Tipton Town relive memories of their greatest FA Cup moment

It was a history-making run to the first round of the FA Cup – and Tipton Town reminisced as they held a special event.

The Tipton Town squad that made it to the FA Cup first round in 2010/11 were reunited for a special friendly match
The Tipton Town squad that made it to the FA Cup first round in 2010/11 were reunited for a special friendly match

John Hill led the club to their maiden, and so far only, appearance in the proper rounds in 2010/11, taking a long trip to Carlisle United.

And in recognition of that achievement, while also marking 50 years at the Sports Academy, a friendly recently took place between Tipton and Hill’s other former club Halesowen Town.

Hill was reunited with the squad that won five ties before finally bowing out with a 6-0 loss to Carlisle – who were in League One at the time, while Tipton were in the old Midland Alliance.

He thoroughly enjoyed the night, too, as he said: “It was brilliant.

“I had 10 years at Tipton and more than six years at Halesowen.

“So, it was a great night and a chance to catch up with great people from both clubs. I was very surprised as there were around 600 people there.

“Looking back on the Cup run was amazing. We’d beaten Sheffield FC, who are the world’s oldest club, and it was fantastic for us to get into the first round. I remember all sitting together and watching that first-round draw, being in the hat with big clubs like Sheffield Wednesday.

“Watching the Cup as a kid was so special, so to be in it ourselves, it was a great feeling. It was crazy.

“We obviously got Carlisle away. At the time, they had Gary Madine and James Chester playing for them, and they have gone on to have great careers.

“We got smashed 6-0, but the majority of their supporters stayed behind to give us a standing ovation after the final whistle. Those little things stick with you.”

More than 500 people watched last month’s reunion game, which saw the Yeltz win 3-0, while the gate receipts proved particularly helpful for Tipton after the difficulties brought on by Covid over the past couple of years.

Tipton lost 3-0 to Halesowen on the night, which also celebrated 50 years at the Sports Academy

Current Tipton chief Neil Perks was proud of how his side performed and hopes to get them back in the Cup reckoning over the next few years.

Now playing in the West Midlands League, they have not been a part of the competition since the 2015/16 campaign.

“I was expecting to lose eight or nine, but our lads competed for every ball,” said Perks.

“I was chuffed with our lads. They worked their socks off.

“We’re a young side, and they took it in their stride in front of a big crowd. It was a really enjoyable night.

“Our ambition is to get this club back where they belong. Off the pitch, we’re ready for it.

“On the pitch, we keep building towards it. We just want to keep climbing.”

Hill loved the chance to relive some fantastic memories.

He has been out of management since leaving Halesowen three years ago but is not looking to get back in.

Instead, he is grateful for the experiences he had and thanked Tipton for putting the night together – secretary Ann Wheale having a big hand in organising it.

“To see all the lads together again was great,” added Hill.

“It was a great turnout. I’m really pleased for everyone at the club who put it together. It was a great night.”

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