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Goole is not the sporting mecca of the north, but has a passing interest in various disciplines. Its most famous sporting success is with Goole Town AFC. This team regularly plays at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds and has had a chequered past. Once high in the non-league game, it went bankrupt and was disbanded. The club was re-formed two years ago and has started the climb back again. They have been promoted every season since restarting from the Central Midlands Premier Division and are currently in the North East Counties Premier Division. Surely Europe (or at least the Grandstand vidi-printer) is only a few seasons away?

Other sporting activities taking place around Goole:

  • Athletics - The Victoria Pleasure Grounds has a six lane running track and there are various facilities at the leisure centre. Goole Viking Striders are the local running club and organise the annual Riverbank challenge (it was the Three Rivers Challenge, but they then got lazy).
  • Cricket - Lots of pub teams take part in this sport, although it's usually just an excuse for a huge party at the end of the season. West Park and the cricket ground off Westfield Banks are the places to go to hear the crack of leather on willow.
  • Cycling - Vermuyden Cycle Club is the local club and have masochistic cycling tours on Sunday mornings. Goole is ideal cycling country because the Vale of York is so flat. There are many time trials on summer nights and several Audax routes pass by the town. It is also close to the Sustrans network linking Hull with Selby.
  • Darts - Although this is not technically a sport, there is a very popular darts league amongst the local pub.
  • Fishing - This ranges from stickle-backing in West Park to various organised competitions along the canal and at Thorne. Barry's of Goole (with a branch in Leeds and elsewhere) was a big organiser of these tournaments, but they recently closed down.
  • Football - As well as Goole AFC, there is a very healthy Sunday League competition.
  • Golf - Boothferry Golf Course situated at Spaldington provides a good 18-hole green so long as it's not rained recently.
  • Motorcycling - As with cycling, the flat countryside is ideal for motorbikes. The local motorcycling club (the "Wobbly-Goolies") meets at the Macintosh Arms pub. Goole also boasts a world sidecar champion rider.
  • Pub Quizzes - Every pub has one. To win, simply buy the Daily Mirror and watch Fifteen-to-One the day before taking part.
  • Rugby Union - The rugby club has moved from Murham Avenue to a new factory-like site off Westfield Banks. There is a very popular Sunday League.
  • Street-Fighting - Not really a sport, but a common pastime nevertheless. These events were hosted down Aire Street on weekend nights. Audience participation was welcome at any time.
  • Swimming - Goole Baths may have closed, but the swimming pool at the Leisure Centre is the place to go for swimming. There is also a swimming club based in the town.
  • Tennis - Goole has a brand-new tennis centre off Westfield Banks, but there are also facilities at West Park and Vermuyden School if you nip over the fence.
  • Trainspotting - This seems to be the most popular pastime for Goole Youth nowadays. There's always a large number of youths congregating at the station each night wearing strange coats looking for new engine numbers for their books.


Visitor Comments

Posted by Andy on 15/07/2005

"Lots of pub teams take part in the sport." There is not one pub cricket team in Goole, though there are many pub football teams. Just Goole Town CC and Goole firemen.

Posted by Laura on 09/05/2006

Street fighting in Goole, how utterly shocking!

Posted by Phooky on 05/05/2007

Something worth a mention (usually every week) is the incredible "West Riding Sunday Trophy" was won by local pub side Woodlands Raiders in 2003. A Goole side winning this cup is as hard as Scotland winning the world cup. I can't see it ever happening again. Well done lads!

Posted by Gary on 29/10/2008

Way back in the dark ages, early- to middle-1970s, I was instrumental, in a small way, in the formation of what was supposed to become the mecca of minority sports in and around Goole. I refer to an amalgamation of the Goole Judo club, the Goole Weightlifting club and the Goole Boxing club. Needless to say, it was an uphill, against the tide, battle from the outset, but nevertheless, we went ahead. Due in no small part to the then leading lights of the three clubs. Frank Askew, Sam Siddown, et moi, from the Judo club; Dennis Philpot and Bill Sutton from the weight lifting club and Kenny Dawson, who represented the Boxing club. We cannot forget the tireless efforts of the late Jim Crowe, who kept the dream alive for so long, representing all three factions.

We were known collectively as the Goole and District Physical Training Association, and for a while, all went well. We raised funds through various means and managed to build, against great odds, a training hall behind the Goole Town football stands in the Victoria Pleasure Grounds. We further expanded to include a Karate club, a first for Goole, and again, things went well for a short time. However, due to infighting and interference from various Johny-come-latelies, the ideal began to crumble. First the Judo club, which had contributed the most, decided to cut its losses and move. The success of John Burkhill, who relocated the Judo club to the Goole Leisure Centre, proves that this was not a bad move. The Karate club, who had contributed next to nothing were the next to move, so they were not really missed. The boxing club, which one would have thought would be the most successful never actually got off the ground, despite Kenny's passion. This left the weightlifting fraternity who, in all fairness, kept the ship afloat. The last I heard, an eternity ago, the whole 100ft x 30ft building was given over to the iron pumping crowd. Kowabunga!

After all this, is the building still there, and if so, what is it used for now? I would be pleased to hear from anyone who, whether involved or not, could shed some light on this. I would imagine that the building is still there, as it could be converted to almost anything. Over and out.

Posted by Tom on 26/04/2012

Regarding the original boxing and weight lifting club Back in the 1960s it was located in an upstairs building facing the pleasure grounds about the size of a large two story garden shed. Then the main stay of the club was that ever green "Goole's oldest teenager" Kenny Dawson. I used it for fitness training as a member of the Goole athletics club run by the late Cliff Glasby, along with my friend Norman Prentice who I believe still lives in Goole. It was very old and we often wondered if it would fall down whilst we were in it! I'm afraid that's as much as I remember of it. There was one other chap who was into Karate or Judo, unfortunately I do not remember his name.

Posted by Geoff on 29/04/2012

I did not have anything to do with the club you speak about, but while working for British Telecom at Goole, a colleague of mine called Jim Crow was a long-time member of the club. Was this the man you cannot remember?

By the way, my wife can recall you when she worked at the Goole Times, when you dropped articles in for the paper.

Posted by Tom on 02/05/2012

Yes I used to be at the Goole Times a lot, Ernie Butler was the editor and Mike Marsh used to take the reports of the athletics results. Jim Crow rings a bell but cannot remember the face. Apologies to your wife but cannot remember the ladies at the Goole Times. Mind you I was only 16! Still running albeit a great deal slower and wrinkly.

Posted by Graham on 27/08/2010

Who remembers Boothferry Road Junior School playing in the schools cup final at the Pleasure Grounds against Kingsway in around 1967-69 and beating them 3-2? Great time afterwards with a trip to cinema to see James Bond in OHMS and then a trip to the chippy/cafe across from the Police Station. Kev Price was in goal for Boothferry Road Junior School. Great days, fantastic times in Goole.

Posted by Paul on 01/10/2010

Played in the same competition for Boothferry Road School in about 1954 when we drew 0 - 0 with Old Goole at the Pleasure Grounds. Also had fish and chips near the Clock Tower.

Posted by Bill on 02/11/2011

There was a street game that we played in the late-1950s called "Eggity Budge" or something like that. Unfortunately I can't remember what it involved, other than running around frantically. Maybe others of my generation remember it.

Posted by Denise S on 05/11/2011

I think "Eggity Budge" was a game where one child threw a ball in the air and the others in the game ran round like maniacs, the ball thrower shouted someone's name and they then had to get the ball. Once they had got the ball they shouted "Eggity budge" and everyone had to freeze and the kid with the ball threw it (usually as hard as they could) at one of the children. You weren't allowed to move or you were a "bad egg".

Posted by Geoff on 11/05/2012

Talking about the Athletics club do you remember a John Slater, used to go to Selby Technical School with John? My wife's brother-in-law was Bill Drakely, someone l am sure you will recall.

Posted by Tom on 14/05/2012

John lived at the top of Kent Road, I lived half way down at 37 and I still have a picture of some of the athletics club members including Bill in the photo. John was always very quiet and a bit of a loner as I recall, but we got on well. Often wonder where they all are today. Only ever met one person Gavin Ash whilst on a Med cruise, he was the ship's engineering captain. Stranger still, my wife is from St. Petersburg and we met someone she knew in Manchester and they were living in Edinburgh Street, a far cry from the very beautiful city in Russia.

Posted by Tom on 13/05/2016

Back in 1967ish I held the record for the fastest run between Boothferry Bridge and the Hook pub (name cannot remember) near the road junction.

Posted by Corby on 15/12/2016

The only sport that I was involved in was cycle racing. For three years I was a member of the Goole Wheelers. I was nothing special but looking back we were a fearless bunch. For not many members in my day even had gears to descend hills like Rudston Walk, Wass Bank and Sutton Bank. You took your life in your hands with feet tied in tight to the pedals and a fixed wheel (no freewheeling). Happy days.

Posted by Tom on 28/12/2016

I remember Norman Walsh a prolific cyclist and our coalman back in the 1960s. I was a member of Goole Harriers and when Norman delivered our coal we would exchange our stories of events of the week previous. Also a lad I was at school with, Brian Rose, was also a very good Wheeler. Later, in the RAF, I was to join a group of four and cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats for charity. Not my best event sore for days afterwards. But great fun at the time.

Posted by Roy on 06/03/2017

I remember the relay run from Goole to York and back delivering a message from the Mayor of Goole to the Mayor of York? If I remember rightly I had to run on the spot just outside York (Fulford) as the Mayor was having his lunch and wasn't expecting us so soon. Happy days.

Posted by Tom on 20/03/2017

Came to Goole a couple of weeks ago when someone from the Park Run got in touch. Very different park to the one I remember. The run was to York and back correct. Running days well and truly over. Paid a heavy price for running so many years. Knees ankles hips all shot to bits along with the back. My wife can run faster than me, mind you that's not difficult these days.

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