THE 1874 COLUMN - By Matt Waters

DURING the 2017-18 season, we announced the signing of striker Kyle Riley.

He signed from Glossop North End and, although he found goals were hard to come by, his passion and love for the club made him one of the most popular players in the team.

When catching up with Kyle over the past week to talk all things 1874 he was asked what his favourite memory is while playing for 1874.

“Wow, there’s so many stand out ones,” he said.

“Obviously being involved in that FA Vase run which meant we had something daft like 17 games in 14 hours which meant I managed to get a few games in from the start.

“Of course, my absolute thunderbolt to score the winner from that unstoppable free kick against Silsden meant I finally got to do the boat lift celebration.

“And then who can forget me unfortunately breaking my hand that game to then turn up in Newcastle to see all my masks. It makes me smile just thinking about it.”

Unfortunately, due to illness, Kyle has not been able to feature yet this season.

He revealed that he would have been mentally in pieces if it was not for the support the club has given him.

“The support has been crazy, my illness came as a massive shock through breaking my hand but without the fans, the lads, Vicki, Goodie & Bow, mentally I would have been shot to bits.

“I will be forever in debt to the club, the lads and everyone involved for keeping me going, spurring me on. I can’t stress it enough what a very special group of people we all are.”

In particular, Kyle thanked one section of the 1874 supporters known as the ‘Elite Riff Raff’, who sent him the new away kit printed with ‘Riley 12’ on the back of it.

He said: “Those guys! They probably don’t realise the magnitude of what their gifts have done, not just for me but for my mum and especially my dad who followed me all over the country, (he deserves a medal because he’d be there knowing I’d be lucky to get 10 minutes).

“The gift this week was emotional to be honest. Seeing the riff raff embrace ‘Riley 12’ sums the guys up, they’re awesome and very, very funny.”

When speaking about whether he will return to action this season, Kyle remained optimistic, but knows how difficult the challenge will be.

“I’ve been in contact with the management and talks have been positive,” he said.

“I’m big and daft so my aim is to try and be involved before the end of the season but I know how ridiculously hard that could be in terms of fitness and even getting into a squad that’s doing as well as we are but I’m positive and hopeful!”

Everyone at 1874 wishes Kyle a speedy recovery and all hope to see him wearing green and black in the near future.