Harold Mather

Harold Mather

Kettering Town manager from June 1957 to January 1958.

Harold MatherHarold Mather was appointed manager of Kettering Town for the start of the 1957-58 season and immediately set about the task of rebuilding the squad after the departure of Tommy Lawton saw just five regular first teamers left at Rockingham Road.

Mather, an ex-Burnley full-back, moved quickly to strengthen the depleted Poppies squad by signing ex-Cobblers trio, Bill Draper, Maurice Marston and Hughie Morrow. The new manager’s tenure got off to a bad start in the league and despite a 4-1 home victory over Stamford in the FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round, the short trip to close neighbours Corby Town for the 2nd Qualifying Round ended in a 3-1 defeat.

Mather’s ill-fortune continued and with just 3 wins from 13 league matches, Kettering languished in 20th position and by October any hope of repeating the previous season’s title-winning campaign had well and truly vanished. The club’s fortunes finally changed during the following month with the arrival of another former England player to Rockingham Road, ex-Portsmouth and Leicester City captain, Jack Froggatt.

Jack FroggattFroggatt’s transfer fee of £6,000 created a record for a non-league club at that time and he was duly appointed player-coach, with Mather still retained as Poppies manager. Froggatt’s arrival proved to be a critical turning point on the field and his inspirational attitude served as a springboard for Kettering’s survival fightback.

Unfortunately, the ongoing situation at the club, with Mather as manager but Froggatt signed as player-coach, eventually became unworkable and consequently led to the former’s resignation at the turn of the New Year and not surprisingly he was immediately succeeded by Froggatt taking over as player-manager of Kettering Town.