A look back at the rise and fall of Scarborough Town Football Club

There were some fantastic memories of our time with Scarborough Town,” recalled the club’s coach Mitch Cook.

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 5:46 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd June 2020, 6:00 pm
Scarborough Town's players enjoy a training session on the beach

Cook oversaw two hugely successful seasons as manager of the club between 2008 and 2010 before things started to unravel.

Town took the Teesside League Division Two title in their first season in 2008/09, before leaping into the Wearside League and doing the league and cup double in 2009/10.

Despite being accepted to join the NCEL Division One for the 2010/11 season, an issue arose with plans to install floodlights at their Pindar School HQ and the club were left in limbo with no league to play in.

Scarborough Town FC line up before a fixture

After a year out of action, Town returned in the Humber League Division One under new management duo Shaun Rennison and Derek Exley.

Again the issues of facilities hampered Town and eventually the club ceased after two further seasons.

“It was a huge shame that things ended the way they did,” added Cook, who was asked to return as manager for a second spell but had already joined Pickering Town by that point.

“It was a natural progression of the Scarborough FC School of Excellence when I went into Pindar School with Hugh Bellamy, who wanted to focus on sport development.

Joel Ramm on the attack

“We had a great group of young lads who all got on well and had ability and they could have gone further too - that is proved by the fact a lot of them went on to play a much higher level with clubs like Pickering, Bridlington and Scarborough Athletic.

“There were some great games and trips with the lads, we had a good dressing room and had a good team spirit and camaraderie.

“Going to really tough places like South Bank, where they just wanted to kick you out of the game, and seeing these young men stand up to it and prove they were better than it, was really pleasing as well as winning trophies.

“We always said we wanted to play, train and be based in Scarborough with locally based players, and when that become impossible after things broke down at Pindar, there was nowhere else to go.

Mitch Cook, who was the manager of Scarborough Town in their first two seasons

“When the club came back they told me they were going to the Humber League, which was a step back for a lot of the players who had moved on, and also for me at the time.”

Midfielder Mark Barber looks back on his two-year spell with the club as “his best memories in football”.

“I have wonderful memories of my time playing with Town,” said Barber.

“I knew Mitch (Cook) from being at Scarborough FC together earlier, so it was a no brainer when he asked me to play for him at Town.

“We had a great group of hungry, young players who were all good mates - so that helped too.

“The away days on the coach were a great laugh and of course the team nights out were good too.

“Having that group of mates who were all young and hungry definitely helped us.”

Barber looks back on title success in both the Teesside League and then the Wearside League as his defining memories of a successful but brief stint with the club.

Town sealed Shipowners Charity Cup success during their time in the Wearside League, times that Barber looks back upon with great fondness.

“Just great, great times,” added Barber.

“We had a really good side full of local players all contributing.

“If I had to pick out a key player from that side, it’d probably have to be Wayne Brooksby, who has since gone on to play at a much higher level and is now at Scarborough Athletic.

“But we had a really good side with a lot of lads who had been at good clubs earlier.

“It is a huge shame that we never had the chance to see how far that squad could have gone.

“I genuinely believe that we would’ve made it up to NCEL Premier Division level and then it would have been interesting to see where the club went from there, maybe we would have needed to strengthen the squad slightly.”

Midfielder Joel Ramm is another player who looks back on his time playing for Town with great fondness.

Ramm was a key player in Cook’s side who went on to play for Pickering Town, Bridlington Town and Scarborough Athletic after the demise of the club.

“We had some great times as a squad,” said Ramm.

“I was only 20, but I was one of the older lads in the squad, which was a bit strange but also great as we were all young, hungry players.

“I don’t think many teams we came up against liked us, in fact I would say we were pretty much hated.

“Teams would set out to rough us up and kick us off the pitch - but when we were at our best there was no stopping us.

“We had some real pace in the side and had too much for a lot of the sides we came up against - granted the standard wasn’t fantastic, but it was challenging physically.”

Ramm was quick to sing the praises of Town manager Cook, adding: “Mitch was a great coach, some of the sessions he put on were great and he wanted to play the right way and his attacking style really suited us.

“Sometimes it would be the two centre backs and maybe Mark Barber sat in front of them, with everyone else attacking.

“It was hard for Mitch as we were all young lads and we wanted to go out and have a drink with our mates.

“He’d put a curfew of midnight on a Thursday night for us all when we had a game on the Saturday, which was a nightmare as it was the ‘Pound A Pint’ nights at that time.

“I remember one Thursday night we’d been out earlier on and Mitch had been having a drink too - we thought he’d gone home so we went on to the casino.

“I’ll never forget looking up from the roulette table and Mitch being sat there, looking over at us and just pointing at his watch - it must’ve been 2 or 3am by this point.

“It was no surprise to us that we were left on the bench on the Saturday, but Mitch had that ruthless side to him too.

“We were playing terribly one game and were 1-0 down at half-time, in walks Mitch and a jug of orange juice ended up being chucked and I think Barbs (Mark Barber) got drenched.

“We went out and won the game 4-1 in the end though, so it worked well.”

Striker Darren Clough also has fond memories of his time with the club.

He said: “I played for Scarborough Town from day one, it was the best team I’ve ever played in.

“Mitch Cook was a great coach, it’s a real shame how Scarborough Town ended.”

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SCARBOROUGH TOWN FC

> Formed in 2008, playing in the Teesside League Division Two.

> First game was a pre-season friendly away at Hall Road Rangers which Town won 3-1 - Wayne Brooksby scoring twice and Joel Ramm adding a penalty.

> First competitive game was away at Teesside Athletic Reserves which Town won 5-0, Robbie Hawkes hitting three and Jamie Patterson two.

> First home game on August 30 2008 was a 3-0 win over Grangetown YCC, Matthew Perry scoring the first home goal in front of a crowd of 223.

> Town went the league season unbeaten and ended as champions after a 12-0 win over Redcar Rugby at Pindar which was now their home ground.

> Goalkeeper Rob Clark and full-back Dean Craig were ever present during the 29 game season and

Neil Thomas finished top goal scorer with 20 goals.

> Instead of going to the Teesside League first division the club joined the Wearside League.

> The first five fixtures were all away as crowd barriers were being installed at Pindar. Town won all five including a 3-1 win at neighbours Kirkbymoorside and a 2-1 win over Ryhope CW.

> A crowd of 261 watched the first home game, a 6-0 win over Guisborough Boys Club.

> Town won the Shipowners Charity Cup, beating Teesside Athletic 3-2 in the final, Josh Greening scoring the winner direct from a corner.

> Five days later Town beat second-placed Ryhope CW at Pindar to see them confirmed as champions, Josh Greening scoring a second half goal in front of 428 people.

> Town were accepted into the NCEL for the 2010/2011 season but the ground needed significant upgrades - several issues could not be resolved in time and the Wearside league had already been constituted and it left the club without a league.

> After a year out of action, Town were accepted into the Humber League first division for the 2011/12 season, playing at the McCains Sports Ground and managed by former Boro defender Shaun Rennison, who was assisted by Derek Exley.

> The year out affected the club badly and attendances dwindled, apart from the two local derbies with Athletic Reserves, which Town won 5-1 and 6-1.

> Town won the league with a 13-0 home win over Howden before wrapping up the double, beating Premier league side North Ferriby United 3-1.

> The 2012/13 season started promisingly but bad weather forced the cancellation of numerous fixtures and players lost interest, especially after the news that the club would be unable to progress should they win the league.

> The season fizzled out with a rapid turnover of players and pitches used.