News, reports and even video from Walsall Wood FC – and a fitting tribute to a great man!

Images and captions of the Walsall Wood FC – Sutton Coldfield Town match on Saturday 15th July 2017 kindly supplied by the young David Evans

Well, it’s been a busy old time down at Oak Park Football Club, home of Walsall Wood FC – the overall season has started as usual before the official one with a series of warm-up ‘friendly’ matches and a rejuvenated, revitalised team with new management have squared off against a couple of higher ranking clubs with good performances.

A certain adopted, notable Geordie seems happy so it can’t be bad…

Bill Shaw, despite battling unfortunate health issues and in his supposed retirement has been keeping a close eye, and supplied a lovely review of last Saturday’s match against Sutton Coldfield Town. Incidentally, Bill now has the Shaw End named in his honour (I bet there will be a few thistles and nettles down there) and there was a delightful retirement presentation to he and his wife Lynn on Saturday 8th July which David Evans has supplied a gallery of pictures from at the foot of the post.

It’s always a joy and indeed an honour to feature Bills work here – sorry for the delay but as you can gather it’s been a bit mad on the blog of the last week or so. Hopefully we’ll have a quiet weekend for a change!

The remaining summer 2017 friendlies are as follows:

Tue.25th July Friendly Away Sikh Hunters
Thu.27th July Friendly Away Romulus
Sat.29th July Friendly Away Aylestone Park

A recent and welcome development has been match footage very professionally recorded and edited by the wonderful and tireless Russell Smith – the film from Tuesday’s match against Stafford Rangers can be seen below. Thanks to Russell for allowing me to share it here.

Tuesday 18th July 2017 Walsall Wood FC 2 v 3 Stafford Rangers – footage kindly shared by Russell Smith

Bill Shaw watched Saturday’s match against Sutton Coldfield town, and liked what he saw:

Hiya Bob,

Sorry about the delay in communication but I’m struggling a little at the moment, hopefully the lower pollen count will help.

It’s been an interesting start to Gary Birches reign with Wood losing two-one at Wolverhampton Sporting on Saturday 8th before drawing nil-nil at Redditch United last week. I saw the team for the first time on Saturday last when they took on a Sutton Coldfield Town 11 at home and turned in a cracking performance to record their first win of the close season.

Walsall Wood FC 2 v 1 Sutton Coldfield Town 

A superbly worked move after just 7 minutes saw Mitch Tolley come out of defence with the ball before feeding Joey Butlin wide right, he made ground before firing in a low cross that Paul Sullivan hammered into the roof of the net, giving the keeper no chance. The second goal came late on, 81 minutes in fact, Butlin fouled just outside the D, the free kick touched on by Peter Till and Lewis Taylor Boyce fired home from close range.

A grandstand finish by the visitors saw them put the Wood defence under intense pressure but all they had to show for it was a solitary headed goal from Jack Bates on 85 minutes, Wood comfortably holding out for the deserved victory. Tuesday night saw Neil Kitching bring his Stafford Rangers team to the Wood, after a first half that saw Tony Clarke open his Wood account and Rangers equalise just before the break with the visitors opening up an early three-one second half lead and even though Harry Harris pulled a goal back it was the visitors who ran out the victors, in a game that saw football the winner. I’m told it was played in such a good spirit the officials weren’t really needed.

It’s no easy start for the Wood in the league with a visit to Cadbury Athletic on Saturday 12th August followed on Tuesday 15th by a visit to Heather St. Johns to take on tenants Hinckley, the first home game sees Wood entertain Heather St. Johns on the Tuesday night before they entertain Atherstone Town on Saturday 26th August. So it looks like an early examination for Birchies boys credentials with the team of course certain to be up there for everyone to want to take a pot shot at.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the honour bestowed upon me by Justin and the club, for once I was nearly speechless and to be held in the same esteem as the late, great Geoff Woodward is a great honour, so thank you Walsall Wood it’s been a pleasure to be involved over the last 17 years

As for you young man it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to feed you reports over the last few seasons so thank you as well, it has been really appreciated.

All the very best.
Bill Shaw.

Bill’s end is now world famous in The Wood: It’s a Shaw thing. Images of the presentation to Bill and Lynn on Saturday 8th July 2017 kindly supplied by the young David Evans

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1 Response to News, reports and even video from Walsall Wood FC – and a fitting tribute to a great man!

  1. A fitting and well earned tribute, sorry I couldn’t be there Bill
    Dave (Eddy) Edwards

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