Definitions

Wingate & Finchley F.C

Prestwich Heys A.F.C.

Prestwich Heys A.F.C. are an amateur football club situated in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, England.

Heys run two senior sides with the first team competing in the Manchester Football League Premier Division and the reserves team which compete in the Manchester Football League Division Two (reserves division). Heys also run a number of junior sides catering for all age groups up to under seventeen years old.

History

Formation

The origins of Prestwich Heys A.F.C. can be traced back to February 9th 1938 when a meeting was called at the Music Room of the Heys Road Boys School at which Elgar Lumsden put forward the idea of forming an Old Boys Association.

Attending that first meeting were messers Bridge, Stott, Foster, Taplin and Alan Proctor Bell, who was to become a central figure in the Club’s history and whose progress he was to report on in the Prestwich Guide under the guise of ‘Touchliner’.

Despite the onset of the Second World War a year later, the Association flourished under the Chairmanship of Bell, who also acted as Secretary of the football arm, known as Heys Old Boys AFC and was acknowledged as one of the region’s best.

The team went on to win its first honours in 1943 in the Prestwich and Whitefield League with the Woodward Shield - a success which was repeated for the next three seasons.

The Glory Years

The team gradually progressed through the Bury Amateur League and in to the South East Lancashire League claiming Championships in 1960, 1961 and 1964. Under the guidance of Peter Gilmore in the sixties, Heys won the prestigious Lancashire Amateur Cup in 1967 followed by the one and only Lancashire Combination Grand Slam in the 1970/71 season with Heys bringing all four trophies available back to Grimshaws.

The club also changed its name in 1964 to Prestwich Heys AFC, an acknowledgement of the fame achieved by the club as they proved one of the nation’s top amateur clubs.

Thousands flocked to see Heys play, and beat, the likes of Sutton United, Ferryhill Athletic, Finchley and Highgate United in the FA Amateur Cup with the clubs best run taking Heys to the last 16. The victory over Sutton United in 1969 ranks as one of Heys’ most famous moments, attracting nationwide coverage, coming a week before their opponents were due to meet Leeds United in the FA Cup.

Restructuring and a New Home

These were heady days but with the seventies came the onslaught of professionalism and the club struggled to maintain its winning ways. After claiming the Manchester Amateur Cup in 1972, the trophy cabinet remained bare as Heys negotiated the gradual restructuring of semi-professional football, moving from the Cheshire County League in to the newly formed North West Counties League in 1982.

Ground grading problems saw the club drop in to the Manchester Football League in 1986 but the club went on to gain its first trophy for over a decade when the First Division title was claimed in 1988.

1991 saw Heys relocated by Bury Council off their Grimshaws home on Heys Road for a new base at Sandgate Road, just over the border in Whitefield.

After relegation in 1996, the club bounced back with the Manchester League double of First Division Championship and Murray Shield built on the back of a record 19 league wins from the start of the season.

Present Day

After finishing runners-up to champions Royton Town in the 2003/04 season, the 2004/05 season saw Heys finally take the major prize of their first Manchester League Premier Division title. They followed this up by retaining their crown the following season with a 2-0 victory in their penultimate game of the season at Hindsford.

In 2006/07, Heys made it a hat-trick or Premier Division titles and also lifted the Goldline Trophy after defeating Charnock Richard on penalties at the Reebok Stadium.

Manager and Chairman Adie Moran died on June 27th 2007 whilst on holiday in Sri Lanka at the age of 43. Assistant Manager Jason Dormer took over first team duties until he was replaced by Peter Freakes and Andy Whiteman in February 2008.

However, Freakes' and Whiteman's spell in charge was to last only nine games with the club citing differences of opinion in the future strategy of the development of the club as the reason for their dismissal.

Reserve Team Management duo of Liam Morrissey and Paul Taylor took over the running of first team affairs during the summer of 2008.

Heys continue to work on their redevelopment plans as they look to get their Sandgate Road ground up to a standard that may possibly see a return of North West Counties League football to Prestwich for the first time since 1986. Planning permission for pitch floodlights was granted in November 2007.

A Bright Future

July 2008 saw a development which secured an extremely bright future for football in Prestwich as Stand Athletic Juniors FC merged with Prestwich Heys AFC to form Prestwich Heys Juniors FC.

The clubs junior section now boasts 16 teams ranging from U6s to U17s and participate in the North Bury Junior Football League, the Bury and Radcliffe Junior Football League and the Bolton Boys and Girls Federation.

League history

Records

League Positions:
1st in the Lancashire Combination 1970-71 season
4th in the North West Counties League Division Three 1982-83 season
1st in the Manchester Football League Premier Division 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons

FA Cup:
Second Qualifying Round v Mossley 1973-74 season, lost 2-3
Second Qualifying Round v Stalybridge Celtic 1978-79 season, lost 1-4

FA Amateur Cup:
Quarter-final v Enfield 1969-1970 season, lost 0-2

Sources / Links

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