Bet you didn’t know this
The date was September 6th 1902. Newly formed Manchester United
played their ever competitive fixture at the Northolme, a Division 2
victory away from home 1-0 with debutant Charlie Richards grabbing the
winner. The forward line included a guy named Hurst.
Fast forward to today, 108 years to the month. FC United play their
Second Qualifying Round tie at Gigg Lane, with the possibility of another
Hurst in the line-up. The opposition in both of these games are
Gainsborough Trinity, now in the Blue Square Conference North.
There are other links to today’s opponents. Both of them can claim
never to have been relegated in their history. And both managers went to
Wembley in 1996 and returned with winners medals.
Trinity graced the Football League from 1896 until 1912, when they were
voted out and replaced by neighbours Lincoln City. Since then they
spent much of their time in the Midland League, but were founder members of
the Northern Premier League in 1969. In 2004 they became founder members of
the Conference North.
Current manager is former Aston Villa striker Brian Little, a League Cup
winner in 1975 and 1977, partnering the now-Sky TV pundit Andy Gray up
front. As Villa manager, he won the trophy again in 1996. Mark Bosnich and
Dwight Yorke were amongst the players he developed at that time.
Trinity include John Stiles, son of Nobby, amongst their former players.
Another old boy is ex-Leicester City forward Trevor Benjamin, and current
QPR boss Neil Warnock is a former manager.
After a disappointing start to the season which leaves them in 19th
place with 4 points so far, Gainsborough have this week recruited
midfielder Danny Frost from Winterton Rangers and Striker Ryan Kendall from
Harrogate Town. Their 6 defeats out of 8 games include a 2-0 defeat at
Stalybridge Celtic, where Phil Marsh netted both goals.