The 1874 Column – by Matt Waters

WHEN we formed back in 2012, we had no idea what to expect – who would play for us, what level of support we would get, and whether we would have anyone who could reach the ‘legend’ status within the club.

However, during our first season (2013/2014), one player stood out from the rest, scoring crucial goals and becoming an instant fan favourite after scoring the club’s first goal against Oldham Borough back in the August of 2013. This player was Mike Brandon.

Known by supporters at the club as ‘Michael Van Brandon,’ he managed to captivate our fanbase during his time at 1874 and for a long time was the leading goal scorer before Scott McGowan broke his record of 79 goals.

After spending three successful seasons for the club, Mike played his last game for the club during the 2015/16 season and retired after making 138 appearances for the club.

Over the weekend, I caught up with Mike to discuss his time at 1874 and the future of the club.

When asked what his favourite memories of playing for 1874 were, it seemed clear that there was two that stuck out more than everything else.

“I have lots of great memories but definitely playing and scoring in our first ever game against Oldham Borough,” he said,

“Another highlight was winning the Mid Cheshire Cup against rivals Witton Albion and hearing the fans chant ‘three nil to the dog and duck.’ It was excellent.”

As a club, we pride ourselves on being a family that works for the community on and off the pitch.

For players this is no different too – we hope that a lot of our players will form a positive affiliation with the club and for Mike, this was no different.

“During our FA Vase run, Mike returned to see us play several times, showing the positive connection between former players and the club.

Since then Mike, told me that he “loved every minute,” of playing for the club.

He added: “I loved every minute, it has to be one of my favourite clubs to play for!

“The whole setup is excellent and the fans were incredible to me and still are.”

After scoring 37 goals in his first season for the club, Mike achieved his legend status over the seasons after that forming a lethal partnership with Matt Beadle.

Now, he believes there is no limit to how far the club can go.

He revealed: “The sky’s the limit, just look at AFC Fylde – they were playing in the NWCFL some years ago.

“The infrastructure at the excellent at the club so for me there’s no limit on how far the club can go.

“I hope to be back down at Townfield later this season with my family on promotion day.

“They’ve played excellent this season so hopefully I can be there when they secure it!”