Denaby derby special: Family affair for Welfare as United pay the Price

John Hodgson, Steve Watkin and Gary Kay challenge for the ball
John Hodgson, Steve Watkin and Gary Kay challenge for the ball

Any derby clash in the town of Denaby will always prove to be a full-blooded affair - as Steve Watkin remembers fondly.

The full-back was part of the Welfare side which beat United in the Montagu Cup at Tickhill Square in 1991, alongside his cousin Graham.

Lining up for United was Graham’s brother Phil - and an early clash between Steve and Phil set the tone for the evening.

“It was quite an occasion for the Watkin family,” Steve said.

“I remember going in for a challenge with Phil early in the game, and Phil ended up with a bloody nose - which he wasn’t happy about!

“We played really well on the day and deserved the win - although I can’t remember scoring the penalty!”

Former United midfielder Gary Kay, who runs a property business in Conisbrough, also has fond memories of the day.

“I was running late for the game, so I phoned [manager] John Reed and he put me down as a substitute,” he said.

“I warned him that the Welfare lads were really up for the game, and that it wasn’t going to be easy.

“At the time, we were a Northern Counties East League club, playing a lot higher standard of football.

“But I knew a lot of the Welfare lads, who were all local, and I knew they were going to give 100%.

“A lot of the United players that day were from John ‘s last club, Hatfield, so they may have not realised the importance the game held for the Welfare players.

“The game progressed as I expected, with the Welfare attacking every ball, and even though we dominated the play, they ended up in front at half time.

“I came on for the second half and played in midfield but we couldn’t get back into the game and went 3-0 down.

“We got a consolation goal but the honours went to the Welfare.”

It was Welfare midfielder Andrew Price who made it 2-0 after just half an hour.

“We went one up with a Gary Hough goal,” Price said, “and for the second, the ball came to me at the edge of the box.

“I managed to get just enough on it to send the ball into the bottom corner of the net, and we managed to hold out for the win which gave us the bragging rights for a short while.

“It was a big game for the Welfare - we had won the Cup the year before, and we were even more determined to win because United played at a higher level and were able to pay players.

“We were also playing against lads we knew, as we played together most Sundays for Conisbrough Ivanhoe club.

“Our defender John Hodgson sadly passed away a few years ago, but I remember he was asked to cover in goal as Pearsy [David Pears] was injured.

“But Hodgy had a great game and seemed to pulll save after save off, and he was man of the match.”