South Yorkshire Times January 14, 1967
How Strong is Midland League Magic at Tickhill Square?
Within the next month, the Denaby United management committee are likely to make what could be one of the most important decisions in the history of the club.
The Midland league has been a thorn in the side of Denaby since they were forced from membership two years ago.
The question facing the club, heading for almost certain promotion to Yorkshire league Division I, is whether or not to make a second reapplication for the Midland league Denaby’s “home” for so many years.
Is there any future for Denaby in the Midland league? Is there in fact any future for the league itself?
Opinions at Tickhill square seem divided on the former question, but club chairman Mr Eddie Langford made his personal position clear to me on Sunday. He said, “there is a feeling that we should reapply for the Midland league and I might as well be quite candid about my position right now.
“I am not in favour of leaving the Yorkshire league. They have been very good to us and we have brought a good standard of football to the square.
“It is said we belong in the Midland league because of the length of time where we are members, but frankly I think it would be far too expensive. My ambition is to see us in the first division of the Yorkshire league”
Mr Langford forecast fixture difficulties which could cost the club £200-£250 in the first month of Midland League membership, and he empathised the local appeal of the Yorkshire league – something the Midland league does not have.
Manager Harry Lee did not commit himself over the possible application. But he made two important points.
“From a manager’s point of view it would be a challenge to go into Midland league and I believe with our present side we could hold our own.
“But standards in the Yorkshire league are high and I am sure that if the league really got down to it they could have the Premier division they are always talking about.
“It is an indication of the Yorkshire league standards that we have York City and Bradford City reserves in such a position that they are not certain of getting out of the second division. From that I would say that if say Scunthorpe or Lincoln reserves, out of the Midland league, came here, we should expect to beat them.”
And what of the future of the Midland league itself? Is history repeating itself, with two of its more recent members, Scunthorpe and Lincoln – who gained their positions incidentally at Denaby’s expense – now proposing to throw out of their Midland league in favour of the proposed North Midland League? It was this sort of thing which previously brought the league down.
Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham United, and Mansfield town are other clubs reported to be interested in the new league, if it matures they should surely be no future for the Midland league in the north of England. It is understood that Denaby United were approached to attend then a inaugural meeting of the North Midland league last week, but that they were declined. The question is, where do they go from here?