Ashton Albion Amateur Boxing Club has gotten up off the canvas following the knockout blow that they were to lose their Albion Mill home.
Founder and senior coach Wayne Heywood was given the devastating news just two weeks ago that they would have to vacate their current premises and began a desperate search for a new gym.
He appealed to the public of Tameside to help him find a new home after a quarter of a century on Penny Meadow.
Luckily for Wayne, he had a number of people in his corner who were looking out for him. Nick Worrall, of Ashton Quality Cars, put him in touch with Ashton-based businessman Mike Craven who had the perfect place for the community club.
The new space is located on Dean Street, close to the centre of Ashton in a space that’s roughly twice as big as their current home. The new gym will be located in the old Barrett and Co Mineral Water premises.
However, the hard work is just beginning for Wayne, who now needs to raise £30,000 to transform the building from a disused shell into a gym capable of developing the next generation of Tameside fighters.
Wayne described how quickly the agreement took place: “I went and met him (Mike Craven) virtually within a couple of hours of me ringing him and went and had a look around the premises.
“They’ve been empty for between eight and 10 years so as you can imagine there’s no electric in, no gas in, it’s a bit of a tip but the potential is absolutely massive.”
The possibilities of the new location is huge for the club, but they need money and expertise to get it up and running.
Wayne said: “I was begging for premises last time I was here and this time I’m begging for funding really.
“I’ve had a few people who’ve jumped on board already.
“I’ve put my begging out on social media and the response has been fantastic, I can’t thank people enough. The objective now is to raise between £25-£30,000 and to sort these premises out. It’s a lot of money, I appreciate that, but I think it’s do-able.”
Despite the huge task ahead, Wayne is excited about what the move could mean for the future of the gym: “Id say it’s nearly double the size of the current place. It’s all on one level as well which is better because obviously where I am at the present I’ve got the ring on the top floor and my main gym is on the ground floor. This gives me chance to keep my eye on everyone now. I’m excited, it’s brilliant.
“At the moment I’ve got between 30 and 40 kids in. With the new property I can take even more in and I can do more classes than I do at the moment. It might make the wife happy, it might not because I don’t see her as it is!
“I’m excited because the potential is massive. The kids are getting excited now asking when are we moving in? It can’t just happen overnight, I wish it could.”
At a training session on Monday night the children said they were very excited about the move and told the Reporter how much they enjoy the sessions.
Charlie Milligan, 13, said: “I enjoy it because it’s like a second family almost, it’s a good place to be. It keeps us fit and healthy and looking forward to the future. I think the new gym has a lot of potential and if we do end up raising a lot of money we can afford new equipment towards our training.”
The new premises need a complete overhaul including building the new ring, setting up the gym equipment and fitting out changing areas and toilets.
It will be a huge undertaking for Wayne, but he says he’s already had offers of help and donations coming in.
“We are a voluntary organisation so we welcome anyone that’s willing to give us a hand,” he said.
“I’ve had inboxes saying give us a shout Wayne and we’ll jump in and give you a lift, but donations of anything are welcome. We’ve got to put toilets in – or renew them – you can understand what state it’s in. To be fair he’s had the roof done so it’s all dry.”
Former Manchester City footballer David White has donated a signed copy of his autobiography to help Wayne raise funds and he’s had people dropping off funds at Albion Mill as the community rallies behind him.
Nick Worrall from Ashton Quality Cars is also helping Wayne to source much needed funds for the new space.
He’s hoping to put on a benefit night soon and told the Reporter: “We’re going to try and do a couple of functions, possibly – if I can get onto Tameside Council – get the Town Hall and I have a few friends that are quite good singers. Hopefully I’ll get on to them to do a fundraising do with charity auctions and things like that.”
Mike Craven owns the building that the gym is moving into and said it’s good to see the historic building back in use.
He said: “I’ve owned the building for about 25 years or so. It used to be the old Barrett pop building in Ashton. I had a printing company originally in there. The upper floors have been empty for about seven or eight years. Like you do you store rubbish, but when Nick approached me it was the opportunity to give it a clear out.”
If you can help Wayne please get in touch on 07769 536 820 or 0161 339 2675 or donate online at JustGiving.com
Curzon Ashton continued their glittering start to 2019 with a third successive victory at league strugglers Nuneaton Borough.
Mark Bradshaw’s side fell a goal behind in the early stages but staged a brilliant comeback to claim what was, in truth, a comfortable victory.
Yusifu Ceesay put the hosts ahead after picking up a loose ball inside the box and smashing beyond Cameron Mason in goal.
It was a gift of a goal for Nuneaton, but one which sparked the visitors into action. Curzon responded well to the set back and drew matters level from the penalty spot in the 21st minute. The referee was left with no choice but to award the spot kick after Olly Thornley was man-handled inside the box when making a run from a corner. Oliver Crankshaw stepped up and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way.
The Nash were the better side from this point but they were made to wait until the 66th minute to take the lead. Luke Wall forced a decent stop from the ‘keeper, but Lewis Reilly was quickest to react to the rebound and poked home from close range.
Jono Hunt put the game beyond doubt in the 77th minute after nodding home a deep cross at the back post, although Nuneaton did pull one back in the 88th minute when a seemingly aimless cross found its way to the back post for Miles Addison to slide home.
Curzon were never in danger of squandering the lead and they put the game to bed in the dying seconds. After racing through on goal, John Mcattee was brought down recklessly, leaving the referee with no option but to award another penalty. Luke Wall stepped up and dispatched the spot kick to make the final score 4-2.
Interim manager Pete Wild extended his unbeaten run to four matches with a goalless stalemate against play-off favourites Forest Green Rovers.
Oldham entered the game on the back of a shock 2-1 victory at Fulham in the FA Cup six days earlier, but they were unable to break down the Forest Green defence in a game of massive proprtions at Boundary Park.
Latics were five points outside the play-offs while the visitors, whose owner Dale Vince has made the national headlines after a spat with Bolton Wanderers’ chairman Ken Anderson, were sixth in the table and unbeaten in five.
Despite Oldham’s giant killing it was the side from Gloucestershire who had the better chances in the first-half. Less than two minutes had elapsed when Tahvon Campbell’s header was cleared off the line by defender George Edmundson.
Goalkeeper Daniel Iversen, who saved a penalty at Fulham in the final ten minutes, was forced into a fine stop by George Williams, before Reece Brown unleashed a shot which hit the crossbar and post.
Chris O’ Grady had a great chance to put Oldham ahead, but after finding himself one-on-one with the visitors’ ‘keeper, he could only fire over the bar.
Latics were fortunate to be on level terms at half-time, but they came out for the second 45 with more intent and purpose. Mohamad Sylla, a French midfielder who signed for the club last week, was unable to steer home Gevaro Nepomuceno’s cross from close range, while Johan Branger-Engone also forced a decent stop from Montgomery in goal.
Both sides had chances to grab a winner in the final ten minutes, but Iversen saved well from Shawn McCoulsky’s shot and Nepomuceno forced a comfortable stop from Montgomery.
Following the game, Wild spoke to IFollow Latics about the result. “I’ve said in the changing room, and one thing you get from me is honesty, maybe I was a little bit over cautious in the first half” he said.
“We paid them the respect they deserved, but maybe I was too cautious in sitting off and letting them step out.
“They were a very good footballing side and they’re excellent at what they do, so on reflection a little bit of learning for me.”
Despite having chances to take all three points in the second-half, Wild was pleased to take a draw against a side who he believes are ‘one of the best’. “We got we a grip of the game and playing probably ten yards higher I felt we came into in the game more, but I think it was a fair result in the end” he said.
“I took the shackles off in the second half, I had to make a change with Chris (O’Grady) having to come off injured.
“We looked more of a threat and we had some chances to win it, but it was a fair result.”
Oldham return to action on Saturday at Macclesfield Town. The Silkmen are currently three points from safety, although they are enjoying a mini-rivial under manager Sol Campbell.
Attendance 4194 (160 Away)
Picture by Eddie Garvey (Chris O’Grady eyes the ball)
Market Drayton Town will wish to quickly forget their first ever visit to Seel Park as the rampant Lilywhites recorded a season’s best home victory with a resounding 5-1 demolition of the Shropshire club.
Fans were hoping to see Mike Fish score his 100th goal for the club but were instead treated to four assists and a man of the match display from the Mossley number 9.
An end to end opening saw Market Drayton have the first chance but Josh Ollerenshaw spread himself well to deny Desean Martin.
Mossley took the lead on 30 minutes with a super goal by Max Leonard. Receiving a pass from Ben Halfacre he cut inside his marker before unleashing a dipping drive from over 25 yards that gave the keeper no chance.
Mossley were playing some flowing football by this stage and that was to continue through the rest of the encounter.
Three minutes after the break and Mossley doubled the lead thanks to hapless Market Drayton defender Matthew Ballard who turned Fish’s low cross into his own net.
There was to be no way back for the visitors after that as Mossley continued to dominate playing some great pass And move football. A third goal looked inevitable and it duly arrived on 53 minutes. Ben Richardson’s deep free kick was flicked on by Fish and Leonard was quickest to react to slot home from close range.
Market Drayton gave themselves a brief glimmer of hope on the hour mark when Mossley lost possession and Daniel Beddows strode forward before teeing up substitute William Wells who finished well with an angled drive.
Mossley were not for caving in though and quickly resumed control. Several more chances went begging before Fish went on a run down the right wing and pulled the ball back for Halfacre to fire home from the edge of the box.
The scoring was rounded off in the last minute as Fish was again the provider as he once more pulled the ball back for Halfacre to again apply the finishing touch.
Football: North West Counties First Division North
Avro extended their fine form and maintained the pressure on leaders Longridge Town with a 5-1 victory at Ashton Town.
The visitors took a two-goal lead by the 15th minute thanks to Joe Bevan and Mike Norton but were pegged back on the half-hour mark.
Avro reasserted their two-goal cushion on the stroke of half-time through Duncan Knott, before a further two goals in the final ten minutes from Norton and Ryan Hanson capped off another memorable day for the title-chasers.
The result leaves Avro in second spot and eight points below Longridge, although they do have two games in hand.
On a wet and windy day in Wigan, Avro started brilliantly and pressured the hosts from the very first whistle.
Their efforts to break the deadlock were rewarded in the 12th minute when Bevan’s shot took a slight deflection and ended in the back of the net.
Three minutes later and Avro were two ahead. A scramble inside the six-yard box left Norton with the easy task of poking home across the line.
Ashton responded well and reduced the arrears 15 minutes later through a low diving header, but any chance of levelling matters were soon gone when Avro made it 3-1 just before the interval. Knott curled home a superb effort into the top corner.
Despite having a number of chances to increase their lead in the second-half, Avro were made to wait until the final ten minutes to do so. Norton made it 4-1 in the 80th minute after nodding home Knott’s cross, before a great solo effort from Hanson made it 5-1 in the dying seconds.
Avro return to action on Wednesday evening with the biggest game of the season so far. James Hampson and Lee O’Brien’s side make the trip to Longridge Town in what is being billed as a must-win game.
Stalybridge Celtic have confirmed the departure of six players.
James Caton, George Hughes and Michael Jones have left the club, along with goalkeeper Jake Turner, who returns to parent club Bolton Wanderers, and winger Jamal Crawford, who returns to FC United of Manchester.
During his time with the club, Turner became a fans’ favourite and kept four clean sheets in 12 appearances. His time at the Fold was interrupted in September after sustaining a broken wrist in the 1-0 defeat to South Shields.
Caton has returned to Darlington after an injury ridden spell; Hughes has returned to Shrewsbury Town; and Jones’ dual registration from FC United has come to an end.
Danny Brady has agreed to leave by mutual consent and has retired from football.
Ashton did the double over North Manchester with Tries from Travis Powell (2), Josh Pattison and Richard Taylor. Tom Costello had a great day kicking two penalties and three conversions, which takes Ashton to seventh place in the ADM Lancashire first division.
Ashton 2s 68-17 Hope Valley 1s
The visitors were top of the league and had beaten Ashton heavily at home but a hat trick from returning players Joel Pearson and two from Danny Humphries, plus Wayne Hadfield (2) ,Will Patchett, Adam Goodwin, Brendon Booth and a final try from returning Jack Schofield rounded off an impressive fourth win in a row. The result lifts the squad to seventh in Division Four East. Veteran Paul Emery was awarded Man of the Match.
Bolton Junior Colts 10-24 Ashton JC
Ashton bounced back to form with first half tries from Jake Callaghan, Jack Pietsch and Louis Worthington, while Dom Jackson added two conversions for a 0-19 half-time lead.
The visitors’ performance dipped in the second half with a solitary Jack Pietsch try their only reward as Bolton narrowed the gap. Krystian Wieteska had looked Ashton’s most dangerous back and his last of many line breaks looked to have put Tom Parker in at the corner, but good cover defence bundled him into touch and the final whistle blew.
Ashton Colts retained top spot and face Crewe and Nantwich at home Sunday, 12.30 kick-off.
Ashtons U10s made it four consecutive victories for the weekend beating local rivals Oldham 17-3.
In a game where you had to be there to believe it, Hyde ruthlessly tore apart a shell-shocked Basford in an eleven goal, 8-3 thriller.
Basford play with many men forward so Hyde’s chances were to hit them on the break and they did that and some.
The first came from a bursting run by Pratt who squared the ball to find Chib Chilaka inside the box who fired into the back of the net.
It was 2-0 shortly after when Paddy Lane was pushed in the back inside the area, Tom Pratt stepping up from the spot, scoring straight down the middle. Basford struggled to cope with the pace on the counter and with their full backs playing high it left their defence highly exposed. The tigers found their third when Ross Daly made a forward run squaring to find Chib Chilaka again whose powerful shot bursted the back of the net.
John McCombe wanted to get in on the action and from a corner his header backwards made it four to Hyde to continue their ruthless assault. Before the first half could finish, Hyde sensed another, and it was the best goal of the game. Chilaka had endeavour to win back the ball, and with his back to goal, turned and produced a powerful shot that dipped over Preston to make it 5-0 and a hatrick for the number 9 in fine form.
Credit to Basford, they have scored 50+ league goals this season and have an impressive home record so were going to be a threat going forward. Goodson got himself and the home side on the score sheet 5 minutes into the second half. Hughes and Brownhill collided, the ball falling into the path of Goodson to tap in at the back post.
It would have been easy for the tigers to sit back at this stage but only a matter of minutes later it was six when another Lipka corner was adjudged to have crossed the line, Nicky Platt gaining the final touch.
A piece of excellent work by Pratt, who ran past Meikle with ease found Chilaka 10 yards from goal who was allowed time to get a shot away and produce his fourth of the game. 1-7.
Basford got their second, a Goodson brace, when the visitors failed to clear their lines and he couldn’t miss from a few yards out.
The tigers made it 8, apparently for the first time since the 1980s, when Lipka ran into the area unleashing a shot to find the bottom corner.
I had a headline in my mind at this point “I’d 8-2 be Basford” but a late goal from captain Lewis Carr meant the final score finished 8-3.
I certainly haven’t seen a game like that in my lifetime watching football and credit must be given to the players and management to stop Basford’s many qualities and produce a ruthless and stunning victory to be talked about for years to come.
New year new me is the moto at Stalybridge Celtic for 2019. Six players left the club last week, with several new faces expected through the Bower Fold doors this week. The departures left Celtic a little light on numbers however and Mickleover did enough to clinch the points in Derbyshire on Saturday afternoon. Young academy graduate Aidan Winterbottom got the gloves with a new goalkeeper expected this week. The opening goal came on ten minutes when a cross bounced in front of Winterbottom making it difficult to gather. On hand to tap the loose ball home was Shaquille McDonald. The game was very even from here on in, and in truth both sides struggled to get a real flow going. Just before half time Celtic did have a chance to level up. Greg Wilkinson’s goal bound effort was blocked by McGrath.
Four minutes into the second half and McDonald doubled the home sides lead. After a pull back to him in the box he smartly turned and fired home a looping effort. Celtic gave what they had to get back into the game. Scott being denied by the home keeper. Another young academy graduate Elliott Cooke scored a beautiful goal to give Celtic a sniff. After cutting in from a wide position the youngster curled a spectacular effort past Hawkins. A great way to claim your first Celtic goal. With only seconds left, Wilkinson nearly earned Celtic a point. He was teed up on the edge of the box only to see his shot go narrowly wide of the post. With Celtic still comfortably sat in mid table, Simon Haworth can seemingly steer Celtic into 2019 in the hope that he can build something at Bower Fold after several years of real struggle at the club.