Dave Anderson’s Non League Journey

The highly-successful former Barton Town manager Dave Anderson says Barton Town

The hughly-successful Dave Anderson is one of the best NCEL managers of the last ten years who is not currently managing.

Anderson propelled Barton Town from the bottom of Division One to the brink of the Northern Premier League in the space of five years.

But since a short spell with Goole AFC in late 2016 which garnered some good results, he has not been in a dugout since.

His Non League Journey is quite entertaining. His playing career in the late 1980s and 1990s saw him play for the likes of North Ferriby and Goole Town and he has some great memories of Dean Windass and some game-related anecdotes – including pies being used as missiles.

He also saw Chris Gowen get head-butted by a referee during his managerial career.

This is Dave Anderson’s Non League Journey: 

Dave Anderson

“I used to play left-back and I did a YTS at Hull City when Brian Horton was the manager. He was a character and some of the stories are unbelievable. I’ve been in changing room when he’s kicked all-sorts. He’s certainly mellowed mind. 

“I was an apprentice with Dean Windass. I phenomenally enjoyed those days. I dislocated my shoulder on seven occasions while I was there. I did it once in the gym when I was partnering with Dean and he was in tears over it. I had to have an operation on it when I left Hull.

“I got kept on at one point and Dean got released and he went to work on a building site. He played for North Ferriby and after I played with him there.

“When he was 16 he had bags of ability, but Dean was a late developer. He was very small. When he was 17 or 18 that’s when he really developed and his natural ability shone through. He used to rip teams apart in the NCEL for Ferriby. He was phenomenal and he soon got a name and scouts were coming every week. 

“We also played together on a Sunday for a team called Northwood and there was a chief scout called Peter Winnan who watched him there. So before Terry Dolan and Hull City paid money for him, he went on trial at Sunderland as they were interested in him.

“He always used to play in midfield in Non League and at Hull he always played wide-right and he became at striker. Obviously years later I saw him score the winning goal in the Championship play-off final at Wembley against Bristol City.”

Into Non League 

“I went to York City on a non-contract basis with the likes of Andy McMillan and then went into Non League did the circuit with North Ferriby, Brid Town, Brid Trinity, Goole Town, Winterton Rangers and a few others. I first went to Goole Town with Dave Bear. I had two spells there. Micky Bullock the former Halifax manager was manager during the first spell and we had Keith Hutchinson upfront. I then went back when Tim Hotte was the manager.”

Punched unconscious playing for Goole 

“That was at South Liverpool and it was my one or second game. We were 1-0 down and there was a clash of heads so on the floor there was a player from both sides. The physios came on and I went over. Next thing I knew I was spark out on the ground. Apparently one of their players had hit me off the ball. I had to stay overnight in a hospital in Liverpool.”

Goole fans use pies as missiles

“It was New Year’s Day and we came off and we were getting beat two or three-nil and our own fans were chucking pies at us. I picked one up, but I didn’t eat it.”

North Ferriby 

“I had two stints with North Ferriby. The first was under Gadge Thompson, the second under Peter Daniel. We had played like Andy O’Dell, Steve Evans, Gary Branstein and it was a very much different world to Hull City . The money wasn’t what it is today. There were some good ex-pros around and it was around the same time that Brid Town got to Wembley with Steve Brentano. 

“We once played Brid Trinity at Queensgate and Gadge Thompson did his team-talk and he named the team. He actually named 12 players in his starting eleven. We were looking at the board and everyone was thinking ’is that right’? Eventually someone said ‘gaffer, you’ve named 12’. He had named eleven outfield players and left the goalkeeper out. Everyone burst out laughing. One of the lads had to drop out, it wasn’t me. But Gadge Thompson said he’d still pay him his wages. Gadge was a bit of a character.

“The most respected manager I played for was Brian France and I played for him in the Ferriby reserves. He was a lovely guy even though he had his teams on the back of fag packets. But he was very successful.”

Hull a Hotbed for Non League Football during the early 1990s

“It is very strange looking back at there were two teams in Bridlington and they were always in the same league. Brid Town were always the stronger team. But back then when I was playing, Non League Football in Hull was very strong. You had North Ferriby, Brid Town, Brid Trinity and Hall Road Rangers who were doing really well as well. Hull was seen as a hot-bed of football.

“The Bridlington derbies were always very volatile and even North Ferriby versus Brid Town and North Ferriby versus Hall Road could be volatile. When I played NCEL, another team who were strong were Guiseley. I remember my second or third game for Ferriby and Guiseley had Aiden Butterworth playing.”

Retirement from playing and move into management with Westella

“My playing career phased out because of my shoulder and I looked to get into management and my first step was with Westella & Willerby. I had played the odd two or three games for them and I was friends with a couple of people at the club and they had this under 16s side which was really good. Mike Gibson played for them. They wanted to develop them for men’s football so I took over the reins from a football perspective as a manager. When they were old enough for men’s football, we built the first team around them. The problem was that anyone was decent, someone from Non League Football would come in for them. We couldn’t compete as the lads paid subs to play for Westella.

“While I was there for four or five years, we got to the final of the East Riding Cup at Boothferry Park and we played Bridlington Town when Billy Heath was the manager. We actually beat Hull City in the semi-final. They played a fairly strong side as Clayton Donaldson played. We also drew 1-1 at Ferriby and won on penalties.

“I sort of used Westella as my grounding to get to know management.”

Leaving Westella for Barton in the NCEL (January 2010)

Dave Anderson

“Westella made a big hoo-ha and we had three points deduced because of the six players leaving and ff I had my time again, I would do things differently. At the time Westella from a ground perspective they were going to go into Non League Football and I had aspirations to go higher. I saw it as an opportunity to step-up and that’s why I applied for the Barton job. 

“I had a few players who were loyal and they wanted to join me at Barton. The funniest thing about our first game at Barton is we had all the Westella lads in the team and it was against Leeds Carnegie and Graham Potter was the manager. We actually won the game 2-1.”

Dean Windass Plays for Barton (August 2010)

“When Dean played for us against Yorkshire Amateur in the 3-1 win, he got a hat-trick. We went up by being two points ahead of Yorkshire Amateur and when you look back it was an important win.

“It was a August Bank Holiday game and there was no Gaz Barlow or any of our other strikers so he did it as a favour. We go back a long way and we had a major problem upfront and it was actually (chief executive) Paul Friskney who said ‘you should get your mate Dean Windass to play’? I started to laugh, but I rung him and said ‘listen Dean, can you do us a favour’? He said he would play and even in the build-up to the game, Paul was ringing saying ‘is he going to turn up’? I got to the game at 11.30am and I distinctly remember the phone ringing none stop with people saying ‘is Dean playing’? They put it in the paper that he had signed for us permanently, but he was only ever going to play one game. It ended up being two as he played against Grimsby Borough.

“We got over 200 people there for the Yorkshire Amateur game which was phenomenal.

 “In the changing room Dean went to the players ‘who’s collecting subs? Is it £2 or £3 subs’? Everybody looked at each other and somebody said ‘what’? He actually turned up with no shampoo too so he was having to borrow some from the lads. 

“We didn’t send him a medal though for helping us get promoted. We just said he didn’t have to pay any subs!”

Promotion from Division One 

Anderson’s memories of the 2010/2011 promotion-winning campaign can be read in a previous ‘My Greatest Game’ article.

Loyal Assistant Mally Parker

“I first met Mally when we played for the Northwood Sunday side so we go back a long way. I had a spell playing for him when he was manager of Winterton Rangers. During my days at Westella, Mally was running a team called Hutton Cranswick so we came across each other then. When Hutton folded and Mally came to Westella. I’ve known him for years and we obviously formed a good partnership. We get on very well and if I get a job, he’ll be back with me.”

2014 NCEL Premier Division Runners-Up 

Dave Anderson led Barton to promotion in 2011 and to the runners-up spot in the Premier Division in 2014

“I have mixed feelings about that particular season as I thought it was a tremendous achievement on a low budget. We went 23 games unbeaten and to finish second with 94 points after 44 league games was phenomenal. Looking back at it now, if only we had got off to a better start, we could have won it and overtook Brighouse. 

“It was tremendous what the lads achieved. We lost our first game 5-1 at Retford and it took us two or three games to win. We had players like Ash Dexter, Dave Bramley, Ash Lattimer, Ryan Cooper and Chris Gowen and we were building and building. Myself and Mally always built teams on a gradual basis and we always had a good core and each year we always added one or two.”

Chris Gowen gets Head-Butted by the Referee

Chris Gowen was once deliberately head-butted by a referee during a pre-season friendly at Barton

“It was a friendly against a Football League team’s youth team and the referee head-butted Chris Gowen during the game. Chris had appealed for an offside towards the end of the game and he ended up having words with the ref and the ref stuck his nut on him right in front of the dugout. Everyone saw it and Chris looked around and said ‘he’s just head-butted me’. I didn’t say anything to the ref as he went straightaway and the pro club didn’t come back after that.”

Memories of Games at Barton

Dave Anderson with striker Danny Chambers in July 2015

“We had some great games over the years at Barton. We had some great battles with Scarborough and Tadcaster. When Tadcaster were flying we once beat them 4-3 at home and Dave Bramley saved a penalty in the last minute. 

“The funniest game I remember at Barton is the one at Staveley when we were winning 6-0. I’ll never forget it. The weather was clear at the start and then it just rained and rained. It was torrential and it got to 75 minutes and we were 6-0 up and Staveley just threw the towel in. They just walked off. I said ‘what are you doing’ and someone said ‘we’re not playing in this’. The referee didn’t call it off. He had said to their manager ‘I’m not abandoning the game’. They then walked off. The result stood and to be fair to Staveley, Terry Damms said he wasn’t going to try and get the game replayed.”

Leaving Barton in 2016, Return to Goole and the Future

Dave Anderson (left) picked up some very good results during his time as Goole AFC manager, but was surprisingly sacked after 19 games

“I left Barton at the right time. We had got promoted, finished second and got to a cup final over six years and I’m very career-minded and it was the right decision at that time. How that club has developed in the last three years is phenomenal, but at the time we’d reached the end.

“We went to Goole a few months later and for the first training session, we didn’t have many players. Leading up to the first game at Colwyn Bay away, trying to get a team together was difficult. We had some good results. We beat Glossop who were chasing promotion at home, won at Ossett Town, drew with Blyth Spartans in the Trophy, won at Whitby Town in the League Cup. I think when we took over they were bottom of the league and when we left we were third or fourth bottom. We had stabilised them. Leaving left a bitter taste in the mouth and I shouldn’t have taken the job. 

“I’d like to get back into management. I’ve had a few people ring me and ask me to manage them, but it has to be right. Myself and Mally still get out watching games and we still know players.”

If you have enjoyed this interview, please consider making a donation to the not-for-profit organisation NLY Community Sport which provides sport for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties. CLICK HERE to visit the JustGiving page.

There is a video at the bottom of the page showing our work.

NLY Community Sport, run by James Grayson and Connor Rollinson, has always had combatting social isolation at the top of our objectives when running our Disability Football teams so when the green light to return is given, our work will play an important role in reintroducing our players, who have disabilities and learning difficulties, back into society.

We have six teams, a mixture of Junior and Adult teams – Nostell MW DFC, Pontefract Pirates, Selby Disability Football Club and the South Yorkshire Superheroes (Barnsley) – across Yorkshire.

Like most organisations, we have been affected financially by the Coronavirus and we have incurred losses which we cannot recover. We have not been hit as badly as other organisations, but we do need raise £2000 to put us back at the level we were at in mid-March and enable us to make a difference once again to our players’ lives in the future, without having financial worries. As each day goes on, a substantial number of our players become further isolated so we need to be ‘ready for action’ when restrictions are lifted.

Any amount raised above £2000 will be put towards new projects (when the world returns to normal) designed to further benefit people with disabilities and learning difficulties. You can learn more about the organisation HERE and on our Facebook page.

Watch the video below to see highlights from our three years as an organisation. The video was produced for our players at the end of March to remind them of good memories from the last three years.

2 thoughts on “Dave Anderson’s Non League Journey

  1. Yes it was an awful decision to sack him at Goole. Interesting he mentioned the game at south Liverpool when he was knocked unconscious i was there that night .It was GMAC cup reply having drawn 0-0 at Goole

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