MACCLESFIELD TOWN’s demise really preceded the pandemic, the club was on the brink and was pushed into the abyss after years of hurdles and obstacles. But there’s good news for their long-suffering fans in the form of phoenix club Macclesfield FC, who are set to make their bow in the North West Counties League in 2021-22.
Businessman Rob Smethurst bought the club with the aim of making it a genuine community organisation. Macclesfield, a town of 50,000 people, may find it aa challenge to sustain a Football League club, but there is plenty of scope for a successful non-league outfit. Since they first entered the Football League in 1997, the club struggled to get over 2,000 people into the Moss Rose and in 2019-20, their average was below that mark.
Perhaps rebirth may inject some fresh enthusiasm for the club? Greg Jackson of the rock/folk group Glass Ankle, has composed a song to try and drive support in the Silkmen. The song, Super Silkmen, is released on March 12 and is in the true spirit of football songs, passionate, anthemic and an attempt at inspiring patronage for the new club.
“It’s a rallying cry,” says Greg. “Football in the town has been saved and we want to move forward. It is our club and we need to stir up some pride in it.”
Sound engineer Greg has been a Macc fan since he was small, even having a stint as a ball boy at the Moss Rose, in the days when Sammy McIlroy was manager. “I was brought up a Manchester United fan, but I loved the community feel of Macclesfield Town and after regularly going to the club I was hooked. We need to get that togetherness feeling back, it is essential for the future of the club in my view.”
Glass Ankle is a musical project that Greg has been involved in for over a decade. The band has a Japanese influence thanks to Greg’s experiences of living in Japan and the involvement of keyboard player Chika Woodward.
Macclesfield’s new dawn has seen a few well known names throw their weight behind the cause. TV pundit and ballroom dancer (!) Robbie Savage, for example, has become director of football. Their manager is Danny Whitaker, a club legend (and Greg’s favourite ever player) whose association goes back to their first spell in the Football League.
Future plans for Macclesfield include a 4G pitch at the Moss Rose that can be used by the whole community, a sensible and forward-looking project. Greg hopes the phoenix club can quickly pick-up momentum, urged on by fans singing his anthem. “It’s always tough for Macc as we have so much competition close by. With the new ownership and a clean slate, we will be coming up with initiatives to build support,” he says. “I’m very positive.”
Super Silkman will be available on Spotify from March 12. Meanwhile, here’s a teaser video