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Cleverley's Olympic call up delays celebrations
12:08pm Thursday 14th June 2012 in Football
Centenary celebrations at Oxenhope Recreation FC have been brought forward after its guest of honour, Manchester United and England footballer Tom Cleverley, was called up for Olympic training.
The Bradford-raised star had been due to kick off the Worth Valley club’s 100-year anniversary later this summer with the opening of its new ground, following a £35,000 pitch refurbishment.
However, they have hastily reorganised their plans after the former Bantams junior was made available for selection for the Team GB London Olympics squad.
Instead, the football ace will be joining a grand opening celebration event on Saturday.
Earlier this week, Oxenhope secretary Ray Broadbent said: “Tom Cleverley is a friend of one of our players.
“At the moment he is on holiday in Dubai, and then he will join the squad for Olympic training, before going back to Manchester United. This is the only window where he could fit us in, so we had to change our plans. But he has stayed true to his word and will be there.”
He will officially open a new redeveloped pitch, marking the football club’s move back to the village where it began following a four-year exile.
Rec had to move from the village – and its spiritual home – when it stepped up from the Craven League after repeated league title and cup successes.
They had been playing their home matches at Marley stadium, Keighley, while work was carried out to upgrade its ground to West Yorkshire League standards.
The first team and reserves will now be able to use the new pitch following the completion of the re-development, which has also included major improvements to its changing rooms.
The grand opening on Saturday will include children’s five-a-side matches, a bouncy castle and barbeque at the ground from 1.30pm.
Broadbent said: “Tom will officially open the pitch and then be available for kids to get his autograph, shirt signing and photograph opportunity with the football star.”
Meanwhile, over 70 players and supporters attended the club’s annual presentation night when they celebrated last season’s major achievements.
The first team finished tenth in their first season in the Premier Division of the West Yorkshire League and won the Keighley Cup for the first time in 46 years, while the reserves gained promotion at the first attempt in the West Yorkshire Alliance League.
Individual award winners were: Managers’ awards – Scott Nelson, Nivard Trowers, Sean Quinlan, Shaun Humphries; players’ player trophies – Michael Garnett, Ryan Sollitt, Sean Quinlan, Sam Coates; leading goalscorer – Michael Garnett; James Fisher Trophy young player of the year – Sean Quinlan; supporters’ trophy – Ben White; third-team player of the year – Grahame Ellis; Clifford Coates Cup reserves player of the year – Ryan Sollitt/Sean Quinlan; Duncan Frazer Cup first-team player of the year: Michael Garnett; Ashley Bevan Memorial Trophy clubman of the year – Tony Trowers (also made life member for 20 years’ service).
Pre-season training starts on Tuesday, June 19 (6.45pm) at the Recreation Ground, when new players are welcome.