Book documents amateur team’s history

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‘Old Bootleians AFC - A History 1912-2004'. Pic © Amazon UK

‘Old Bootleians AFC – A History 1912-2004′. Pic © Amazon UK

A former player for a 103-year-old amateur football team in Liverpool has written a book exploring the unheralded history of the club.

Michael Brierley, 33, from Bootle, has delved into the roots of Old Bootleians AFC, who were formed in 1912 and still compete in the Liverpool Old Boy’s League. He has documented it all in a new publication entitled ‘Old Bootleians AFC – A History 1912-2014’.

Brierley, who spent 10 years with Old Bootleians AFC from 2000-2010 as a player, told JMU Journalism: “When I was club secretary, the idea of putting together a history began more as a research project. The natural conclusion would be to put it into print and make it publicly available.

“In essence, I wanted to put together a chronicle of statistics allied with the contributions of player experiences.  This way, the history told is enriched by individual contributions of tales and thoughts. It would otherwise have been a raw reading of numbers which while stimulating to some, it would not be conducive to most who wish to reminisce.”

He came across a programme from 1977 where the organisation was making a request for historical information as there was a desire to put a history together on the football team. Brierley took his project from there, flicking through microfilm copies of the Bootle Times from around that era.

He added: “Fortunately, I was able to locate the starting point of the club to the date, and also that of the Old Boys Association.  Subsequently, the Association held a Centenary dinner for 150 people at Bootle Town Hall in 2012 on the back of my research.

“I continued to consult the programmes available from individuals I met and also through reference documents contained in Crosby Library. I spoke to people who I thought were key individuals from different leagues and to many former players. These have proven to be vital ingredients in the final serving of my work.

“Along the way, it was punctuated by me getting married and becoming a father. Fitting in original writing time to complete the book alongside my family life and other outside responsibilities was tricky but I was determined to get it finished and I am quite happy with the final article.”

For those interested in purchasing the book, which costs £7.50, they can call Michael on 07910 633 724 or can alternatively email him at oldbootleianshistory@gmail.com.

About Matthew Judge, JMU Journalism