An amateur football club is back in business after nearly folding last year due to a lack of players and the effects of the pandemic.

The previous Covid-impacted seasons had sapped the enthusiasm of Tottington United FC's players and management.

The reserves and veterans teams could no longer continue due to insufficient numbers and eventually it had to be accepted that the first team did not have enough players to start the season back in August so had to leave the Lancashire Amateur League.

However, new members have brought regeneration for the club and it has joined a league in time for next season.

Former player and committee member Matthew Holt said: “It was a chance meeting with ex-manager and long-time supporter of the club, Stuart Johnson, and we had a conversation with him as to whether he had any ideas of how we could try and salvage the club which he did initially have.

“He then came back to me a few weeks later with an idea which subsequently led to contacts of his, Chris Cowell and Anthony Johnson, being brought into the club on the committee side, and since then he’s reinvigorated the club.”

With the financial assistance received during early 2020 from a coronavirus grant from Bury Council, the club has been able to continue.

In terms of the rebuild, the club facilities have been refurbished, which were tired and dated.

The changing rooms have had a new roof, all the plumbing has been renewed and the internal décor has been updated.

Extensive improvement works have also taken place on the pitch with verti-draining, dressing and remedial work.

Fencing has been fitted to improve the security of the site and the perimeter pitch barriers have been re-instated and painted.

Matthew added: “We also rebuilt our relationship with our landlord which is St Annes Church as that relationship had become a bit strained but has now been rectified and much improved now so there’s more collaboration and engagement with the church.

“We’ve made a successful application to the Manchester Football League to participate in that competition from the start of next season. They’ve been supportive and enthusiastic about Tottington’s semi rebirth.

“We’ve been a member in the past and it’s nice to be reinstated in that league.”

Plans are in place for a first open age mens side managed by Tony Hanson and Ian Hutchinson as well as a development team of young players transitioning into adult football supplemented by over age players and an U12s team managed by Dave Scanlon.

It is also hoped boys’ and girls’ junior teams will be launched in time for the 2023/24 season.

The club has also built a new relationship with Tottington High School and has rebranded with a new club crest acknowledging Tottington’s history and has changed its club colours.

It was formed by Norman Entwistle and his father playing in the Bury Sunday School League at Nuttall Park in Ramsbottom around the early 1970s.

Norman’s father worked as a park keeper for Tottington Urban District Council before it became part of Bury Council in 1974 and Norman comes to watch most home games and can also be seen watching Tottington St Johns Cricket Club during the football close season.

The Bolton News: Team photo with committee 1992.Team photo with committee 1992.

In 1992, the club entered into a 20-year lease to use the pitch that had formerly been used by Tottington St Anne’s FC.

A Sports Council grant renovated the pitch and installed new changing rooms at St Anne’s Field.

In 1995, Tottington joined the Manchester League and in 2001 moved to the West Lancs League, but had to drop out due to vandalism to the changing rooms.

In 2003, the club joined the Lancashire Amateur League where it continued until 2021 enjoying notable successes including league cup winners 2012.

The club also has a mini tournament planned for July involving Elton Vale, Prestwich, Walshaw and Tottington and has pre-season friendly with Ramsbottom United arranged for August with other games to be announced.