Stalwart Granville celebrates 50 years with football team Stannington Villa

Granville Grayson and son John, with England great Peter Shilton
Granville Grayson and son John, with England great Peter Shilton

As the Blades Super Draw League enters its 50th season this Sunday, there is also another Golden Anniversary to celebrate as League Champions Stannington Village’s secretary and backbone of the club, Granville Grayson, has now completed 50 years service with the club helping them to become the League’s most successful club.

When Stannington Village was formed in 1968 the secretary they began in the the Hallamshire Sunday League and gained promotion in both its first two seasons.

Village remained in the top division winning two league titles. They were also runners up four times and winners of the league cup on two occasions. They also ran teams on Saturdays for a number of seasons and took the Hatchard League title in the mid ‘70s

After their last Hallamshire league title they moved into the Blades Super Draw League in 2001/2002, starting in the Division Two and under Granville’s guidance, they won Division Two, then Division One and then the CBC Premier in three consecutive seasons.

They have won the title another five times since then, and been runners-up six times. They have also won the League’s Twentytwo Cup Final at Bramall Lane three times and been losing finalists twice.

The Steve Gee Merit Cup has also been won twice by Stannington.

A remarkable achievement by Granville, but he would be the last person to seek praise for his achievements, instead he would point to the help his son John gives him and just to prove the Grayson’s dedication to the cause, Granville’s wife Margaret has washed the team’s kit for 45 of the 55 years they have been married.

Stannington start the new season with a home game against newly promoted Chapeltown RBL, but even though it is Chapeltown’s first ever top flight game, they have players that can cause even the best teams problems.

Norton Sportsman also make their debut in the top flight at a Woodseats Club that only narrowly avoided relegation last season, while the third promoted club, Oughtibridge WM travel to Renishaw Rangers. The top game in the CBC Premier though could well be Redmires visit to Wadsley Bridge Pheasant, while Handsworth Old Crown entertain Intake Old Boys.

Division One’s top game could be at newly promoted Forum, who entertain a Norton Oaks A relegated from the Premier last season.

The other relegated club, Civil Sports A entertain a Ranch outfit that could be dark horses for promotion. In Division Two, the two new clubs in the League both have difficult looking starts.

Beighton Magpies entertain a Wadsley Horse & Jockey that led Division Two for the first half of last season, while Sheffield Sixs travel to last season’s Sunday Junior Cup finalists, Mosborough Whites. Round 1 of the League Twenty two Cup sees Brinsworth Phoenix travel to Cadbury and Boynton Sports travel to Woodseats Chantrey, with both the away teams favourites to progress.

FIXTURES IN BRIEF

02-Sep CBC PREMIER Handsworth Old Crown v Intake Old Boys; Renishaw Rangers v Oughtibridge WM; Stannington Village v Chapeltown RBL; WB Pheasant v Redmires; Woodseats Club v Norton Sportsman DIVISION 1 Civil Sports A v Ranch; Cotts FC v Crookes FC; Forum v Norton Oaks A; Norton Oaks B v Royal Earl; Southey Social v Mosborough Reds DIVISION 2 Beighton Magpies v Wads Horse & Jockey; Mosborough Whites v Sheffield Sixs; Colley v Shakey TWENTYTWO CUP Cadbury v Brinsworth Phoenix; Woodseats Chantrey v Boynton Sports.