Final whistle for 'best coach ever'

Angela Huzulak
June 10, 2021

A pillar in Goole’s grassroots football community has announced he’s hanging up his boots after 32 years of coaching.

Michael Stannard, better known as Mick, is stepping away from the pitch after more than three decades of leading local teams to victory, to spend quality time with his family. Born and raised in Old Goole, Mick played for St Thomas Infant School before it closed, and kicked off his coaching career whilst stationed in Berlin during his time in the armed forces. Upon returning to Goole in 1993, he continued coaching and managing locally and was one of the founders of the Parkside Raiders.

Mick said his favourite memories throughout the years included witnessing the U14s team, which his son Jacob played on, win the National School Cup at the Aston Villa ground against the top team from the south and clenching the Regio Harlem Cup in Holland in 2002 against an American team.

Recollecting the match, the now 54-year-old, said: “I remember the coach kept telling me how much they were going to beat us and we ended up beating them in penalties. “They’re fantastic memories”. While Mick coached his son Jacob from the U6 level until he was 18, and book ended his time with his grandson Connor’s U10s team, he also coached kids unrelated to his family “for the love of it”. “It’s amazing to see the enjoyment and happiness on their faces and to know they’re learning something. “It’s good to see the kids have got on and done things with their lives. “Discipline is first and foremost what I wanted to teach, and to respect people. I’ve never known any of them be in trouble. “I treated them as my own and I’ll love them forever.”

Mick ended his career on a high note on Saturday, May 15, when the Goole Town Tigers U10s blacks earned second place in the cup final against Barlby Blues at West Park. Following the match, parents and players have paid tribute to the “best coach ever”. Claire Thompson, the mum of players Riley and Aaron, revealed: “Mike is one of the best coaches with the most ultimate patience but he’s also the most caring and dedicated, selfless person. We’re all so very grateful to his family too for them giving up their free time so he can support all the football community in Goole. He’ll certainly be missed.” Kian Wigglesworth, 9, added: “Thanks for training me and the other kids. He’s brilliant - the best coach ever”. Mick credited the parents of his players over the years, saying: “If you don’t have a good group of parents, you have no chance. “I’ve always had the right group but then again, I’ve always said to them at the beginning, I’m not here for them, I’m here for the children, but they’ve always been on board. “I’m a very lucky person.” He also thanked the network of people behind the scenes including secretaries and treasurers who all “worked together”. He also thanked his wife Michaela, sons Jacob, Lewis and daughter Maddy, for all of their love and support over the years. “It’s nice to be appreciated but I don’t want to be blown out of text”, he said, adding, “It’s what I love doing and I don’t do it because I want the glory. I love to see the kids enjoy and learn. “It’s been an amazing time and I’ve met some amazing characters. “It’s been a massive part of my life and I’m glad I’ve had something to do with it. “I’ll miss everything about it, really, but I’ll still be on the sidelines”. Mick is now looking forward to watching his grandsons play, all six of which he’s sure will “no doubt be footballers”. The Goole Town Tigers U10s black team placed second in the Cup final on Saturday.

Pictured with the team is match ball sponsor, Debbie Shipley of JW Myers Monumental Masons, who also sponsored their training kits. (20-05-10 SU)

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