I recently had the pleasure of talking to one of the founder members of Dukinfield Tigers. At a recent presentation evening, Don Woodcock was telling me about the early days
getting involved in junior football and the challenges he faced in getting pitches, kits and venues.
These early pioneers of the club have obviously been very successful; what started with a couple of parents wanting to coach and signing on a few boys to an U10s team, has developed into the club that we have now with regular training facilities, kits, sponsorship, presentation evenings and perhaps most importantly, children of all ages enjoying football. The club has a strong identity in the local community and has served hundreds if not thousands of children since it started in 1976.
Don recently passed on to me a copy of a newsletter* that he had produced in the late 1980s and on the second page I made an amazing discovery. Three lads playing for the U16s at the Tigers were signed by professional clubs and two of them I knew quite well:
Greg Wilson – signed by Oldham
Colin Heywood – signed by Sheffield United
Paul Butler – signed by Bradford City
I attended St. John’s Primary School with Greg in the ’70s and Dukinfield High (now Astley) with both Greg and Colin in the ’80s. Greg lived on Vicarage Drive in Dukinfield. I knew at the time that they were playing regularly but didn’t know how things had moved on for them. And then a quick Google search revealed a bit more…
Greg is listed on a ‘where are they now‘ website, albeit very briefly as playing for Oldham from 1987-1991 under Joe Royle and is said to now be working in finance, married with 2 daughters.
I discovered Colin on a Mossley AFC team photo (1992-93) A trawl through Mossley’s archives show that Colin spent some time at Buxton as well. Another name caught my attention, that of Paul Herring, also a schoolmate at ‘Astley.’ I’m not sure if he played for Duki Tigers though, but it seems he played at Hyde United for a while?
Back: Ged Coyne (manager), Lee Butterworth, Dave Blow, Paul Whitty, Paul Herring, Jon Waring, Andy Newell, Robert Price, Greg Challender, Colin Small, Mark Butterworth
Front: Matt Holt, Sean Pickering, John Butterworth, John Imrie, Chris Molloy,
Colin Heywood, Russ Hooton, Tommy Martin (assistant manager).
So all of this left me wondering, where are they now? Are any of these guys still involved in football in any way? And wouldn’t it be great to get some of our former players along to a training session or presentation evening in the future?
So if any of you are out there or anyone knows of their whereabouts, we’d love to hear from you. The Tigers are still going strong and as we look to plan our future, we also look back with great pride at what has been achieved by so many and was started by so few.
I’ll be speaking to Don again in the next few weeks and months, and will archive as much as I can. I have a great letter sent to Don from ex-Manchester City player Paul Power, amongst other things!
UPDATE: 12/7/16: Colin Heywood has been in contact, we’ve had a quick catch up and arranged to meet in the next few weeks. He is living and working locally.
*A link to the newsletter referred to is here:
This Tiger Tale was written by Tiger’s parent, John Taylor. His eldest son plays for Dukinfield Tigers U12s and youngest son has just started training with the U8s.
Interested in writing your own Tiger Tale? Contact via: email@example.com