Category: Club News

Development Squad update

Once more, Ramsbottom United will be running a development squad for the upcoming 2019/20 season and are hoping to build on the excellent work that has been done over the past few years.

Over the Summer, we have held a couple of trial games at the Top Park (which is a rather wonderful facility for those who have not been up there and a real asset to the club) which saw an excellent turn out of potential players, both old and new, which demonstrates the high regard the Development Squad is held in around the local area and beyond.

It is with regret that we had to let a few go for various reasons, but ultimately our main objective is to provide players for the first team. However, those players who we have parted company with will still have future opportunities should they progress elsewhere. As we are well aware, players at this age will develop at different times and with different degrees of progress. After all, several players have left us only to return later with great success.

Chris, Matt, Jake & Warren are working hard to create a good balanced learning environment to promote quality, team bonding & all round good young players. This, coupled with a much stronger working relationship with the first team management at the club will, hopefully, see a further progression during the upcoming season. Four players from last season are all currently training with the first team and this has seen Will Alberto and Ben Stanton make impressive debuts during the senior teams pre-season schedule

Our first friendly in our pre-season schedule was against a strong, and much older, Elton Vale first team including ex Ramsbottom United player Tom Brookes. In comparison, our midfield consisted of three 17 year old all from Ramsbottom area who produced an all-round good performance and gained several plaudits from the opposition. After going behind early, the players settled into the new system and on 20 minutes equalised through a Taigh Wilson free kick. We then controlled the game missing some good chances, and hitting the bar, we restricted Elton to long range chances with the game ending 1-1.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Widnes (H) - The Season Opener

The pre-season has now ended, new players have been introduced to the squad, and fitness levels checked. It’s all systems go.

After what proved to be a successful and enjoyable campaign last time round when, following the appointment of manager Chris Willcock in October, the side residing in the bottom half of the table, rose into the play-offs, as well as progressing into the last 16 of the top non-league knock-out competition, the FA Trophy, hopes are high for an even better campaign this time round.

Due to the imminent completion of non-league’s much-awaited pyramid, which will come in at the end of this new season, lines have been redrawn, meaning that the Rams will be facing ten new teams compared with their opponents last season.

On the face of it, the newcomers appear to be stronger than those that have moved down to the South East Division, and should prove a sterner test for the Rams.

However, despite a number of last season’s squad moving on, Willcock has introduced a number of new signings with the intention of strengthening the team in preparation for the nine months ahead.

Amongst the newcomers is speedy winger Iyrwah Gooden, who endeared himself to the supporters during his loan spell at the club from Mansfield Town towards the back of last season.

Joining him are two of Willcock’s main targets, 6ft plus striker Karl Jones who has played under the boss before at Glossop, and fellow striker Daniel Naidole, whose impressive pre-season performances bode well for the coming season.

They join up with a number of last season’s squad, including influential captain and former Bury star, Tom Kennedy, and top scorer Nic Evangelinos, whilst fans favourite Jamie Rother embarks on his sixth season with the club, having racked up over 100 appearances.

Competing with Jamie in midfield is Eddie Moran, in his second stint at the club.

No doubt there will be an odd new face or two still to be added as the season gets underway with a home game against a Widnes side who surprised the Rams with a win here on their last visit in March, and as always it’s difficult to forecast the outcome of the coming campaign.

Most sides will have altered their squads from last season, and it’s very much a case of seeing what happens over the next few weeks before determining just which teams look likely to be successful.

Manager Willcock has had his first full pre-season at the HWRS, so Saturday may well give an indication of what lies ahead, but football is far from a straightforward game.

Promotion to BetVictor Premier Division is very much the target, and Saturday will see the first shot in anger as the Rams prepare for what should be another entertaining nine months.

Category: Club News


The build-up to the new season continues with a home game against long-time opponents NANTWICH TOWN, who were regular visitors to the HWRS during our North West Counties days, and indeed when we joined them in the Northern Premier League.

The Dabbers decision to move from their old Jacksons Avenue ground to their brand new Weaver Stadium prompted an uplift in fortunes, and over the last few seasons the Cheshire side have been pushing at the top of the NPL Premier Division, with eyes intently focussed on gaining a place in the National League.

Last season saw them go close once more, so they should provide a stern test for the side that manager Chris Willcock is reshaping ahead of our own push for promotion.

Already the Rams have enjoyed two pre-season outings. The game against a strong Rochdale side resulted in a narrow 2-3 defeat in front of over 400 spectators, and last Saturday, the squad ventured over the border to take on one of the top Welsh sides in Caernarfon Town.

I doubt anyone expected the final result to be 6-1 in our favour, but that’s how it turned out, and whilst results at this stage of the year mean very little, such a scoreline can hardly do the lads any harm!

So another run-out as the management team continue to trial a number of possible newcomers, along with those who have already signed, having played previously for the club, or about to embark on a debut season here.

Two enjoyable games to watch so far, let’s hope this is another as we look at the new season now being less than three weeks away.

Category: Club News

PREVIEW: Pickering Town (A)

The Rams head out on the road for the first time this season with a Tuesday evening trip to north Yorkshire and a meeting with Pickering Town.

They do so on the back of a thrilling victory over Widnes on the opening day of the campaign at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium on Saturday. Two goals down at the break, a resurgent Rams team looked totally different in the second half, eventually clinching a highly entertaining encounter with a last minute Rueben Jerome header. In truth, though, the winning margin could have been higher with chances galore created in the second period, although the visitors played their part in an open attacking match.

Pickering will be licking their wounds after a heavy opening day defeat on the Cumbrian coast at Workington, so the Rams can expect some sort of reaction, and need to be aware.

Early days yet, of course, and too soon to read into opening day results, but the new look Rams team will be travelling in the hope of making it a perfect start to the campaign, and returning home with another three points.

Category: Club News

Supporters Club Update

Members of the Ramsbottom United Supporters Club are going to be present around the ground for the opening few games of the new season in order to allow you to renew your memberships and, just as importantly, sign up any new Rammy fans.

We already have a more than healthy number of members, especially for a club of our size, and it would be a fantastic achievement to improve on this for the upcoming season. Your continued support is of the utmost importance in moving the football club forward and adding to that unique feeling of being part of the Rammy family.

In the past twelve months we have seen the installation of the shed, as you enter the ground, from which we can now sell official club merchandise. This was purchased after a donation from committee member, Frank Crook, in memory of his Brother, Terence. This has allowed the football club to have a specific area from which to sell merchandise, rather than the tea hut, and hopefully will see an increase in profits. As part of this deal, we have also been able to obtain the programme booth, which I am sure you have all seen, just outside the main turnstyle into the ground. Again, having a dedicated area that people are aware of should help maximise profits, as well as keeping Johnny Haslam dry during the winter months. With a few spare pounds left from the kind donation that Frank made to us, we also purchased a new line marker for the ground.

As you are probably aware, many of the games were not filmed towards the end of last season and this resulted in a lack of footage of the goals from our games being available to watch. This is something we are hoping gets addressed this season and a new video camera has been obtained in order to capture match day footage and give supporters, especially those who cannot make the away games, a chance to relive the goals.

We continued in supporting the team by donating the water for players on match days and will continue to do so this season, although in a rather different manner. Instead of supplying bottled water to the players, we are going to have a water fountain installed at the ground for them to use. This will lead to us supporting a more environmentally friendly club, which in turn should lead to some good publicity for Ramsbottom United.

There were also a couple of publicity campaigns, one for the festive fixtures and another for our end of season games, in which we had a number of colour leaflets printed. These were delivered to houses around Ramsbottom and the surrounding areas, along with posters being placed in local shops and pubs. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped with this and, judging by attendances, it seemed to be a huge success.

In other news, we are pleased to announce that we have three new members of the supporters club committee for the new season. These are Adam Clark, who has been doing some excellent work on the media side over the past couple of season, Lui Del Verto and ‘Killie’ Craig Donaldson. A massive thank you to all three and hopefully they can help bring fresh ideas, and new initiatives, as well as bringing our average age down somewhat

Prices are £5 for adults and £2 for juniors/OAP’s and will include the traditional Ramsbottom United themed gift, exclusive newsletters and the chance to vote for Player of the Month

Your support, as always, is vital in helping the club and we are always grateful to each and every member who signs up or renews their membership. You really do make a difference

Category: Club News


Player sponsorship packages are available for the 2019/20 season. This is a great opportunity to associate your name with Ramsbottom United Football Club.

Not only is this another fantastic way to affiliate your business with our first team players (maximising publicity for your company), but also an opportunity to have a positive impact on a player’s season too.

We still have several players and management team members available for sponsor, so why not show your support and gain exposure for your company or organisation?


* Match day hospitality for one person in the hospitality suite to a league home game of your choice (all food and drink included).

* Signed photograph of your player.

* Sponsors name/logo in the squad list in every match day program.

* Sponsors name/logo alongside the players profile on the club website.

* Sponsors name/logo on all social media coverage relating to the sponsored player.

Contact Warren on 07855016891 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Category: Club News


The Rams latest signing is 28 year old forward, Karl Jones. He joins the club after leaving Ossett United in the off season. Jones has played under manager Chris Willcock during his time at Glossop North End. Karl has experience in this league and knows what it takes to be successful at this level after gaining automatic promotion with Hyde United the season before last.

Manager Willcock said on his latest signing "I am looking forward to working with Jonesy again. His time at Glossop with myself was his first season in non-league after returning from America. He scored some very important goals and was having an excellent run in the team scoring frequently until injury halted his season. He then joined Hyde United and helped them gain promotion to step 3 whilst also reaching the first round proper of the FA cup against MK Dons. He then moved on to the newly formed Ossett United last season where once again he was amongst the goals. His versatility in the forward line will be very useful to us during the season. I'm sure our fans will enjoy his contribution."

Category: Club News

PHOTOS: Rams 3 Widnes 2

Check out the Widnes Match action photos on our all new Fickr account. Photos taken by Club Photographer, Frank Crook

Rams 3-2 Widnes - Match Action

Category: Club News


The Rams will face Winsford United in the preliminary round of the FA Cup after they beat Vauxhall Motors 2-1 this afternoon.

Full match details to follow.

Category: Club News


With the new season rapidly approaching, the Rams play their final home pre-season game when they entertain Ashton United.

The Tameside-based opponents have just returned to the Northern Premier League having had one season at National League North level, where, despite a gallant effort, they failed to avoid the relegation trap-door, meaning a swift return to the League from which they escaped the year before via a 2-0 play-off final victory over Grantham Town.

Managed by Jody Banim, the Robins will be strongly fancied to challenge for a return to level two of the non-league pyramid, especially after a restructuring behind the scenes, which has strengthened the club financially.

As for the Rams, it’s a final chance to show the home supporters a glimpse of what could be expected during the next nine months.

With most of the squad now assembled and signed up, one or two spots are still up for grabs, and as such we could see one or two aspiring Rams contesting for a contract.

The final pre-season game will take place on Thursday (8th) with a visit down to Staffordshire to take on Kidsgrove Athletic.

A similar journey was undertaken on Saturday, when another BetVictor South East side in Newcastle Town provided the opposition, and the Rams returned home on the back of a 3-0 win, courtesy of a brace from Daniel Naidole and another strike from a trialist.

Season tickets will be on sale during the Ashton United game, priced £130 for adults and £70 concessions.

Admission prices for this game are Adults £5, Concessions (65+, 16+under, 17-18 students) £3, 12+under accompanied by an adult £1.

Category: Club News

PRE SEASON PREVIEW: Caernarfon Town (A)

After the encouraging and entertaining game against a strong Rochdale side on Wednesday, the Rams continue with their pre-season build-up with a trip over the Welsh border to take on Caernarfon Town, with a 4pm kick-off due to a youngsters tournament taking place at the Town’s Oval ground.

Once again, the Rams will be fielding a number of trialists as manager Chris Willcock continues to build a squad capable of challenging for honours when the new BetVictor North West League kicks off on August 17th.

Opponents Caernarfon Town, after a spell outside the Welsh top tier, returned to the Welsh Premier League last year and obtained a highly encouraging top six finish playing some expansive football which ultimately attracted the league’s highest average attendance.

Always difficult to compare the standard of football in the two countries, but fellow WPL side Connah’s Quay recently knocked Scottish Premier Division side Kilmarnock out of their European competition, so one could argue that the standard over the border is pretty high.

Whilst results at this stage are not too important, Caernarfon will certainly test the players that the Rams put out, giving the management team an indication of what lies ahead.

It’s a fair way to go, but any Rammy supporters venturing over will be guaranteed a warm reception and an entertaining game.

Category: Club News

REPORT: Rams 3 Widnes 2

BetVictor Northern Premier League North West Division

Match report by Jon Haslam

Saturday 17th August

Ramsbottom United 3 Widnes 2

Attendance- 230

On a day in the football calendar where there is both hope and expectations Ramsbottom United hosted Widnes in the curtain raiser of the new season at The Riverside on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides lined up with the inevitable array of new faces on opening day and it was Widnes who settled the better in the early minutes of the match with Ben Hodkinson looking particularly lively. Indeed the wide man will be recorded as the first goal scorer of the season at the HWRS when on 11 minutes the flying winger picked up an incisive pass from Hajdari before driving forward and sending a well directed shot past debutant keeper Tom Stewart to give the away side the ideal start to their campaign.

The Rams almost responded after going behind when a free kick was cleared only as far as Daniel Naidole whose well struck attempt brought a fine save from Widnes keeper Wheeler, things would get better for the visitors with almost twenty minutes of the new season played when Widnes doubled their advantage as Hodkinson again found space before playing in Conor Ready whose well struck effort from the edge of the penalty area flew past Stewart as the away side gained a tangible reward for their good strong start to the contest.

Widnes were looking the more cohesive outfit as the hosts toiled to create many clear cut opportunities in the opening third of the contest, indeed Widnes almost increased their lead when good link up play between Hodkinson and Buckley before the latter fired over the bar with the home defence looking flimsy.

As the half wore on the home side began to get a foothold into the match and new addition Daniel Naidole fired inches wide after good work from Evangelinos and the industrious Jamie Rother, then in additional time at the end of the first period the game changing moment arrived when a superb through ball found speedster Irywah Gooden running towards the penalty area before being brought down by the recovering Widnes central defender Danny Shaw, referee Mark Ryder appeared to have no alternative other than to issue a red card, the official duly obliged despite the obligatory protests and the day trippers were two goals to the good but a man light at the interval.

Ramsbottom United replaced full back Kelvin Bleau with Khalil Osi-Efa at half time as the hosts looked to utilise the second forty five minutes to make their man advantage count.

After what could perhaps be described as a disjointed first half performance the Rams began the second period in the perfect manner when skipper Tom Kennedy sent in a deep cross into the penalty area which fell kindly to Nic Evangelinos who converted from close range and the deficit was halved with barely a minute of the half elapsed.

With five minutes of the second half played recently arrived substitute Osi-Efa picked up a yellow card for a mistimed challenge on the Widnes number 9 Lewis Buckley much to the annoyance of the visitors who implored the official to even up the numbers but a booking was the decision.

Ramsbottom United appeared to gain confidence from their early strike and looked the more likely team to grab the next goal, this almost arrived when Gooden sped away from his marker before sending in a low cross which evaded the wingers onrushing team mates.. As the hour point was reached more positive attacking play from the Rams saw Evangelinos fire over the crossbar before the same player struck the post from close range as the hosts piled on the pressure.

With the contest entering the final twenty minutes the Widnes defence were being increasingly tested as the Rams utilised both wings as they pushed forward looking to take advantage of the extra player with Evangelinos and Gooden stretching the visiting defence with the promptings of Naidole and the non stop running of fans favourite Jamie Rother.

The home side made their second change of the day when debutant Fawns was replaced by Moncrieffe as the hosts looked for fresh legs from the bench, moments later the scores were level when a free kick was won tight to the goal line from where Tom Kennedy sent in a superb left footed cross which was powered into the back of the net by Irywah Gooden and the Rams had fought back from two goals down and the fixture was finely poised with around twenty minutes remaining.

With the wind in the Rams sails it appeared as though the home side had the momentum to go on and take all three points despite trailing at the interval, with that said Widnes then almost retook the lead when Hodkinson broke away and worked some space down the left wing before what appeared to be a cross hit the crossbar before being scrambled to safety and served notice that the visitors still had some attacking intent despite being down to ten men.

As the clock showed ten minutes remaining on an enthralling start to the campaign at The Riverside both teams fashioned presentable chances to win the game in quick succession, firstly Widnes threatened the home goal when a marauding run from the excellent James Steele brought a smart save from the Ramsbottom keeper Tom Stewart before the hosts responded when Ruben Jerome was denied by the onrushing Widnes stopper Wheeler as the game fluctuated end to end.

Then as the clock ticked towards additional time the defining moment arrived when patient play down the Rams left hand side lead to Tom Kennedy sending in a precise cross into the penalty area which found the head of Ruben Jerome whose towering header flew past Wheeler to win the game for Ramsbottom United and give the burly striker a reward for his hard work during the ninety minutes.

As the final whistle sounded the Rams celebrated taking the opening day honours whilst collecting three points after a superb and entertaining second half showing which was the proverbial "Game of two halves" as the hosts began the season on a positive note ahead of Tuesday nights trip to Pickering Town.

Ramsbottom United- Stewart, Bleau (Osi-Efa 46 mins), Kennedy (Capt), Rother, Norris, Lugsden, Gooden (Chukwu 91 mins), Naidole, Jerome, Fawns (Moncrieffe 72 mins), Evangelinos

Subs not used- Mc Dowell-Jallow, Adetiloye

Category: Club News

PRE SEASON PREVIEW: Kidsgrove Athletic (A)

The Rams complete their pre-season fixtures with a trip to Staffordshire to take on one of last season’s opponents who have now been switched to the BetVictor NPL South/East division, the equivalent of the Rams level this coming campaign.

Tuesday night saw an entertaining draw against Premier Division side Ashton United at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, where a penalty from Nic Evangelinos and a well-taken individual goal from new signing Karl Jones pegged back a 2-0 deficit as a game of two halves swung back in favour of the home side.

With most of the new squad now signed up, manager Chris Willcock will again be running the rule over one or two trialists as he attempts to put the final pieces of the jigsaw together in preparation for the opening day fixture against Widnes at home on the 17th August.

The newly constituted Division promises to be a tough test, but having had his first pre-season at the club, Willcock is confident that the new squad, which includes many of last season’s successful team, will be strong enough to compete at the top of the table, a point emphasised by the positive performances and results in what has been a tough-looking pre-season.

Admission prices for the coming campaign remain the same as last season (Adults £8, Concessions £4, u12s with an adult £1) and Season Tickets are currently available throughout the week, between 10.30 and 3.00pm, priced at £130 for Adults, and £70 Concessions.

Next Game at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium: Saturday 17th August BetVictor NPL North West RAMS v Widnes 3.00pm

Category: Club News

PRE SEASON PREVIEW: Newcastle Town (A)

The build-up to the new season continues with a trip to Staffordshire to meet with our old friends, Newcastle Town.

Many will still remember the Lyme Valley Stadium as the place where the new management team of Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley began their managerial career with a 5-0 thumping, but they seem to have done fairly well for themselves since then!

Last season Chris Willcock took the Rams down there in February and came away with a superb 6-0 victory (someone spoilt when Town came to Rammy a month later and gained revenge with a 2-1 win!).

Since then, as a result of boundary changes, the two teams will not meet for League fixtures this season, so this is a chance for two teams, which should be fairly evenly balanced, to contest a game ahead of the new campaign which begins in two week’s time.

There are still opportunities for one or two trialists to force their way into the squad reckoning, and they will be joined by those who have already signed on for the new campaign.

Whilst results are not that important at this stage (although the 2-2 draw against Premier Division side Nantwich Town on Tuesday showed that the Rams can handle a side from a division above), pre-season games are all about fitness, a squad knitting together and new tactics being tried out.

Already the supporters have seen much to be enthused about, so the Newcastle game is the first of three in the coming week before we can look forward to the real thing on the 17th.

Category: Club News


We’re not quite back yet, but the big kick-off is now less than a month away.

As usual, at this time of year, pre-season “friendly” matches take centre stage, and the Rams kick off this new campaign with a home game against local League One side ROCHDALE.

The Dale, who have had some excellent seasons of late, appeared to be dead and buried when the club promoted coach Brian Barry-Murphy into the managers chair towards the end of last season, but it proved to be an inspired decision.

Results picked up immediately and the deficit was soon overcome to ensure that our neighbours continue to play at level three for another season.

At a time when so many clubs are struggling to survive, Rochdale have always stood out as being a well-run club who cut their cloth accordingly.

Their Spotland ground is now one of the best in the lower Divisions, and the Rams squad can expect a decent test against our full-time neighbours.

Many of last season’s team that performed so well after the arrival of manager Chris Willcock, are still with us, along with a handful of newcomers, a number of whom have been on Chris’ radar for some time.

As usual, there will be a number of changes throughout the game as trialists are given the opportunity to prove themselves, and newcomers become aware of their team-mates and the tactics expected with the new season approaching.

Reduced admission for this one of just £5 for adults, £2 for concessions, and £1 for 12 and under, accompanied by an adult.