FEW managers have been in the position longer than Steeton boss Roy Mason.

Celebrating 15 years in charge of the Chevrons earlier this season, he will mark his 500th match at the helm against AFC Darwen on December 11, an achievement that leaves him second only to Bacup Borough’s Brent Peters as the longest-serving manager in the North West Counties Division One North.

From the club’s promotion to the NWCFL and semi-professional football in 2018, to the move to Marley late last year, Mason has overseen many milestones since taking over the top job in August 2006.

However, one particular memory stands out from his time at the helm – a remarkable run to the 2013/14 West Riding County Cup Final at Elland Road.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Steeton manager Roy Mason, pictured here with midfielder Tom Robinson, says he is enjoying his side’s entertaining style of play this season. Picture: Chris JonesSteeton manager Roy Mason, pictured here with midfielder Tom Robinson, says he is enjoying his side’s entertaining style of play this season. Picture: Chris Jones

“Before that, no Steeton side had ever been anywhere near reaching the final and in most seasons, we seemed to do well to get past the first round, but when we beat Oxenhope in the round before the quarter-finals I thought it could be our year,” he recalls.

The Chevrons comfortably saw off Brighouse Town Reserves in the next round to set up a semi-final tie at Goole, but it was a match that only went ahead due to the ability of both managers to calm a raucous crowd.

“We took two coach-loads of supporters and there were quite a lot of young lads who had brought a drum, and unbeknown to us, they had brought green flares into the ground.

"It kicked off a little with the Goole supporters, and at one stage, we wondered if the game was going to start.

“There was me and the Goole manager in with all these lads saying ‘calm down, calm down,’ and the County threatened to pull the game.”

But luckily for Steeton, the game went ahead, with Michael Rhodes converting a decisive penalty in a 1-0 win to send them to the final at Elland Road against Fields.

“I’ll never forget going onto the first bus, and before I said a word, the whole bus started chanting ‘Mason Mourinho’ and I had a tear in my eye. We were a village club, we had come from nowhere and I’d seen people with Steeton scarves on – we’d never produced Steeton scarves before.”


They received a hero’s welcome on their return to The Goat’s Head, bringing a lump to Mason’s throat at the sight of so much support for his village side.

But the Cup was not to return to Summerhill Lane, with the Chevrons overwhelmed by the venue and occasion in a heavy 5-2 defeat.

“When I look back, we were overawed by Elland Road, and as a club, we were happy just to have reached the County Cup Final. Unfortunately, when we got to the stadium, we froze as a team.”

Steeton collapsed in a disastrous opening 20 minutes, conceding four times, with three of those from the dangerous set-pieces Mason had warned his side about before kick-off.

Despite showing character to halve the deficit, an Andy Holden red card on the stroke of half-time, and a Matty Kershaw second-half dismissal saw the Chevrons fail to recover and finish the match with nine men.

But in spite of the result, Mason is one of few non-league managers to lead their sides to the famous stadium and looks back on the occasion with pride.

“In all the time I have been involved in football, the County Cup Final has only been held at Elland Road twice.

"To be sat in a dugout where so many famous managers have stood, in a stadium that is so steeped in history, is something as a kid you’d never think you’d be involved in.”

Following Saturday’s postponement, Steeton are in action at Marley Stadium in the league Nelson on Saturday (3pm kick-off).