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If you know your history…

Submitted by on September 30, 2014 – 8:51 amOne Comment
Gets it

Gets it

From FCUM Review Volume 8 issue 20

On July 5 2005, FC United’s members met at an inaugural extraordinary general meeting to vote in a board and to select a club crest.

The meeting took place at the Central Methodist Hall on Oldham Street and the fledgling club was starting to take shape at a rapid rate.

The original steering committee members, who were able to attend, took to the stage. The people on that list, who will remain indelibly inked into the history of FC United, were Jules Spencer, Martin Morris, Robert Brady, John-Paul O’Neill, Adam Brown, Andrew Howse, Russell Delaney, Andy Walsh, Luc Zentar, Tony Jordan, Mike Adams, Phil Sheeran, Peter Munday, Vasco Wackrill, Tony Pritchard and Phil Bedford.

Many of who went on to be board members, including Spencer, Morris, Brown, Delaney, Sheeran, Munday, Wackrill and Pritchard and, for a brief time, Walsh. Zentar went on to be secretary.

O’Neill went on to edit the programme for several years, Jordan was involved with merchandising and other voluntary roles, as was Bedford. Brady wrote a book and was the man behind the creation of Course You Can Malcolm and the others helped out the club in various ways.

Most still attend matches when they can and some are still heavily involved with the club, not least Brown and Sheeran, who remain on the club’s board. Such was the contribution of those dedicated few, a club was built for the long term from the off.

During the meeting the group held a brief ‘huddle’ on stage to discuss an important matter, after which it was announced that a ground share deal had been agreed, to much applause. However, frustratingly the details could not be revealed on the evening due to legal technicalities.

Furthermore, the steering group had already chosen a playing kit supplier, taking advice from AFC Wimbledon and opting for Tempest, who still make the Dons’ kit to this day.
Trials had been held for players, with Karl Marginson and Phil Power appointed manager and assistant respectively.

Before the board elections were held, it was also announced that the Football Association had registered FC United of Manchester as a bone fide club as of June 14, 2005 and, furthermore, the North West Counties Football League had accepted us at their AGM held on June 18.

Over £100,000 had been raised to fund the new club, with everyone who contributed a donation being hailed as a ‘founder member’.

Three designs were shortlisted to be voted for as the club’s official badge. A discussion about this was held, with each designer extolling their virtues of their own particular creation.
The overwhelming winner was the one designed by Matt Wilkinson, who is still very much involved with the club as a photographer.

Matt also stood for the board that night, along with many other fans who are still volunteers with the club. Matchday secretary John England also stood, citing his work with IMUSA and trade unions in his submission. He may have been unsuccessful, but his involvement with FC United has never faltered in the intervening years.

What may have been...

What may have been…

Of the steering committee members standing, most were elected on to the board. Except Brady. This may have had something to do with his submission centering around the need for Lincoln biscuits to be available at all board meetings…

Other well-known current volunteers to stand for a place on the board were Steven Wood and Roy Willamson.

Wood is a contributor to the matchday programme, as he has been since the start, and also plays his part in the ongoing success of FCUM Radio, as well as performing scouting duties.
In his submission he stated he had only missed one United home game between 1984 and 2002.

Williamson went on to be a membership secretary and still does FCUMTV commentary and other voluntary work to this day. In his submission he noted the work he had done for IMUSA, the Football Supporters Federation and the Safe Standing Group.

Two applicants, previously unknown to the various members of the steering committee, were Scott Fletcher and Joe Tully. Scott cited his business abilities, but also mentioned his earlier career as a child actor… Joe was a qualified lawyer. Both were regular attendees at Old Trafford

Fletcher was a valuable board member and played a huge part in shaping the financial direction of the club.

The other people who had the guts to stand were: Matthew Charnock, Maureen Haldane, Peter Ljunggren, Anthony Massey, Adam Moolna, Sam Stonier and Armand Watts.

Those successfully elected to be the first ever board members of FC United of Manchester were: Adam Brown, Russell Delaney, Scott Fletcher, Martin Morris, Pete Munday, Tony Pritchard, Phil Sheeran, Jules Spencer, Joseph Tully, Vasco Wackrill and Andy Walsh.

Following the backing of the members, Walsh later stood down to take up the position of general manager, which he still holds.

Therefore there were only 10 board members, when the original plan was for 11 – one for each member of the team (an idea which still holds true today, thanks to Rob Brady’s insistence during steering committee discussions).

When Russell Delaney sadly lost his battle against illness in November, the board was down to nine members for the remainder of the season.

All this happened nearly nine years ago and close to the anniversary of the official formation of the club, we will be hopefully entering our new home for the first time.

Our own ground was merely a dream on that night in 2005, but now we have all made it a reality.

While celebrating our achievements, it is important to remember the contribution of everyone who has helped us get there, not least the members of that original steering committee and our first ever board. 


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