A quarter of a century ago, Macclesfield Town lifted the GM Vauxhall Conference trophy for the first time and in doing so, arguably changed the narrative surrounding the club forevermore. In the third in a series of articles, we continue our look back at all the players who played their part in what was a remarkable achievement by featuring left-back, Mark Bradshaw.
Further to the earlier departure of Stuart Bimson, Manager Sammy McIlroy knew that the Liverpudlian had to be replaced if we were to continue our assault on the Vauxhall Conference title.
The former Manchester United and Northern Ireland midfielder acted quickly and decisively, as he brought in Mark Bradshaw from Stafford Rangers for a fee of £5,000.
Mark complemented the dynamics of that illustrious side perfectly, in that he visibly wore his heart on his sleeve every single week and as such, he integrated within the squad instantly.
A tenacious and tough-tacking defender, Mark could also be utilised within the midfield due to his offensive prowess and in addition to this, he possessed a wicked left foot which caused opposition defences a whole host of problems.
Mark made his Silkmen debut on 18th February 1995, as McIlroy's men secured a 3 - 0 victory over Dover Athletic at the Moss Rose thanks to a brace from Steve Wood and a close-range strike from skipper, Neil Howarth.
He would go on to make fifteen appearances during that historic season and undoubtedly played a tangible role in the title run-in.
Mark went on to feature in our 1996 FA Trophy winning squad, as well as the side that gloriously secured our inaugural promotion to the Football League back in 1997.
He then went on to join Halifax Town and subsequently turned out for Droylsden, Mossley, Woodley Sports and Curzon Ashton.
Mark has built up a real affinity for the latter of those sides, progressing through the backroom ranks before being unveiled as the club's First Team Manager in November 2018.
Images courtesy of Keith MT Wilson.