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Nostalgia

Silkmen Pay Tribute To 1969 NPL Winning Side

13 May 2019

Fifty years ago, Macclesfield Town were celebrating a unique achievement as the club lifted the inaugural Northern Premier League title.
 
Having won the Cheshire League the previous year, The Silkmen took their place in the newly-formed competition which NPL Committee member Peter Swales described as embodying "the best non-league clubs between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Derby."
 
Not only this, the Moss Rose boasted a new main stand ahead of the campaign - which had largely been funded with the proceeds generated from the epic FA Cup encounter with Fulham the previous January.
 
Qualifying for the league by virtue of winning the Midland League the season before, Boston United provided our first NPL opposition as we travelled to York Street on 10th August 1968.
 
The match proved to be a tempestuous affair, with the hosts running out 2 - 1 victors - despite former England striker Derek Kevan being on the scoresheet for Macc that afternoon.
 
Comfortable victories over Hyde United (4 - 0) and Worksop Town (3 - 1) ensued, as Frank Beaumont's side took a hold of their new surroundings.
 
By the time that we renewed our acquaintances with The Pilgrims of Boston United in mid-October, Macc were targeting the summit.
 
In front of 2900 spectators, former Manchester City star John Clay hit a brace as The Silkmen claimed revenge for their opening day defeat with a 2 - 0 victory over the Lincolnshire outfit.
 
By Christmas, the inaugural NPL title seemed destined to be claimed by either Macclesfield Town or Wigan Athletic - with Frank Beaumont's side commanding a slender one point advantage.
 
A Boxing Day draw at Chorley proved to be the only points dropped during a clinical December period and as 1968 turned into 1969, there was no doubt that the whole club was committed to writing another glorious chapter in our history.
 
The New Year was welcomed in with a 3 - 2 victory over Fleetwood Town, before a rare defeat was suffered at Goole a fortnight later.
 
Yet this only served as a catalyst to this very special group of players, as they devastatingly won twelve and drew one of their closing NPL fixtures.
 
With Wigan Athletic's title-challenge struggling to keep pace with that set by Beaumont's side, Macc travelled to Netherfield on 7th April 1969 knowing that a tenth successive victory would render their lead unassailable.
 
A sixteenth minute Dick Young penalty helped to settle any lingering nerves after the hosts had taken an early lead and when George Sievwright fired home Brian Fidler's tantalising cross to put Macc in to the lead, the party could begin in earnest.
 
Victories over Morecambe and Gateshead followed, before a Dick Young hat-trick rounded off a memorable season in style as part of a 3 - 0 final day victory at Ashington.
 
In addition to this, the Cheshire Senior Cup was claimed for a thirteenth time courtesy of a 3 - 1 aggregate victory over Northwich Victoria and Keith Goalen's reserve side claimed a unique treble by securing the Manchester League, Gilgryst Cup and Macclesfield FA Cup titles.
 
It remains one of the most glittering season's in our history and we are honoured to be able to pay tribute to such a memorable Silkmen side.

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