It’s with some sadness that Stocksbridge Park Steels FC announce that Mr Steels, Allen Bethel, has announced he is to step down as Chairman of the football club. After 30 plus years, Allen who is 77 years old, had planned to step down at the end of the 2018/2019 season, but health issues have forced him to reconsider and in his own words stated he is “becoming a little forgetful” and the day to day workload is not as easy as it was
“It all started in 1982 when I had about six local kids and formed Stocksbridge Juniors. It was then I met Michael Grimmer (Stocksbridge’s current Secretary) and things developed from there. 1986 saw the merger of Stocksbridge Works and Oxley Park to form what is now Stocksbridge Park Steels.”
Since then Stocksbridge have moved forward under Allen's leadership to become one of the most stable and highly respected clubs in South Yorkshire, with 13 squads ranging from the thriving junior section up to the semi-professional senior team competing in the Evo Stik League Division One.
And also can boast one of the best pitches and training facilities in the area, alongside acknowledged credibility of paying its players and creditors on time.
Allen has too many highlights during his chairmanship to mention during, but says that there are some that will always stand out. “It’s seeing players develop and go on to make a career in full-time football.We sold Lee Mills to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1991/92 and Simon Marples who went on to have a successful career with Doncaster Rovers. But it was the arrival of a skinny lad called Jamie Vardy following his release from Sheffield Wednesday that I shall always look back upon with immense pride, and of course the rest is history. “
Current Vice Chairman Graham Furness will take over as Chairman, 58-year-old Graham is currently part of the reserve management team and has also been involved with the U18’s. He is also been the clubs Development Officer, Graham is looking forward to taking on the fresh challenges and is hoping to build on the work done by Mr Bethel and said “Although the club is very stable, it’s important that we try and bring in more revenue. We would also like to see match attendances improve.
“Under our manager Chris Hilton the team play attractive flowing football so I feel we need to become more proactive in the media and community to try and get people through the turnstiles to see what’s on offer at a very reasonable price, particularly with prices going through the roof to watch EFL Football.”
Steels return for pre-season training on Saturday June 23. Manager Chris Hilton expects to have several new signings wrapped up and hopes to continue to bring youngsters through the clubs brilliant youth Development teams