COLESHILL TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB HISTORY – PART 5
The 1980’s arrived with Coleshill having been in the Midland Combination Division 1 for five years but still failing to make an impression. In fact at the end of the 1980/81 Town finished bottom of the league and were relegated by the league but the Football Association decided to extend the division from 20 teams to 22 and reinstated the club. Chairman Harry “H” Davies decided to capitalise on this good fortune by appointing former Coventry City player Colin Holder as manager for the coming season. Holder stopped the rot of continuous relegation battles finishing in 13th place in his first season in charge. In his second season the team finished in a similar position but had success in the Walsall Senior Cup. Coleshill beat Bloxwich but then lost to Blakenhall in the next round. Colin Holders’ wife Carol, who was match secretary, (something unique in non-league football), had noticed an illegal player, so Blackenhall were removed from the competition and Coleshill reinstated. Town then beat Rushall Olympic and then Armitage after a replay to reach the final on 5th May 1983. The game was played at Hednesford Town’s Keys Park against Wolverhampton United with Coleshill lifting the Trophy with a 4-3 success. The squad that night was: Steve Howkins GK, Mark Caufield, Colin Cooke, David Moore, Keith Shrimpton, Bob Dyer capt, Steve Polack, Andy Foote, Barrie Canning, Malcolm Teeling, Kirk Jennings, Brian Jordan, Brad Russell, Alan Lloyd, D. Williamson, K. Gardner. (PICTURE 1 CTFC Walsall Senior Cup Winners 1983)
The next season Coleshill lost the first three games of the season but by February they made it to the top of the league for the very first time in the club’s history. Town remained top through March into April but they then had a bit of a wobble and by the last game of the season they had to win to be Champions. Town were away to Hurley Daw Mill in front of a near 600 crowd and scored first through Roy Ashman but the Mill equalised with just eight minutes remaining and Studley took the championship with Town now in the runners up spot. It would be a further 24 years before Coleshill finally lifted that Trophy.
In 1982 Aston Villa beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in Rotterdam in the Final of the European Cup. Why would I mention this in an article about the history of Coleshill Town? Well, Town’s greatest son, Gary Shaw, set up that winning goal for Peter Withe! Gary played for Coleshill Colts and then Coleshill first team as a sixteen year old and was picked up by the Villa, then managed by Ron Saunders. Rumour has it that Villa paid Coleshill £50 for Shaw but that cannot be confirmed although he was not under contract and Villa didn’t have to pay anything! Gary went on to play 165 times for Aston Villa scoring 59 goals and picking up a First Division Championship medal as well as that European Cup. (PICTURE 2 Gary Shaw)
Keith Shrimpton replaced Colin Holder for the start of the 1984/85 season but in his four years in charge the highest finishing place was 7th. Ronnie Mason then took charge for the 1988/89 season and although fortunes didn’t make an upturn in the league, history was made in the Birmingham Senior Cup. Coleshill were drawn against Birmingham City at Pack Meadow and drew 0-0 which meant a replay at St Andrews. The Birmingham Evening Mail wrote: “Birmingham trailed to a Tate goal”. “Tate” was a nickname for John Taylor who became the first Coleshill player ever to score against a professional side. The game ended 1-1 but Coleshill won on penalties and went on to play Wolverhampton Wanderers in the next round. The Evening Mail Wrote: Three superbly taken second-half goals from top of Division Three Wolves knocked brave Coleshill Town out of the Birmingham Senior Cup, in front of 2,038 fans at Molineux. Manager Graham Taylor fielded his first team against Town and, understandably, they were just too good for the Midland Combination side. Wolves striker Steve Bull, the leading marksman in the Football League, was taken off at half-time, but he had earlier hit the Town cross-bar with a powerful header”. (PICTURE 3 CTFC at Molineux) John “Tate” Taylor recently lost his brave battle with cancer at the tender age of 52. As a mark of respect a minute’s silence was held before the start of Coleshill’s game against Tamworth at Pack Meadow the night before his funeral.
The decade ended as it began with Coleshill languishing at the lower end of the league, maybe the 90’s would prove to be more successful!
Find out next time in Coleshill Town Football Club History - Part 6!
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