Saturday, January 13, 2018


In the 1980s when  Brigg pubs aspired to have football clubs of their own because of players' drinking prowess boosting the bar takings, those that played in the secondary Sunday competition were very fortunate to get a qualified referee officiating at home games on The Rec, off Wrawby Road.
This was because the Scunthorpe Referees' Association had so many games to cover in the established Scunthorpe League that few members were left over to cover matches in the Barton Regional Sunday League.
Local clubs in that competition included Black Bull (our team), King Billy and Falcon Cycles.
Billy were the best, with Falcon slightly better than the Bull in most seasons.
Derby games were always keenly contested.
If they couldn't get a qualified ref, Barton League rules stated that one of the home club's officials or players had to take the whistle.
That's a far cry from today's top Premiership games which have FOUR officials.
Scunthorpe League games in the 1980s would see proper refs assisted by "club linesmen."
At Brigg Rec these included John 'Cordy' Jacklin, Rolie Thompson and Ronald 'Geordie' Fox.
Local pub teams down the decades in the Scunthorpe Sunday League included Brigg Servicemen's Club,  Britannia, White Hart, Dying Gladiator and Ancholme Wanderers.
Plus the most successful of the lot, the White Horse, playing on Saturdays.
Until 1960 when Brigg Town moved to The Hawthorns, the club played behind the old Brocklesby Ox and players and fans would go there for an after-match pint.
Brigg Sugar Factory had a team for many years, playing on the Scawby Road ground adjoining the licensed clubhouse.
Sadly, today sees relatively few men of playing age interested in local football, which is very surprising to those of us who enjoyed being members of Brigg pub teams in the past.
There's still a men's football pitch at Brigg Rec and it now has superb changing rooms, compared to what existed in the 1980s.
We can only hope that there's a revival on the horizon for local league amateur football.

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