It’s with great sadness to read in last week’s Gazette sport that Ripon’s Red Arrows are ending their journey as a football club.
The reason for this was due to a lack of players and also financial troubles.
Having been in the Harrogate and District League for some 50 years now takes me personally back to the late 60s when I wore the red and white shirt of the Arrows.
Leaving school in 66 at 15, I first played for Ripon Y.M.C.A. paying 2/6p match fee to help pay for the referee.
Playing for the Y.M.C.A. was a great introduction to men’s football and I was grateful at the time to the late Dave Mason for telling me to pass the ball because at the time I was trying to be like George Best. He took me to one side and made me roll down my socks and look at my legs which were black and blue and shingaurdless he said he never wanted to see my legs like that again (pass the ball or you will get kicked) and that advice made me a better player.
I started playing for the Red Arrows when the Y.M.C.A. finished playing football. The Red Arrows home games were played at Fishergreen before moving to a pitch near Studley.
I first played for the reserves who were promoted that year, and captained the team that won the U/21s Cup in the Claro League in 1970.
I retired from football at only 19 which is my only one big regret in life. When you are young and fit and enjoy sport you must take every opportunity that is given to you and keep playing for as long as you can and don’t give up prematurely like I did all those years ago.
With Ripon City attempting to reform a reserve team to play in the Harrogate and District League next season, let’s hope some of Arrows players join City.
Ripon City Panthers are now forming an open age ladies team and training is already underway for next season, all there home fixtures are to be played on Sundays at Mallorie Park.
Here’s hoping the future is looking better for Ripon City Club.