With a director of football known as “Mr Nantwich Town” on the back of more than three decades of loyal service, it was only a matter of time before the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s Dabbers rewarded Clive Jackson with a long service award.
The former Dabbers manager and chairman might have seen his promotion-chasing club slip to a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Whitby Town on Saturday but he did leave the Weaver Stadium a proud man after being honoured for his 33 years of devotion to the cause.
Jackson became the youngster manager in the club’s history back in 1992 when the then 28-year-old stepped up as reserve team boss to succeed Peter Ward.
Now 51, Jackson founded the acclaimed youth set-up now producing regular graduates for Phil Parkinson’s first team squad while at the helm before moving upstairs in 1998 to become chairman.
As well as helping the Dabbers become one of the first clubs in the country to earn the FA’s Charter Standard status in 2003, only a couple of years after the scheme was launched, he was later instrumental in the successful move from Jackson Avenue to the Weaver Stadium and winning promotion to the EVO-STIK NPL in 2007.
Despite beating Altrincham on penalties the following season to lift the Cheshire Senior Cup for the first time in 30 years and also winning the play-offs to earn back-to-back promotions, Jackson insists his finest moment as chairman came on May 6 2006 when Nantwich Town beat Hillingdon Borough 3-1 at Birmingham City’s St Andrews to lift the FA Vase with Steve Davis, now manager of Crewe Alexandra, at the helm.
Jackson said: “It’s an honour to receive the award and it doesn’t feel like five minute since I started out at the club. I’ve enjoyed so many great moments at Nantwich Town it’s hard to pick a top moment. But for me it has to be when Nantwich Town won the FA Vase. It was a fantastic run that we had and an excellent day to St Andrews. It’s a day I will never forget.
“A lot has changed in my time at the club. We now play and challenge in a higher league as well play at the fantastic Weaver Stadium. But the club’s core values remain the same, which is great to see. Hopefully Phil Parkinson can lead the club into the next division, which will be fantastic for the club to make and shows the long way that we have come even in the last 10 years or so.”
Current chairman Tony Davison hailed his predecessor and the firm foundations he laid to ensure the club’s continuing success. “It’s great to recognise Clive and all his work that he has done for Nantwich Town FC,” he said. “Without him we wouldn’t be in the fantastic position that we are in now and the first class ground that we call home. It’s down to his hard work that we are where we are today and I think it’s right that he has received this award.”