Non League State of Mind:

#1: The Goals of Post-Christmas Past: Nearly 17 years ago, the Mighty Stalybridge Celtic were members of the GM Vauxhall Conference and held their own for six seasons in their first stint at the top flight of non-league football.

Today’s national non-league competition is a more intense affair with half of the clubs recently relegated from NPower League Two. The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic play in the Conference’s second division’s northern section and are, at this time of writing, second to rivals Hyde FC.

This clip shows two things missing from the non-league scene. Firstly, Bromsgrove Rovers, whom in the last year have folded. Secondly, the Popular Side family stand: this was replaced by the cantilever Lord Tom Pendry stand in 2003. Its opening fixture was a friendly match versus Blackburn Rovers.

Also defunct is Wire TV, the source of this clip. From 1993 - 1997, Wire Television was a cable channel which also broadcasted on the Intelsat 601 satellite. Besides offering cheap and cheerful quizzes and phone-ins, its piece de resistance was highlights of GM Vauxhall Conference football matches. It was absorbed by Kelvin MacKenzie’s Live TV in 1997, which too disappeared in November 1999.

In 1995, The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic staved off relegation into the Northern Premier League. Despite losing 1-0 to Bath City, other results went Celtic’s way, so Wraggy stayed for another season and a few weeks of the 1996-97 season.

To use a well worn cliché, there is no time like the present with The Mighty ‘Bridge being in the top half of the Blue Square Bet North league table.

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