Robins and NPL joins football family in signing mentally healthy football declaration.

The Northern Premier League has welcomed a joint Declaration from the UK football family signifying its support for building a mentally healthy environment at every level of the game, as a lasting legacy of the Heads Up campaign.

The NPL has long championed mental health awareness through their partnership with Andy’s Man Club, and will be supporting the season-long Heads Up campaign.

The Mentally Healthy Football Declaration will see all of UK football recognising that mental health is as important as physical health, and pioneering a ‘team approach’ on this important issue. The UK football family will build on the important work that clubs and football organisations are already doing, working together to roll out these efforts across the football system, share best practice, and support the development of ‘mentally healthy clubs’ at every level of the game.

Following an unprecedented season for football, mental health issues are more relevant than ever. Through the Declaration, football has committed to working together to embed an environment across all of UK football:

• Where players and staff are encouraged to look after their mental health just as they look after their physical health;
• where they feel able to spot the signs that they, a team-mate or colleague might be struggling and know where to access support;
• and where speaking out about mental health is seen as a sign of strength rather than weakness.

The Declaration will see us form a UK-wide mental health implementation group next season, working towards a collective ‘game plan’ for the first time to ensure the mental health of players, staff, managers, coaches and officials is prioritised across the game.

NPL chairman Mark Harris said: “We are committed to raising awareness of mental health and supporting the people and communities associated with our clubs and beyond. Football provides a great platform to sign-post and support the progress made, encouraging people to look after their mental health and take care of those around them. This is a fantastic initiative that brings together the whole of football, and follows on from our links with the excellent Andy’s Man Club.”

Chairman and Head of Football Mark Clifford welcomes the news from the league and said “The news from the FA and NPL today fits perfectly with the football clubs ethos. As a football club we pride ourselves on supporting our players, staff and officials mental health as well as their physical health. We are in the final stages of establishing a Foundation that will address mental health among other key health issues our communities are facing”


On this day in 2017, Ilkeston Town FC played their first ever game, a friendly away to Underwood Villa.

Who would’ve known what would come next. Two promotions, one league title and many memorable games later, the new Robins are now preparing for their fourth campaign.

But before we get onto this season, there are a few memorable games we have to cover first.

Our first season saw us finish runners-up to title winners Walsall Wood, a really strong outfit. Although the Robins picked up all six points available from the two games between the sides that season, Walsall Wood looked unstoppable at the top of the table.

A 3-2 home win, after going behind, saw the Robins go top of the table in early January 2018. Then in the last game of the season, Ilkeston put four past The Wood on the road to take all three points and finish the season on a high.

The Robins’ second season ended with a unforgettable 8-1 away win to secure the Midland Football League Premier Division title on the last day of the season, a game seen as the most memorable for many Robins fans.

Although last season ended prematurely, we saw many memorable matches. The game at Leek Town away, although finishing in defeat and with just nine Robins on the field, really showed the Robins supporters what potential the team had and how hard they are willing to work against a very good outfit.

Loughborough Dynamo at home, a 5-0 win in front of 500+ supporters at the NMG, was the biggest win for the Robins in the now null and void 2019/20 season.

Then Leek Town came to Ilkeston. The hosts produced an impressive and hard-fought 2-0 win, a result the Robins supporters had witnessed nine years prior when Ilkeston FC put two past Leek to gain promotion via the play-off final.

With the new season expected to start on September 19, we as always would like to thank the Ilkeston supporters for their magnificent backing and we can’t wait to welcome you back to the New Manor Ground when it is safe to do so.



Ilkeston Town have appointed former Nottingham Forest and Celtic star Kelvin Wilson to their coaching staff.

Wilson, 34, who once played a key role in marshalling Lionel Messi as Celtic beat Barcelona in the Champions League, has joined the Robins primarily as a defensive coach.

However, it is hoped he may also form part of the team on the pitch, having had a break of three years from the game since leaving Rotherham United.

Ilkeston manager Martin Carruthers said: “Kelvin’s a top guy and a great player.

“He has achieved so much in the game and it’s fantastic that he wants to share his knowledge with us at Ilkeston.

“We have known him for several years and feel it’s a great opportunity for him to develop his coaching skills and see if coaching and management is where he sees himself in the next few years.

“Having played for both Forest and Notts County it will be a huge boost to the fans that we can attract someone of the calibre of Kelvin who has played at the very top level of the game.

“He will help both myself and Wayne [Hallcro] develop a solid defensive unit that will help us keep lots of clean sheets this season.”


NEWS | Kole Lambert re-signs ahead of the 2020/21 season.

After an impressing finish to this season Kole Lambert re-signs for the Robins. The young energetic forward joined The Robins during the 2019/20 season after previously playing for Basford United and more recently Norwich City.

Kole made 8 appearances for the club this season scoring 5 times, two of them goals against table toppers Leek Town.

Manager Martin Carruthers said “I’m delighted to retain the services of Kole Lambert. There is so much more to come from him and once the season gets started I’m sure we will see a different player. Kole had just started to find some form and confidence leading up to the lockdown, but we know we can unlock that potential and get the fans buzzing with his goals and finesse.A huge thank you to Dave, Mark & Andrew who have backed myself and Wayne in putting this fantastic squad together. We are almost there and there maybe one or two additions to get us ready to hit the ground running.”


Ilkeston have beaten off competition from several National League North clubs to sign prolific forward Nat Watson.
Watson has been a top player in the Northern Premier League for a long time and is highly-rated throughout the divisions, scoring 72 times over the last three seasons.
He was signed by Basford United on a two-year-deal in 2018 for an undisclosed record fee from Coalville Town, and has been named three times in the NPL team of the year in the last four seasons.
Robins head of football Mark Clifford said: “Watson was a key target for us a long time ago and get get him over the line is really pleasing.
“The squad is really taking shape and the newly-released additions give us goals, experience and will certainly entertain the Ilson fans”.
Manager Martin Carruthers added:  “Nat is not just a great player, you only have to look at his stats to see this, but he is also a great lad. He will fit right in with the group that we have retained and brought in.”


James Reid has made the switch and will return home to the New Manor Ground. Following spells with Gainsborough Trinity and more recently Basford United, Reid is a left footed midfielder and forward player. Reid turned down the opportunity to re-sign for Basford over a return to a club close to his heart.

Reid said the following on his return to The Robins, “I made the decision that I was going to move on from Basford. I had three great seasons at the club under Martin, Cliffy and more recently Chetts.”

“I know what this club can achieve and the new ownership led by Cliffy and backed by the Investors means we are going to be challenging for promotion and I wanted to be a part of that”. Said Reid

Head of Football Mark Clifford said “ We’re extremely happy to have acquired the quality and experience of Reidy. We took him to Basford and got him enjoying his football again, the rest is history. He was at the top end of a long list of players we wanted to bring to the New Manor Ground and I’m sure the fans will be excited to see him in an Ilkeston shirt again.

Manager Carruthers said “ I’m absolutely delighted to have secure Reid. It is a top signing for the club and a real statement of intent that shows we mean business this season. Reidy is a quality player who will add much needed creativity and guile to an already talented squad. I have no doubt the supporters will be over the moon to see him back at the New Manor Ground.”



As part of the football development at Ilkeston Town FC we will be running a u23 team for the coming season 2020/21.

The team will be managed by Anthony Spencer who will also head up the Academy. Anthony has developed a very successful group of young players who currently play in step 7 of the football pyramid and with a team of 16,17,18 year olds have occupied the top 3 spots in the league this season. We have already seen at first hand the some if the quality the team has among its ranks with Rico Spencer, Mitchel Tait and Ayleal Dill all playing for Ilkeston in the friendly V Chesterfield, Dill also went on to make several appearances for our first team.

Spencer added “As the head coach of the u23’s I feel it is my role too get these young men ready for first team football. physically and mentally.I’m here too make this happen. We will be training hard, playing top teams all while following the ethos of our first team. As a team we hope too be playing as a unit, climbing the pyramid towards the first team. On a personal note I’d like to be able to say I sent 2 or 3 players up to our first team being the Head of our academy also gives me opportunity too watch these players too as everyone has a chance too impress.

This talented young team will work closely alongside our first team thanks to our Head of Football Mark Clifford and First Team manager Martin Carruthers, and will be a pathway into the first team.

Head Of Football Mark Clifford had the following to say on the new u23’s side ” I have known Anthony for over 30 years, his passion for developing young players cannot be questioned, Anthony has a good network to ensure that we continue to attract the best young players in our region we will ensure that the pathway into the first team is an achievable goal for any player that shows the attributes and potential needed. We have a first team manager that isn’t afraid to use young players and will get the transition for this right”.

“My role as Head Of Football is to ensure that we are producing players for the first team, the Academy and U23 teams are a vital part of the machine if we are achieve the goals that i and the Investors are aiming for in the next 5 years. The Academy through to first team will play the same way to ensure that moving through the teams is as seamless as possible”.

First team manager Carruthers said ” I am excited and really looking forward to the new U23 side and the opportunities it will bring not only to the talented young players who will be participating, but to the football club and it’s fantastic supporters. Along with the academy these teams will be integral to the future success of the football club and its owners. My philosophy has always been one of development of local young players who will sweat blood and tears for this football club. That’s the minimum the supporters require and with the investment and commitment of Dave, Andy and Mark they will want to see exciting young players come to the fore in the coming years”

“I’d like to think I gave numerous opportunities to young players whilst at Basford and Quorn and not forgetting both Kole Lambert (Norwich) and Kimarni Smith (Sheffield Utd) who earned professional deals during my tenure. It will make mine and Wayne’s life so much easier knowing we can call on quality young players when needed to compliment what will be a high quality side. This will be critical in the younger players development when they will be getting regular opportunities not only to train with the 1st team squad but get regular appearances in a very good side. This will only facilitate their future development and we want to be the club known for giving youth an opportunity, but then developing them and hopefully becoming the next Che Adams! That’s the ultimate goal and we want the young players to aspire to progress through our junior sides, into our Academy and u23’s and into the 1st team and ultimately on to professional clubs. It is a fantastic time to be part of this special club and I can’t wait for pre season to start and work with high quality players.”

The incoming Head Coach for the team had said “This elite side will train hard, play a great brand of football and enjoy the experience of being an Ilkeston player. The team will be hosting invitational trials as soon as the footballing pre-season has the go ahead.”

These boys will need to show professionalism, commitment, loyalty and all attributes needed to play in a semi-professional environment.

If you think you have what it takes to be a part of the future of Ilkeston Town FC and are aged 16-22, playing high level grassroots football or have recently been released from an academy please send your footballing CV to



We would like to inform you that myself and the investors have made the difficult decision to suspend the 4g pitch installation for a twelve month period. This may come as no surprise to most of you during the current pandemic, but we felt it was necessary to confirm the reasons behind our decision.

The main factor in this decision is clearly the unavailability at present of contractors and suppliers due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Without clear guidelines as to when work could commence, along with the clubs strong ambitions and expectations for next season, we felt it was vital that after securing the clubs future off the pitch that we now focus on progressing on it.
We are adamant that the club should be fully prepared for the season ahead and simply will not allow any of Martins plans or the clubs pre season preparations to be hampered by any self inflicted delays or uncertainty.

All at the club strongly feel this is a sensible approach and that the decision has been made at the correct time.
We would like to strongly reiterate that this is a twelve month delay only with planning permission already granted.
There is a complete frustration felt by us all at the club.

On a more positive note the current grass pitch is receiving a full refurbishment at present and will certainly be completed in time for a hectic pre season, along with other works to be carried out around the stadium throughout the summer. These works will be less impactful should they not be completed in time for our pre season and updates will be provided as and when the works commence.
We are also in talks with both existing and targeted playing staff and expect forthcoming announcements to heighten the excitement for the 2020/21 season.

Thank you for your understanding and to you all, stay safe.

Mark Clifford



Signing on day for new Ilkeston Town Academy.

Today April 15th 2020 should have been our official signing on day for all our new 2020 intake. Today is the day we should have been showing them their new Academy kit, Getting too know name’s, learning the joker of the pack and finding out more about each other as individuals. But sadly, due to the current circumstances and with social distancing in place at present, everything has had to be done via the phone.

However, we do still have a limited number of place’s left for our 2020 intakes. If you fancy joining the 40 boys already signed up and spending 2 years with a great team of players, building friendships for life while learning the art of the beautiful game, as well getting a top class education at the same time please get in touch via the email

We hope everyone is staying safe during these tough times, please stay home and save lives.


Ilkeston Town FC have released their new home and away kits, which along with new training kits will be used across the club from the juniors u7’s to the first team.

The 2020/21 season sees the Robins partner with TAG Sportswear as their kit provider and Maxwell Cohen replace Precision Flow Screed as the club’s main sponsor and kit sponsor.

The home kit was designed using past Ilkeston colours, combining them right down to the gold piping in order to create a completely new brand. Ilkeston Investor David Hilton said: “The stripes will now form a big part of the club’s identity moving forward.”

The away kit was designed by Robins supporter Joe Bone after the club ran a competition asking supporters on social media to come up with their best designs. The club then chose their three top designs and put them to a vote on their social media pages. Joe saw his design win with the highest number of votes across all pages and will see the Robins play in his designed kit next season.

The new kits for the forthcoming season will showcase the new club crest for the first time. The crest was released in October 2019 and embraces both the future and the history of the football club. It also incorporates references to the town itself, even applying the town’s motto as the club’s own.

The new crest also references to the extremely important mining past of the town, with the New Manor Ground being located above an old mine itself. The foundation of the club at the end of World War Two and keeping the old logo within the crest are all highly significant attributes.

Head of Football Mark Clifford said “ These are very exciting times for the club and I know the amount of time that David spent researching the town and the club alike, there is an excellent range of kit from hoodies to polo shirts that will be available for all supporters to purchase and we expect these to go on general sale before the start of the season.