Come on You Rams!
The Story of Ramsbottom United Football Club
What makes Ramsbottom United unique as a football club? Well, for one thing, which other club could boast of having a character like Harry Williams at its helm for the whole of its 54 years of existence to date? Starting out as manager at the age of 22 in the year Ramsbottom United was founded in 1966 – the same year England won the World Cup – Harry continued in that role until becoming chairman in the 1980s, remaining in this latter post right up to the present day. Still as young-looking as ever! While charting the history of the club as a whole, this book features the extraordinary role played by Harry, who has succeeded in doing everything within his forward-looking (and famously thrifty!) powers to launch the club on its way to becoming a giant within the folk-lore of the semi-pro circuit. Not for nothing has Harry been dubbed ‘Mr Ramsbottom United’. Even so, this story is crowded with many other colourful characters who have followed in Harry’s pioneering foot-steps.
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For example, the fiery managerial duo of Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson, later to be featured in the TV programme ‘Class of 92’, cut their teeth at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium.
In essence, this book provides a heady cocktail of tales and testimonies, triumphs and tragedies, on and off the pitch, told through a vast number of eye-witness accounts across the years – managers, players, fans and all those working tirelessly behind the scenes to make the club what it is to-day.
Above all else, this is a story about a club always punching above its weight. A story which contains a wealth of interest to anyone curious to learn more about football played at this distinctive level of ‘the great national game’.
Nigel Jepson lives in Ramsbottom and is a keen supporter of Ramsbottom United. He moved to the area in the mid-90s after taking up post as Head Teacher at nearby Haslingden High School. His last UK head’s post was at Kearsley Academy in Bolton from 2010 to 2014. ‘Retired’, he has carried out interim work abroad in the meantime, serving as Principal in Dubai during 2016 and carrying out a teacher training programme in schools in New Delhi in 2018.
Keen throughout his life on team sports, he has also taken to the challenge of marathon-running starting with London (1982) and moving through to New York (2001). Over 2017 to 2019, he has run four more marathons in Dubai, Belfast, Manchester and Liverpool.
Nigel’s writing has to date concentrated on novels, with four publications:
‘The Inspector and the Superhead’ (2000)
‘Cut and Run’ (2006)
‘In a League of His Own’ (2011)
‘Speed is of the Essence’ (2015)
Having studied for a History degree at Cambridge University back in the day, it is ironic that this work marks his baptism in the sphere of history-writing!