History – Denaby’s Mightiest Days

July 1927

Mexborough and Swinton Times July 22, 1927

Denaby’s Mightiest Days

No club in the district has nobler traditions on the football field than Denaby United, who entered into our scheme of things in 1895.

The club’s birth – like that of many other clubs famous today – was fortuitous.

There was a strike, and the Rev RP Rosevere called a meeting in St Chad’s Church premises to form the club and keep the younger men of his flock out of mischief. The club got going at once and passed through the South Yorkshire league and the Sheffield Association League to reach the Midland league in 1902.

Their first league match in that competition was played at Barnsley, and the Mexborough man, “Tip” Bennett, scored the first Midland league goal against them and paved the way to their first Midland league defeat.

The club collapsed in 1913 and was not resumed till 1919.

Denaby have not never won the Midland league championship, but they came very near it in 1908 – the peak year of Midland league football – when they finished 2nd to Wednesday, and only two points behind.

Amongst many fine players who play with Denaby the most notable name was that of Jimmy Harrop, who went on to Liverpool, Aston Villa, Sheffield United and England.

For most of its career the man that has been most intimately associated with the club is Jim Hancock, who, only a few months ago laid down office after managing the team. Hancock also played with Chesterfield and Frickley (towards the end of his playing career) but it was with Denaby that his work in goal brings him most vividly into our history.