Treble winners reunited

A Todmorden FC side pictured in September 2002
A Todmorden FC side pictured in September 2002

A special match will take place on Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of Todmorden FC’s treble-winning season.

Many of the highly-successful side, which folded soon after their success, will be donning their boots for a game against Walsden C & FC at Walsden Rec (2.0).

The idea for the game sprung from a recent Twitter item by former striker Andrew Lukaszyk. This prompted Chris Barker to recall that it was 10 years since Todmorden FC’s golden season, when they won the Burnley & District Premier League, the Harry Walsh Cup and the league cup.

After several tweets between ex-players, it was decided that the pair and Darren Walters would arrange an anniversary get-together to celebrate an achievement that hasn’t been matched by any senior team under the Todmorden name.

The get-together also involves a 90 minute football game against Walsden C & FC, who have just completed a successful first season in the Rochdale Online Alliance’s Premier Division.

Todmorden FC was formed at a time of great flux for football in the area. Todmorden Borough came into being in 2002 and the intention was that players from the Todmorden United and Lydgate FC clubs would make up four teams at Bellholme.

However, half of the Todmorden United players didn’t go to the new club and Darren Walters, Daniel Smith, Scott Causton, John Stobbs, Alan Stobbs, Bobby Ashworth, Butty, Chris Sutcliffe, Grant Cochrane, Peter Goldsmith, Grainger Robinson and Steve Parker kept the United club going under the Todmorden FC banner.

The side struggled at first but other players returned and Todmorden went into the 2003-2004 season with high expectations, having won the Harry Walsh Cup and finished as league runners-up during Cochrane and Chris Redmond’s first year in charge.

A 4-2 home win over Weir FC clinched the title and they followed up with a 3-0 win over Stacksteads in the league cup final. A 4-0 victory over Padiham Town at Marl Pitts in the Harry Walsh Cup completed the treble.

The fragility of team sport in the 21st century was illustrated when Todmorden FC folded half-way through the following season.

Barker explained: “We lost five players due to work commitments and two retired. We thought it was right to go out at the top.

“Many of us continued playing and some are still playing today but nothing compares to that team we played in.”

Barker is hoping many people will come to watch Saturday’s match, especially those who played in or against any of those Todmorden United teams.

The festivities will continue afterwards at nearby Walsden Cricket Club.

Players from the treble-winning campaign who are expected to be involved on Saturday are Goldsmith, Walters, Craig Cochrane, Mick Redmond, Barker, Marc Walters, Mark Fielden, Eddie Orlinski, Adam Causton, Lukaszyk, Robinson and Andrew Whitham. Players from the 2003/2004 season that can’t make it are Tom Gilbert, Jon-Paul Denker, Glynn Claxton and Matthew Town.

Ex-bosses Cochrane and Redmond will be coming out of retirement for the day.

All players should meet at Walsden Cricket Club at 1pm