Based in Norfolk. Established in 1893.
It is with immense pride that Holt United Youth Football Club has achieved and continues to hold the prestigious FA Chartered Standard Award.
Below is a brief outline of what it involves and what it means to our members:
The FA Charter Standard kitemark is awarded to football clubs who provide a high quality football experience. FA Charter Standard clubs are proven to be well run, sustainable, and importantly place child protection, quality coaching and safety paramount.
The FA Charter Standard kitemark was launched in 2001 and now reconises 4,500 clubs, with 460 advanced level Community Clubs and 120 leagues. The kitemark is a major focus of The FA’s £200 million FA National Game Strategy and has improved coaching, the number of girls’ football teams and safeguarding children procedures.
The FA Charter Standard Club Award is for clubs with youth teams under the age of 18. The award is designed to reward best practice, aid delivery across the club volunteer spectrum and educate coaches and club officials to the minimum FA criteria:
THE HISTORY OF HOLT UNITED
Holt United Football Club has a proud history going back more than 100 years to 1893.
They were founder members of the North Norfolk and Norwich League - the first league in Norfolk - in 1895.
Not much is known of the early history other than the club played on the field opposite what is now Thurlow Nunn’s garage and changed in the White Lion pub which is now Adnams.
Perhaps the earliest photograph the club has is one of the 1906 team which shows players and officials. The two-tone shirts must be considered to be the traditional red and green colours.
A photograph of the 1910-11 team proudly displays two trophies that had been won that season
In 1924 Holt United joined the Norwich and District League, a league they were to become champions of on five occasions.
They appeared in the final of the Norfolk Senior Cup on only their second season in senior football, and in 1930 - 31 set a county record by winning 32 of their 34 games to take the Norwich and District League Cup and every Charity Cup competition they entered.
The success story continued when Holt joined the Norfolk and Suffolk League in 1935. They did not suffer a league defeat until December that year when they lost to Norwich City ’A’ at Carrow Road. Holt were the first amateur team to play at the new Carrow Road ground.
The 1937/38 season saw a home crowd of 2,300 turn out for Holt’s Second Round F.A. Amateur Cup tie against the Internationals and near Internationals of Athenian League side, Barnet. This came about after victories against North Walsham, CEYMS, Wymondham, St. Barnabas of Norwich, Leaveston, Herts (2-0) and Oxford City (2-0). Although Holt United lost 2-0 this was, as described by the Club’s life-President, Holt United’s finest hour. Nineteen years later they were to come up against another Athenian League side, Hayes, in the same competition. Again Holt were beaten, but were never disgraced. Holt’s fortunes were never higher than in the years immediately leading up to the Second World War. In 1937 - 38 they were runners-up to Eastern Coach Works in the Norfolk and Suffolk League and 12 months later they took the championship with 10 points to spare over Bungay Town. Their aggregate of 53 points was the biggest in the history of the league at the time and was not beaten until 1952-53.
In the 1949/50 season Holt United entered the FA Cup losing in a preliminary round at Gorleston 4-1.
The following year it was Thetford Town who defeated the Owls at the same stage at Jubilee Road by the same score. That was Holt United’s last appearance in the competition.
1958 saw a first rate Holt side in action against Hayes in the FA Amateur Cup and against Gothic in the final of the Norfolk Amateur Cup. Hayes, the eventual winners by 5-0, were at that time leaders of the London Athenian League which included two teams later to become Football League teams - Cambridge and Barnet. For their part, Gothic, 1-0 winners on the day at Carrow Road, were arguably the best team in the county.
Four years later, in 1962, Holt were back at Carrow Road, playing Sprowston Athletic in the Norfolk Junior Cup Final. By this time many of the 1957 team had been replaced. Only Arthur Lewis, Gordon Bullock and John Tyce remained. Then Club Secretary, Norman Broughton, had brought many excellent players to the club, including Gerald Bishop in goal, Tom Sands in defence, and Chris and Jimmy Davidson in attack, alongside prolific goalscorer Gary Wright. His 66 goals in one season still stands as a club record. A Wright goal and a penalty save by Bishop helped Holt to win that final 2-1.
In 1965 Holt United won the trophy for the second time when they defeated Gorleston Rangers 2-1.
The winning team is pictured left.
Peter Parfitt, who went on to play cricket for England, played for Holt in the early Sixties. In one match against Boulton and Paul he scored six goals - bringing Holt back from a 6-0 deficit at half-time.
1964 saw the formation of the Anglian Combination, a merger of the Norfolk and Suffolk League and the East Anglian League. Holt did not remain long in Junior football, gaining promotion to Division 1 in 1966 and to the Premier Division the next year.
By the early Seventies, the successful team of the Sixties had been replaced and for the first time Holt had a first team Manager, Eric Edwards, being appointed in 1971.
Talented local players on the books at that time included Barry MacMahon, Bryan (Ossie) Owen, Keith Hayward, Keith Medlar, Peter Weston, Ray Moore and John Lynes.
MacMahon was appointed manager in 1973 and was followed by ex-Norwich City player Jimmy Moran, who introduced a number of Norwich-based players. Another crowd favourite, Richard Rouse, joined the club around that time.
In 1977 Holt wound up back in Division 1 after 10 years in Premier soccer. Off the field, two long-serving club members decided to step down. Norman Broughton, Secretary since 1959, finished in 1980. His predecessor and committee man for 40 years, Harry Sergeant, also retired.
Two more managers were appointed in the seventies - Alan Pickard and Ian Booth.
Holt United’s last involvement in national competitions were in the 1970’s when they entered the FA Vase. In 1975/76 it was CNS Old Boys who defeated the Owls 4-2. In 1976/77 the club went one better. After beating Holbeach United 2-1 the Owls were defeated at home 3-1 by Parson Drove United.
The best remembered run came in 1977/78 under manager Ian Booth when the club firstly defeated Fakenham Town at Fakenham 3-2, then beat Chatteris Town at home 2-0 before making the trip to the previous year’s beaten finalists Stamford. It was a wonderful day out but the difference in class was plain to see with the Owls getting hammered 11-0. The 1978/79 season was the last time the club entered the competition and they fell at the first hurdle, going down 2-0 at home to Beccles Town.
Henry Curtis took over the reins in 1980, followed by Mike Brown who was in charge when, in 1985, Holt United left their ground at Jubilee Road, which was sold to finance the new Sports Centre complex at Kelling Road, however this meant for one season Holt played their matches at Gresham’s School with Gesse Bishop and Graham Parker in charge. In 1986 the club moved to their new ground and former Reserve team manager Bryan Owen took over the reins for Holt’s first full season at the Sports Centre (1986/87). The team finished in a lowly position with two members, Wayne Coe and Neil Jarvis (who had both started in the Club’s A Team) later moving to other clubs and going on to play for Norfolk. With good local players thin on the ground, the club found it hard going to retain Senior status. Owen was replaced as manager by David Chipperfield. After Chipperfield left, the club soon found itself in Division Three. They then had various managers including Andy Giles and former Norwich City man Phil Hoadley, who took the club back to Division Two. Mark Osborn followed Hoadley during another unspectacular time for the club. David Chipperfield was then re-appointed but fared little better than his previous rein as manager and the club found themselves in Division Three.
Under the leadership of William Howard, who took over in 1999, the club won Division Three in 2001. The club narrowly missed out on promotion in 2002 but managed to win the Norfolk Junior Cup for the third time that season. It was certainly a night to remember at Carrow Road on Monday 25th March as Holt United gave a five star display to beat Thorpe Rovers 5-2 and take home the Norfolk Junior Cup for the first time since 1964.
It was a thrilling game. Holt United came from a goal behind to race into a 5-1 lead with goals from Robin Webdale (2), Gareth Daniels, Kevin Moore and an own goal before Thorpe scored a late consolation goal. Paul Winterbone was named as man of the match.
The club was given magnificent support on the night. Holt fans must have outnumbered the Thorpe supporters by three to one.
The winning team that evening was: Fabian Denny, Peter Rowe, David Harwood, Paul Foley, Stephen Jordan, Roy Tait, Kevin Moore, Gareth Daniels (Capt.), Robin Webdale, Stuart Herd and Paul Winterbone. Subs were Mark Czyz, Andy Dearing and Graham Holden.
A team photograph of 2001/02, showing club officials and other squad members is shown above.
The club finally climbed back into senior football by gaining promotion from Division Two the following year, also winning the Anglian Combination Junior Cup for the first time that season.
In the second year back in senior football, in the 2003/04 season, manager William Howard stepped down as manager around October. He was succeeded, on a temporary basis by Reserve team manager Bob Moore, assisted by Chairman Andy Turner and Secretary Bryan Owen who towards the end of the season handed over the reins to Jim Blandford.
Jim Blandford had a successful few seasons with the club before gaining promotion back to the Premier Division in 2008. However, just before the 2008/09 season started Blandford resigned and experienced player Jason Hawkins was appointed. The late appointment was difficult for the newly appointed manager and the first team ended that season with relegation and committee man Mike Smith in temporary charge. Back in Division One in 2009 and the club appointed John Coates as manager. John brought in many good young players but perhaps, at that time, many of them were too young. Towards the end of that season Coates stepped down with the club sitting three from bottom and fearing relegation. Jim Blandford was re-appointed and the club picked up to finish third bottom but eleven points clear of the drop. The following season Blandford brought in players and the club finished comfortably in sixth place. In 2011 Blandford had a good cup run defeating Caister, North Walsham and Wymondham Town in the Norfolk Senior Cup before being narrowly beaten 3-2 Thetford Town who ended up runners up in the competition. The season faltered after the Thetford match and a few weeks later Blandford retired. First team coach Eden Rudling took over for the remainder of the season and achieved the objective of keeping the club in senior football albeit by just a couple of points in a very tight division.
At the start of the 2012/13 season ex-player and the current Reserve team manager Steve Simmons was appointed manager with Rob Crowley as his assistant. Results were mixed but the team finished in a comfortable mid-table position comfortably clear of a relegation spot. This season the team start with the same management team who have set their sights on a top six finish, which they feel is achievable.
During most of the history of Holt United one man has been prominent. As a 14-year-old he helped pick stones from the new pitch at Jubilee Road. His playing career consisted of one match on the wing for Holt United Reserves during the 1930’s. He then went on to be a member of the club’s committee, later to become Chairman, a post he held for numerous years, and is now life-President. For the past 82 years Holt United has been a major part of Roly High’s life and to many people he is Mr. Holt United. To celebrate his 90th birthday in 2007 the club named the spectator stand at the ground in his honour. Few, if any, clubs in the country will have had a longer, more devoted, supporter than Roly High.
Without him Holt United would not be the club that it is today.
Chair – Charlie Todd
Vice Chair – Ade Grand
Club Secretaries – Nicole Grand / Neil Whitworth
Treasurers – Tracey McLean / Jack Keerie
Welfare Officer – Natalie Drake
President – Bryan Owen
Vice Presidents – Bob Moore / Melvin Squire
Life Member – Ray Moore
PR & Communications – Nicole Grand
Jim Abbs (1st Team)
Antoni Fawkes (Res)
Ryan Sturgess (Devs)
Club Captains –
Thomas Todd & Aaron Sands