Club founder carries torch

Olympic Torch bearer Mike Taylor of New Mills
Olympic Torch bearer Mike Taylor of New Mills

A NEW Mills man will be hoping he doesn’t drop the ball when he takes on the challenge of carrying the Olympic Flame.

Mike Taylor has been picked to carry the torch through Burton-on-Trent on June 30, in recognition of his 60-year involvement with football in the High Peak.

“I’m very proud and very honoured to have been chosen,” said the 73-year-old, of Pingot Road.

Mike began playing football at the age of 12, and went on to represent Old Stopfordians in the Lancashire & Cheshire League, and also Birch Vale and Thornsett, which later became New Mills AFC. He was club secretary at Birch Vale for around ten years.

In May 1972 he founded New Mills Junior Football Club, and during his time as secretary, and a brief stint as chairman, the club has thrived and now has teams from under-eights up to under-16s.

“The main person I am indebted to is my wife as it was her idea to start-up the juniors,” explained Mike, who was nominated as a torchbearer by his grand-daughter’s husband.

“For me, football is a great past-time and I’ve been very lucky to see it through. It feels great to put something back into something I have enjoyed for so long. It gives me an awful lot of satisfaction.”