Hucknall Sports, originally Riden Sports, was founded in July 1977 by a group of committed individuals including both Derek Day and Bob Wheat who have both remained loyal & committed to the Club over the past 25 years. The club started with the commencement of a Queens silver jubilee party on Glendon Drive, Hucknall which included a men's football match that was set up by Derek. The parents who took part decided that they needed to find the youngsters of the estate something to do and a meeting was arranged.
That first meeting comprised of Derek Day, John Brown, Harold Eastwood and Alan Turner. It was decided to play one team at under 14’s in the Young Elizabethan League and the first home game was played on the Wigwam playing fields, which has subsequently been the home of the club over the past 25 years.
Prior to the first match a name had to be chosen and it was decided to ask Richard Harley the owner of Riden Sports to become the president of the team, of which he duly accepted, and the team ran under the name of RIDEN SPORTS in that first season.
A formal committee was set up which comprised of Richard Harley as President, Alan Turner as Chairman, Derek Day as Secretary, Harold Eastwood as Assistant Secretary, John Brown as Treasurer and other committee members were John Duckmanton and Norman Rouse. Gillian Yates later joined the committee to act as fund raiser for the team and things like jumble sales, scrap paper collection, pontoon tickets and sponsored walks were all used in providing funds for the team. Also, an initial fund raising match was set up which we believe we have got evidence of ! (Home & Opposition).
In October 1977 Keith Ince and Bob Wheat were co-opted onto the committee along with Tony Trueman and they formed another team undertaking Friendlies at under 12 level.
1978 Doug Sheldon and Tony Trueman were voted onto the committee.1978 saw 2 teams entered into the YEL, one at under 14’s level, which was run by Derek and Doug, the other at under 12’s level which was run by Bob and Tony.
The Chairman, Mr. Alan Turner, tended his resignation over team selection as he believed some boys were receiving preferential treatment by being picked for the team, whether they attended training or not. Ken Ince was subsequently voted in as Chairman to take over from Alan Turner.
At the end of March 1978 some takeover discussions took place in respect of the VAP (Vaughan Association Parents) team joining Hucknall Sports under the management of Ron Berridge. This was agreed upon providing the identity of Riden Sports was maintained, hence the creation of the VAP award at our annual presentation evenings.
The training sessions at Titchfield Park led to more boys joining the club & before long the first championship was won. The club gathered momentum very quickly and went from strength to strength. We think at its peak 11 football teams were running including a girls hockey team, a youth club & a cricket team in the summer.
On 30 June 1978 Bob Wheat was elected Chairman of the club and little did he know that he would remain in that position for 25 years.
The V.A.P Vaughan Estates team
1st Championship Winning Side
The first presentation evening at the Rolls-Royce tearooms.
Season 1979/1980, with us being the only junior soccer club in Hucknall, had now grown significantly and was operating teams in six age groups from under 11’s through to under 16’s.
In May1979 the secretary Derek Day approached Richard Harley about changing the name from Riden Sports to Hucknall Riden Sports for a more local area advocate which was duly agreed upon. On 27 June 1982 the club changed its name yet again to the all familiar one today of Hucknall Sports
Over the past 25 years the club has gone from strength to strength running ladies hockey teams, cricket teams at various age groups, undertaken 3 European tours participating in Holland and on one particular tour 2 coaches of 96 people supported the event. The increase in teams meant various grounds had to be used including Wigwam, Newstead and Holgate schools. The inclusion of a Youth Club operating first from the Church Hall in Ogle street and subsequently Annie Holgate school has proved to be a huge success over the years with a number of children within the Hucknall area participating in various activities.
Presentation nights have grown tremendously over the years from that very first one at Rolls-Royce tea rooms with 14 boys attending through to current times with well over 180 boys attending. The boys compete for a number of individual trophies like Sportsman of the Year, Players Player of the Year and the Managers Player of the Year together with a number of Team awards. Venues have had to change to accommodate the ever increasing numbers of boys attending. These included Hucknall Welfare, Kirkby Leisure Centre, Hucknall Leisure Centre and the Hucknall Community Centre all catering for well over 500 people.
Various Presentation Awards Evenings
The new junior 7 aside soccer for under 7’s through to under10’s has been a huge success although this has brought various problems which have had to be overcome. The most significant of these being the increase in pitch requirements and the necessity of having to participate in Sunday competitive football. As well as junior soccer we have 2 teams participating on Sundays at under 12 & 14 levels in the Derby City League.
The annual 6 aside junior football competition for under 7’s through to under 13’s which has been running for the last 8 years has proved a huge success and is now seen as one of the premier junior competitions within Nottinghamshire
From those early days in 1977 through the dedication and commitment from a huge number of individuals the club has continued to go from strength to strength and is now operating 13 teams at all levels in junior football and is also now providing its own soccer school which runs every Saturday morning for believe it 5 & 6 year olds which is proving to be a huge success.
The outlook for the club is also looking extremely encouraging as more and more people join us, which is reflected in the success both on and off the field. The exciting challenges ahead are numerous including a proposed new ground development, the continuation of providing top level coaching and support for the up and coming boys within the club which is probably the most important one of all. This is to ensure that football within the club is played in a true family spirit which the club has prided itself over these past 25 years due to the dedicated volunteers who have given so much of their time to organise, inspire and motivate young people to enjoy our national game. Here’s to the next 25 years!