Like the game of cricket, football was first played in the last century when the lack of transport meant that most games were against other teams in close proximity, although my father recounted a similar story to the cricketers, of matches against Hathersage which required a horse drawn wagonette to get there.
Although the village team have always been noted for their high standard of football, it would seem that the height of their achievement was early in the century, in the season 1919-1920 when Oughtibridge won the Junior Challenge Cup and the Sheffield Minor League Championship. The Cup Final was played at Bramall Lane when they beat Swallownest 5-1 and went on to win the Minor League by beating Greasbrough 2-1. Memories of that period were vividly recaptured by Mr Fred Howson, an old Oughtibridge resident who was an ardent supporter and travelled everywhere with the team. He recalled the many fine players who proudly wore the team’s colours, several of whom were all round sportsmen as they also played in the village cricket team, Tom and John Roberts, Jack Hammerton, who had played with Barnsley and Rotherham, Collet, who joined Arsenal, and Dick Coldwell, who played for Sheffield Wednesday. The captain, “Tal” Glossop, who was also the captain of the cricket team, was tall and well-built and had a fine footballing relationship with Bernard Cooke, better known amongst the footballing fraternity as “Johnny Holt” due to his style and appearance resembling that of the Everton star of years ago. Another member of that great team was Lot Buet, who played at centre-half. He played as an amateur for both Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County as well as a professional for Rotherham Town and continued playing for Oughtibridge until well past his 40th birthday.
As a reminder of those far off days, a photograph of the Cup winning side taken at Bramall Lane, is displayed in the Oughtibridge War Memorial Sports Club and pictured in the photograph are (from left to right), Standing, H Helliwell (Secretary), A Edwards, C Lenthall, L Haywood, J White, T Woodhead (Uncle of Denis Woodhead, who played for Sheffield Wednesday for many years) and L Buet. Seated, B Cooke, G Siddall, Glossop, W Glossop, Albert Peace and J Ridgewell (Trainer).
Another period which is still remembered by a few older residents was climaxed when, in 1937, the village team played in The Friendlies League, won every league match and were awarded the Green’un Ball. To celebrate, a dance was held in the Parish Hall when Jack Smith, a local goalkeeper of renown, presented badges to the players. The team, as far as I can ascertain was made up of the following; Ray Gott, Frank Grayson, George Morton, Alec Guest, Edwin Wood, Alf Nornable, Geoff Sattin, Harold Parkin, George Wilkinson, Doug Nornable and Machin, who’s Christian name cannot be recalled. The season ended less satisfactorily when, playing in the final of the A J Sanders trophy, the team was beaten 1-0 by Woodseats Methodists, Ray Gott missing a penalty.
Earlier years also had their personalities. As far back as 1895 when the village team played in Bridge Field, now Coronation Park, Jack Hudson, formally a professional with both Sheffield Wednesday and United, was an international and played for Oughtibridge after his professional days were over.
Taken from “A Layman’s Look at the History, Industry, People and Places of Oughtibridge, Worrall and Wharncliffe Side – by Doug Sanderson (Published 1999)