The branch will be holding a 40th anniversary event on Saturday 19th November 2022 at the Bilton Club (see flyer below).

It was against Grimsby Town on Saturday 28th August 1982 that the current Harrogate branch was believed to be formed. Further details, should anyone want the whole history, will be available from ex Chairman Dave Rowson or The Chairman, if you want to ask them directly.

I believe it was South Kirkby’s Mick Hewitt who suggested to Rousey that a proper LUSC branch should be formed. Something to do with Pynes getting fed up of having their windows put through all the time at aways? Further info probably best coming from someone who was there and sober enough to remember it in it’s entirety. I say sober in it’s loosest form. It’s probably better to describe it as not as inebriated as the next man.

That fateful day that the stand at Grimsby got “reconfigured” as there was a bit of a rumpus. In reality, the terracing got a few lumps kicked out of it, and according to The Fishy, some seats got ripped up and it all got a bit fractious because a few Leeds fans had got into the home end. I’ll put the link in for you to read for yourself. If you scroll down the link, you’ll see that one of the people on the forum has his profile picture as four cans of Special Brew. You don’t see that very often and frankly I’m impressed. It almost puts our picture of a schooner of port (how port should be served) to shame.

The Sunday Mirror reported it as a 2 – 1 win to Grimsby, not realising that the Grimsby winner had been ruled out at the death. Oh, the good old days of newspaper deadlines and rushing to get the news in before going to print the for next day. You young ones don’t know how good you have got it now! It caused quite a bit of consternation to one of the branch members who, on rolling up at work at The Majestic at 6.30am was told by his work colleagues that Leeds had lost. Which raised questions about his sanity….. or sobriety, or lack of both, the day before, as he was sure it was 1 -1 draw. And he hadn’t been drinking Special Brew either. 

The 40th anniversary actually marks the formation of the current incarnation of a formal LUSC branch in Harrogate.

Before this there were various manifestations of organised transport to home and away games. Remember these were the days when tickets were never an issue. Not like nowadays. In the old days, (and up until Villa away in April 2018), all you had to do was rock up at the turnstiles and pay to get in. In cash! Lawks a luvvy. Cash! Think of all those virus germs that we were spreading back then actually handing over money!

I am told there used to be a Pynes office at the bottom of Montpelier where you would just pay for your bus ticket in advance and then turn up on the day ready to travel. There was none of this pre match pub stop business. People used to regularly complain that the bus used leave far too early and get to the ground with far much time before kick off, allowing ample opportunity to get attacked by the home fans. 

The former Harrogate branch was run by a lovely couple, Malcolm Midson and his wife, June for a time. They ran buses to the home games as Pynes did the all away travel. Apart from a trip to Bolton in October 1978 where the bus went to the game and then went on to the Blackpool Illuminations afterwards, minus one member who spent the evening in Bolton Royal Infirmary. A suspected friendly fire incident from a bit of wall that had been demolished and was being chucked backwards and forwards. The Battle of Burnden Park as it was called by the Sunday People.

Dave Rowson started as Secretary, then Pete Gartside took over for a season, before Graham Ives did his stint. In 2000, the current branch Secretary took over and this will now be 22 seasons under his belt. The branch name changed to Harrogate and District in 1996. You will have to ask Dave and The Chairman about the old Knaresborough branch specifics. Or Dave can do a write up about it.

As a few of the oldies will remember, the branch used to have it’s own fanzine called We Are Leeds. These have all been uploaded onto the website and can be read. Thanks to Steve Abbott and all the other contributors for all their hard work.

Whilst the song goes, “We’re The Wrays bus, We’re the Wrays bus, We’re the Wrays bus, Harrogate”, the branch have used many coach companies over the years. Pynes and Murgys were pre 1996, Wrays is the one which is synonymous with Harrogate, after all they did sponsor our 5 a side team. But  after Malcolm Wray retired, we moved to Eddie Browns. Then onto K and J Travel, who with are still with to this day with Tom and the fantastic team from York Pullman. Jason “you can’t park that here, Sir” and Tim H have all been perfect personifications of Reg Varney / Sandra Bullock / Melvyn Hayes *delete as appropriate. Nothing can compare though, to the original, the one and only, Fast & Furious , Dave Addyman. Vin Diesel has nothing on Dave Addyman. Nothing.

The 40th anniversary event is open to ALL branch members, old and new and we welcome anyone who regularly travelled with us, including the old Otley Branch. We will be raising funds for the branch on the day to help pay for the event and also to help towards the costs of our sponsorship of our sponsored player, Joe Gelhardt, as well as St Michaels Hospice, our main charity.

Tickets are available from Dave Rowson or Andy Yates or via link below:[0]=AT2p2mHf7tbqfrlsTpZTo5lq4CqucmJ46pNHMvoaGIBRYlcczyXOTconVBF6VBhbD_TgvlPaIm1CUx4RUx51lFnc5uVHrbaH0jkRkd4KORrku1Lnvr1t9oN6U4sJRPaCQhQX7QTGdU16GLMbID6deRmPyhljM3WVQT2P3PApHMElRtpJtTPbFXLXa8vCX_E6LAXZU5e4dXwZGRHTRQe-STo

Further updates will be posted nearer the date