Tony’s decade in the top job

Tony Tomlinson, the Brighouse-based chirman of Buxton FC
Tony Tomlinson, the Brighouse-based chirman of Buxton FC

RETIRED Brighouse-based schoolmaster Tony Tomlinson is celebrating 10 years as chairman of Buxton Football Club.

Brought up in the Peak District and then settling in west Yorkshire to carry out his profession, father of three Tony, 65, is undeterred by the sometimes 80 mile round trips three times a week in the season.

“It’s in the veins, as thick as treacle, my love for Buxton Football Club, and my ten fellow board members and I just want to see us progress a little further up that pyramid system,” he enthuses.

Right now they are in the Evo Stik Premier Division but had they not had a change of manager two thirds the way into this past season then they would have been going in the opposite direction to where Tony and Co want them to be.

“Before we brought in Martin McIntosh, the former Huddersfield Town centre half who has all the UEFA B and A badges, we were on 23 points from 28 games and we finished with 53 from 42 games, nice and safe and looking forward to next season. Martin also played with Stockport, Hibernian, Rotherham and Sheffield United.

“Scott Maxfield, the former Hull City and Doncaster Rovers full-back, was already there and we teamed them up and they have really hit off and we are delighted. Plus Scott, now 36, is using all his experience and guile as a holding midfielder to steer us around the pitch.

“They have just signed Sam Duncum, a left winger from Rotherham United and both of them have good contacts.

“Hopefully we can target the Blue Square North for 2013-14 season and it won’t be for trying.”

Despite only having average gates of 350 the club he reports are in the black and the chairman takes a keen interest in the finances running the club’s weekly lottery. He even has people in Brighouse in it including his butcher on Brighouse Market, Geoff Newman of G&N Meats.

Tony also adds that they are very fortunate to have on the board a licensee who keeps a keen eye on the clubhouse bars at Silverlands the highest ground in the British Isles where professional football is played at 1,007 foot above sea level.

There are occasions when Tony is at the ground and it starts snowing and he knows full well that there is no chance of coming back the reverse way of his most direct route of Brighouse-Huddersfield, Holmfirth, Holme Moss (1, 780ft) and Glossop, so its down the hill north westwards to Stalybridge and home via Oldham and hopefully the M62 and that’s a 50 mile trip.

Tony and I both recalled Derbyshire CCC were playing a county cricket match at The Park, Buxton, in the eighties and three inches of snow on the pitch on June 2 saw play abandoned for the day.

Mind you after all the years of travelling and forced commitment with three years on the board before becoming chairman of the limited company and then many years before that when it was a committee, he is used to what the weather can throw at them in the hills of north Derbyshire.

In 29 years at All Saints RC School including four at the previously named St Gregory’s, at Bradley Bar, near Fixby, as a history teacher and football coach, Tony taught a father who went on to a very successful non-league career as a manager and his son, now manager of Brighouse Town.

“I had Gerry Quinn with me at school and captain of my Under-15s and then his son Paul who has also gone on to be a coach and a schoolmaster like his dad who is still at St John Fisher RC School in Dewsbury.

“Paul was my last football captain before I took early retirement 10 years ago. I also had Tony Galvin through my hands and knew he was destined to be a professional footballer of some note.

His wife Mary is fully behind his passion for Buxton but she commits herself to daughters, Frances, 22 and Josephine, 16, who are Irish dancers based with a Rochdale club and they take part in competitions in the north mostly and world championships. Son, Christopher, 20, is in to year two of four at Sheffield University.