Fifty-five years ago a team of pupils from St Gregory’s High School, formerly in Ardwick, set up an amateur football club then named Old Gregorians – now it’s known as Manchester Gregorians.
Originally part of the Lancashire Amateur League (LAL), Manchester Gregorians are now in the Manchester Football League running two teams. The First Team, managed by manager Rob Brown, plays in the Premier Division of the Manchester Football League, whilst the Reserve Team is in Division Two. Brown passed through the TNT offices to have a chat with us about the South Manchester-based club.
With matches running twice a week and pre-season training that involves fitness and stamina building and integrating new players, the club is a hotbed of talent as some of its ex-players over the years have gone onto professional clubs.
Although the Club has shrunk in size over the years to a manageable size, Brown, 53, cited the club has four teams in total; The First and Reserves, Under 18’s and the Veterans team. Aiming to be the best run amateur football club in Manchester, Manchester Gregorians faces stiff competition from anti-Man Utd set up ‘FC United’ and Chorlton’s West Didsbury FC.
Although other teams may be progressing upwards in the leagues, Rob mentions that spreading wider structurally as opposed to upwards, is central to Manchester Gregorians’ goals. “We want to exist for longer time”, he explained. “I myself am a former pupil of the school and went on to play at a semi professional at clubs such as Buxton, Winsford and then became the assistant manager at Witton Albion. I then had a spell scouting for Charlton Athletic before returning to Gregorians”.
Aided by sponsors and old boys of the school, the club is also driven by a small executive and the enthusiasm of the footballers who pay a membership fee, to which they receive twice-a-week football, training kit, the experienced coaches’ expertise, guidance, rehab, physiotherapy and much more.
With their home turf on what was once Manchester City Academy and is now in the ownership of the Manchester University, the Manchester Gregorians have state of the art grounds which Rob believes is catalytic in attracting “local talent” for any of their four teams.
TNT Sport Yasin Chinembiri