The White Stuff: Tadcaster Albion show they're voice of town in bridge crusade
Tadcaster Albion's act to step into the breach and rescue a town through its time of need shows exactly how far the club has come over the last few years.
Where the Samuel Smith’s Brewery failed so dramatically, Albion came to the fore and the club has been a leading force in bringing normality back to the flood-hit town.
Through several initiatives over the past two years, Albion have truly become a club at the heart of the community.
Now, Albion has a major voice in the town too.
It is hard to estimate the impact of the collapsed bridge but it is fair to say it cut the town in two. With no other links across the River Wharfe, everyday life was affected for so many.
Now, work has begun to bridge the gap with a new pathway over the river onto Albion’s land.
The football club launched the fight to secure it and won the support of MP Nigel Adams.
At a time of so much corruption in the sport’s governing body, overpricing in the upper echelons of the game and lacking of support in the grassroots game, it is humbling to see an impact football clubs can have on their local community – at every level.
It is an often said cliché in sport that you make your own luck.
That derivative could not have been further from the truth as the floodwater swept through the North Yorkshire town, devastating homes and businesses.
But, this time, Albion are making the most out of their – and the town's – bad luck.
Plans have already been submitted to revamp their contaminated clubhouse – ruined by sewage flowing back up through the drains.
Such plans are likely to be forced through planning stages as an emergency measure, and could come quicker than the club's ambitious owners – i2i Sports – ever dreamed of.
The footbridge itself will increase Albion's visibility within the town, and with visibility will inevitably/hopefully come larger attendances and interest.
It is now up to the club's players to continue the fighting spirit off the pitch and earn a historic promotion to the Evo-Stik Northern Leagues under Billy Miller.
Those players are now not just playing for their football club, but the town it represents.
We have seen from last year's historic FA Vase run that success on the field can bring delight to so many faces.
Glory on the field in 2016 would be even more poignant.
Ps: The hard work of Yorkshire County Cricket to secure the future of women's cricket should not go unnoticed.The radical plan to form a six-team T20 competition next season is a calculated risk by the ECB in an attempt to raise the interest level of the sport.
It may ostracise certain counties that have put hard yards in to find the next generation of national players.
Luckily, Yorkshire – as one of those counties – were accepted as one of the six competing squads. Hopefully the county can attract numbers through the gates to boost matches because the development in the levels of technique across the women’s game certainly deserves it.