Guides > Frickley Athletic
ransom demands to:
Telephone: 01977 642460
the hell are FC Frickley?
impsTALK doesn’t have good memories of this bunch, who,
a bit like the Spice Girls, seemed to be a perennial thorn in our
side throughout the 1990s.
A quick check of Ken Fox’s Boston site proves this instinctive
wariness to be statistically groundless, although the reason for us
wanting to designate ‘bogey team’ status on Athletic is
readily identified: a 3-1 home defeat on Wednesday 6 September 1995,
a night of infamy in an era when Boston were rarely humbled by such
margins on their own turf.
recall that night being unusually cold for an early September game,
which only heaped more misery on what was an already miserable evening.
Having said that, maybe it wasn’t unusually cold for 1995.
Remember when trips to Graves Park on bonfire night used to end
with you scurrying back to the car to prise off your wellies and
thaw your toes under the car heaters? These days, you can practically
go topless - providing you’ve packed enough sunscreen.
The famous Frickley slagheap
for global warming, and the fact all your favourite budget airlines
will soon be going bust faster than you can say ‘Crawley Town’,
you can partially pin the blame on Frickley Athletic, for they were
originally the works team of the local colliery; a vast, blackened
pit helping feed our addiction to unsustainable fossil fuels when
we probably should have been building more wooden windmills and
regressing back to the Dark Ages or something.
Colliery were established in 1910 but their halcyon days remain
the seven years they spent in the Conference in the early 1980s.
By then, the colliery was suffering, the strikes were in full copper-bashing
swing and the football team had re-designated themselves as ‘Athletic’.
in South Yorkshire, a small mining town
Where once the riot coppers beat the pickets to the ground
Has a football team, and a stand full of fans
Who love their game and who love revenge
If a cop comes near the ground
On a Saturday afternoon
He’ll be heading the bricks
Until he’s over the moon
sang hapless political Prezza-dunking musos Chumbawumba in ‘Frickley’,
just one example of the 99.99998% of their songs no-one bothered
to listen to, let alone purchase. Look, it’s a nice attempt
to be, oooh, you know, anti-fucking-establishment, but there are
two essential problems here.
First: Chumbawumba are absolutely cocking atrocious. Second: they’re
not fooling anyone with the ‘stand full of fans’ line.
Looking at Frickley’s average attendance, a more accurate
line might read ‘stand partially full of fans’.
yes, and ex-Boston free bus-pass holder Neil Redfearn pitched up
at Frickley last year.
Where do they knock long balls to the big man?
George, we knocked the bastard off!”
exclaimed Sir Edmond Hillary to his friend, George, in a quote wrongly
attributed to the intrepid explorer’s historic conquering
of Mount Everest in 1953.
had, in fact, just completed the preparatory ascent of Frickley’s
gigantic slag-heap, a huge cloud-prodding, snow-capped mountain
of spoil which towers over Westfield Lane in much the same way Mount
Vesuvius dominates Naples, just without the terrifying threat of
sudden pyroclastic obliteration.
at an aerial photo of the mountain, it is striking just how closely
it resembles photos snapped of Titan’s surface: it boasts
what look like rivers, creeks, valleys and run-offs. And it's just as cold and lonely as that remote Saturnian world, too. Put simply, the spoil heap
is what Frickley is really famous for - fans often pitch up at
the ground just to take pictures of that, rather than the football.
of the above photos is of Titan's surface - the other is of
the Frickley slag mountain. Any guesses?
huge, derelict colliery site next to Westfield Lane is due for extensive
redevelopment over the next several years, and although ‘regeneration’
is often bandied about as a euphemism for ‘TK-Maxx’
it seems as though the old pithead is going to be turned into a
country park and a few hundred houses built. The stadium will be
part of the scheme.
Frickley actually play in a town called Frickley?
Frickley are based in the small town of South Elmsall, which is itself
as close to Wakefield as you’d really want to get. Like a good
number of NPL clubs, it’s an ex-mining town, but unlike Eastwood,
which had a literary sex tourist trade to fall back on, the closure
of the pits hit the area hard. When the guide to the town is reduced
to reporting the presence of a Co-Op on Barnsley Road, you know you’re
really in trouble.
it’s not as though it's South Elmsall’s fault that its
main industry was ripped from it when the colliery closed in 1993.
The town has expanded in recent years with the addition of more
administrative employment. Excitingly, Danish discount specialists Netto base
their UK headquarters in the town. Actually, that's not exciting. That's just embarrassing.
us how wrong we are, recommend a decent pub or try flogging us life
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