The blue plaque at York Road. Photo: Tom Canning.

From Gridiron to the York Road fire – A Maidenhead United history in 150 words

As part of the Magpies 150 Challenge, Neil Maskell picks out his top five stories so far
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The blue plaque at York Road. Photo: Tom Canning.

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I am now around halfway through my Lockdown labour of love.  As part of the Magpies 150 Challenge, myself and Maidenhead United Academy Therapist Megan Robson set ourselves the target of a number of activities to boost our Just Giving page which is aligned to the Football Club’s drive of raising £150,000 for 15 local charities in this our 150th year.

Whilst Megan completed 15 runs from her home in Cox Green to the ground and back, I opted for the far more sedentary task of researching 150 articles on the history of the club to countdown to the 150th anniversary of the first-ever match played at York Road which we will celebrate in February next year.

Don’t think I have entirely lost my marbles though in my spare time.  To complete the theme, the articles are just 150 words long – they are not intended to be heavyweight pieces, more a beginners guide to the long history of the club.  And there is plenty of source material.  The definitive club history ‘One For Sorrow Two For Joy’ written by Magpies historian Mark Smith is a superb record of the past.  And the Maidenhead Advertiser online archive is another quite brilliant source of the material.

Maidenhead United vs Maidenhead Town. Photo from the Maidenhead Advertiser.
Maidenhead United vs Maidenhead Town. Photo from the Maidenhead Advertiser.

Working backwards with the articles – starting with the formation of Maidenhead United Juniors last year – I am currently looking back at the 1960s hey-day of the club – awash with Corinthian League titles and County Cups.  I have been asked by FiB gaffer Tom Canning to recount my ‘Top 5’ stories so far so here goes.

Part 12 – Award-Winning New Stand. Without it we wouldn’t be a National League club!

Part 19 – Maidenhead United Women Established. The club expands to include a women’s team in 2008.

Part 47 – Thames Valley Chargers. Gridiron at York Road!

Part 49 – York Road Fire. Old grandstand burned down in 1986.

Part 62 – York Road Goes To The Dogs. Greyhound racing raises funds.

And there is plenty still to cover!  Record wins, Amateur Cup Semi-Finals, mergers, cricket.. and Petula Clark.  Stay tuned to twitter.com/neilmaskell79 on Twitter or pitchero.com/clubs/maidenheadunited for a daily glimpse into the past of Berkshire’s oldest football club.

The JustGiving page is here.

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