In the summer of 2010 Jon Hudson created Hazel Grove Bulls Football Club. Hudson had managed Hazel Grove Baptist FC for two seasons and wanted more control over the development of the club so made the decision to start his own club.
The club was playing in the South Manchester & Cheshire Christian Football League but the feeling was that to progress the club needed to be playing in a better competition.
From day one Hudson faced controversy after problems with the SMCCFL League committee. They were adamant that the club had to be run by a Christian Manager and have more Christian players to continue in the league.
The club did not want to continue in this league, it was a very poorly organised competition with no structure and no official FA recognition.
Hudson wanted to create a proper football club playing in an FA ran competition and identified the Manchester Saturday Morning Football League as the ideal competition for the club.
The only season in the SMCCFL proved to be a mixed bag, a disappointing league campaign, which saw the side finish 3rd in the top division was bettered by winning the Hope Trophy – a 5-1 victory over Salford in the final.
The team that season featured some outstanding performances – captain James Glover was superb all season, midfield trio Michael O’Hanlon, Elliott Schofield and Johnny Lane all had good campaigns and the front three of Gaz Dumbill, Steve Lowe and Craig Lawler were unplayable at time.
Lawler took all the plaudits with the golden boot with an incredible 35 goals in 16 appearances.
In May 2011 the club successfully applied to join the MSMFL for the 2011/12 season and a new era for the club was to begin.
With the club moving to playing more games there was a big turnover of players in the summer ahead of the new season in the MSMFL.
Despite losing their opening game away to Ashton Rovers, Grove won six of their opening eight games, including a huge 15-0 victory over George FC.
Grove had a strong team and looked in a good place for a promotion charge but a big change in player personnel occurred in November and three defeats including a 5-3 home defeat against West Didsbury.
Selection and availability proved to be a big issue during the season, Grove used 35 different players, including seven different goalkeepers – including the manager Hudson.
It was another good season for Lawler, scoring 24 goals in his 16 appearances. Again Glover, Schofield, Lane, O’Hanlon and Gaz Dumbill all had soild seasons but consistent performances proved the problem.
From the new year Grove played thirteen games, winning seven and never winning more than two in a row.
The club needed a stronger squad and Hudson was aware that with several key players such as James Glover and Craig Lawler leaving the club it was going to be another busy summer.
It was a big summer with a string of new signings and a new home. The club moving to Green Lane after consistent problems with Torkington Park. An opening day defeat saw seven players make their debuts, including Kai Burkitt.
Consistency was once again the key with Grove never being able to string a run of victories together – they received a boost with the return of Craig Lawler and new boy Chris Hammond who scored twenty-one goals.
Grove lost key player Elliott Schofield mid way through the season to rivals West Didsbury but did have some decent performances beating Aldwyn Town 4-0, Heston 6-1 and Hewlett 4-1.
Hammond had a wonderful season as did new signings Kai Burkitt and Luke Goodlet and stalwarts Johny Lane and Mike O’Hanlon.
Lane made the decision to leave the club and again Grove faced a busy summer to try and strengthen their squad for the new season.
It was a very busy summer with some big players joining the club. Duncan Warrender was definitely the biggest signing the club had ever made, a former Cheshire League Player of the Year, he arrived with a big reputation.
Striker Dale Swift also signed for the club and scored on his debut and impressive 4-3 victory over North End.
The team to watch that year was AFC Middleton who had gone the entire 2012/13 season unbeaten and they thrashed Grove 7-1 at Green Lane in the League.
However, when the two sides met again in the Group stages of the CFFL Shield an inspired team performance saw Grove inflict the first ever defeat on Middleton with a fantastic 3-0 win thanks to goals from Bruce Roberts, Jamie Berrisford and Jon Holt.
Grove made the move back to Torkington Park mid season after yet more problems with Stockport Council pitches.
Consistency was once again the problem and defeats to North End, Heston and Hewlett over the new year ended any promotion hopes.
A closely fought CFFL Shield Semi Final with Middleton ended in a 3-0 defeat and a week later the club suffered it’s record defeat a 12-0 thrashing away to league champions Middleton.
The season ended with a spirited victory over Inter Mancunia at Torkington Park, Marc Dumbill with the only goal. Swift finished the season with the golden boot and Warrender had a solid first season.
The summer of 2014 was the biggest summer in the clubs history. Jon Hudson took over Hazel Grove Football Club after the club fell into difficulty. The club dropped Bulls from the name and began life as Hazel Grove Football Club.
The change in name allowed some big names to join the club – Phill Campbell, Callum Burgon and Stuart Fitzmaurice had all played Saturday afternoon football for Hazel Grove and it promised to be a great season.
It started with a bang, an 11-0 win over George FC on the opening day but disappointing defeats to Aldywn Town and Cassidys FC added frustration to the squad.
A 2-1 defeat to Heston at the start of November started the clubs worst run of form, five straight defeats and for the first time manager Jon Hudson was fighting for his job.
A new year and a change of formation turned things around. The switch to a 3-5-2 system saw two big wins against Fielden Park and George FC and an excellent draw away to Cassidys started to give everyone hope.
After a tough run in, playing a lot of the top teams Grove ended on a high note with two big wins at home against Manchester East and South Manchester Ambassadors – it was decided that day that the club had to make a huge effort next season – and what a season it was.
Dale Swift won his second golden boot award with twenty-four goals in twenty-seven games and Johny Renshaw won Player of the Season. Gary Allen won the Chopper Trophy – the award given for the best clubman.
The summer of 2015 saw Jon Hudson appoint Chris Metcalfe as the new Assistant Manager and the two planned a very specific pre-season, packed with training sessions and tough fixtures against higher league opposition.
It was a tough two months, results were not great but the performances were encouraging and Grove went into the season feeling confident they could mount a promotion campaign.
The season started with a hard fought 1-0 win away at North End followed by a 7-0 thrashing of Fielden Park and a superb 3-1 win over Manchester Celtic.
Wins over Brownley Albion and Medlock were followed by two draws before a last gasp win against early league leaders Blackley Town.
By the start of 2016 Grove were in a 4-horse race for the title, a defeat to Baguley would cost them the title but wins over Manchester Celtic, South Manchester Ambasaadors and Hewlett in the run in confirmed promotion to the top division.
It was in the M.E.N Cup however where Grove really impressed. Heston were knvoked out 4-3 in the First Round and Cassidys thrashed 6-2 in Round Two – thanks to a Sam Davidson double hat-trick.
The Quarter Final saw Grove travel to Sale to take on South Manchester Ambassadors – with just fifteen minutes to go Grove found themselves 4-1 down and looking likely to go out but a superb resilience and strength saw them come back and score four times to win the game 5-4 and progress to the Semi Finals.
Previous winners Beechfield United arrived at Torkington Park for the Semi Finals on a wet and horrible Stockport morning, despite being favourites the visitors were never in the game and Grove won the game 7-1 to progress through to the final.
On May 14th Grove took on old rivals AFC Middleton in the sunshine at West Didsbury & Chorlton FC – two Sam Davidson goals won the cup for Grove and capped an unbelievable season for the club.
It was all change in the summer, Jon Hudson stood down as manager to ‘move upstairs’ and handed the reigns to Duncan Warrender.
A great pre-season followed including the 6-4 victory over Cheshire League Premier Division team Poynton – a game that Grove dominated and out played their higher standard opposition.
With some excellent new additions to the squad Grove kicked off with a 6-1 win over West Didsbury but a admin error saw the points taken off the club – a decision that would have far reaching consequences at the end of the season.
Wins over Medics and Brushes was followed by an incredible 10-1 demolition of Beechfield United. Wins over Torpedo Chorlton and Alkrington (twice) set up a trip to Middleton, both teams unbeaten.
A disappointing performance and an embarrassing display by referee Eddi Aspin saw Grove lose for the first time since March and hand Middleton the advantage in the league title race.
That defeat on 29th October was the last defeat of the season. 19 games later Grove had completed a cup double and missed out on the title by a whisker – the points deducted at the start of the season would have forced a play off with winners Middleton for the title.
Grove claimed the Steeles Shield win a 3-0 win over Beechfield United in a great final – goals from Ben Brooks and Sam Davidson winning the shield.
The M.E.N Cup final was a poor game with both sides struggling on a hard pitch but Ben Brooks and Niall Brooks scored the goals to give Grove their trophy back.
2017/18 promises to be another big season for Grove as they attempt to win their trophies back, challenge for the title and for the first time compete in the Cheshire County Cup.