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HOW FORMBY JUNIOR SPORTS CLUB STARTED For the Benefit of New Members and Parents We think it is important that all our members and their families know how Formby Junior Sports Club started and how it has grown and grown over fifty- three years. In the first week of January 1959, Jim Rourke took his nine year old son Frank (now our Chairman) to Duke Street Park in Formby for a kick about with a football. Several boys aged nine or so joined in. They all enjoyed it so much that they told their friends about it, which resulted in a rapid build-up of enough boys for at least four teams. Jim invented names for the teams, eg. Park United, Formby Hotspurs, etc, etc, and from that moment all the teams belonged to Formby Junior Sports Club Inter Club Football Section. The idea of properly organised football matches with friends in their team, playing against friends in the opposing teams, immediately appealed to the young football enthusiasts. It was something different and what was so important everybody got a game. It was also a very friendly atmosphere. It may not have been realised at that point in time by the youngsters that membership into Inter Club was the beginning, in many cases, of forming lifelong friendships. Jim Rourke having established a mini youth club was anxious to create a second activity. This was easy as Chess was his favourite pastime. Soon Jim started a Chess section and many FJSC members joined to play Chess or Football and Chess. An exceptional gift in kind came when Formby Urban District Council provided Formby Junior Sports Club with a football pitch, free of any hiring charge. It was wonderful insight on the part of FUDC. It turned out to be Jim Rourkes patch on Duke Street Park for the next thirty years on Saturdays during 30 football seasons, followed by ten more seasons at Deansgate Lane, organising Formby Junior Sports Clubs Inter Club football teams. Gradually the size of the Inter Club Football section grew and grew and matches were played at Watchyard Lane, KGV Playing Fields , as well as at Duke Street Park. Rourkes League as the club was affectionately nicknamed by many of the boys had become a household name in Formby. In 1979 the acquisition of the Club Headquarters at Deansgate Lane, provided by Sefton MBC at their last Lottery Draw, gave Formby Junior Sports Club more scope as a Voluntary Youth Club. n the 1980s and 1990s a host of additional activities were introduced for short spells or lengthy periods of time. For example, Art, FA Super Skills, Athletics, Rounders, Pool, Snooker, Table Tennis, Judo, Netball, Badminton and Kwik Cricket just to name a few! Alongside the Inter Club section, FJSC decided to form Representative teams at all ages, selected from the Inter Club section to play competitive matches in local leagues. This started in the mid-1970s at a few age groups. Representative matches were played at Smithy Green so FJSC then had four different venues, making club organisation extremely difficult indeed. However in 2001, with the increased number of pitches at Deansgate Lane and car parking to meet the needs required, together with picturesque landscaped pathways - FJSCs entire Inter Club Section moved completely to Deansgate Lane. The club had come a long way from the days when we used coats for goalposts. However the club is still being run with all the traditions Club Founder JIM ROURKE had introduced way back 53 years ago in 1959. There have been a number of significant landmarks throughout the five decades which have been important in the clubs history. These are just a few: 1959 - JIM ROURKE founded Formby Junior Sports Club 1961 - The First Inter Club Cup Final 900 people attended the Final at Brows Lane (then Formby FC's Ground) 1961 - Chess Section started 1973 - A few Representative Teams entered local leagues 1977 - JIM ROURKE received an MBE for Services to Youth 1979 - Clubhouse opened at Deansgate Lane. 1984 - Representative teams at all ages entered local leagues 1990 - Inter Club Section lowered the age to seven 1999 - Girls Football Section started. 2000 - Mini-Soccer introduced and the club lowered age to join to Reception Age Group (four years old). 2001 - Extra pitches at Deansgate Lane allowed all Inter Club games to be played on one site with extra car parking spaces available. 2001 - Membership exceeded 750 for the first time. 2002 - FJSC receives Charter Standard Status from the Football Association. 2005 - FJSC receives the Charter Standard Development Award from the FA. 2006/2007-Inter Club football teams from Reception (four years old) through to Year 12 (seventeen years old) for the first time. 2007 - At the end of the 2006-2007 season FJSC had 805 members, a new membership record. 2008/2009- Inter Club Football ran from Reception/Year One (four and five year olds) through to Year 12 (seventeen year olds) once again. 2009 - FJSC celebrates its 50th Anniversary. 2010 - FJSC starts its sixth decade. 2011 - Coaching for younger Inter Club members introduced. 2012 - The start of FJSCs 54th Season. Throughout the clubs 53 year history there have been many helpers who have made important contributions to the overall running of the Club. Their efforts have helped to maintain the clubs existence and helped to contribute to the Clubs history. The Club thanks them all. The present Executive Committee together with all the voluntary helpers both in the Inter Club and Representative team sections will do their utmost to maintain the clubs long standing reputation in the Formby Community. This is the Clubs number one aim for this season. Please help to achieve this.
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