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“Business as usual” for Wells as search for new Chairman starts…

After Friday’s sad news that Hemsworth Miners Welfare CFC’s Chairman, Richard Norman, had resigned his position, the club announced a meeting following their top of the table clash with Yorkshire Amateur to discuss the club’s current standing with their fans.

The one statement resounding around the ground before kick-off was that the club was in the best position it had ever been and the lads certainly showed that on the pitch too. Despite the cold day followed by freezing rain throughout the second half, the lads were determined to put on a good show to lift their fans’ spirits. And boy, did they do just that! A cracking 4-1 win against the top side gave a convincing Wells side all three points in a tremendously disciplined and impressive performance in front of their home crowd.

Manager Wayne Benn chaired the meeting post-match. It was a shock for us all on Friday to hear that our Chairman, Richard Norman, had resigned for personal reasons. Richard has achieved so much with Hemsworth and he has been a pivotal contributor in the fact that we are in such a great place at the moment, both on the field and off. He joined a club that had already impressively progressed in a few short years but Richard still advanced our climb up the ladder remarkably in the time he was with us. There is no doubt as you look around the ground that Richard has left such a positive impression on our home and we are indebted to him for his vision and guidance during his tenure as Chairman with us.

Football apart, Richard had invested so much of his time into creating our LEGACY Community Programme, which proved him to be a man of true vision for our community club. We are proud as we sit in our clubhouse to be able to boast of Richard’s Programme, which will deliver the following long term goals and benefits to our area:

  • Embed the club further into the local community. We will achieve this by truly collaborating with other junior sports clubs and organisations, charities, schools, businesses, local media and the community at large.
  • Develop the facilities at the stadium for the benefit of our future generations.
  • Further develop our junior and ladies football sections.
  • Deliver financial security to the club and the associated teams.
  • Help young disadvantaged people gain real career opportunities. We will deliver this through our mentoring and coaching programme. 

We were informed by the LEGACY’s Manager that the school currently has ten pupils from the Hemsworth’s secondary school who have reacted very positively to their change in learning environment and are now enjoying their studies. We hope they will continue to flourish in their programme here and learn the skills required to become successful young adults.  With the building extension coming along strongly, the Community Programme will double its intake upon its completion, enabling 20 disadvantaged pupils to continue their education locally in a safe and friendly environment.

It was good to hear that Richard will continue to oversee the LEGACY Community Programme for the near future and we are extremely grateful for his prolonged time and acumen being put into the programme.  It certainly gives us that extra footing to continue to grow solidly, not only as a football club but also as a community club. Richard will be sorely missed, both as a Chaiman, businessman and a friend to all. We would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge thank you to Richard from everyone at Hemsworth Miners Welfare CFC for everything he has done for both our club and our community.

Despite the huge disappointment of losing such an influential man at the helm, the one massively important point to come out of the meeting was our unity. The running of the football club will continue as normal.  The club already has in place some excellent volunteers who manage the club seamlessly from a fan’s point of view.   A few more volunteers were recruited on the night to help out with maintaining our enviable facilities, as well as ensuring our home fixtures still offer the usual excellent service and warm welcome.

Come summer – it seemed a long way away on a freezing cold rainy January evening! – Hemsworth will proudly play host to Women’s Football League fixtures: Wakefield Trinity Ladies will be playing here come the new season. We hope both Wakefield and Hemsworth supporters will turn out in droves for the ladies and we are looking forward to having yet another team to cheer on down at our local club.

It is also our plan to bring rugby under our umbrella in the not too distant future. It is difficult to avoid the old Rugby Football League in West Yorkshire: most of us also have our favourite team in that sport too and our rivalry is fierce, whether you’re a Wakey, Cas or Fev fan. (Some readers may need to dip into their Yorkshire-English dictionary there for translation!) 

So, for Hemsworth Miners Welfare Community Football Club, it’s not always about the football.  We are so lucky here at WF9 that we have a first team battling it out for that hallowed place in the Evo-Stik, a side that also boasts lads newly promoted from our successful development squad. We even had a member of our Mini Miners’ team at the meeting, not listening at his tender age but chatting away of the day he will pull on that first team jersey and be just like his dad. We look forward to embracing another team when Wakefield Trinity Ladies come to our stadium. Our footballers already have some of the best facilities in the NCEL and the hosting of our social events can soon be improved by the extension currently being constructed, which will house more LEGACY pupils, undernourished in mainstream schooling but thriving in our more compact environment and potentially blossoming into more adept and confident young adults as a result, equipped with the right skills to succeed in life.

The meeting finished as the day had begun: our club is at the highest point it has ever been and we intend to only keep on rising. We will continue to work hard for each other and everyone involved at the club would also like to extend our gratitude to our tremendous crew of volunteers, without whom matchday would never take place. A few more volunteers were drafted in at last night’s meeting, which can only improve what is already an efficiently run club.

Thanks to Richard Norman, our staff and our volunteers, Richard is leaving us in a very strong position, both in the NCEL Premier Division and within our community. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Richard and wish him all the very best.

Footnote: Although I’m a passionate Wells fan, I’m not actually from the local community. I had tried a couple of local clubs before I went to watch Hemsworth but didn’t feel “at home”. Richard Norman, Chairman, was the first person to come and greet with me when I walked in for my first game. I hadn’t even ordered my pie and chips! I soon found out that that’s how Hemsworth is. They wear their heart on their sleeves when it comes to their teams and they’re a blooming friendly bunch to boot. I may be a “foreigner” in Yorkshire terms (not from the village) but they welcomed me with open arms and I am so proud they’ve adopted me as one of their own. It certainly is a special place to be on a Saturday afternoon.

Our search for a new Chairman is currently underway and we invite anyone attracted to the role to please contact the club for further discussion. We thank you for your interest.

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