One Saturday morning in 1986, a couple of dads were kicking a ball about in Fletcher Moss Park with their sons. Soon they were joined by more boys and a game started. Who would have thought that this would be the start of Fletcher Moss Rangers?
Nigel Hanson and Howard Isaacs organised two teams and more parents wanted to join in and organise more sides.
A season later, local referee Ron Jamieson was enlisted to run 9’s & 10’s. Soon the name Fletcher Moss became synonymous with style and good football. Attracting players from the surrounding districts.
In 1990 Ron was asked to be the secretary of the club and soon took us to another level and established links with Manchester City Football Club. The clubs’ reputation grew and more North West clubs were attracted to our talented youngsters.
It was about this time that Fletcher Moss’s famous son ‘Wes Brown’ began to emerge as a prospect. Although City deemed Wes was not good enough, United had other thoughts and decided to sign him. Now an established first team player with England caps in his display cabinet.
Ron and a neighbour, Neil Brown began the Fletcher Moss Soccer School on Fog lane park, which attracted about 25/30 players each Saturday morning. Due to Neil’s commitment to running another team in a local league, Ron asked another team coach David Horrocks for assistance to run the Saturday community football. The Soccer School outgrew Fog Lane Park and was, with in trepidation, moved to its present home. Mersey Bank playing fields is probably the best move that was made for the club.
With a need to build on our success, the next step was to attempt to gain F.A. Charter Standard status. At the end of season 2001/2002, we applied for the FA Development Club Charter Standard. Putting many new policies in place, investing in placing people on FA courses to enhance the esteem of its members. After what was felt, a long painful wait, we had the great pleasure to be informed that we had been successful in our application. Fletcher Moss Rangers Football Club was now among the elite, just a handful of clubs with the Charter Standard Award.
We had tried for a few years to attract more girls to Fletcher Moss Rangers but they were only attending for a few weeks, with the great exception of one young lady who braved all the remarks and played for one of the boys sides from under 9’s until she could not take part in boy’s football.
We now knew that the time was right to push for the top FA award, Charter Standard Community club. Adding to the clubs ever growing policies and procedures enhanced our application and position. Success was but a formality. Other clubs use our application as a template for their applications, what a compliment.
Now having the distinct pride to run 20+ teams. We can boast one of, if not the biggest, junior football club in Manchester. The club has now grown to an enormous size with teams aged from 6 year olds to adult. Boys and girls, men and women.
Along side the club is the soccer school which has an average turn out each Saturday of 60 players. These are boys and girls aged between 3 and 11 years old. The latest player to roll off the Fletcher Moss conveyor belt is Manchester United and England player Danny Welbeck. In the background waiting to get their chance too are players like Tyler Blackett, Devonte Redmond, Cameron Borthwick, Elliot Watson, Reece Brown has been sent on loan too. Kyle Bartley is still doing very well with Swansea after his transfer from Glasgow Rangers. Zeke Fryers has just been recruited by Spurs in a £5m transfer. Ravel Morrison left Manchester United for the big city lights of London with a move to West Ham United
Who would have thought that Nigel Hanson had left such a legacy to junior football? Players as young as 8 years old are being coached to a standard good enough to be recognised as talented enough to be scouted by Manchester United, Manchester City, Stockport County, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, to name but a few.
Thank you Nigel for taking Richard to the park that Saturday morning.