match was a very tight affair, Emley had a good claim for a goal turned down following a corner in the first half, but though Emley had the better of the match, no goals were forthcoming in normal time. In extra time Colne got the vital strike as both teams tried. Despite some frantic efforts from Emley, they could not equalise, and we tasted defeat under the twin-towers.
Emley also won the league that season, Colne won the North-West counties and were to go on to win the Northern Premier League, before White disbanded the club in disappointment at not being accepted into the Conference, due to their ground not being big enough. In 1988 Emley had ground grading problems of their own. Having won the league in a tense last match against North Ferriby in front of 1200 people (an NCE record), drawing 2-2 after being 2-0 up and coasting with ten minutes left, Emley thought they would be promoted to the newly formed Northern Premier League First Division. However the NPL increased their ground grading requirements during the season and Emley, though plans were in place to make the necessary improvements, had no chance to implement them in time.
This disappointment focused minds at the club the following season. The ground improvements were made, including new dressing rooms, and a 200 seater stand. Equally importantly, the league was won again, this time more comfortably. In the Vase Emley gained revenge on a very good Colne side, winning 2-1 at Colne in a memorable match. The Colne side included Alan Kennedy who scored the winner in a European Cup Final for Liverpool, but Mick Farrar gave Emley the win with a late goal. Sadly Emley could not reach Wembley again, going out to Rossendale in a later round.
The 1988-89 season also saw Emley win the Sheffield Cup for the fifth time, but now it was into the nineties and the Northern Premier League.
Emley's first match in the higher echelons of non-league football was at Winsford. After the disappointment of rejection for ground grading reasons in 1988, it was something of a shock to go to Winsford, playing in a run-down greyhound stadium, which was not a patch on Emley's ground as a place to play football. This theme was to go on, as Emley realised that half the teams in the league would struggle to reach the grading standards if they had to reapply for membership.
A 3-0 defeat also made the management realise that it was going to be tough to do well in this league. But they soon got to grips with the challenge and Emley finished a creditable 5th in their first season. Emley's last crack at the Vase sadly ended in defeat at Rushden, now a top Conference side. The following season it was back to the Trophy as Emley were now regarded as too highly placed for the Vase.
However the Trophy was to give Emley another dose of cup glory. After beating Northern Premier League Premier Division sides Southport and Morecambe in the qualifying rounds, Emley visited Telford of the Conference in the First Round proper. A nil-nil draw in Telford gave Emley a home chance in the replay, and a Reg Mellor goal was enough for a win in a tough, tight game. The second round saw Hyde United dispatched. They were not pleased however with the referee when he allowed an Emley winner in the last minute, and he requires an escort from the pitch as angry Hyde players, officials and supporters berated him.
This brought on Kettering Town in the Third Round at Emley. Kettering were a very strong non-league side at the time. They were top of the conference and looking likely to go into the Football League. A Kettering goal in the first minute looked ominous, but Emley didn't let their heads drop. A crowd of 2726 supporters, saw Emley fight back in the second half. Chris Wood equalised and Graham Broadbent incredibly gave Emley the lead with 8 minutes left. This was a memorable goal, Broadbent hitting a vicious dipping shot from 25 yards.
Kettering too had fight and equalised four minutes from time, and a replay looked likely. However Emley's captain Codd had other ideas, and he produced near hysteria, when he smashed the ball home for a 3-2 victory in the last minute.
Emley had reached the quarter-finals of the Trophy for the first time, but could go no further. Kidderminster Harriers, another Conference side, proving too strong at their own ground, to win 3-0.
In the league however, Emley had managed to stay involved, despite the distraction of the Trophy. As the end of the season approached, they were in contention with Whitley Bay, Accrington Stanley and Worksop Town for the two promotion places. Emley had to produce a good run in their last five games, to be played over two weeks, to ensure promotion. They duly won all of them, without conceding a goal, and scoring 14, including a 1-0 victory over eventual champions Whitley Bay, to snatch the runners-up slot ahead of Worksop Town.
Up until 1991, Emley had never been further than the Third Qualifying Round of the most prestigious domestic cup competition in the world, the FA Cup. Success in this competition was the only way a non-league club could get national recognition, even reaching the Vase final at Wembley was virtually ignored in the national media. Final in this first year in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, Emley managed to reach the fourth qualifying round, and dreams of a league club in the First Round Proper. Chorley stood in the way and it took three tense games to decide,. In the first only a last gasp goal from Broadbent saved Emley after Chorley took the lead with a penalty. The replay at Emley was also drawn. In the second replay back at Chorley Mally Wright gave Emley the lead just after half-time to set-up one of the most tense 45 minutes in the club's history as Bolton Wanderers awaited the winners. Emley held out to meet probably the most glamorous team available in the third and fourth divisions. Bolton have won the cup three times, albeit in the dim and distant past.
The match was played at Huddersfield Town' Leeds Road ground in front of 9035 people, more than Town had got for their first round match. Unfortunately Emley couldn't pull off an upset, losing 3-0, despite giving their all. Bolton, mid-way up the third division and destined for greater things in coming years, proved too strong.
Emley won the Sheffield Cup for the seventh time and finished respectably in the league, but what looked like a basis for further development was destroyed when Gerry Quinn left in the summer of 1992 to take over struggling Altrincham where he had further FA Cup success, taking them to the second round proper as they beat Chester City before bowing out to Port Vale.
He then had a spell as manager of Ossett Albion and In his first season at Albion they romped to a league and cup 'double' by lifting the West Riding County Cup in the final against Bradford Park Avenue and the Northern Counties East League Premier Division championship courtesy of a last day of the season win at North Ferriby United. Hopes of elavation to the Unibond League were subsequently dashed when fate intervened and ground grading proved one hurdle too many. Inadequate dressing rooms cost the Club promotion and they were condemned to a further spell in the Northern Counties East League.
Gerry Quinn accepted the challenge at Ashton United in 1999, he won promotion to the Premier Division via the play-offs in 2001/02 and then on to become founder members of the Conference North in 2004 before departing by mutual consent in December 2004 having also landed three successive Manchester Premier Cup victories and taken the the Hurst Cross club to two other final appearances.
After two years out of the game he returned to football management with Northern Counties East League side Liversedge, resigning from there before accepting the Mossley job in June 2007.