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Note that this page is from our Gresley Rovers archive. It may not be related to the new Gresley Rovers (formerly Gresley FC until 2020).
Story posted: Friday, 29th January 1988

Rovers face a South Derbys keeper in Vase
Story courtesy of
Fate has spanned the Pennines to bring Gresley Rovers face-to-face with a near neighbour in the next round of the FA Vase.
For although Gresley face Huddersfield-based Emley in their sixth round Moat Ground clash a week tomorrow, in goal for the visitors will be a player who, astonishingly, lives just a few miles down the road from the Moat Ground.

Long serving keeper Ray Dennis is nothing less than a South Derbyshire lad, having moved to Melbourne 18 months ago for work reasons.

And even more incredibly the 30-year-old Dennis – who now lives in Shardlow – actually plays in the same Long Eaton Sunday side as Rovers full back Martin Dick!

“Yes, it’s quite a draw,” Dennis admitted this morning after helping his team to a daunting 6-0 win in last night’s replay against Southern League Bridgnorth. “I haven’t actually seen Rovers play but I’ve heard all about them from Martin. He tells me they’re a good side but we’re confident. We’ll be bringing a lot of supporters and it should be a good game.”

Dennis revealed that it was more than loyalty that tied him to the club he joined 11 seasons ago.

“We had a great run in the Vase last season and reached the semis before losing to St Helens, who went to Wembley. I must admit it was the prospect of going all the way this time that kept me there.”

Dennis, who works for a Derby motor parts company, has established a fearsome reputation as one of the north’s top non-league keepers and, as well as playing for Huddersfield Town Reserves, was on the point of making his Football League debut for Halifax last season until Emley stepped in to block the loan deal because they didn’t want their player cup-tied!

Dennis swallowed that disappointment and made up for it with a fair slice of FA Vase glory. Now he’s determined to taste success again – to Gresley Rovers’ cost!
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