Old Hyde

Old Hyde
Pole Bank 1910 ----------------------------------------------------------Town Hall 1937 --------------------------------------------- Cenotaph 1990

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

A Brief History of Hyde (United) FC

Hyde FC was formed on July 27th 1885 at a meeting in the White Lion.

That was two years before the famous record 26-0 FA Cup defeat suffered at the hands of Preston North End in 1887.

Despite that the 1887/88 season was actually a very successful one at the end of which Hyde met Newton Heath (now Manchester United) in a match the local press termed the unofficial championship of Manchester.

The club was playing on a field close to the Bankfield Hotel, which may well have been where Ewen Fields is today.

In 1898 they moved to play at Townend Street, and set up a headquarters at the Gardeners Arms. This was home until May 1906 when they amalgamated with rival club, Hyde St. Georges, began playing at Ewen Fields and taking over their place in the Lancashire Combination. By 1917 however, in the midst of the Great War, the club had folded, and Ewen Fields was no more than a vegetable patch to aid the war effort.

In 1919 a new club, Hyde United FC was formed and, with Ewen Fields earmarked for housing, initially played at Townend Street on condition that the owner be allowed to graze his cattle on the pitch. By the summer of 1920 however, the proposed development plans came to nothing and the club moved into Ewen Fields.

After one season, Hyde United joined the Manchester League and by 1930 had won it five times and the Gilgryst Cup twice. They moved into the Cheshire County League in 1930 and won the League Challenge Cup four years later. The decade after the Second World War proved to be a purple patch for the club. The Cheshire Senior Cup, won in 1946, was the first of many trophies to arrive at Ewen Fields during the next ten years.

In 1953 Hyde United won the League Cup and this was followed by a league and cup double a season later. Season 1955/56 saw them retain the championship and they finished runners-up in the following three seasons. The FA Cup first round was reached in 1954 losing 5–1 away to Workington, who were then managed by Bill Shankly. In the following two seasons the club clinched back-to-back Cheshire League titles.

A new social club was built in 1966 and at the end of 1968 a game against Manchester City officially opened the new £4,000 floodlights.

Hyde's nickname, the Tigers, was adopted at the end of the 1960s when they were founder members of the Northern Premier League. They were expected to struggle but fought like Tigers for two seasons and finished seventh and eleventh. However, the club could not compete financially and returned to the Cheshire League in 1970.

In 1986, Hyde took the radical step of selling Ewen Fields to Tameside Council so that a synthetic Baspograss pitch could be laid.

In 1995/96 Ewen Fields returned to grass surface which played host to another FA Trophy semi-final appearance, this time against Northwich Victoria.

In 2005, Hyde United won the Northern Premier League title for the first time in their history, but it was not without controversy as they were awarded the title after an appeal to the FA. The title was originally awarded to Farsley Celtic after the expunging of Spennymoor United's results because they were unable to complete their fixtures that season (with a Hyde fixture one of those not played). On appeal, this decision was overturned and Hyde, along with other teams who had not played them twice, were awarded 3 points for a "0–0 win" which was enough to secure Hyde's first Northern Premier League title.

On 24 September 2009, the club was officially wound up at the High Court in London, with debts of around £120,000 to HM Revenue and Customs. Over the next few days major fund-raising efforts by the Club officials, supporters and players, which included a bucket collection at a Manchester City Premier League match, sufficient funds were raised for an appeal to be lodged against the High Court decision. The appeal was heard on 30 September 2009, and the original decision was rescinded.

In 2010 to celebrate its 125 year history, the club reverted to its former name Hyde FC. Their kit was changed from red shirts and white shorts to the original white shirts and navy-blue shorts. From 2010 the ground will also be home to Manchester City Reserves for at least the next three years. As part of the deal, an upgrade of facilities has dramatically transformed Ewen Fields, with a new colour scheme and general improvements to the ground.

The information above is sourced from the Offical Club Website, a recently updated article on Wikipedia and the Pyramid Passion website which includes several photographs of the old stands prior to the recent improvements.

A photograph of the new main stand can be found on Hyde Daily Photo whilst the new sign at the entrance to Ewen Fields can be seen on Hyde DP Xtra.

Update: In 2015 after a number of management changes the club changed its name back to Hyde United and is now a member owned, semi-professional, community football club.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Hyde Market in the 1950s

This view of Hyde Market in the 1950s is taken from Nancy and Tom's blog Hyde Cheshire.

Hyde Market was the subject of local artist Harry Rutherfords' most famous work "Northern Saturday".

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