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Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems

The following items have been printed in the clubs weekly match programme. If any ex players have any interesting articles from years gone by we will be delighted to receive them through the website so we can utilise them in our match programme and this website. Please include details of when any articles were published and in which newspaper, etc.and send your message through the contact us page.



We are indebted to Graham Norbury for the picture below showing 'old' Styal F. C around 1961.

Left to right.
Mike Horner, Peter Phillips, Dave Eavens, Eddie Peat, Saxon Riley, Tony Ralls. Graham Norbury.
Jimmy Stewart, Graham Black, Mike Moreton, Johny Hayse.

From the Wilmslow Express Advertiser Oct 7 th 1982

With 3 teams in action and only 1 point dropped Styal can look back on another successful days work, continuing the steady progress made by the club since the beginning of the season (writes Ben Hurren).

Last years first 11 only managed 5 wins throughout the campaign . On Saturday Len Rowland's side beat Alsager Town 2-0- their 5 th win this season and a fine all round performance.    

Styal attacked fiercely from the start and but for some indifferent finishing would have been 2 up in the first 10 minutes. In the event the visitors held out and showed that they were determined to keep their own unbeaten record. 


Midway through the half, Styal's superiority was rewarded when they were awarded a penalty kick which Mark savage calmly tucked away. Styal continued to press but were unable to increase their lead. 

The second half was more evenly matched and although Styal were producing the better football, Alsager looked dangerous on the break, bringing the best out of the home defence. Goalkeeper Thorpe tipped a difficult cross over the bar whilst Pete Hamnett and Steve Rowlands both made crucial clearances. At the other end Tym, Savage, Moore and Bailey fought for every ball, forcing the Alsager rearguard into a succession of clearances.   

With 10 minutes to go Styal broke down the right, Mark Savage pressurised the left back whose panicky pass eluded the Ëœkeeper presenting savage with a simple chance which he pushed home.  

There were no further goals but Styal can look back on a first class team performance augering well for the future. There were no stars on Saturday but a collection of players working hard for each other. Left back Pete Hamnett typified the spirit now pervading throughout the club. Promoted from the third eleven due to injuries, he settled into Mid Cheshire Football as to the manor born and made an important contribution to a convincing victory. (Team below)  Please e mail the club if you can identify the 2 mystery players

Above Top Row: Cliff Simpson (Assistant), John Tym, Howard Griffiths, Pete Cockitt, Steve Rowlands,  Paul? Schofield?, Rob Moore, ?????, Len Rowlands (Manager)

Bottom Row: Mark Savage, Pete Hamnett, Dave Thorpe, Trevor Bailey, Nick Green, Barry Green

Styal thirds made the long journey to Hyde and returned with 2 valuable points. Team captain Eric taylor described it as a 'workmanlike performance' and there were goals by Mark Harrison and Tex Calvert.

Laurie Turners fourth eleven continues to improve and on Saturday they played well enough to have taken both points against high flying Ashton Brothers. Twice Styal led with goals from Miller and Gordon but chances were missed and eventually the visitors left with a share of the spoils.

Next week the firsts visit Norwest Gas (Mid Cheshire League) and the seconds are at home to Baldwin and Francis (Altrincham League)



From the Alderley & Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Friday 30th January 1931

Styal 2nds v Stockport SS OB 2nds

At Cheadle under wretched conditions Styal further enhanced their chance of winning the league championship. The old boys fielded a 'short team' but the heroes who played were worthy opponents. Facing a strong wind Styal grabbed a lead of 2 goals from Paine and Webb, but their superiority would have been more pronounced but for the display of the home custodian. After the interval there were further goals from Webb, Bancroft and C Rigby and more than one of the opponents took an involuntary bath owing to a stream that crossed the pitch. Although 5 goals were a good margin, it would have been much greater except for the excellent display of the Stockport goalkeeper. It is to be regretted that for the past 3 weeks Styal have met 'short teams' when they really needed testing to fit them to meet Oldham SSOB at Oldham tomorrow. Should they be successful it is almost a certainty that Styal will win the championship. The team will be: L. Davies, B Palmer, A Bacchus, W Stubbs, A Yoxhall, T Tunnicliffe, C Rigby, A Paine, F Bancroft, L Webb, W Rigby, Reserves M Foden and S Ratcliffe

From the Alderley & Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Friday 2 December 1955

A great second half rally by Styal on Saturday when they entertained Old Standians enabled them to gain a well deserved 4-3 victory and 2 much needed points.

The game opened on a lively note with Styal doing most of the attacking and after a few sharp exchanges Broome put them ahead from close range. This lead however was short lived for the visitors soon equalised and later forged ahead although Styal had only themselves to blame for these reverses.

The interval arrived with Styal 3-1 down after having most of the play and missing a penalty.


The second half saw Styal stage a great rally, with Lomax in great form on the right wing. After a sharp movement Downes (P) reduced the arrears with a great shot. This success spurred  Styal to greater efforts. After a clever run down the wing Lomax crossed a lovely ball which D. North headed home.

Old Standians reasserted themselves but Styal were not to be denied and after another right wing move P. Downes scored the winner.

The 'B' team travelled to Whitefield and were unlucky to come home without a point from Stand Reserves. In the first half Styal had the advantage of a strong wind and the hillside so it was not surprising that they had most of the play. This advantage however was not pressed home to its full extent although they had a lead at the interval by goals through Swift and Carter, followed by a picture goal from the left wing by Alexander. Stand put up a great fight and went close on several occasions but Styal missed a number of great opportunitieswhich should have made the game safe.


The second half saw a reversal of the natural advantage and Styal were on the defensive for long periods but after Stand opened their score Styal hit back with a quick goal by Bancroft. The wind proved a greater obstacle than the opponents in clearing the ball and apart from sporadic attacks Styal were always hard pressed. Stand rammed home the advantage and their score mounted until a few minutes from time when they drew level. Then in the very last minute which had been added for injuries they shot home the winner.

Tomorrow the 'A' team entertain Manchester Xavarians KO 2.30pm. The reserve team meet at Hough End, Princess Road.

From the Alderley & Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Friday 15 December 1950

FOOTBALL Pattinson on Mark

On Saturday Styal 'A' team entertained Alderley St Philips and won 6-1 Good work by the forwards in particular Pattinson soon put Styal in the lead. Scorers for Styal, Pattinson (4), Faulkner and O'Conner.

The 'B' team travelled to Lindow and won 7-0. They were unfortunate to lose Edmondson during the game. Scorers, Hamilton (3), Redburn (2), Henderson and Robinson. Tomorrow the 'B'; team travel to Long Lane.

From the Alderley & Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Friday 23 October 1975

Aldermere 0 Styal 3

Styal maintained their recent form last Saturday when they visited Aldermere where a solid workmanlike performance gave them a 3-0 victory.

The Styal defence was under some pressure in the early stages as Aldermere attacked with vigour but Uttley marshalled his defence well and had able assistance from Clarke and Lawrence. Aldermere gradually became frustrated and the Styal attack came more into the picture. However it was a defensive mistake that finally gave Styal the initiative when Percival seized on a loose ball to score easily.

In the second half with Styal using their wing forwards to better purpose, the visitors took a grip of the game. A cross from Burgoyne was well hit by McIntyre for Styal's second goal and Percival then scored a dramatic third with a fierce shot after moving in from the wing. Aldermere to their credit did not give up and their goalkeeper Hayes was kept busy, but the game ended with Chetwood almost adding a fourth goal for what was now a goal hungry Styal.

From the Alderley & Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Friday 21 November 1913

Styal's Fine Victory (by ' spectator' )

After a game full of incidents and goals galore Woodley sustained their first defeat at the hands of Styal who won by the odd goal in nine. Saturday was my first visit to the home of the 'Flour Bags' and certainly their claims of possessing a first class ground are fully justified: indeed I doubt that there is a better ground in the Combination. Again the report that Styal have a 'home' team and an 'away' team is merely some unauthorised rumour. I have seen last Saturdays team on 2 occasions at Stockport.

It was a game full of incident and possibly the spoils went to the better team. They certainly gave one of their best displays of the season and are to be complimented on their uphill fight. It must be remembered that for half an hour Styal had only ten men owing to the non-appearance of Murphy and again they were 2 goals down shortly after the interval. Sound in practically every department Styal should have a good season. Bone made many clever saves in goal and was well covered by two steady centre backs. Of the intermediate trio, Gray was probably the pick, whilst Henshall was the best forward. In addition to scoring 4 goals he was constantly a source of danger to the Woodley defence and Tunnicliffe made a good partner and scored the winning goal. He was however slightly injured during the game. Ellam and Slater showed glimpses of good football and Potts made a satisfactory debut at outside left.

Woodley have a well-balanced 11 and there is hardly a weak spot in the team. It would be invidious to comment at any great length on the players and perhaps those that took the eye most were Berisford, Livingston and Shaw.


From the Alderley & Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Friday 16 October 1975

Styal 3 Fisons 1

Styal turned their attention to the Cheshire Saturday Cup last weekend when they entertained fisons from the Crewe League and succeeded in gaining their first victory of the season.

Early in the game Styal failed to impress and the visitors were the sharper side. Misplaced passes were mainly Styal's undoing but generally a lack of cohesion was evident and this enabled Fisons to look a better side than they actually were. Chances were scourned at both ends and the only goal came from a penalty converted by the visitor's centre forward.

However in the second half Styal gradually improved and began to put more effort into their game. After several near misses, Uttley equalised for Styal from the penalty spot and this was the signal for a concerted attack. Despite losing Cooper with an ankle injury and having already used up their substitutes Styal's 10 men were not to be denied. After Somers had hit the bar, MacIntyre powered home a header and Burgoyne added a third near the end. This was a welcome victory for Styal and should give them more confidence for future games.

From the Alderley & Wilmslow  Advertiser Friday 10 October 1913


Styal v Hall Street Juniors

Styal recorded their second victory in the Stockport combination last Saturday at the expense of Hall Street Juniors whose first defeat it was this season. A good crowd witnessed the game, which was not evenly contested as expected, Styal being superior in every department and at the interval had a lead of 5 clear goals. The second half was practically a repetition of the first and a further 3 goals were added by the 'flour bags' bringing their total to eight. In the last few minutes of the game Ainsworth had the misfortune to put through his own goal therefore opening the visitors account. The whistle went with the score at 8-1 in favour of the homesters the scorers being Henshall (4), A. Moore (2), Adshead and Tunnicliffe. The Styal team played splendidly all round while the visitors were best served at centre forward and goal.

Tomorrow Styal are the visitors of St Lukes and the following team has been selected to do duty for the 'flour bags', : T. Bone, Gray and Ainsworth; Goldstraw, T. Moore and Moston; Henshall, F. Worthington and Tunnicliffe. Reserve, Newton




The Styal string Band are now booking for parties, etc.

For terms apply Secretary, Old Ship, Styal


From the Alderley & Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Friday 11 October 1963

Styal are Foiled by the Referee

Stockport Georgians 4 Styal 4


Styal maintained their average of a point a game at Georgians on Saturday but how desperately unlucky they were not to bring home a comfortable 2 points! Only some rather harsh decisions by the referee and bad luck for Styal kept Georgians in the game.

A reshaped Styal forward line played with far more gusto than previously and the ball was swept around with some purpose. Spencer led the line, flanked by Riley and Norbury. Stewart was given a trial run on the right wing and young Lawrence was promoted to the left wing berth.

Styal opened brightly and a Stewart lob-shot was clawed from under the Georgians bar. Eventually Spencer moved onto a ball from Lawrence to smack it just inside the post to give Styal a lead.

Fortunes were sharply reversed soon after, Black gathered well but lost the ball after a heavy charge and the scores were level. Then Georgians thrust down the middle and twice found the net despite strong appeals for 'hands'. So Styal found themselves 3-1 down and taking a heavy battering before half time.

In the second half Styal had the strong breeze at their backs and with it they forced Georgians on the defensive for almost the whole period. It was Riley that struck first with a neat header. Minutes later Riley drove a free kick into the net but the shot was disallowed for offside. But Styal were not to be denied. A ball was pulled back sharply from the right and Heywood hammered home a 25 yard effort to equalise.

Persistent pressure by Styal soon gained them the lead. Stewart gathered the ball and drove it to Riley who rammed it past the keeper. At this stage Styal looked set for a big win but it was not to be.

In one of Georgians few attacks Bradley fumbled and Georgians levelled the scores. Try as they might, Styal had no answer to their hosts last goal.

This was a much better Styal performance and the whole team combined well. Martin in his second first eleven game of the season deserved praise and Lawrence was outstanding.

Styal: G. Black, M. Horner, A. Rails (Captain), D. Martin, G. Bradley, M. Heywood, J. Stewart, G. Norbury, S. Spencer, S. Riley, A. Lawrence

Tomorrow the first eleven are at Bramhall in a tough derby game.


From the Alderley & Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Friday 25 October 1963

Styal's Runaway Win in Amateur Cup

Styal 5 (Norbury 3, Riley, Barnes) Old Stopfordians 1 ( Wilson)

A strong crossfield wind made judgement difficult for Styal FC and Old Stopfordians on Saturday in their Cheshire Amateur Cup match. Styal won convincingly 5-1 and could in the end of greatly increased their score.

The game opened in a manner to which Styal supporters are quite accustomed. After making some quick and promising thrusts on Old Stopfordians goal Styal were suddenly one down. A cross from Styal's left flank traversed the penalty area and was weakly driven along the ground and into the net right through Styal's defence.

However, Styal were in fairly determined mood and did not let themselves become unsettled by this give-away goal. Riley made ground on the left and crossed into the goalmouth and Barnes levelled the scores. It was not long before Styal went ahead. Riley headed in a Barnes cross then smashed the keepers fisted clearance into the net.

The Stopfordians never settled, slowly gave ground to Styal and skipper Richard Reeman was having a tough time in defence. After a Cahill-Riley move Reeman collided heavily with the upright in making a clearance and had to receive attention.

Early in the second half Styal went into a winning lead. Norbury tried a long shot from the left and scored, the ball speeding across the goalmouth beating the keeper through the air. Soon after, Norbury smashed home a hard drive from 25 yards to put Styal 4-1 up.

Lady Luck

Styal were now well on top and Old Stopfordians looked a beaten side, but they did have one piece of luck when a fine Barnes header from a Riley cross hit the back of the net and rebounded into play. The referee waved play on and nullified as good a goal as one could wish to see. However soon after Styal had the luck of a twice taken penalty shot. Norbury was asked to take the 2 nd kick and drove the ball home to make it a 5-1 win for Styal.

Despite the big scoreline Styal's defence looked the best part of the team with Horner in the centre flanked by an in form Rails and Heywood. Upfield Styal were slow in covering ground and sweeping the ball. Bradley at wing half in particular wasted much of his good work by holding on to the ball too often and too long. Cahill at outside left seems to be a great find for Styal but with Barnes in the attack Styal seem to have much more firepower. Given a little more devil the forwards could come back to something like their own form.

Styal team: G Black, M Heywood, A Rails, D Martin, M Horner, G Bradley, S Spencer, S Riley, D Barnes, G Norbury, J Cahill


From the Alderley & Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Friday 9 September 1960


Styal had the edge over Bramhall

Styal beat Bramhall 7-2 in the opening game of the season but Bramhall were not outplayed or humbled as the score might suggest. From start to finish they fought hard, tackled strongly and had their chances to score, but Styal were that much harder and were more versatile in their tactics. They also snapped up their chances eagerly.

Styal's team gave a solid workmanlike display and the 9 players from last years team played well above their last years form. The 2 new signings, G. Norbury at centre half and J. Stewart at inside right proved to be players of high class, although they lacked the full match fitness. Bancroft, Hibbert, Peet and the captain Turner were outstanding for Styal.  Bancroft provided the highlights of the first half with his speed, shooting and ball distribution. He crowned his colleagues efforts by scoring 4 goals. Hibbert was a grand winger, always neat and accurate in his work and astute in his use of the ball.

The opening 15 minutes were exciting with fierce attacks on each goal. Even Styal's increasing lead did not quell Bramhall but they found the quiet and efficient Peet and the tenacious Turner too much for them

Unexpected Goal

Styal had a 4-0 lead at half time but the game was not yet won because Styal had to play up the slope of Bramhall's ground. Styal soon went further ahead to clinch the result and the game deteriorated mainly because the players were exhausted. Only Griffiths of Bramhall continued to play his strong clear cut game without signs of weariness.

Late on in the half Bramhall scored 2 goals that came unexpectedly from deflections off Styal players.

Scorers for Styal were Bancroft (F) 5, Jenkins (A) 2

Styal team: A Riley, D. Turner (Capt), K. Antrobus, G. Norbury, C. Peet, D. Evans, A. Hibbert, J. Stewart, F. Bancroft, J. Crick, A. Jenkins


From the Alderley & Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Friday 8 January 1960

Brightening up Styal's pitch

The second stage of Styal AFC's floodlighting scheme has been completed. The first stage consisting of a pylon carrying three long floodlights (capacity 3,000 watts) has proved successful and has lit one third of the pitch effectively.

The second stage consists of 3 large beamed floodlights (also 3,000 watts) built on top of the pavilion tower. These increase the brilliancy of lighting and the illuminated area to half of the pitch.

In charge of the construction and design has been the team secretary Alan Jones with electrical work by the coach D. Turner and K. Antrobus.

The floodlights are to be formally switched on next Thursday at a ceremony at 7.40pm. Mr H. G. Greg will ask Mr Jones to switch on the lights.

The scheme will be of great assistance to the coaching system in operation at Styal this season.