In 2000, I arrived in the Black Country as an East Midlands lad who had just become a Christian and was approached by a young man called Jadon (you may know him-funny looking chap) from the Amblecote Christian Centre to ask if I would have a game for his new team in the local Christian League.
14 years later, Amblecote have officially drawn their tenure in the league to a close after an amazing rollercoaster of a ride. Both the former manager Jadon Silva and the current manager Phil Deeley have done a sensational job to keep the team running over a decade and a half, and although I’m not speaking on their behalf it was simply a few player withdrawals over the last 2 seasons and simply having done the same team for so long have been joint factors in the decision.
So what to say about the Amblecote story???? Since 2000 we have both won the First Division and flirted with relegation. We have had massive highs and some massive lows on the field. In fact a check of the history books shows we have had an 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st place finish.
The highlight was winning the Division One title in 2006-07 and our two 2nd place finishes, also it is good to note that Amblecote were the longest serving team in Division One at the end of last season! Its been a long journey. Perhaps the best highlight is the strength of relationships that have been built between players over the years that still exist today.
In truth we probably didnt win as much as we should have and didn’t push on after our title win like we hoped we would. Also our biggest disappointment was never reaching a Cup Final, despite three heart breaking 3-1, 2-0 and 1-0 semi-final defeats.
There is so much we could say but i wont go on.
In conclusion a massive thanks to all the WMCFL Committee members, every opponent we have faced, every fan (two I think) who cheered us on and most importantly every player who has worn the Amblecote kit, most of whom we have listed below.
Farewell from all at Amblecote FC 2000-2014.
Martin Nicholls, Ryan McGillicuddy, Sylv Hobson, Céin McGillicuddy, Dan Reeve, Phil Harding, James Newhill, Steve Sharkey, Leigh Barefoot, Shawn Devonport, Warren Nettleford, Sat Bance, Jaz Bance, Sham Patel, Andy the Keeper, Rion Francis-Mills, Peter Sherwood, Rich Burgess, Luke Cartwright, Azza Dunn, Neil Andrew Walters, Simon Mills, Cass Mills, Nathan Finnimore, Jono Ross, Liam Walton, Stephen Hickman, Jim Wilkes, Jon Bennett, Matthew Welch, Jim Milligan, Lee Ralph, Wayne Reep, Andy Reep, Marcus Jermain Cooper, Andy Conroy, John Cook, Craig Jones, Simon Ashby, Dean Russell, Mark Hughes, Peter Gwilliam, Ed Walker, Ian Grizzle, Matt Hindmarsh, Steven Floud, Ade Epstein, Robin Davies, Chris Mellor, John Hawker, Nick Bird, Ian Hayward, Dave Oakley, Tim Fellows, Jon Doman, Tom Beech, Curtis Jordan, Damon Lewis, Jack Hayward, Jordon Tromans, Alex Cooksey, Stuart Lester, Lee Holmes, Pete Williams, Jadon Silva, Stuart Palmer, Spencer Harris, Adam Kirkby, Dave Pickstone, Arràn Poultney, James Cartwright, Jimmy Bird, Robert Dickinson, Mike Tyler, James Michael Smith, Jon Dunn, Phil Deeley, Jack Hanson, Sam Crook, Lee Darlington, Dave Homer, Benji Curtis, Joe Smith, Robbie Cox