St Johns enjoy a remarkable transformation
PUBLISHED: 09:09 17 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:09 17 February 2017
Following the loss of their Coleridge Road home last summer, Weston St Johns have enjoyed a remarkable transformation.
Following a traumatic summer, in which they lost the Coleridge Road home that had been their base since 1972, to a devastating fire, one could have forgiven Weston St Johns for becoming another famous and much-loved name to drop off the football map in North Somerset.
Those that had expected the Saints to follow the sadly departed Langford Rovers on a well-trodden path to football oblivion, they had not encountered the beating heart of Daniel Owens who was determined not to let his club die.
Club stalwart Owens opted to fill the positions of chairman and secretary in order the club met its off-field obligations, but it was perhaps his contact with another diehard of the Saints in the shape of Bob Flaskett that was to prove pivotal to the club’s future well being.
Flaskett, who appeared for St Johns in their inaugural season after reformation in 1962 and later went on to fulfil numerous roles with the then Bournville-based club including chairman, secretary and groundsman, negotiated a deal with Weston Football Club chief executive Oliver Bliss for the Saints to play on pitch two at the Woodspring Stadium.
Bob and his son Nigel, another former player, ensured between them the team had a new kit to play in.
Just staying in existence would have been an achievement in itself for a club whose most famous export is former Wales international and Manchester City striker Gareth Taylor, but following Shaun Hicks appointment to the managerial hot seat, there has been a transformation on the pitch and after finishing in penultimate position and avoiding relegation last season, Saints now sit proudly on top of Division Two West of the Somerset County League.
Hicks said: “If you had of written this story nobody would of believed you. It is what they make movies about.”
He was also at pains to pay tribute to the key players in keeping the Saints alive and added: “If it wasn’t for Daniel Owens it would be highly unlikely that we would still have a club. There must also go a massive amount of credit to Bob and Nigel Flaskett, as had it not of been for them we would not have a ground to play at, nor would we look resplendent in our new kit.”