Kilnhurst Sport



Tennis Club dinner 1948




Kilnhurst Cricket team winners 1949

Cricket Team Prospers – 27 April 1912

Kilnhurst Church cricket club, with the same players as last season, was stated as being optimistic of a further high place in the league.  Such had been the interest in the cricket club that a second team had to be formed and joined the Rotherham and District Sunday School League.


Herbert Barlow – Footballer

Bert Barlow
Bert Barlow

Bert was born 22nd July 1916 at Kilnhurst.  As a youth he became involved with Silverwood Colliery Youth team, playing the position of ‘Inside Left’.  He became a professional footballer at the age of 19 signing for Barnsley F.C. Whilst playing for Portsmouth he took place in the 1939 FA Cup Final against his former club, Wolverhampton Wanderers.  His team won 4–1 scoring one of the goals.  His career as a professional continued until he was 38 playing for Colchester United. Thereafter he played for local Essex and Suffolk clubs.  He settled at Colchester and died there 19th March 2004 aged 87.

Year Clubs Games Goals
1935-1937 Barnsley 58 12
1937-1938 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 1
1938-1948 Portsmouth 107 35
1949-1951 Leicester City 42 9
1952-1954 Colchester Utd 60 16
Crittal Athletic
Long Melford


Frederick Walter Staniforth was born in Kilnhurst and was christened on Christmas Day ie  25th. December  1884. His parents were  Elijah Fairwell Staniforth 1856 – 1910.  and Elizabeth Staniforth (nee Ridge) 1858 –  1926., he showed sporting prowess from an early stage playing football  locally for Kilnhurst Town, Rotherham Main and Mexborough Town .In July 1906 he was transferred from Mexborough Town to Bristol City . The club had just been promoted to the First Division achieving Second Division champions.  Staniforth replaced Walter ‘Cocky’ Bennett to make his First Division debut on the right wing in a 0-2 defeat at Everton on 6 October 1906. He scored his first goal in his fourth league appearance in a 3-2 win at Notts County. Staniforth made 24 appearances scoring 3 goals in 1906-07 as Bristol City achieved their highest ever League position finishing as First Division runners up to Newcastle United.  In 1907-08 Staniforth continued as part of a regular forward line comprising Staniforth, Billy Maxwell, Sam Gilligan, Andy Burton and Frank Hilton. He made 35 appearances scoring 4 goals in 1907-08 when the “Babes” finished in 10th place. The following season in 1908-09 the forward line was broken up as Willis Rippon and Bob Hardy came into the team. Staniforth made 34 appearances scoring 4 goals in the First Division as Bristol City finished in 8th place. He also played in all 10 FA Cup ties as Bristol City reached the FA Cup Final in 1909 for the first and only time.[3] Bristol City slipped to 16th position in the First Division in 1909-10 when Staniforth shared right wing duties with Bob Hardy making 22 appearances scoring 3 goals. Staniforth made 19 appearances without scoring in 1910-11 when Bristol City finished 19th and were relegated to the Second Division. Staniforth lost his regular place on the right wing in October 1910 when City signed Willie Clark from Sunderland but returned for 6 games of the final run of 8 matches.. He3]married Mary Jane Cleverley  8th. May 1910 at Bedminster,Bristol  she was born 2nd. August 1889 at  Bedminster, Bristol. In July 1911 Fred Staniforth joined Grimsby Town. Staniforth moved to Liverpool in 1913. After his playing career finished Fred Staniforth returned to Bristol and settled there until his death on 23 May 1955 His wife had died in 1934..


Fred Staniforth when he played for Bristol


Tommy Thorpe – Footballer

He was born 19th May 1881 at Attercliffe. He moved and married at Kilnhurst  He was a professional football player . He played for local teams first like Rawmarsh Athletic  but went on to play for  Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley FC and Northampton Town. He was a long time professional goalkeeper and played while into his early forties. His second term at Barnsley F.C set a club record, still unbeaten, as the oldest player in the squad at 40 years 310 days. He was also an accomplished cricketer and made three appearances for Northamptonshire county side. This was in the 1913 county championships against Essex, Yorkshire and Gloucestershire.  He had not much success in these matches, scoring just 11 runs at an average of 3.66, with a high score of 6. However, Northamptonshire won two of these matches, and drew against Yorkshire during which match he faced another ex-Doncaster Rovers player, Alonzo Drake. Personal Life – He married Sarah Ann Fitton Wild in 1906 in Kilnhurst St Thomas Church. They had had five children, Olive, James, Emily, Eric and Kenneth. Sarah and his eldest daughter, Olive, died within two weeks of one another in 1918 during the Spanish Flu pneumonia pandemic, both buried in Kilnhurst. He remarried in 1926 to Mary Alice Elliot. He died in Worksop Nottinghamshire on 28 September 1953.

Kilnhurst  Colliery Football team victorious – April 1974

The photo was taken under the main stand at Millmoor. The match ended 2-1 to Kinhurst Colliery after extra time, Swinton Athletic had scored first through Roger Barron but Allan Craw scored for Kilnhurst Colliery with 8 minutes to go in normal time, and John McCourt scored the winner in extra time. It was a double for Kilnhurst Colliery this season as they had just won the Sheffield County Senior League for the second time in 3 years


picture loaned by Allan Craw


Football in Kilnhurst by John Howitt


I decided to write this book about Kilnhurst Football, on the spur of the moment, one day as I walked along Highthorne Road past the churchyard I could hear the voices of young men playing football on the old Welfare Ground.  My thoughts went back fifty years to the days when I played for the colliery team on the same ground.  I then realised that fifty years previous to my time, young men had also played on the Welfare.  I knew there would be no records of these matches or players, so I decided to try and document some kind of history of football in Kilnhurst.  Little did I know what I was letting myself in for but what I have produced is a kind of documentary based largely around the playing of the Montagu Cup.  I have done my best to provide a factual and interesting account, but I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the detail either of the games or the players listed in the rear of the book.  Some of the major footballing families (like the Burkinshaws) have required the uncovering of a whole family tree, whilst for other players I can provide little more than their name. If while you are reading this book you disagree with some fact or can add information you can contact me at the following email address and I will modify or correct the original book.

Kilnhurst 1890-1970

At the turn of the century Kilnhurst was a thriving village, with its houses and shops clustered around the main street (Victoria Street) work was plentiful if poorly paid. The biggest employer was Thrybergh Hall Colliery sunk in 1858 and owned by Earl Fitzwilliam.   In 1900 the area around the pit was very busy, with Kilnhurst Pottery, run by Bowman Heald and the Victoria Glass Works.  Threaded between these were rail links to the Staithes where coal and bricks were loaded onto barges for delivery down the canal via the Don out to Hull and the North Sea.

1940, two barges, one fully loaded and one in sail, just leaving the Staithes on its long journey to the Humber

1940, two barges, one fully loaded and one in sail, just leaving the Staithes on its long journey to the Humber

Rail lines also brought coal to the Staithes from the Warren Vale Collieries.  Between 1900 and the start of the first world war in 1914, the colliery was beset by many strikes in 1902, 1904, 1906 and 1912, saw the men on strike for many weeks as they strove for better pay and conditions.  In 1923 the colliery was taken over by Stewarts and Lloyds /John Brown and certain improvements were made, but not until nationalisation in 1947 did the miners get a better deal.  At its peak the colliery employed in excess of one thousand men. A brick works was attached to the pit, with a rail connection to the Warren Vale line, the brick works had its own narrow gauge railway that ran at high level across Beechwood Way to the quarry on the land south of the church.  Side loading tubs were pulled by a small diesel engine which dumped their loads into the brick making shed. The second largest employer was steelmakers Bakers & Co. who built on land alongside the canal at the end of Wharf Road.  The works were opened in 1903 and concentrated on the manufacture of wagons wheels and axels but switched to munitions during the 1914-18 war.  In 1930 the company took over Henry Bessemer and became Baker & Bessemer Limited.  During the inter war years Bakers experienced hard times with the slump in the mid 1920’s.    It was not until the late 1930’s when the company again switched to munitions that it experienced the busiest period in its existence.  By 1963 the company was taken over by the United Steel Companies.   This sounded its death knell, as older machinery was dispensable when new steel plants came into existence, eight hundred men lost their jobs. On land adjoining Bakers towards Swinton was a small chemical works founded in 1884 by Henry Ellison and Joseph Mitchell. The company did well and produced excellent quality gas, and coke with coal tar as the residual product. Both Ellison’s and Bakers had rail links with the Midland Railway to ship their products.  By the 1920’s the chemical company experienced changes as both Ellison and Mitchell had died.  Henry Ellison junior took over the running of the company which at this stage had twenty individual small works dotted around Yorkshire. In 1928 Yorkshire Tar Distillers was formed with Henry Ellison junior, chairman of the company for the next thirty years.  Yorkshire Tar Distillers provided work for approximately three hundred and fifty men in a hazardous environment but many men spent their entire working lives there.  Croda International bought Y.T.D. in 1975 and the plant was gradually run down, finally closing at the turn of the twentieth century with just thirty employees. The Colliery, Bakers and Yorkshire Tar all had competitive football teams. The village itself started at the bridge over the River Don, houses were built to the very edge of the Don starting with Mill Row and Concertina Club behind the Row.  Two large semis known as the Poplars stood well back from the road and had large well laid out gardens to the rear.  These houses were occupied by the relieving officers for the Rotherham Union but by 1950 these houses had become derelict. Between the Poplars and Terrace Inn stood a piece of land that had been occupied by Kilnhurst Forge built in 1720.  A hammer mill was added in 1765 driven by water wheels.  The water was provided by building a weir adjacent to the bridge to lift the level of the Don and the sluice was built to carry water through a tunnel under the road to the Mill pond (where the present garage stands). On the 1901 map the old forge buildings were shown standing but by this time Colin Saxton was manufacturing glass bottles on part of the site, the kilns could still be seen in the 1950’s. Beyond the Terrace Inn, towards Kilnhurst, stood rows of terraced houses on both sides of the road.  A post office and a doctor’s surgery were also located in this area.  Between the gap of Cissy Mottram’s sweet shop and the shop on the opposite corner was Nobelthorpe Road that led to “the bottom school” known as Kilnhurst Council School, which most of the Kilnhurst kids attended up to the age of eleven years. Kilnhurst School football was very up and down winning the Bond Shield on several occasions, but during my time 1947 to 1954 we never played a game on the vast playing fields beside the school. Beyond the school were two rows of Victorian Terraced Houses, Thomas Street and Charles Street.  At the end of Thomas Street was Thickets Shop, which sold everything and was open all hours.

Thicketts Shop after closure in 1980. The street to the left is Thomas St (Location of Albert Lloyds film shows) Charles St is to the right.

Thicketts Shop after closure in 1980. The street to the left is Thomas St (Location of Albert Lloyds film shows) Charles St is to the right.

Just behind the shop lived Albert “Bubby” Lloyd where he showed Charlie Chaplin and Abbott and Costello films to the kids in the late 1940’s (while he was winning his Montagu Cup Medals). Across the road was the station sidings, where dozens of kids played cricket and all the school fights took place, these fights were pre arranged and were well attended by the school kids. The Ship Inn was below the canal bridge and adjacent to the railway.  The Ship was built in 1752 and is the oldest building in Kilnhurst.  It was originally used to stable barge horses and provide food and drink for the barge operators although it is said it was used for religious services before the church was built. The annual fair was held in the field behind the Ship.  (Tuby’s Fair) This was usually in the winter months when the field was like a quagmire.  Opposite the Ship Inn was the stairs leading down to the L.N.E.R  station  The station was closed in 1967 and was renowned for the quality of its gardens.  The waiting room walls were decorated with plaques won as prizes for the gardens.  The bookies runner stood at the top of the station steps collecting bets and watching out for the police. Over the canal bridge both sides of the road were cramped with shops and public houses and the Co-op occupied a large frontage on Victoria Street to the corner of Wharf Road. The Co-op which was started in George Clarke’s front room in Wharf Road in 1861 and grew to its zenith in the 1950’s and 1960’s with in excess of a thousand members.

Victoria Street on a sunny day in the 1950's. Kilnhurst Co-op is prominent on the right.

Victoria Street on a sunny day in the 1950’s. Kilnhurst Co-op is prominent on the right.

In the middle of Victoria Street stood three chapels, who vied with the church for members and to spread the temperance message to the populace, who were usually ready for a drink after a dusty shift down the pit or a very hot shift at an open hearth furnace (beer tokens were often given to stokers and it was not unusual for them to drink four or five pints of beer in a shift). Kilnhurst Club and the doctor’s house stood at the top end of Victoria Street opposite the Old Church of England School.

LMS Station, Kilnurst. Used for W.M.C trips to the coast. The station garden's were to the left of the main station building.

LMS Station, Kilnurst. Used for W.M.C trips to the coast. The station garden’s were to the left of the main station building.

The top station (L.M.S.) was on the corner before turning to Highthorne.   The ticket office was at ground level and the three platforms were all accessed via a wooden covered walkway with separate steps down to each platform.  The church of St Thomas built in 1859 stands on high ground as you leave the village on the way to Piccadilly.  Yorkshire Tar Distillers played their football on a ground opposite the church and their 1939 Montagu Cup winning team photograph was taken there with the church in the background.  Kilnhurst had always played its football on the welfare ground behind the Co-op, the ground has been used for sport for well over one hundred and twenty five years.  As well as football and cricket there were also tennis courts and a bowling green. Wharf Road and Glasshouse Lane make a crossroads with Victoria Street and it is in these areas that new council houses were built in the 1930s when the back yards of Victoria Street were demolished. At the start of the nineteenth century Kilnhurst was a very busy village and retained its liveliness into the 1960s but the Co-op closed its doors for the last time and both stations were also closed in the Beeching cuts.  Baker & Bessemar also closed its gates and a slow decline set in.  Eventually with the closure of the colliery in 1989 and Yorkshire Tar ten years later the last employer of any size was gone and Victoria Street once so full of life is empty.  All the shops have gone and all that remains is the almost unused working men’s club and it is possible to drive through the village without seeing a single person on the street.  Many ex pit villages have experienced the same fate Goldthorpe, Wath, Rawmarsh and Parkgate to name a few.  It is very difficult to see where regeneration is going to grow from and successive London based governments have a lot to answer for.

1930's beer and backy band on Hooton Road

1930’s beer and backy band on Hooton Road

Victoria Street, (Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee (the same year was kilnhurst Towns first appearance in the montague cup). The bay windowed building just right of the centre is the station hotel, meeting room, changing room and general headquarters of Kilnhurst Town

Victoria Street, (Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (the same year was kilnhurst Towns first appearance in the montague cup). The bay windowed building just right of the centre is the station hotel, meeting room, changing room and general headquarters of Kilnhurst Town. The recreation ground is just beyond the wall on the left.

A Brief History of Football

For more than two thousand years men have kicked footballs about in a random manner, but it wasn’t until the mid nineteenth century that football clubs began to be formed. In 1863 the first written rules were established after a meeting in Holburn in London, when such rules as maximum pitch size, proceedings for kicking off, terms such as throw-in, goal and offside were agreed.  Players were still allowed to catch and throw the ball and the rules were non-specific regarding the number of players in a team and penalties. Even the shape of the ball as still to be agreed by the captains. In the late 1860s rules were added banning the catching and handling of the all by all players except the goalkeeper.  The tape was stretched between the posts (uprights) with the first crossbar used in 1882. Clubs played friendlies until the F.A. was instituted in 1872 when fifteen clubs played for the honour of being the first cup holders. The first cup final was played between the Wanderers and The Royal Engineers before a crowd of just two thousand people with the Wanderers winning one nil. For many years football remained an amateur game, with the cup being won over the next twenty years by the Wanderers (five times) Old Etonians (six times) Royal Engineers and Oxford University (four times each). The Wanderers won the cup on three successive occasions which under the rules gave them the right of permanent possession.  The cup was however returned to the F.A. on the understanding that in future no other club could win it outright. By this time teams were regulated at eleven players each side and corner kicks had been introduced. The 2. 3. 5 system evolved and was soon in general use.  Penalties were introduced in 1891, but numbers on shirts were not seen until 1933. Professional football originated in working class areas in the North of England and Scotland.  The match that signified the end of the amateur monopoly was the cup final of 1882 when Blackburn became the first northern club to make it to the F.A. cup final when they lost one nil to The Old Etonians. The football league was founded in 1888 with twelve clubs from the north and the Midlands, the South of England remained an amateur stronghold. Preston North End was the first league champions, originally two points were awarded for a win and halfway through the first season one point was awarded for a draw. The Football League 1888-1889 

Preston North End 22 18 4   0 74 15 40
Aston Villa 22 12 5   5 61 43 29
Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 12 4   6 50 37 28
Blackburn Rovers 22 10 6   6 66 45 26
Bolton Wanderers 22 10 2 10 63 59 22
West Bromwich Albion 22 10 2 10 40 56 22
Accrington 22   6 8   8 48 48 20
Everton 22   9 2 11 35 46 20
Burnley 22   9 3 12 42 62 17
Derby County 22   7 2 13 41 61 16
Notts County 22   5 2 15 40 73 12
Stoke City 22   4 4 14 26 51 12

Preston North End also won the F.A. cup in 1889 beating Wolverhampton Wanderers three nil at the Kensington Oval before a crowd of twenty two thousand. A second division was added for the 1892/93 season, the first southern club admitted to the league was when the Woolwich Arsenal were admitted to the second division in the 1893/94 season. Queens Park was the first Scottish club founded in 1867.   They played in the English F.A. cup twice reaching the final both times losing to Blackburn Rovers. By the 1905 final when Aston Villa met Newcastle United the crowd had reached one hundred thousand. Professional football was suspended during the First World War and immediately afterwards in 1919 a third division was created and twelve months later a fourth was added.  These two divisions became The Third Division North and Third Division South. During the Second World War 1939/45 competitive football was abandoned, with friendly matches not always well attended.  Regional football was played with professionals allowed to “guest” in prestigious local amateur football like The Montagu Cup Final.

Preston Northend 1889   First winners of the Football League

Preston Northend 1889 First winners of the Football League


A map of Kilnhurst in 1901.  Four football grounds are highlighted.  1 Kilnhurst School field.  2 Forge fields the ground of Highthorne.  3 The Recreation ground used by Kilnhurst Town/Kilnhurst Colliery.  4 Yorkshire Tar Distillers ground near the church.

A map of Kilnhurst in 1901. Four football grounds are highlighted. 1 Kilnhurst School field. 2 Forge fields the ground of Highthorne. 3 The Recreation ground used by Kilnhurst Town/Kilnhurst Colliery. 4 Yorkshire Tar Distillers ground near the church. A map of Kilnhurst in 1901. Four football grounds are highlighted. 1 Kilnhurst School field. 2 Forge fields the ground of Highthorne. 3 The Recreation ground used by Kilnhurst Town/Kilnhurst Colliery. 4 Yorkshire Tar Distillers ground near the church.

Kilnhurst Football During The 1890’s

For the purposes of this book football in Kilnhurst started in 1890, although it had been played in a fairly unorganised way for several decades before.  Kilnhurst Town were playing in the Sheffield & District League and in the 1890/91 season had a very successful year finishing top of the league.  On the way there they also encountered Sheffield United in the Sheffield Challenge Cup, the first game (played at Bramall Lane) at the semi-final stage resulted in a 3-3  draw and attracted a crowd of four and a half thousand people. The replay again at Bramall Lane saw Sheffield United win easily 4-1 again before a  large crowd. Sheffield United went on to lose 2-1 to Doncaster Rovers in the final. Football was really in its infancy, and only two seasons later Sheffield United joined the second division of the football league, whilst Kilnhurst Town players played regularly straight from their pit shift at the welfare ground.  By the 1897/98 season Sheffield United were champions of England winning the division one title and were to remain in the top flight of English football until they were relegated to division two in 1934.  Kilnhurst’s first recorded match of 1890 was played on the recreation ground (which has been in continuous use for more than one hundred and twenty five years) against Sheffield team Walkley, Kilnhurst won seven goals to nil, the Kilnhurst team on that January day was as follows. MORTON HAWCROFT                         HILL ROWLEY                       PARKIN                               FROGGATT C TAYLOR        BLURTON         B SCHOFIELD     H SCHOFIELD     DAWSON At the end of the season a benefit match was played in aid of the newly built Montagu Hospital (afore runner of the Montagu Cup)  Kilnhurst’s opponents as befitting the cause were Mexborough Town, and Kilnhurst completed a magnificent season beating Mexborough 4-1 on their own Hampden Road ground, a large gate was attracted and a admission fees of three pence was charged. John (Jack) Burkinshaw born 1862, died 1899. Jack Burkinshaw was also awarded a benefit at the end of the 1890/91 season, Kilnhurst easily beating Mexborough 7-0, this time at the recreation ground Kilnhurst. Mexborough Cottage Hospital had just been opened and it came as a shock to its first patients when they discovered that they were not allowed to smoke their pipes inside the hospital. Public telephones were just coming into use and Mexborough’s first public call telephone was installed in Hammerton’s shop in High Street. The 1891/92 season saw Kilnhurst continuing to play in the Sheffield &  District League, their fortunes were mixed beating Mexborough Town one nil at Hampden Road (attendance 2800) and losing three one to the same team at Kilnhurst.  At the end of the season another benefit took place this time for Charlie Taylor who had sustained a compound fracture of the right arm playing against Eckington. 1893/94  season a typical match report of the time.

micheal morris 12

Thornhill Utd with the Rotherham Charity Cup in 1893-94. For many years Thornhill Utd were Rotherham’s leading football team. They changed their name to Rotherham County in 1905 when Rotherham Town came into existence. Rotherham County were the first team to play at Millmoor in 1907 they won the Midland league in four successive seasons between 1911-15. Rotherham Utd was formed with the amalgamation of Rotherham County and Rotherham Town in 1925.

KILNURST TOWN v ROTHERHAM UNITED STANWORTH FROGGATT                       HILL W TAYLOR                     SHARP                           LOBLEY B SCHOFIELD     BLURTON          C TAYLOR       DYSON          H SCHOFIELD A gale was blowing at Clifton Lane Rotherham as the game began, losing the toss united had to face the hurricane and Kilnhurst had all the attacking play but in United’s first attack Sylvester scored for Rotherham.  Towards the end of the first half Froggatt came into conflict with the referee and was ordered to retire, a decision which met with great approval from the Rotherham crowd.  At the interval the score was just one goal to nil to United and Kilnhurst were down to ten men, on the resumption it was also obvious that Hill was very lame and after a  further ten minuets he had to leave the field, leaving Kilnhurst with just nine men on the pitch.  Backed by the wind and facing a depleted team Rotherham scored two further goals leaving the final score at three goals to nil. Charlie Taylor played at full back in the second half and to him belongs a great deal of credit for keeping the score to reasonable proportions. By 1896 Kilnhurst Town were playing in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Football Association.  In January 1896 the league looked as follows.

MEXBOROUGH TOWN 15 15    0 60 15 30
WEDNESDAY RES 18 14    3 85 29 29
SHEFF. UNITED RES 16 14    2 60 14 28
CHESTERFIELD TOWN 14   9    5 43 20 18
SHEEPBRIDGE WORKS 11   6    5 31 24 12
WATH 13   5   6 31 29 12
KILNHURST TOWN 12   4   4 19 22 12
ATTERCLIFFE 17   4   9 15 33 12
WOMBWELL TOWN 15   5 10 23 45 10
STAVELY 16   4 10 32 33 10
SHEFFIELD CLUB 13   3   7 15 48   8
ECKINGTON WORKS 10   3   7 14 36   6
ROTHERHAM RES. 13   1 10 12 44   4
ARDSLEY 14   1 11 16 49   4

Kilnhurst Town were still playing in good company as Sheffield United Reserves played at Bramell Lane and Wednesday Reserves played at Allerton, the predecessor of Hillsborough.  In 1896 Sheffield United were second in England’s premier league (division one) and Wednesday reached the semi final of the F A cup where they were knocked out by Bolton Wanderers.

Kilnhurst Town around 1900. Amongst the players are said to be. Law, Smith, Slush Hawcroft, Bentham and Thorpe

Kilnhurst Town around 1900. Amongst the players are said to be. Law, Smith, Slush Hawcroft, Bentham and Thorpe

The following is a report of Rotherham Reserves game at Kilnhurst in the flowery language of the time. The Kilnhurst team was as follows. BISBY WHITE                     FROGGATT SHARPE            PEPPER                BENTHAM PARKIN      GOODINSON           GLADWIN        DRAPER                  BLURTON “On Saturday Rotherham Reserves were reckless enough to journey to Kilnhurst in order to meet the football team named after that salubrious village in mortal combat.  The visiting team were at the venue on time, and to their credit were ready for the fray by the time fixed for the match to begin.  But the “Wasps” were not, when the match should have begun they had no men ready, four or five were in various stages of readiness and the secretary was wandering around in a very distressed manner, using his best endeavours to find the players to complete the team.  Half an hour after the match should have started the teams made their way to the field, minus their fair haired goalkeeper Bisby.  The game was about to start with a sub when Bisby appeared on the field in the glory and radiance of his “pit muck” Kilnhurst won the toss and elected to kick downhill away from the town. The home team attacked continuously for the first ten minutes with “Shoggy Parkin” working very hard, he had several shots at the Rotherham goal but the keeper was little troubled.  The visitors then broke away and Simmonite from a centre by Proctor put in a beautiful shot only for the coal black Bisby to fist away.  The home team again took up the play and good running by “Shoggy Parkin” on the left ended with a centre for Goodison to force the goalkeeper to concede a corner.  From the corner the ball appeared to be forced over the line in what resembled a rugby scrum, but eventually the referee conceded the goal.  Shortly afterwards Rotherham broke away and Mattrion scored from a Cutts centre.  This occurrence forced the Kilnhurst keeper Bisby to remove his coat, to prepare for further emergencies. Kilnhurst quickly scored again through Draper to make the score at half time two one in favour of Kilhnurst.  On the resumption Kilnhurst had all the play but were constantly pulled up for foul tackles and the referee warned several players for jumping at the ball. The ball was now permanently around the Rotherham goal and near the end Gladwin scored a third goal for Kilnhurst to make the final score Kilnhurst Town three Rotherham Reserves one”. The keenest rivalry was between Kilnhurst and Mexborough and although Mexborough Town were top of the league with an unblemished record, the players and people of Kilnhurst fancied their chances against them and heavy local betting on the game took place. The following report shows that the game at this time although played under the recently regulated rules was still a very haphazard affair.  Reading between the lines the players would have got changed at the Station Hotel on Victoria Street and then proceeded to the field in their kit.           IT WAS AT KILNHURST “The March afternoon was mild and mellow and the gate was great and the uproar greater for were not Mexborough and Kilnhurst engaged in football strife and had not the “Wasps” sworn to inflict on Mexborough their first defeat of the season.  I was there with all my retinue, the poet and the policeman and hundreds of others. We travelled to Kilnhurst on the three o’clock Midland Train which had accommodation for sixty passengers and carried at least three hundred.  So we filled the guards van and revelled in the aroma of fish baskets and we tried to enjoy ourselves.  Our progress down the main street from the Midland Station was one of triumph, there were so many of us at the station that the ticket collector, collected the tickets in his hat and finished with six hats full.  All the population turned out to see us go by, I was affectionately hailed by small boys who once threw stones at me.  We were early for the match so we stormed into the Commercial Hotel and carried the parlour bar by assault .Presently leaving the poet and the policeman in the chip shop we sought the field of strife.  There was a big gate the biggest on the Kilnhurst ground this season.  The ropes were lined with excited spectators; both had strong teams out with Gladwin returning for Kilnhurst, making it the same team they played against Grimsby. The first half was quiet with Mexborough leading one goal to nil at half time.  In the first minute of the second half “Shoggy Parkin” had a close miss that would have been easier to score.  For long spells Kilnhurst had all the play and had enough chances to score half a dozen goals, both Charlie Taylor and “Shoggy Parkin” missed easy chances and the Kilnhurst crowd were not pleased.  With Mexborough’s first attack of the second half Willy Turner scored another fine goal.  The “Wasp” had to defend and some of the Kilnhurst defenders tackles were questionable.  Both teams scored a goal each before the end to make the final score Mexborough three Kilnhurst one”.  In 1896/97 Mexborough joined the Midland league and in their second season 1897/98 won the league.  Although Barnsley finished second to Mexborough and Glossop North End ninth they were both elected to the Second Division of the Football League the following season in preference to Mexborough. 1897 found the first playing of the Montagu Cup.  The match was played between two teams who played their football outside the immediate Mexborough area,  Ecclesfield from Sheffield and Newhill from Barnsley. Ecclesfield were eventually the winners of the Montagu cup (never to win the cup again)  It was difficult in that April day in 1897 to realize that one hundred and seventeen years later that the cup would still be the premiere knockout competition in the Mexborough area. In only the second playing of the Montagu Cup, Kilnhurst Town reached the final and were matched against another Barnsley team Birdwell, so the headline report for the match was “The Birds meet the Wasps”  The Kilnhurst team for the final was as follows. WHITE FROGGATT (CAP)                  BIRCH DAWSON             PEPPER                     G. CATERER BLURTON     PARKIN         P GLADWIN       CLARKE    JESSOP Nicknames were in common use and Kilnhurst had long been known as the “wasps” because of the black and amber quartered shirts in which they played. The massive silver Montagu Cup would have been on display outside the pavilion at Hampden Road, as Kilnhurst kicked off in front of a crowd estimated at one thousand.  Kilnhurst had won the toss and decided to kick downhill they were the first to attack and gained a free kick twenty five yards out from which Clarke’s shot grazed the crossbar.  Shortly afterwards Kilnhurst were awarded a corner which Clarke again headed over the bar.  Birdwell then mounted several attacks of their own and Caterer was cautioned for rough play.  At half time there was no score.  From the first attack of the second half Pepper was penalised the resulting Birdwell free kick narrowly missed the upright.  Ten minutes later after a mistake by Froggatt, Birdwell scored, but within minutes Kilnhurst were level when “Dutch Gladwin” scored with a strongly hit shot which gave the goalkeeper no chance.  Gladwin had several other good chances to score which he did not take and shortly before the end Birdwell scored the winner directly from a free kick.  The massive Montagu Cup was presented to the Birdwell captain on the field. It was reported in 1896 that free scoring centre forward Pete “Dutch” Gladwin had joined the army at Penistone but if this was correct his service did not last long as in 1898 he was back playing for Kilnhurst.  His brother William Gladwin also a top class footballer and high class musician a well known personality in Kilnhurst was killed in world war one at the Dardinells age thirty eight.

Highthorne 1903

By 1900 the growth of another Kilnhurst team Highthorne, overtook Kilnhurst Town in their search for success.  Highthorne was a stand alone football club, although the hamlet of Highthorne with no more than three dozen houses is within the boundaries of Kilnhurst.  It is likely that the team would have been based around the only public house ,The Rock Tavern.  The home ground was the old forge ground, best part of a mile away through Kilnhurst.  The ground was still in regular use up to the 1950’s but was always low lying and prone to flooding.  By 1903 Highthorne had become the premiere club in Kilnhurst and reached the final of the Montagu Cup in that year.  The final was between Highthorne known as the Rockites and Wath.  The Highthorne team on that Easter day one hundred and eleven years ago was as follows. TOMMY THORPE FRANK (SLUSH) HAWCROFT                    LEN ARDRON GEORGE EDWARDS                 TOMMY TOMKINS                     MATT ARDRON HARRY JONES    CHARLIE BISBY    JOSS NEVITT    TED BURKINSHAW     BILLY LOVATT Three of these players would go on to play professional football: Tommy Thorpe, Tommy Tomkins and Ted Burkinshaw The final was played before one of the biggest crowds at Hampden Road of approximately four thousand people on Easter Saturday.  Despite awful climatic conditions, the ropes were lined with enthusiastic supporters from both sides.  Rain came down in torrents at regular intervals and the ground became extremely muddy and slippery which  made good football impossible.  In the early stages of the game Wath did all the pressing, the ball often in dangerous proximity to the Highthorne goal.  After twenty minutes Rogers struck a fierce shot from twenty yards that gave Tommy Thorpe in the Highthorne goal no chance and Wath were in front.  Throughout the first half Wath had all the play and Highthorne were penned in to their own half.  Winstanley twice had the ball in the net for Wath only to be ruled offside.  At half time the score was Highthorne nil Wath one. Immediately on resumption Robinson fouled Joss Nevitt in the penalty area and Highthorne were awarded a penalty, which fullback Len Ardron took but Wath keeper Manbridge made a fine save.  Eventually Joss Nevitt scored for Highthorne with a fine solo effort but in the last fifteen minutes Wath again had all the play and Highthorne were lucky to be saved by the crossbar on two occasions.  After ninety minutes the score remained one goal each and a replay was arranged. The replay two weeks later again at Mexborough Town’s Hampden Road attracted another large crowd and the hospital charity benefitted greatly from these two games. In the first half the two teams were evenly matched, both goalkeepers giving fine displays. The score at half time was nil nil.  After only ten minutes of the second half Joss Nevitt scored for Highthorne (previously having another effort disallowed) but within a few minutes Winstanley, the best forward on the field equalised for Wath.  Ten minutes before the end Charlie Bisby scored a second for Highthorne and this time Wath were unable to respond.  The final score finished Highthorne two Wath one and Highthorne became the fifth winners of the much coveted Montagu Cup. The cup and medals were presented by Mr Drabble, president of Mexborough Cricket Club who said that in its fifth year of playing the cup continued to be a great success and forty two pounds had been raised for the hospital funds from the first game alone. The Highthorne team were accompanied on their way home by the G.C. brass band with the cup prominently displayed to the great acclaim of local well wishers as they passed through Highthorne on their way to Kilnhurst. Kilnhurst and Highthorne continued to play in The South Yorkshire Alliance League.  The fortunes of the two clubs in February 1905 were very different as can be seen from the league below.

Kilnhurst Town 7 6 1 0 20 10 12
Mexborough Res 2 2 0 0    6    3   4
South Kirby Coll. 4 2 2 0    9    7   4
Thornhill UTD Res. 4 2 2 0    5    7   4
Rawmarsh Albion 5 2 3 0    9 10   4
Rotherham Town Res. 7 2 5 0 11 16   4
Highthorne 5 1 4 0    4 11   2

Highthorne’s only win of the season by February was a 2-1 victory against Rotherham Town reserves at Kilnhurst on the Forge ground.

Kilnhurst Football 1900-1914

By 1906 Kilnhurst were playing in the Sheffield Association League at mid April the table looked as follows:

DENABY UNITED RES 18 12   2 4 39 22 28
SOUTH KIRBY COLL. 18 12   3 3 45 25 27
ROTHERHAM MAIN 22    9   7 6 48 38 24
ROTHERHAM C. RES. 21    9   7 5 46 35 23
HALLAM 20    9   8 3 43 35 21
MEX.TOWN RES. 21    8   8 5 45 44 21
ROTHERHAM T. RES. 18    9   7 2 52 24 20
CATCLIFFE 19    8   7 4 55 48 20
RAWMARSH ALB. 17    6   4 7 27 26 19
KILNHURST TOWN 19    4   7 8 41 56 16
SHEFFIELD CLUB 19    2 11 6 21 70 16
WADSLEY BRIDGE 19    4 11 4 23 41 12
DONC. ST. JUDE 17    3 11 3 24 50   9

Obviously Kilnhurst had stepped up in class and were struggling to hold their own, but the other noticeable thing about the league table is the distance between some of the teams.  The distance between Sheffield club and Doncaster St. Jude would have been approximately twenty five miles, the only reliable mode of transport in 1906 was the railway, it is not hard to imagine that the journey time for some of these fixtures could have been two hours.  The Mexborough Rotherham Tramway system which greatly improved road travel in this area opened in 1906.

Warren Vale around 1910 with newly installed tram system (Rotherham to Mexborough) Warren Vale Colliery is on the left.

Warren Vale around 1910 with newly installed tram system (Rotherham to Mexborough) Warren Vale Colliery is on the left.

Kilnhurst Town who in the following 1906/7 season went on to win the coveted Montagu cup were languishing near the bottom of the Association League with only four wins from nineteen games.  Kilnhurst Colliery was again in the midst of another extended and damaging strike which must have affected the moral of the Kilnhurst footballers.  Included below is a letter written by the colliery manager Mr E Jagger to the South Yorkshire Times, indicating the strength of feeling caused in the mining community by the continuing and damaging strikes. Dear Sir At the interment recently of a man named G Hammond who leaves a widow and five young children and who died from injuries whilst at work at Thrybergh Hall Colliery a few days ago.  A scene of barbarity and brutality was witnessed.  Hammond an eminently respectable man had incurred the odium of the “strikers” because he had returned to work at the colliery where he had been previously employed and where as far as his work was concerned there had never been any dispute.  As the funeral cortege was passing the colliery, it was assailed with hideous yelling, heard half a mile away.  The crowd was composed chiefly of so called women together with an elegant sprinkling of the miners committee.  As the ceremony in the church yard was proceeding one person was heard to remark “there’s another one gone dead” and as the coffin was being lowered into the ground another exclaimed “let him tumble in”.  Then as the hearse was moving slowly away someone cried “bring one a week” to which another added “nay bring one a day tha means”.  These are but a few flowers of speech overheard by yours indignantly.   SIGNED E JAGGER COLLIERY MANAGER Only people who have lived in a colliery village could understand the strength of feeling that this letter portrays.   In the 1906/1907 season Kilnhurst had again assembled a strong team and did well in the league, and won the Montagu Cup for the first time. The route to the cup final was . Kilnhurst Town 3   Bolton Town nil Kilnhurst Town 1   Greasborough nil Kilnhurst Town 1   Ecclesfield nil In the final Kilnhurst Town beat Rawmarsh and Parkgate two goals to nil. The Kilnhurst team on that day was as follows. J Caterer, H Caterer, I Staniforth, L Tingle, J Nevitt, J Burkinshaw, W Rippon H Wood, W Ball, F Law, and A Burkinshaw. Joss Nevitt and Jack Burkinshaw scored the goals. 1907 Montagu Cup Final Report. “It was a great misfortune that the final of the Mexborough Montagu Cup had to be played on such a miserable day, not only did it spoil the game but it also ruined the gate.  Mr Lewis the match referee look set to postpone the match but both teams were anxious to settle the resting place of the cup that day. From the start the “wasps” were the superior team and Joss Nevitt the Kilnhurst centre forward had scored within five minutes, and although Kilnhurst did all the pressing no further goals were scored in the first half.  In the second half Jack Burkinshaw quickly made it two nil to Kilnhurst and the game was all over”. The hospital management committee were very disappointed at the poor attendance, but were ready to put it down to the dreadful state of the weather rather than any lack of interest in the cup.  In the last six years of them playing of the Charity Cup two hundred and twenty pounds has been raised for the hospital funds. Councillor Clayton presented the magnificent trophy and medals. Those given to the winners are solid gold and to the runners up silver with gold centres. A celebratory dinner was held for the winning team (that had captured the prestigious Montagu Cup). The dinner was held at the Station Hotel on Victoria Street and fifty people sat down to a sumptuous meal provided by the hosts Mr and Mrs W C Taylor.  The menu was as follows: Tomato Soup, fish, roast beef, roast veal, york ham, roast ham, boiled mutton, roast chicken, boiled foul, veal pie, pigeon pie, royal pudding, fruit jelly, rhubarb tart, cheese and celery.  No doubt washed down with liberal quantities of beer. Once the dinner had been consumed, the meeting was presided over by Mexborough councillor Mr John Clayton.  The meeting was addressed by the Kilnhurst Town secretary Mr Edward Burkinshaw, who congratulated the players and supporters for the fine season they had just had.  Not with standing this he said that the club was in serious financial difficulties and that presently the club was in debt to the tune of twenty pounds.  Mr J E Clarke the chairman of the club said that Kilnhurst had several promising players and he asked them to be loyal to the club as other clubs would be seeking their signature.  He then suggested it would be a good time for the players present to re-sign (they had already had an offer of two pounds for one particular player to sign for both Mexborough Town and Rotherham) but Mr Clarke at the end of the evening was disappointed with the players response and only four had re-signed that night.   In 1908 Kilnhurst after their successful season of 1906/7 lost some of their players that had refused to sign at the Station Hotel. 1907/8 was an anticlimactic year, the Sheffield Association League Table at the end of March 1908 looked as follows:

Wath Athletic 23 19   3 1 78 12 39
Denaby United 23 14   4 5 62 27 33
Rotherham City 23 14   5 4 62 36 32
Rotherham Town 22 11   4 7 66 38 29
South Kirby Coll. 18 13   4 1 56 16 27
Doncaster Rovers 23 10   9 4 39 42 24
Rawmarsh Albion 19   8   5 6 41 34 24
Parkgate & Rawmarsh 24   9 12 3 54 46 21
Hickleton Main 22   9 11 2 41 63 20
Rothervale Coll. 21   8 11 3 29 64 18
Rotherham Main 20   6 10 4 30 51 15
Grimethorpe 21   6 12 3 45 76 15
Tinsley Club 22   5 13 4 26 54 14
Mexborough Town Res 20   4 12 4 33 52 12
Sheffield Club 21   5 15 1 28 66 11
Kilnhurst Town 20   5 15 0 40 78 10

Hckleton Main won the Montagu Cup beating Rawmarsh and Parkgate three goals to one, Rawmarsh and Parkgate being the runners up for the second consecutive season. Hickleton Main went on to win the cup in 1910, 1911 and 1912 making them cup winners in four seasons out of the last five.  Although Hickleton won the cup in 1912 it had taken them three games to beat Kilnhurst in the semi final.  The first semi final game played between the two teams was played at Bolton on Dearne, the first replay was at Wath “before a good gate raising nineteen pounds” Kilnhurst’s Hayward suffered a broken ankle and both teams had a player sent off, but even with nine men Kilnhurst managed a two two draw.  The second replay at Wath , Hickleton were at full strength but Kilnhurst were missing several regular players. Hammond (goal keeper) poisoned finger, Hayward (left half) broken ankle from the previous game, Jack Atkin and Ernest Cobb were also absent through injuries. Hickleton were two up after twelve minutes, midway through the half Moralee put the ball out to the right wing and the incoming cross was converted by Lovatt the Kilnhurst centre forward, to make the score at half time two one to Hickleton. The Kilnhurst defence were under a lot of pressure early in the second half Len Harvey and Matt Moralee played heroically, they failed to stop Hickleton scoring a third goal and the final score was three one to Hickleton. Hickleton went on to play Frickley Colliery in the final.  In total over the three matches between Kilnhurst and Hickleton seventy pounds was raised for the hospital charity. By April 1912 the Sheffield Association League looked as follows:

South Kirby Coll 20 17   2 1 86 18 35
Wath Athletic 21 15   6 1 45 19 31
Hickleton Main 19 11   3 5 36 15 27
Doncaster Rovers Res 23 12 10 1 47 37 25
Frickley Coll. 18 11   6 1 40 34 23
Silverwood Coll. 23   9   9 5 39 40 23
Rotherham County Res 20   9   7 4 44 33 22
Rotherham Town Res 19   9   8 2 30 34 20
Conisbrough St Peters 19   7   8 4 35 46 18
Mexborough Town Res 24   7 13 4 39 54 18
Bentley Coll. 19   7   9 3 48 52 17
Kilnhurst Town 21   8 12 1 34 39 17
Parkgate & Rawmarsh 18   7   9 2 37 64 16
Denaby Untd. Res. 24   6 16 2 36 72 14
Broadsworth Coll. 21   6 14 2 26 67 12

Kilnhurst through the 1911/12 season had a strong team but still found themselves fourth from the bottom of a very strong Association League. Rotherham County won the Midland League. In 1912 Willy Ball long time Kilnhurst footballer and captain of the club received a benefit when Wath Athletic visited Kilnhurst and a large crowd attended the match on the recreation ground. All the South Yorkshire colliery towns were again in the grip of strikes and lockouts.  Newspaper reports of the time read ‘A starving nation’, industrial paralysis, privation and poverty, steadily the life blood of the nation is being sapped, as the duration of the coal strike lengthens in to weeks.  A million miners have downed tools and now hold the nation’s trade in a murderous grip.  Unemployment is spreading, wages are decreasing and the price of food is forever increasing, the entire nation faces disaster.  The crippling of the railways has badly affected trade, it is estimated that there are nearly as many people thrown out of work as miners on strike.  Every town and city now has its army of desolation and hungry out of work men and their families.  Empty cupboards, foodless households and fireless grates are now commonplace, many of the workless not being in unions received no out of work relief. In Kilnhurst itself a relief fund has been set up, the relief committee provide both schools in the village (nearly six hundred children) Tuesday and Friday’s breakfast and on Friday loaves of bread were distributed from the band room on Wharf Road. The following donations were received by the committee: The Co-operative Society seven pounds Mr J Langley five pounds ( Hooton Roberts) Both working men’s clubs one pound each per week Mechanics Institute two pounds ten shillings Children’s Sports Committee one pound per week Highthorne Sports Committee five shillings per week Whitworth Brewery one pound Don Brewery one pound Hewitt’s Brewery one pound Mr E Bentham five shillings per week Mr A Newby five shillings per week Mr F Hinchcliffe five shillings Mr W Tasker five shillings Many Tradesmen one pound per week Councillors Ward and Hague one pound each   A football match was to be held on the town ground between the two working men’s clubs the proceeds to go to the fund. The village is quiet, coal pickers are numerous and scores of tons of coal is picked from Roundwood Colliery. The post office was moved from Hooton Road to Victoria Street. 1913/14 Season With the first world war fast approaching, Kilnhurst were again able to put together a team capable of lifting the Montagu Cup. Kilnhurst became busy again all the industries were preparing for the inevitability of the forthcoming war, steelworks to munitions and collieries mining additional coal. Kilnhurst Town who were having a good season in the Association League  (second place) reached the final of the Montagu Cup for a third time, this time up against the unlikely opposition from the Licensed Victuallers League, South Yorkshire Hotel. The game was very one sided and the report said that Kilnhurst were vastly superior to their opponents in every department.  In the first fifteen minutes Kilnhurst were three goals up Dawson two and Clarke one, five minutes later they missed a penalty.  Just before the interval South Yorkshire scored through their veteran centre forward Ferguson, to make the half time score three one to Kilnhurst. The second half was all Kilnhurst as they bombarded the South Yorkshire goal, and only twenty minutes into the second half Kilnhurst had added three more goals, Dawson two and Clarke one to make the score six. one, had the Kilnhurst players extended themselves the score would surely have climbed to double figures.  The final score was six one in Kilnhurst’s favour and one of the most one sided Montagu Cup finals came to an end. Dawsons four goals brought his tally up to forty four goals in total. Len Harvey the Kilnhurst centre half was the best player on the field.

South Yorkshire Hotel, Kilnhursts Towns opponents in the Montague Cup 1914

South Yorkshire Hotel, Kilnhursts Towns opponents in the Montague Cup 1914

The Kilnhurst team was E Cobb, C A Taylor, E Titterton, J Cooper, L Hatvey, J F Burkinshaw, J Clarke, A Reader, E Talbot, S Dawson, W Ball (Willy Ball won his second Montagu Cup winner’s medal in this match). South Yorkshire Hotel went on to contest the final of the Swinton & District Licensed Victualler’s Cup and lost out again to The Kings Head at Swinton.  Tommy Thorpe, the old Kilnhurst and Highthorne goal keeper was in the goal that day for the Kings Head and the team photograph still hangs on the wall in the Kings Head to this day. The week in which Kilnhurst won the Montagu Cup they played the following games. Good Friday, Kilnhurst beat Darfield United at Kilnhurst. On Saturday they won the Montagu Cup. Easter Monday, Kilnhurst travelled to Frickley and beat the colliery side two nil. On Thursday Kilnhurst played and beat Rawmarsh. On Saturday Kilnhurst drew with Wath Athletic in a hard game. The Saturday team to play Wath Athletic was to be selected from the following players: E Cobb, C A Taylor, E Titterton, J Cooper, L Harvey, J T Burkinshaw, C Bentham, J Clarke, A Reader, E Hobson, E Talbot, S Dawson and W Ball. Charlie Bentham and Ernie Hobson were added to the cup winning side. Five games in a week, probably played between shifts, no substitutes. Just over two years later Charlie Bentham was killed in world war one, badly injured on the first day of the Somme, July 1916, he survived the battlefield only to die three weeks later in Wrexham Hospital aged twenty six years.  He is buried just inside the gates of St Thomas Churchyard at Kilnhurst. Kilnhurst Football 1919-1939 Organised football went on for one more season 1914/1915 in which Sheffield United won the F.A. Cup before the carnage of the Western Front forced the F.A. to abandon all organised football until the 1919/20 season. Just three seasons after the stoppage for WW1 Kilnhurst again featured in the Montagu Cup in the Semi finals, Kilnhurst W.M.C. (now styled as Kilnhurst Working Mens Club) beat Rawmarsh Athletic Five – two and Sandhill Juniors beat Swinton D.S. & S (discharged soldiers and sailors) one – nil to take the other final place. This final appears to be unique, as it shows the victorious Kilnhurst team with the Montagu Cup no previous or subsequent photos would appear to exist. There are two photograph, the first shows the team and the second shows the team surrounded by supporters, both taken in Dr Aikens garden at the top of Victoria Street. Dr Aiken was a long serving and much liked Kilnhurst Doctor (and football supporter) from the 1920’s to the 1950’s. This was the twenty third playing of the Montagu Cup and people and seemed to haver lost non of their enthusiasm for this prestigious trophy. The final took place on Easter Tuesday at Mexborough town’s Hamden Road Ground. The last match between a well matured Kilnhurst side and a very young Sandhill team (all said to be under twenty years of age) looked to be a one sided affair. The weather was dry and sunny and the ground was hard and grassless, but a large crowd turned out to watch what turned out to be a very even game.  The young Sandhill team were very quick over the ground and gave Kilnhurst plenty of problems, but Kilnhurst dominated the first half and after thirty minutes Chappell opened the scoring for Kilnhurst with a twenty yard ground shot.  Minutes later (against the run of play) Wilde equalised for Sandhill, Goodby restored Kilnhurst lead five minutes before half time shooting in to an open net. In the second half the speed of the Sandhill team made Kilnhurst seem a little leg weary and ten minutes in to the half Bennett brought the scores level at two two and within five minutes Wilde again scored for Sandhill to put them three two in front.  Half way through the second half Kilnhurst inside forward Frith brought the scores level again and the match ended three goals each, and a replay was required. Kilnhurst went on to win the replay and thus secured a third victory in the Montagu Cup Final KILNHURST W.M.C. TEAM MEADOWS DUNGWORTH                MUSCROFT H MILLINGTON            GLADWIN                  B MILLINGTON STANIFORTH    FRITH          CHAPPELL          GOODBY             SAXTON   SANDHILL JUNIORS COOPER BROWN        ENSOR FARMERY           GUILLIAM           STRINGER SMITH      HOPKINSON    WILDE        BENNETT         WHITE


1923 Montagu Cup winners in Dr Atkin’s garden at the top of Victoria Street.


The 1923 Montagu Cup Winning Team

The 1923 Montagu Cup Winning Team

1923/24 season Another successful season for the Kilnhurst team, finishing well in the Mexborough & Swinton Alliance League and over the Easter period they again contested a series of successful games. On Good Friday they easily beat Mexborough Rangers winning five nil at Kilnhurst. On Saturday they played the return game against Goldthorpe Comrades at home in the Alliance League.  The gate was spoilt by the late arrival of the visitors.  Owing to an incident which had taken place when Kilnhurst visited Goldthorpe, special precautions were taken for the preservation of order, but nothing untowards occurred.  Winstanley displaced Meadows in the Kilnhurst goal and E Burkinshaw and Goodby returned to the team.  Goldthorpe were well represented but were beaten almost from the start, Len Harvey playing at outside left scored a fine solo goal, the Kilnhurst veteran distinguished himself again minutes later when he received a ball from Burkinshaw and scored again with a fine shot.  Shaw scored to make it three nil to Kilnhurst, but the play was very rough and the Goldthorpe keeper was injured after a series of Kilnhurst corners.  Taylor eventually scored a fourth for Kilnhurst and the game finished Kilnhurst four Goldthorpe nil. The Score reflected Kilnhurst’s dominance over a team placed second in the league.  Len Harvey was the best player on the field (although he was one of the oldest players in junior football) he showed himself to be master of his craft and beat the Goldthorpe defence time and time again. On Easter Monday Kilnhurst entertained the Duke of Wellington’s (Sheffield) in a charity match.  Kilnhurst turned out a full team and a substantial crowd of several hundred turned out to watch. Kilnhurst won the game without raising a sweat, Shaw and Dungworth scoring to give Kilnhurst another easy victory, the final score being 3-1,  O’Kelly scored for the visitors the only goal scored against Kilnhurst over the three holiday games. The soldiers and friends were generously entertained and the proceeds went to charity. Unfortunately in the big match of the week Easter Tuesday’s Montagu cup final  Kilnhurst were beaten 3-1 by Askern W.M.C. 1924/25 season Kilnhurst W.M.C. again reached the semi final of the Montagu Cup , losing two nil to Darfield Bridge, the eventual winners after first playing a tight two all draw.

1925/26 season Kilnhurst reached the final of the Rotherham Charity Cup played at Millmoor.  Unfortunately they lost four goals to two to Dalton & Eastwood. Hewitson and Gladwin scored Kilnhurst’s goals.

1926/27 season Kilnhurst again changed their name this time to Kilnhurst Athletic, and yet again appeared in the semi final of the Montagu Charity Cup, losing to the eventual cup winners Goldthorpe United.

1927/28 season Kilnhurst Athletic went out in the semi final of the Montagu Cup for the fifth time in six years, losing three one to Roman Terrace.  The Kilnhurst team in this match  was as follows. RUSSELL CHESTER                     GILLIVER JACOBS               HEWITTSON                  TAYLOR DYSON      FRITH            HARVEY      C TAYLOR       HOYLE By the 1930’s Kilnhurst were fielding three different teams.  Kilnhurst Athletic Kilnhurst O B. and Kilnhurst Wanderers. This must have weakened them.  Kilnhurst Athletic were still playing in the Mexborough Association League but made little impression on the Montagu Cup again until after the Second World War. The 1929/30 team was as follows: SMART BENTHAM                    HARDTHORPE THORPE                   BISBY                        TURTON REYNOLDS     J BURKINSHAW     R SOUTH    LAWLESS          HART The 1931 Montagu cup final between Goldthorpe United and Broomhill was played at Wath, because the Montagu Cup Committee and the Mexborough Athletic Club could not agree terms for staging the match at Mexborough.

1932/33 season There  was lots of snow in February/March 1933 football was badly disrupted and the semi final of the Montagu Cup between Thurnscoe Victoria and Owston Park was abandoned five minutes before the final whistle due to a very heavy snow storm.

1933/34 season Kilnhurst Old Boys played in the final of the Mexborough Challenge Cup (which had been inaugurated in 1926) losing one nil to Wath Road Athletic after first playing in a two all draw. Also won the Mexborough Association League.

1934/35 season Kilnhurst Old Boys reached the semi final of the Mexborough Challenge Cup losing to Conaby St. Andrews.

1935/36 season saw the rise of two other Kilnhurst based teams, Baker & Bessemer and Yorkshire Tar.

1935/36 Mexborough Association League Winners. Baker & Bessemer beat Wath Road Athletic. ( 3 – 1).   Monk’s & Kershaw 2 for scored Bakers and Higgins for Wath Road.

1937/1938 season   April 19th Mexborough Challenge Cup Winners

Baker & Bessemer 3  Yorkshire Tar Distillers 2 Hart, Swann and Hazledene scored for Bakers and South and Harvey for Yorkshire Tar. The Baker’s team included Day, Bratley, Linley (capt.) Taylor, Faulkner, Kershaw, Higgins, Hart, Hazledene, Wood, Howitt and Swann.

1937/38 May 7th Mexborough Association League Winners.

Baker & Bessemer beat Swinton W.M.C. (3 – 2) Faulkner, Kershaw and Whittaker scored for Baker’s and Barks and Tait for Swinton W.M.C.

George Linley was Baker’s Captain for all 3 finals. He was born 23 April 1913 Wath Road, Mexborough, he married Frances Elizabeth Case on 30 October 1937 at St Margarets Church, Swinton. They had 3 children Maureen, George Thomas and Barry. George was Railway Guard at Mexborough LNER Traffic Dept. 1937 – 1975. He died 8th September 1980 age 67.

G Linley

George Linley (Captain)

Captain George Linley received Replica Cup (10 Ins high) for winning 1935/1936 Mexborough Association League

38/39 season As the second world war grew ever nearer Yorkshire Tar as a team reached the peak of their achievements.  The Tar Distillers team elected almost exclusively from men who actually worked for the company (probably no more than three hundred & fifty men) were virtually unbeatable winning the Association League, the Mexborough Challenge Cup and the mighty Mexborough Montagu Cup beating old rivals Baker & Bessemer five goals to nil.  The match report on this game was as follows. Few teams can have started firmer favourites to win the cup than Yorkshire Tar did this year, within sixty seconds of the start of the match Phillips had the ball in the net but it was disallowed.  Two minutes later Burkinshaw scored the first goal with a low shot after a mistake by Taylor, although Yorkshire Tar had all the play they did not score again until three minutes before half time when Arthur Vickers scored direct from a corner, at half time Yorkshire Tar were two goals to nil in front. Eight minutes in to the second half Bakers could have pulled a goal back, when they were awarded a penalty for a foul in the area, Kershaw took the kick and blazed it over the crossbar.  After seventeen minutes of the second half the Distillers made it three nil when Phillips centred for Burkinshaw to tap in for the third goal. South scored the fourth from a Vicker’s corner, with the fifth coming from Steve Vickers which completed the scoring two minutes from the end.  Smith, Wilkinson and Hardy were the stars of the show, Hardy was probably the pick with tremendous power in his free kicks and shooting.  Nettleton in the Yorkshire Tar goal probably had his easiest day of the season. The cup was presented in front of the pavilion by the matron of the Montagu Hospital Miss O’Callaghan, the gate amounted to eighty eight pounds.

Back row left to right D Cooper(Sec)  D Fisher, P Harvey, D Nettleton, L Smith, C Hardy, C Warren, R Oliver, G Howitt (trainer)  Front row left to right M Moorhouse, A Vickers, R South, J Burkinshaw, S Vickers and K Phillips.

Back row left to right: D Cooper(Sec) D Fisher, P Harvey, D Nettleton, L Smith, C Hardy, C Warren, R Oliver, G Howitt (trainer)
Front row left to right: M Moorhouse, A Vickers, R South, J Burkinshaw, S Vickers and K Phillips.

The club photograph taken in spring 1939 at their ground off Wentworth Road behind Albany Villas.  The church can be seen in the background. Sadly for this extremely good Yorkshire Tar Distillers team the second world war was going to interrupt their lives, and at best disrupting their football careers, some like Lionel Smith served through the war then went on to play top class football for many years, but for others 1939 was to be the pinnacle of their footballing lives.

The Second World War Years

At the end of the 1938/39 season, the Second World War broke out in the autumn of 1939.   The Professional football league was suspended for seven seasons and not resumed until 1946.  Many footballers served in the forces through the war years, others went to work in industry (coal and steel) they played football part time and would play as guests in prestigious local football games like the Montagu Cup. In the Montagu Cup of 1944 Denaby United drew 3-3 with Wath Athletic generating the largest ever Montague Cup crowd (5704) .Both teams played guest players, Stan Ardron and Matt Moralee, both Rotherham players were in the Denaby team, while George Robledo played for Wath George Robledo went on to score the winning goal for Newcastle, when they beat Arsenal 1-0 in the F.A. cup final in front of a crowd of 100,000. people at Wembley. 1944/45 Kilnhurst won the Rotherham Charity Cup (photo) The 1945/46 Montagu Cup final resulted in another win for Kilnhurst (now Kilnhurst Colliery) beating Shipcroft United 2-1.  Only one of the goals was clear cut and Shipcroft objected to both Kilnhurst goals, and a few minutes before the final whistle the Shipcroft team made to leave the field in protest, and the referee had trouble bringing the game to a conclusion. The match report was as follows. In the first ten minutes Shipcroft had the upper hand but faded badly and Kilnhurst ran most of the game, but it was dull.  Five minutes before half time Deakin took a fine free kick on the goal line just in from the corner flag,  A crowd of Kilnhurst players descended on the Ship croft goalkeeper and the ball was scrambled over the line, the goalkeeper recovered the ball and claimed it had not crossed the line, but the referee had judged it to be a goal amid long and loud protest from the Shipcroft supporters.  Twenty five minutes into the second half Shipcroft equalised when Rollet the Kilnhurst keeper pushed a shot wide of the post for a corner.  Jennings the Shipcroft wing man sent in a superb corner for left half Woodcock to score with a diving header.

Kilnhurst Town outside the Pavilion on the recreation ground, season 1944/45 winners of the Rotherham Charity Cup. M Stanniforth, Burkinshaw, J Bentley, Millington, Gyler, V Muscroft, T Frith, C Eaton, H Richmond, T Dungwoth, W Youran, D hoyle, H Millington, Braithwaite, Hague, E Dixon, C Webster, J Taylor, F Adey, B Deakin, J Haythorne, J Taylor R Dungworth

Kilnhurst Town outside the Pavilion on the recreation ground, season 1944/45 winners of the Rotherham Charity Cup.
M Stanniforth, Burkinshaw, J Bentley, Millington, Gyler, V Muscroft, T Frith C Eaton, H Richmond, T Dungwoth, W Youran, D hoyle, H Millington, Braithwaite, Hague, E Dixon, C Webster, J Taylor, F Adey, B Deakin, J Haythorne, J Taylor R Dungworth

Through injury Kilnhurst lost Aspinall and Shipcroft lost Wainwright so both teams were down to ten men.  The decider came just five minutes before time when Adey the Kilnhurst inside man burst through a crowded goal area to force the ball home, Shipcroft immediately appealed that Adey had handled the ball but again the referee awarded the goal and Kilnhurst ran out 2-1 winners.  The game was disappointing and not easy on the eye  but the best team won and in eighteen year old Jimmy Taylor Kilnhurst have a quick silver centre forward of great promise, and the half back line of Burkinshaw, Senior and Lee were exceptionally strong. The cup and the medals were presented in front of the pavilion, the gate had been in excess of 3000. And the proceeds to the hospital were seventy five pounds. ROLLETT FLAHERTY                                                   ASPINALL STAN BURKINSHAW               SENIOR                                    LEE ALBERT LLOYD HEATON     JIMMY TAYLOR   ADEY            DEAKIN Kilnhurst also won the Mexborough Challenge Cup dismissing Denaby amateurs 6-0 .  Kilnhurst’s goals were scored by Frank Adey 2, Jimmy Taylor 2 Arthur Lee and Stan Burkinshaw. Jimmy Taylor went on to play for Scunthorpe and Gainsborough Trinity in the Midland League. The Pitmans cup 1945/46

Kilnhurst No. 2A Team Braithwaite, J Taylor, W Taylor, W Youren, D Hoyle, C Taylor, Hudspeth, Muscroft, Licence, A Lloyd, E Dixon, J Taylor, W Marsh, Brown, C Schofield, W Taylor

Kilnhurst No. 2A Team
Braithwaite, J Taylor, W Taylor, W Youren, D Hoyle, C Taylor, Hudspeth, Muscroft, Licence, A Lloyd, E Dixon, J Taylor, W Marsh, Brown, C Schofield, W Taylor

Kilnhurst No 1B Team. T Dungworth, F Case, H Richmond, D Lane, G Elliot, Hamilton, N Staniforth, Licence.

Kilnhurst No 1B Team.
T Dungworth, F Case, H Richmond, D Lane, G Elliot, Hamilton, N Staniforth, Licence.


Kilnhurst Football 1945/1962

By the end of the 1948/49 season Kilnhurst had assembled another team capable of winning the areas premier cup competition and the colliery side met Rawmarsh Welfare in the final at Hampden Road.  The colliery team was as follows. TOM DUNGWORTH WILDE                                                                          COOPER JACK TAYLOR                                SENIOR                            WALT TAYLOR PETTY             HARPHAM                KERRY       DIXON           GEORGE FRITH The final was played on Easter Monday.  In a goalless first half Hopkinson in the Rawmarsh goal was busier than Tom Dungworth of Kilnhurst.  The first goal came in the 75th minute when a high ball came in from the left for Rawmarsh’s Ardron to head into the top corner giving Dungworth no chance.  Both teams had many good chances but it was not until two minutes before the end when George Frith collected a pass from Dixon beat two Rawmarsh defenders and shot home from an acute angle.  The Kilnhurst supporters mobbed the little left winger, carried him shoulder high off the field at the end of the game, not a match winning goal but it gave Kilnhurst a second crack at winning the cup.  There was a massive attendance of 3,600 people with the hospital funds being boosted by eight two pounds. The final was replayed at Denaby and again resulted in a draw.   After a third drawn game it was decided that the cup should be shared, the only time in the history of the Montagu Cup that this has ever happened. During this period Bakers also had a fine football team winning the Mexborough And District Alliance League in the 1947/48 season and also in the 1948/49 season, Albert Lloyd was part of both of these teams, Albert’s medals can be seen on photo 30.  The 1949/50 season The 1950 Montagu Cup final was an exact re-run of the previous season, but the 1950 version was played out in awful conditions, heavy rain lashed by strong winds and the match was a grim hard fought affair. Throughout the first half the Kilnhurst team attacked with the force of the wind and rain at their backs.  The large contingent of Rawmarsh supporters were disappointed when Kilnhurst went ahead after seventeen minutes, Dixon’s raking shot was partially saved by the Rawmarsh keeper Clarke but he pushed it straight out to Frith who curled the ball into the net.  Within two minutes Rawmarsh were level when left winger Chaplain found himself in a scoring position and equalised with a shot that never left the ground.  How Kilnhurst failed to score again before the interval is a mystery, wing half brothers Jack and Walt Taylor were shooting in at will without success. After the interval Rawmarsh had the advantage of the weather and it was a surprise that after sixty five minutes Kilnhurst again took the lead when Harpham smashed the ball home from a Kerry pass.  Ten minutes later Ardron scrambled the ball home from close range and the whistle went with the final score at 2-2. Twenty two bedraggled players who gave their best in appalling conditions trooped off the field to shelter.  The crowd had been kept down to 2500 by the weather.  A week later Kilnhurst lost the replay that was to be their last ever appearance in the Montagu Cup final all of 64 years ago. Kilnhurst’s successful team of the post war years broke up in the early 1950’s as the best players moved on some to midland league teams and others to successful local clubs, like Rawmarsh Welfare and Parkgate. The 1951/52 season WOOD NELSON                                              THACKERAY J TAYLOR                              SENIOR                W TAYLOR HAYTHORNE     FRITH        NEWBY    PALMER     WELLINGHAM As can be seen the above team showed many changes from the 1949 team, but under the guidance of Jack Haythorne, Kilnhurst developed a network of teams, under 16, under18 and the senior team, eventually in the late 1950’s Kilnhurst had again developed a very successful football side. The 1958/59 season The team that season was as below: DON DUNGWORTH ALAN CROWE                                                     ALAN DOBBS SID OLIVER                         NORMAN SHAW                       BRAIN COBB J HOPKINS   G FRITH             JOSS ECCLES   H DUNGWORTH   A CLARKE This team won the Mexborough Challenge Cup beating Swinton Athletic 4-2 at Hampden Road, Kilnhurst goals came from Frith 2 Cobb and Eccles, Eccles scoring his 34th goal of the season.  Kilnhurst also won the Rawmarsh Challenge Cup beating Denaby Rovers 3-1 scorers were Frith 2 and Eccles.  The photograph taken in Kilnhurst Club shows the team and supporters with the trophies Mexborough Challenge Cup, Rawmarsh Challenge Cup, and the Invitation Cup. 1959/60 season Kilnhurst again won the Mexborough Challenge Cup, Mexborough Association League, top four playoff, and Invitation Cup. 1960/61 season This story from the South Yorkshire Times illustrates the strength of the team at this time. “Eccles, Hart, Stacey, Dungworth and Wilkinson.  Names which add up to a goal keeper’s nightmare, and the nearest thing to perpetual motion in local football.  Following their sweeping success of last season, the Kilnhurst club were out to give a repeat performance this year.  At the end of last season they were holders of the Mexborough Challenge Cup the Invitation Cup, Mexborough Association League and winners of the top four playoff, when in one leg weary week they played six matches in seven days.  Now this season already they are in the final of the Mexborough Challenge Cup, beating Swinton 4-3 in the semi final, they have reached the semi final of the Montagu Cup in which they play Ford United, the holders. They head the Mexborough Association League with a 100% record and are virtually sure of a top four playoff place.  In the Sheffield Junior Cup they have reached the 6th round recently beating Sunnyside Welfare 2-1. The team is the same as last season with Longstaffe coming in for Linacre, Alan Clarke is now Club Secretary.  Kilnhurst eventually won the Mexborough Challenge Cup beating Parkgate Welfare 6-5 and lost out in the final of the Sheffield Junior Cup 2-1 to Laughton Common at Tickhill Square Denaby”, the team for that match was as follows: M RIX J BROWNLAW                        A DOBBS S OLIVER                            B COBB            B LONGSTAFFE J ECCLES   B HART            J STACEY      H DUNGWORTH    J WILKINSON  1961/62 season “The headlines read, Kilnhurst take the Challenge Cup for the 4th consecutive season.  Local footballing history was made on Saturday when Kilnhurst Colliery beat Swinton Athletic 3-2 at Mexborough.  The star of the show was inside forward Watkins who scored all three goals for Kilnhurst.  (although Watkins played very little for Kilnhurst) and this season was in the team in place of Harold Dungworth who had moved to Parkgate Welfare, who won the Montagu Cup beating Houghton Main 2-0. Harold Dungworth and another Kinhurst player Terry Staniforth scored the goals for Parkgate.” The rest of the 1960’s were much of an anticlimax for Kilnhurst Colliery as they joined the County Senior League, which gave them a better class of opponent week to week (playing at the two oldest clubs in the country, Sheffield Club and Hallam) but they were not able to play in the old cup competitions as the county senior league would not adjust their fixtures to allow this to happen, so the Montagu Cup, Mexborough & Rawmarsh Challenge Cups were all generally contested by the second team who were largely unable to compete.  Although I had lived in Kilnhurst all my life my first encounter with Kilnhurst Colliery was in December of 1960.  I was in my second season playing for Mexborough Tech O.B. and we were drawn to play Kilnhurst in the second round of the Montagu Cup on the Tech fields.  We were playing in the Doncaster Senior League and had a good but very young side. Stan Madden 16 year old goal keeper from Kilnhurst, at right back Walt Lilley who later played for Kilnhurst and a 16 year old free scoring centre forward called Roy Massey who went on to play professionally for Rotherham United and others. Kilnhurst Colliery team for that day was as follows. M RIX J BROWNLOW                          A DOBBS S OLIVER                  B COBB              B LONGSTAFFE P ECCLES       B HART    C STACEY   H DUNGWORTH    J WILKINSON At one stage we were 5-2 up (Massey all 5 goals) but late in the game we showed our inexperience and Stacey and Harold Dungworth made the final score 5 goals each. We lost the replay at Kilnhurst 4-1. The first season I played with Kilnhurst Colliery was 1962/63.  The A team were playing in the County Senior League and the B team were in the Mexborough and Rawmarsh League.  In the winter of the 1962/63 season the two teams generally looked as follows. A TEAM D DUNGWORTH J BROWNLOW                            N SHAW S OLIVER                        B COBB                  J WILKINSON M HOYLAND    J DEELEY    C STACEY    H DUNGWORTH    T STANIFORTH B TEAM R SUTTON R STONE                              A DOBBS J HOWITT               F BILLINGTON           B LONGSTAFFE B MATHEWS  REDFERN  H BARLOW      K SWIFT       F GRAY

Kilnhurst Football 1962-1970

Throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s I was in and out of the first team, the A team did well enough in the County Senior League, but to the best of my recollection never won anything.  The B team held their own in the Mexborough and Rawmarsh League and made several appearances in the local cup finals. Kilnhurst Colliery teams 1963/64 season A TEAM S MADDEN J BROWNLOW                                       K SWIFT COTTON                              B COBB                  DAVIES M HOYLAND    J DEELEY            BROWNING    H DUNGWORTH   T STANIFORTH   B TEAM M RIX STONE                                                         R SOUTH F BILLINGTON                    S PROCTER             S OLIVER D STRAW    BROWN                  H BARLOW    A GILLESPIE      B MATHEWS   The Kilnhurst Colliery team 1964/65 season A TEAM v OSBORNE SPORTS D DUNGWORTH R SOUTH                                                               K SWIFT J HOWITT                               B COBB                                  H MILLINGTON B SHEPHARD    BROWN            P JACKSON     H DUNGWORTH     B MATHEWS   B TEAM v L N E R ( Mexborough Challenge Cup) G BACON G BEECHAM                                                              J SHELDON B SHAW                           F BILLINGTON                     J BROWN J BROWNLOW    B WHITE    R MITCHELL    P SMITH        A CLIFFE On the 16th January 1965 Kilnhurst Colliery A beat Parkway Markets 8-0. The team for that day was as follows: D DUNGWORTH R SOUTH                                                               K SWIFT J HOWITT                          B COBB                              H MILLINGTON B SHEPHARD      T BROWN    P JACKSON     H DUNGWORTH     B MATHEWS Scorers were Jackson 3, Dungworth 2, Brown Shephard and Mathews Also in January 1965 Kilnhurst Colliery beat Kiveton Park 1-0 a brief match report on this game was as follows. “A goal by A Cliffe late in the game was enough to give Kilnhurst a narrow but well earned County Senior League win over Kiveton Park at Kilnhurst.  Kiveton fielded many of their Yorkshire League players, but the home sides excellent work in defence had them under pressure for long periods.  In fact Kilnhurst could have had a commanding lead by half time but squandered several good chances the conditions were hard and slippery and were probably responsible for many of the mistakes.  Kiveton showed more fight in the second half but the Kilnhurst defence held firm and then in a goal mouth scramble five minutes before the end Cliffe managed to force the ball home from close range for the only score of the game”. Swift and South were outstanding for the home side. Substitutes were introduced to amateur football for the first time. 1965/66 Season Report on Rawmarsh League Cup May 1966 Kilnhurst Colliery B 2  v High Terrace B 3 High Terrace have done a double recently their A team won the Montagu Cup beating Maltby Miners Welfare, and last Friday the B team managed to hold off a late bid by Kilnhurst Colliery B to take the Rawmarsh League Cup. On a dust dry and uneven pitch (L N E R) made attractive football almost impossible, early on the High Terrace forwards adopted a shoot on sight policy. Kilnhurst with obvious talent in their forward line did not give the performance expected of them and were overshadowed by the hard tackling Terrace defence. Trailing 3-0 with fifteen minutes to go the match looked like fizzling out, with Terrace winning as they pleased, but suddenly Kilnhurst’s Jackson scored and the match was on again. Three minutes later Howitt scored a second for Kilnhurst.  Kilnhurst had nine minutes in which to save the match, but try as they could they were unable to crack the Terrace defence again.  Terrace’s big centre forward Eric Fieldsend scored the first two goals with left wing man Day scoring Terrace’s third after fifty four minutes. TEAM RATINGS High Terrace EVANS (6) HARDIMAN  (7)                             OLIVER (7) BOOTH (6)        WHITEHOUSE (7)      WARREN (7) LAW (6)      ROEBUCK (6)  FIELDSEND (6)      GARDNER (6)   DAY (6) Kilnhurst Colliery MADDEN (7) LILLEY (6)                                         SWIFT (6) SHAW (6)           PROCTER (7)              JEPPSON (6) STRAW (5)    HOWITT (6)    JACKSON (6)    CLIFFE (6)    MATHEWS (6) 1966/67 Season This was the only year of the decade Kilnhurst Colliery played at Hampden Road and the Invitation Cup win was no mean achievement beating Mexborough Challenge Cup winners, Conisbrough Northcliffe in the semi final, then defeating High Terrace 1-0 in the final. These were excellent results as High Terrace had won the Montagu Cup a few days earlier (for the second successive season). The invitation Cup winning team was as follows: MADDEN SOUTH                                            BARLOW HARWOOD                 HOWITT                MILLINGTON KELLY    HARRISON         STANIFORTH     DUNGWORTH      SHEPHARD Jimmy Kelly (ex Denaby United) scored the only goal of the game. 1967/68 Season January 1968 saw what was probably the biggest game played on the Welfare ground at my years with the Kilnhurst Club. Kilnhurst were drawn to play Cheshire League side Frickley Colliery in the County Senior Cup. The South Yorkshire Times report on the match is as follows. Kilnhurst Colliery 2, Frickley Colliery 6 “No one really expected Cheshire League Frickley to have much trouble putting County Senior League Kilnhurst Colliery out of the County Senior Cup on Saturday, and they had none at all, despite the home sides brave early show.  In a first five minute goal flurry, Shepherd put Kilnhurst in front after a classy move only to see Frickley immediately reply through Cartwright, and minutes later a powerhouse thirty yard Royston drive put the visitors 2-1 up.  Kilnhurst forecast to be no chance underdogs kept catching the Frickley forwards on the hop with a well executed offside trap, which  South and Barlow had judged to a foot.  Centre half Cobb was playing very hard, and after one incident referee Holmes had his book out to chronicle the defenders violence of the tongue.  Frickley went further ahead with a delightful Avery overhead “bicycle kick” .  Kilnhurst striker Staniforth was replaced by substitute Appleyard.  After the change around Kilnhurst were still strong at first and play swung from end to end before Royston headed Frickley’s fourth after a bad defensive slip.  After Williams sent a Kilnhurst forward sprawling, Kelly had no trouble with the penalty, but it was soon obvious that Frickley would improve on the 4-2 scoreline.  It was rumoured around the ground that some of the Kilnhurst men had turned out almost straight from the night shift, and the visitors superior fitness told.  Royston grabbed another goal to make up his hat-trick, and was instrumental in forcing the dispirited Country Senior League Side in to an own goal. Avery made it six towards the end, when it started to look like shots in for Frickley”. Kilnhurst supporters had not really much to grumble about.  Their team held Frickley for ages more than they should have done, but inevitably tiredness told in the visitors favour. The Kilnhurst team was as follows: DUNGWORTH SOUTH                                                 BARLOW HOWITT                   COBB                              GILLESPIE STRAW    KELLY              STANIFORTH    HARRISON    SHEPHERD 1968/6  Season By this time the two Kilnhurst teams had evolved to the following general line up. Kilnhurst Colliery A v Stocksbridge Works J TAYLOR R SOUTH                                                    A GILLESPIE D FLANNERY              R MITCHELL                  H BARLOW J KELLY  H MILLINGTON   W JOY   W BALMER   J WILKINSON Kilnhurst Colliery B v Rotherham Social (2nd. Round Ass. Cup) D  DUNGWORTH W LILLEY                                                     A SHAW J HOWITT                    J BROWN                   S PROCTOR C IBBOTSON   B WHITEHEAD   B SHAW   B MATHEWS   N ADEY Terry Staniforth had still got his name down as reserve for this match.  The B team actually reached two of the local cup finals in this season, unfortunately losing both. The Mexborough & Rawmarsh League Cup and the Mexborough & Rawmarsh League Top Four Playoff both played on the L N E R ground. Kilnhurst lost both of these matches 2-1 to Swinton Athletic. 1969/70 Season The Final teams for the purpose of this book are as follows: January 1970 Kilnhurst Colliery A v Treeton Welfare (County Senior League) J TAYLOR G BARTHOLOMEW                     H MILLINGTON A MORRIS             R MITCHELL           B TONKS H BARLOW    J WILKINSON      W JOY    P MILLINGTON    P SCOTT   Kilnhurst Colliery v Nalgo ( Rotherham Association League) D DUNGWORTH R SOUTH                                           A SHAW J HOWITT                 S PROCTOR             J GILLESPIE J TIMMINS   B WHITEHEAD   B SHAW   R McINTYRE   B MATHEWS   This was probably the final season for me, but in these two sides were several players who had spent many years playing for Kilnhurst, namely Jackie Wilkinson still playing in the County Senior League side, Don Dungworth and Brain Mathews still turning out for the B team. Finally I include a photograph of Kilnhurst Colliery winners of  the Rotherham Charity Cup in the 1972/73 season. Harry Millington is team captain, Don and Harold Dungworth being secretary and coach respectively.  Harry Millington senior had won the same cup almost thirty years previously and figures on one of the earlier photographs. I am unsure how long Kilnhurst Colliery continued to field a team, but at the end of 1970 I no longer played for Kilnhurst and had moved to Rawmarsh.  The Colliery had continued until 1986 and I assume still funded the football and cricket teams until that time.  From then onwards many different teams have played on the old Welfare Ground, and to this day more than one hundred and twenty five years after its first use the field is still used for the same purpose.  It looks forlorn it has lost its tennis courts, bowling green, cricket pavilion and just the old changing room building remains. Kilnhurst has a proud footballing history and were playing in the Sheffield & District League before the formation of the Football League.  In the years considered by this book Kilnhurst were always a force to be reckoned with and won the area’s premier cup competition (The Montagu Cup) five times more than any other club. Kilnhurst has also produced many professional footballers and several international players but with this book I have attempted to record the feats of one of the oldest and best football clubs in South Yorkshire and the men who have played for it.   MONTAGU CUP WINNERS 1897 TO 1970                                                    ATT. 1897   ECCLESFIELD RED ROSE  0      NEWHILL   0 1898   BIRDWELL    2                               KILNHURST TOWN    1                            1000 1899 1900 1901   DONCASTER ROVERS RES.  5  MEXBOROUGH THURSDAY    2          600 1902   DENABY UNITED   3                   NEWHILL     0 1903   HIGHTHORNE   2                        WATH ATHLETIC   1                         4000 1904   MEXBOROUGH  TOWN 4         ROTHERHAM    1 1905   MEXBOROUGH  TOWN  1        SOUTH KIRBY  0                                  2500 1906   WOMBWELL  MAIN   2             SOUTH KIRBY    0                               3000 1907   KILNHURST  TOWN  2              RAWMARSH 7 PARKGATE    0 1908   HICKLETON  MAIN    2             RAWMARSH  7 PARKGATE   1 1909   GOLDTHORPE MECH.INS.0   RAWMARSH 7 PARKGATE   0 1910   HICKELTON  MAIN  2               MEXBO. RES.    0 1911   HICKLETON  MAIN   3              RYCROFT  WESTLEYANS   1 1912   HICKLETON  MAIN  2              FRICKLEY  COLLIERY  0 1913   DONCASTER ROVERS 3          HICKLETON MAIN   0 1914   KILNHURST  TOWN  6            SOUTH YORKSHIRE  1 1915   DENABY  UNITED    2              MEXBRO. GR. CEN.LOCO.     0 1916 1917 1918  MEXBOROUGH ROVERS  1  DENABY MISSION    1 1919  KIMBERWORTH O.B.  2         DENABY UNITED  0 1920  SWINTON  D.S 7 S.  1               SWINTON  CHURCH  0                      2050 1921  PARKGATE CHRISTCHURCH  1 BARNBURGH  MAIN  0                   1850 1922  BARNBURGH  COLLIERY   4       SWINTON D.S.7 S   3 1923  KILNHURST W.M.C.   3                SANDHILL JUNIORS   3 1924  ASKERN  ROAD  W.M.C.  3         KILNHURST  W.M.C.   1 1925  DARFIELD  BRIDGE   3               SOUTH ELMSALL UNITED SEVICES    0 1926  DARFIELD  BRIDGE  1                GOLDTHORPE  UNITED   0 1927  GOLDTHORPE  UNITED 3         SOUTH YORKS.CHEMICAL WORKS      0 1928  ASHWOOD ROAD W.M.C.  0    ROMAN  TERRACE  0 1929  BOLTON  ALBION    2                 CONISBROUGH  WELFARE  0                  2000 1930  GOLDTHORPE  UNITED  3      HIGHGATE   1                                                  2300 1931  GOLDTHORPE  UNITED  1       BROOMHILL   0 1932  THORPE  HESLEY   3                THURNSCOE  UNITED 1                                5000 1933  THURNSCOE  VICTORIA   1   CUDWORTH  VILLAGE   0                             3500 1934  MEXBOROUGH  ATHLETIC 2  SILVERWOOD  COLLIERY    0                        54 1935  CUDWORTH ST. MARYS 6         WATH  MAIN   1                                                 44 1936  WATH ROAD ATHLETIC  3        RAWMARSH  WELFARE   1                       2000 1937  CONISBROUGH NORTH. 4        STATION  LANE  1                                        2500 1938  THURNSCOE  VICTORIA  3      SILVERWOOD  COLLIERY  0 1939  YORKS.TAR.DISTILLERS. 5      BAKER AND BESSEMER  0                       4000 1940  MANVERS  MAIN  8                   GRIMETHORPE  0                                         3868 1941  MANVERS  MAIN  2                    GRIMETHORPE   1 1942  MANVERS  MAIN  4                   UPTON  COLLIERY  2 1943  NEW STUBBIN COLLIERY 2  OLD  MILL F. C. 1 1944  WATH  WANDERS   2              DENABY  UNITED   1                                        5704 1945  MANVERS  MAIN 1                 BROOMHILL 1 1946  KILNHURST  COLLIERY  2  SHIPCROFT  UNITED  1                                    3000 1947  JUMP HOME GUARD  3        NEW STUBBIN COLLIERY 2 1948  PARKGATE  WELFARE  3    JUMP HOME GUARD 1 1949  RAWMARSH WELFARE  1    KILNHURST  COLLIERY  1 1950  RAWMARSH WELFARE  2    KILNHURST  COLLIERY  2                             2528 1951  RAWMARSH WELFARE  2    BOWBROOM W.M.C.  1 1952  SILVERWOOD  COLLIERY 2  DENABY  ROVERS  2 1953  PARKGATE  WELFARE   2      DRAGON  UNITED   1 1954  SILVERWOOD COLLIERY 1  BOLTON INGS LANE  0                                 3000 1955  DENABY UNITED RES. 2       BOWBROOM W.M.C.  0                                 3900 1956  DEARNE W.M.C. 2                  MEXBOROUGH TECH.O.B.  1                      3000 1957  MEXBOROUGH TECH.O.B. 3  HICKLETON  MAIN  2 1958  BOWBROOM W.M.C.   2            DENABY UNITRD RES.  0 1959  TOM  HILL  O.B.    4                  DENABY ROVERS 1                                        3000 1960  FORD  UNITED  4                     HOUGHTON  MAIN  0 1961  PARKGATE  WELFARE 4        FORD  UNITED  3 1962  PARKGATE  WELFARE 2        HOUGHTON  MAIN 0                                    2000 1963  MALTBY MINERS WELFARE  5    TOM  HILL O.B.  1 1964  SWINTON  ATHLETIC  7            SILVERWOOD  COLLIERY 1 1965  DEARNE M.W. 3                         MALTBY  MAIN   1                                         1600 1966  HIGH  TERRACE  5                 MALTBY MINERS WELFARE  2                   1500 1967  HIGH  TERRACE  1                  DENABY UNITED    0 1968  SWINTON  ATHLETIC   2      HIGH  TERRACE 0 1969  HOUGHTON  MAIN   4           EAST  DENE  2 1970  DENABY  UNITED 1               CONISBROUGH  NORTHCLIFFE  0   MEXBOROUGH  CHALLENGE  CUP  WINNERS 1926  DENABY  UNITED 2                   MEXBOROUGH  ATHLETIC  1                2200 1927  WATH  ATHLETIC  1                  DENABY  UNITED  2 1928  ASHWOOD ROAD W.M.C. 2    ROMAN  TERRACE   1 1929  ROMAN  TERRACE 4                CONISBROUGH  WELFARE  1 1930  GOLDTHORPE  UNITED          SANDYGATE  ATHLETIC 1931  GOLDTHORPE  UNITED 1       BOLTON  ALBION 0 1932 1933  THURNSCOE  VICTORIA 1        GOLDTHORPE UNITED 0 1934  WATH ROAD ATHLETIC 1         KILNHURST  O.B.  0 1935  CONABY ST. ANDREWS 4         QUEENS  FOUNDRY   1 1936  MEXBRO.ATHLETIC RES. 7     CONISBROUGH NORTHCLIFFE  3 1937  CONISBRO.NORTHCLIFFE  1   MANVERS  ATHLETIC  1                           1300 1938  BAKER AND BESSEMER   3       YORKSHIRE TAR DISTILLERS   2 1939  YORKS.TAR DISTILLERS  3        THURNSCOE  VICTORIA   2 1940 1941  LIDGETT  LANE    3                       MANVERS  MAIN   2 1942  NEW STUBBIN  COLLIERY  2   MANVERS  MAIN  1 1943 1944 1945 1946  KILNHURST  COLLIERY 6            DENABY AMATEURS   0                        1500 1947  NEW  STUBBIN  COLLIERY  3     BOWBROOM W.M.C.    2 1948 1949  PARKGATE  WELFARE   6            BOWBROOM W.M.C    2 1950  PARKGATE  WELFARE   1            LORD  CONYERS 0                                     670 1951  BOWBROOM  W.M.C.   8              DENABY UNITED RES.  1 1952  DEARNE  ATHLETIC   2              RAWMARSH  WEFARE   0 1953  BOLTON INGS LANE   5             SWINTON  ATHLETIC 0 1954  DENABY  ROVERS  1                   SWINTON  ATHLETIC  0 1955  MEXBOROUGH TECH.O.B. 8    NEW STUBBIN COLLIERY    1 1956  MEXBOROUGH TECH O.B.5      HICKLETON  MAIN   2 1957  BOWBROOM  W.M.C.   7              MEXBOROUGH TECH.O.B.   0 1958 1959  KILNHURST  COLLIERY  4        SWINTON  ATHLETIC   2 1960  KILNHURST  COLLIERY  2       WATH  ATHLETIC  1                                800 1961  KILNHURST  COLLIERY  6        PARKGATE  WELFARE   5 1962  KILNHURST  COLLIERY  3         SWINTON  ATHLETIC  2 1963  HIGH  TERRACE 8                        MAGNET  ATHLETIC  0 1964  DENABY  ST. ALBANS   1           CONISBROUGH NORTHCLIFFE   3 1965  MALTBY  M.W.   0                       RAWMARSH  WELFARE  2 1966  GOLDTHORPE  3                        DENABY ST.  ALBANS 2 1967  CONISBROUGH NORTHCLIFFE     GOLDTHORPE COLLIERY 1968  CONISBROUGH NORTHCLIFFE 3  MEXBOROUGH MAIN STREET     1 1969  BOLTON INGS LANE   1                    CONISBROUGH NORTHCLIFFE    0 1970  MEX. MAIN STREET   2                      DENABY UNITED  0   1959 KILNHURST  COLLIERY WON THE MEX. CHALLENGE CUP, MEXBOROUGH ASSOCIATION LEAGUE.INVITATION CUP AND TOP 4 PLAY OFF. 1961 SHEFFIELD JUNIOR CUP KILNHURST  COLLIERY   1            LAUGHTON  COMMON    2

Kilnhurst Colliery  1962 Back Row: Youran Liscense, Richmond, Brownlow, Oliver, Rix,  Cobb, Linacre, Dobbs, Webb, Clarke Front Row: Frith, Hopkins, Eccles, Dungworth, Wilkinson, Pearson

Kilnhurst Colliery 1962
Back Row: Youran Liscense, Richmond, Brownlow, Oliver, Rix, Cobb, Linacre, Dobbs, Webb, Clarke
Front Row: Frith, Hopkins, Eccles, Dungworth, Wilkinson, Pearson

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Kilnhurst Colliery Circa 1957 Back Row: Dungworth, Millington, Cobb, Shaw, Beecham, Dobbs, Eccles, Crowe, Oliver Front Row: Clarke, Hopkins, Peter Millington, Shaw, Frith


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Kilnhurst Colliery Circa 1952 Back Row: Richmond, Cooper, Nelson, Senior, Vickers, Haythorne, Taylor, Hudsperth Front Row: Willoughby, Palmer, Clayton, Frith, Benton


Kilnhurst Colliery 1947 Back Row: Haythorne, Goodhall, Hoyle, Eccles, Littkewood, Cobb, White Front Row: Sheriff, Wilde, Thompson, Shirley, Dixon, Parker

Kilnhurst Colliery 1947
Back Row: Haythorne, Goodhall, Hoyle, Eccles, Littkewood, Cobb, White
Front Row: Sheriff, Wilde, Thompson, Shirley, Dixon, Parker

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Members and guests at Kilnhurst Colliery social and presentation night at Kilnhurst WMC 1958/59

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Colin Pearson, Frith, Brian Cobb, Darren Licence

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Kilnhurst winners of the Rotherham Charity Cup 1973/74

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Football Trophies from the 1960’s Invitation Cup 1967 and Rawmarsh Challenge Cup 1966


Montague Cup ready for presentation

Montague Cup ready for presentation

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