(Copyright Stuart Roy Clarke)
2019 is a historic year for Worksop Town FC. Regardless of whether the Tigers win their first league title since 1973 to reclaim their place in the Northern Premier League after a five-year absence, July 14th will mark the centenary of a very special event.
It was on that date in 1919 that Worksop Town (following a merger with Manton Colliery Athletic Club) obtained their famous amber and black stripes and their famous nickname too.
The club had worn various colours in its early years, including black and white halves, red shirts, and green shirts, but it was the new look amber and black stripes that heralded the glory days of the 1920s – with four headline-making runs into the knockout stages proper of the FA Cup and a Midland League (recognised as the top non-league division of its day) championship – and that meant there was no turning back after that.
To celebrate this special centenary, Worksop-born authors and passionate Tigers fans Lance Hardy and John Stocks are curating and self-funding a one-month exhibition at Worksop Library in December 2019 called Amber & Black. The event will actually coincide with the 100th anniversary of one of Worksop Town’s most famous results – a 5-3 win over Leeds United at Elland Road.
Anybody who has any Tigers memorabilia from this era is urged to get in touch with the curators as soon as possible to discuss how their items could be featured safely in glass cabinets or mounted securely on wall space.
“Our hope is to display some fabulous artefacts alongside various specially-commissioned contemporary pieces of artwork and photography by the likes of internationally-famous football photographer Stuart Roy Clarke and illustrator Paine Proffitt, whose work has often specialised in the Art Deco period of that time,” Lance said. “I know them both, and it is hoped that copies of their work will be made available for Worksop Town fans to purchase during this time.”
There will also be an opportunity for local people, including school children, to produce their own celebratory ‘Amber & Black’ artwork and photography that could be displayed during the exhibition.
“We believe that the club’s unique sporting heritage should be cherished and therefore we have organised this event to celebrate,” John said. “In the evenings there will be ‘Bring and share’ and ‘Drop- in’ sessions as well as special events and talks.”
Both John and Lance are currently busy working on separate Worksop Town literary projects. John, a published poet and historian, is finalising his third volume of the club’s history (from the years 1970 to 2000), which should be available to buy during the exhibition, while Lance, who is a two-time nominee at the British Sports Book Awards, is continuing his research into the Tigers’ famous FA Cup matches against Tottenham Hotspur in 1923 – a book project he started in his spare time over ten years ago! Both men were born and raised in Worksop. John saw his first Tigers match at Central Avenue in 1966, while Lance did so ten years later in 1976.
“This is an opportunity for the two of us to do something special for the club,” Lance added. “Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers used to watch the Tigers and so it is steeped in us. It means a lot to us to do something that the people of the town will be able to celebrate and remember.”
For latest details follow @lancejohnhardy on Twitter or Instagram. In the meantime, if you have any Tigers memorabilia in your possession or any information or photographs regarding Worksop Town, particularly from the 1920s, please contact John in the first instance via firstname.lastname@example.org.