As Brighouse Town Football Club kicked off their campaign, they were invited to a Civic Reception at Halifax Town Hall last Thursday evening for their achievements in being promoted to the Evo Stik Northern Premier League Division One North.
Welcomed into the Mayor’s Parlour, Calderdale Mayor Patricia Allen said: “Its a great honour to receive you into the Mayor’s Parlour and I must say how proud I am and how very hard you have all worked for this promotion.”
The players and members of the committee were then treated to a meal before being shown around the town hall and lapping up some of the history as well as learning of the day-to-day goings on.
Also there to receive the players were Conservative Councillors for Brighouse, Howard Blagborough and Scott Benton, David Kirton and Graham Hall, plus Labour councillor Ann Martin.
Coun Benton said: “I have been to watch Brighouse on a number of occasions and their rise is fantastic to see, and the fact that they are not far behind Halifax Town right now speaks volumes of the club both on and off the pitch.
“I know everyone in Brighouse will be wishing them the best over the next 12 months.”
Brighouse Town chairman Ray McLaughlin said: “Its a massive achievement, and this is the best team we have ever had.
“Since our manager Paul Quinn took over three years ago it’s been a really good time for us. We are now at the same level Halifax Town found themselves at when they got demoted owing to their financial problems.
“It’s a big honour to receive a civic reception and thank you to the Mayor of Calderdale for inviting us.
“We all get on well at the club and it’s hard work but to then be invited to something like this, it makes it all worthwhile.”
Brighouse Town began 50 years ago as a works team at the once huge employer in the town, Blakeborough.
But under the guidance and work of the late Nigel Wilson, they progressed over two decades into the team it is now, playing out of the old Blakeborough’s Sports Ground of St Giles Road, at Hove Edge.
Five seasons ago they gained their first promotion of note via then manager-coach Mark Brier, which took them out of the Northern Counties East League’s Division One into the Premier Division.
They were invited then to a civic reception for their achievement.
They missed out by a place to former Football League club Scarborough in the 2012-13 season but made no mistake this past term to firmly establish themselves at the foot of the non-league pyramid system, which can now take them all the way to the Football League someday with the backing of the town.
“We are without doubt the smallest club currently in our new surroundings when you look at Salford City backed by Ryan Giggs and his old Manchester United colleagues, former Football League clubs Darlington and Scarborough and the well supported North East club Spennymoor United,” said manager Paul Quinn.
“There is no doubt we will be giving this opportunity our best shot and always looking to FC Halifax Town to give us a lead as they have achieved what we have set out to do and that is aim for the very top.
“All we need now is for the sports folk of Brighouse, and Calderdale for that matter, to come out and back us.”