2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Cheadle Heath Nomads - a side formed immediately after the end of the First World War.
Founded in 1919, Cheadle Heath Nomads FC moved into their current ground on Norbreck Avenue two years later, a ground that puts many further up the pyramid to shame.
The club has a real community feel to it with the fully enclosed complex housing two fully graded pitches, an enclosed all-weather playing area, a good-sized club house and recently built changing rooms.
Few non-league clubs can boast that a former player has gone on to pick up a European Cup Final winners medal but in defender Colin Barrett, Nomads have the right to that claim.
Having signed for Manchester City as a 17-year-old from Nomads, Barrett played over 50 games for The Citizens before joining Nottingham Forest four years later. In his time at The City Ground Barrett claimed a First Division Championship medal, two League Cup winners medals and a winners medal from the 1979 European Cup final win against Malmo.
Chairman George Gibbons has seen a lot during his forty years at Cheadle Heath Nomads FC, starting as a player at the club back in 1980 he has served the club in a variety of roles culminating in his current position.
Proud to be the man that leads the club into their centenary year, Gibbons is much more than just the figurehead at The Pro-Seal Stadium, he is very much involved in the day to day running of the club, from getting his hands dirty helping out with ongoing groundworks as the club continue upgrading for the future to raising the club profile by attracting new sponsors:
“We are always striving to improve the club, we made the decision a few years ago that we should aim for as high a place up the non-league pyramid as possible. We have made great strides forward over the last few years, installing floodlights before they were needed at the level we now play at, building new changing rooms and installing seated stands”
With several local trophies under their belts, and winners of The Cheshire League Premier division four seasons ago, Nomads moved up to The North West Counties First Division South before the start of last season, finishing a creditable ninth in the final table at the end of their first campaign, the club’s first at that level:
“With the restructure of The North West Counties from two to three divisions there was an opportunity for us to claim one of the new spots available, and as a club we felt that we were ready for the step up in standard, we knew that the ground was ready so we grabbed the chance with both hands.
“To be honest we felt that, though we were happy to finish in the top half of the table, a higher finish was allowed to slip away from us. Next season we will be looking to improve on the things that didn’t quite work last time out”
Manager Andy Gray is currently looking to add to an already decent squad as he prepares for a stern pre-season set of fixtures to help celebrate the club’s centenary season.
“We have reigning National League Champions Stockport County as our first visitors to The Pro-Seal, Jim Gannon will be bringing his first team squad for a fixture that will hopefully see us admit over 1,000 into the ground for the first time in our history. We have a great relationship with County, Alan Lord runs the club’s academy from the ground, utilising the clubhouse for the students lessons and playing their games here too”
“We will also meet Northwich Victoria, AFC Mossley and the world’s oldest club Sheffield FC before Sol Campbell brings his Macclesfield Town for our final home pre-season game. In all honesty we couldn’t have wished for a better build up to the biggest season in the club’s history. We have a 'centenary dinner' planned and are hoping to celebrate the club’s 100-year history by winning promotion and moving another step up the pyramid.”