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Stalybridge Celtic: Club Connections

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Thu 8 Sep 2016
Posted in First Team

Vanarama National League North football returns to the MBi Shay Stadium on Saturday after two weeks away, with the Shaymen hoping to keep up their impressive form since the last home game.

In the two away games, since Town lost 1-0 at home to Harrogate Town, the Shaymen have produced a 2-1 victory at AFC Telford United and an impressive 2-2 draw against high-flyers Salford City. Now, attention turns to Saturday’s visitors, Stalybridge Celtic.

Both the Shaymen and Stalybridge have seen numerous players wear the club’s beloved colours, the most recent of which came around ten years ago.

Steve Torpey signed for the Shaymen back in 2006 from newly formed, North West Counties League Division Two side FC United of Manchester. Torpey had impressed during his one season at FC United, scoring thirteen goals before stepping up to the Conference with Town.

In his debut season for Halifax, Torpey couldn’t quite match his goal tally from the previous season, scoring seven goals in 27 appearances under manager Chris Wilder. On top of that, his next season at the Shay was to be his last.

Having made 24 appearances and only scoring two goals, Torpey was loaned out to Stalybridge until the end of the season after learning he would not be offered a new contract. He signed permanently for ‘Bridge in the summer of 2008 and went on to score 20 goals in 62 appearances for the club.

Torpey left Stalybridge at the end of the 2008/09 season, moving to AFC Telford, Fleetwood Town and then back to FC United where he finished his career in 2011.

Another player to feature for both sides is Steve Bushell who started his career at York City. After 7 years at York, Bushell moved to Blackpool in 1998 and stayed there until the end of the 2000/01 season. He soon made the move to non-league, joining Stalybridge in what was a very short stay.

Midfielder Bushell only spent less than a year as a ‘Bridge player, making just eighteen appearances and scoring one goal. Later in the same year, Bushell became a Shayman where he stayed for a much longer five years.

Towards the end of his five year stay, Bushell was sent out on loan to Altrincham in late 2005 but was recalled in January 2006. However, he went back to Altrincham on a permanent deal at the conclusion of the 2005/06 season.

Although, this wasn’t to be his last appearance in a Town shirt. Just one year after leaving the Shay, Bushell was brought back by Wilder but, this time, his stay in Halifax only lasted half a season. He signed for Hyde in January 2008 before joining Bradford Park Avenue in the same year where he retired aged 35.

The final player we look at is Simon Garner who joined Stalybridge in June 2007. Garner made 38 appearances with Stalybridge where he lasted for only one season until he joined Fleetwood in summer 2008.

However, his time with Fleetwood was short lived as he was released by mutual consent in September of the same year, making just three appearances. Shortly after, Garner joined FC United where he spent two seasons.

The Shaymen signed Garner at the conclusion of the 2009/10 season where he also spent two years of his career. He was part of the squad that won promotion to the Conference North in 2011 before eventually signing for Chorley FC a year later.

After hanging up his boots in 2013, Garner went on to make his managerial debut at Clitheroe FC. Having spent just under 3 years in charge, he left Clitheroe at the end of last season.

There will be live updates of Saturday afternoon’s clash at the Shay along with player and manager interviews available on the club website and Shaymen Player HD respectively.

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist