AddThis SmartLayers

Editor’s book stirs soccer memories

Glory days: Don Hale’s book recalls Matlock Town’s FA Trophy triumph

A book of nostalgia and football memorabilia concerning Matlock Town Football Club has proved a surprise best-seller for soccer enthusiast and Matlock Mercury editor Don Hale.

Don, a former professional player with Bury, Shrewsbury Town, York City and Blackburn Rovers, has written Down Wembley Way to help raise cash for the club – known as the Gladiators – and commemorate the 25th anniversary of their 4-0 victory over Scarborough in the FA Trophy final at Wembley Stadium.

The team contained a host of former stars, including ex-Sheffield Wednesday and England centre-half Peter Swan, his colleague “Bronco” Layne and the three Fenoughty brothers.

The book is packed with photographs about the cup run and the build-up to Wembley, plus the homecoming watched by 25,000 people in the small Derbyshire town. There are also reports and pictures of several successful FA Cup campaigns – including a shock 5-2 win away from home against then Third Division leaders Mansfield Town, and matches against Carlisle United and Scunthorpe – plus a potted history dating back 50 years.

Don says the limited-edition book is “selling like hot cakes” and has created quite a buzz in local bookshops and at the club shop. He has also created an archive website for the club so that the younger generation can enjoy some of its magic moments. The site is at

He said: ” It was six months of hard but enjoyable work. Although I only moved to the town 15 years ago, the Wembley match remains the best thing that has ever happened to the club.

“After completing my research, I was amazed at the success of such a small club and have documented their finest moments – and even their European adventures, when they represented the Northern Premier League in Europe and defeated some top international teams in the Anglo-Italan tournament.

“With Euro 2000 currently under way, much of this memorabilia seems very appropriate and I feel I have not only recorded a valuable footballing moment or two, but also highlighted a major historical occasion is our region – and with a bit of luck, some funds from the sales will also help towards a new stand!”

Down Wembley Way is available from the Matlock Mercury offices, 24 Bakewell Road, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 4EX, priced £5.99 collect or £7.99 including postage and packing.

Have you written a book? Call us on 01332 595597 or e-mail us by clicking here.