Family comes first for Craig, but it means Midgley boss will miss cup final

Clash of dates: Midgley boss Craig Gee will be thousands of miles away when his side plays in the cup final
Clash of dates: Midgley boss Craig Gee will be thousands of miles away when his side plays in the cup final
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Midgley United’s long-serving boss Craig Gee is wishing he could be in two places at once next month.

The date of United’s long-awaited Challenge Cup final appearance at the Shay has been revealed - Wednesday, May 13.

But Gee will be in Italy on that date, giving away his daughter Lauren in marriage.

“The final could have been on any other day and it would have been okay,” said Gee, whose side will play the winners of the delayed Warley Rangers versus Northowram game.

“It’s a bit disappointing but that’s life!”

It will be Midgley’s first final appearance in Gee’s eight-year stint at the helm, but his daughter comes first and assistant boss Jonny Cockroft will be in charge at FC Halifax Town’s home ground.

There was some good news for the Midgley club in the announcement of the cup final details as it was confirmed that the Invitation Cup final would also take place at the Shay this year.

The lower divisions’ showpiece game, in which Midgley Reserves will meet their Ryburn counterparts on Wednesday, May 6, has often been held at a club ground in recent years.

Gee said: “It’s great that both teams are down the Shay.

“I think every local final should be down there. It’s a big thing for the lads - it makes it more special.”

Gee, meanwhile, is starting to get some of his long-term injured back into action.

Joe Gibson, out for four months with knee trouble, and Andrew Butterworth, who has had a broken bone in his foot, both returned in last Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Northowram.

Both came through okay and striker Tom Booth was having the pot off his troublesome ankle this week. If he trains without a reaction he is expected to face title hopefuls Ryburn United on Saturday.

Champions Ryburn have come from nowhere to be in contention again, crushing rivals Stump Cross 7-2 last Saturday after being 2-0 down.

Gee has written off his side’s title hopes but said: “We’ll try to win on Saturday and see what happens.

“But whoever wins the title will be the best of a bad bunch as far as I am concerned because they will have lost four or five games.”