Did you know Asfordby Football Club started out as Asfordby Athletic Juniors FC in 1976, playing at Station Lane, Asfordby, in the Melton and District League?
The team was formed and managed by the Ex-President Mr Eric Warren who sadly passed away recently. To set the team up in a ‘Full’ strip a donation of £50 was handed to Eric from the Asfordby 21 Club.
This kitted the players out for their first season and, although Eric had 19 players on the books, first to take advantage of their new gear were Andrew Wallace, Sean Kerr, Shaun Handley, Kevin Cooper, Mike Walmsley, Mark Taylor, Mark Wheeler, Dean Bollands, Jeff Challis, Andrew Bowers, Paul Harris, Robert Toth, Mark Bone, David Spicer and Phil Brown.
In their first season Asfordby Athletic finished third in the league and Stephen Warren was their top goal scorer with 21 goals in league and cup.
After Eric had taken his team through to Under 16s, he went back in time and in 1980 began an Under 10s side playing in the Coalville Sunday League. In his first season, Wayne Houghton collected both the Top Goalscorer (13 in league and cup) and Player of the Year awards; Paul Tierney was Sportsman of the Year and Gary Cramp, Lee Parlby, Jason Creed, Keith Sharpe, Mark Huddleston, Arian Osbourne, Andrew Hill, Jason Gallagher, Jason Lunn, Martin Webster, David Riddle, Stuart Harvey and Craig Gardiner were all part of a team who won six and lost seven of their 14 league matches.
Various fundraising was undertaken by the parents in that season to ensure the players continued to look smart – with money raised for kits and tracksuits. The ladies of the team raised money for them all to travel to Holland in 1981 for the Easter Tour, and around the same time the team moved from their ground at Station Lane into a portacabin at Hoby Road. The team continued to gain players and enjoy their football, and by 1983 had their best season playing 24 games, winning 19 and drawing the other five with 182 goals for and only 28 against. Once again Wayne Houghton showed his talent by scoring 67, but Jason Creed was close behind with 62. Again team and parents went off to Holland for the Easter Tour – all sporting new kit bags donated by Melton Kitchen Centre. Eric continued very successfully with his lads and saw them through to Under 15s.
When Asfordby Amateurs Sports Club was built in 1986 Eric formed a new Under 10s age group, renamed Asfordby Amateurs Juniors, in line with the name of the Sports Club. After finishing bottom of the league in their first campaign, the players went on to better things the following season in which they were third. A further tour to Holland was organised in 1989 when Asfordby played in a Dutch Tournament, losing 2 – 0 in the semi finals.
In 1990 another Under 10s team was introduced with Barclay Sports the proud kit sponsor of the and among those showing it off were: Andrew Johnston, Mark Adams, Andrew Forbes, John Pogmore, Ben Marshall, Joseph Whait, George Leake, Jan Ilic, Carl Thorney, Matthew Mackay, Andrew Gatward, Alistair Nott and Ben Snell. Two years later nearly £750 was raised for new kits and tours by releasing 1,750 balloons. It was later reported that some had reached Belgium, Eastern France, Switzerland and Italy.
In 1993 Tony Gordon, Mick Doubleday and Pete Rodgers joined the Amateurs and, along with Eric, all became managers and committee members for the club, managing the Under 10s, Under 11s, Under 12s and Under 13s in the Leicestershire Leagues respectively. The following year saw the Under 14s embark on another tour to Holland for a two-day tournament against teams from Holland, Belgium, Germany and France. With the first day being played on a league basis Asfordby went through with 8 -0 and 3 – 1 wins and a goalless draw. The second day saw Asfordby face the Belgium side S. C. Wolverton. These were a good side but Asfordby went in front l0 minutes before half time before Wolverton drew level with 15 minutes of the match to go leaving penalties to decide the game. With each side converting four out of five spot kicks, it was sudden death, and Asfordby found the net twice before Endall pulled off a great save and, yes, the trophy was then well on its way to England.
The 1995/96 Season was to be Eric’s last with the lads playing at Under 15s. Andrew Copley was Player of the Year Award, James Clarke top scored with 39, Daniel Horton and Simon Hunt took the Sportsmen prizes and A Johnston was Top Clubman and Most Improved.
Since the club's early days with Eric, the club has grown even bigger, with new players joining the club at all ages. However recent times have seen two Asfordby players move on to bigger dreams, ex Asfordby player now Derby County academy player Tom Rigby was named 2013 Junior Sports Personality of the Year and Freddie McGrady who was highly commended at the recent Melton Times Sports Awards left Asfordby FC last season after being scouted by Nottingham Forest FC Academy.
These two players have been a true credit to our club and we wish to express our congratulations and good luck at Derby county and Nottingham Forest football club respectively.
Currently we have 13 teams from under 7s to under 18s plus a Saturday morning Academy.
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