A toast to Terry as amateur football club in Leeds celebrates its 60th anniversary

Terry Cunningham, pictured in 2006.
Terry Cunningham, pictured in 2006.

For better or worse, plenty has changed in the world of football since 1957.

Back then, top players like Billy Wright and Tom Finney earned a maximum weekly wage of £17 while John Charles’s move from Leeds United to Juventus set a new British transfer record of £65,000.

Those sort of figures are, of course, dwarfed by the money washing around the upper reaches of the beautiful game today.

But some things have remained the same over the years, not least the champion role played by St Nicholas FC in the heart of its Leeds community.

The Gipton-based side is this year celebrating the 60th anniversary of its formation in 1957.

Their opening match did not bode too well for the future, ending in a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Holbeck St Matthews.

But, six decades later, the club is still going strong in the Yorkshire Amateur League Premier Division and next month it will celebrate its anniversary with a reunion event for its past players and associates.

Guests at the bash – taking place at the Hope Inn on York Road in Richmond Hill on Saturday, December 2 – could include a number of former Leeds United favourites.

Special attention, however, will be reserved for club stalwart and hugely popular east Leeds figure Terry Cunningham.

Terry, now in his early 80s, played for St Nicks in that first match against Holbeck St Matthews, appearing at inside right and scoring his team’s only goal.

He would later famously clock up more than 40 years as the club’s manager, although he has recently been forced to scale back his involvement due to illness.

One of the organisers of the reunion, Steve Hart, 61, who played for St Nicks in his younger days, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We have one of these events every 10 years and they are always fantastic.

“Terry will be there next month and it will be great for us all to see him. The discipline, principles and pride he instilled in his players as young men have made a massive difference to so many lives.

“He’s some character and really deserves an OBE or another honour to recognise everything he has done.”

The reunion event gets under way at 3pm. For further information, ring Steve on 07789 775107, Pete Ryder on 07966 530027 or Gary Barass on 07961 111967.

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