Schools champions of 60 years ago
WE turn the clock back 60 years with these images of schoolboy footballers who were used to winning ways.
The pictures come to us from David Cookson of Amblecote, Stourbridge, and they are taken from the 1958-59 handbook of the Brierley Hill, Sedgley and Tipton Schools Football Association. The photographs are of the previous season’s league champions and the representative teams that were drawn from schools across the FA’S area.
For the 1957-58 season the senior boys’ league had been divided into two zones. The Brierley Hill League was made up of Audnam, Bent Street, Brierley Hill Grammar, Kingswinford, Pensnett and Quarry Bank. The Sedgley and Tipton League was competed by Dormston, Manor, Park Lane, Robert Street, Tipton Grammar and Willingsworth.
Our first picture shows the boys of Audnam County Secondary Modern School who were the Brierley Hill League Champions. They played 10, won 8, drew 1 and lost 1, scoring 56 goals and conceding 25. On the back row, from left, are: Barnsley, Cartwright, K. Cotterill, Stan Hill (wellknown Black Country historian), Frank Gregg (went on to make 393 League appearances for Walsall FC), Wale, Harvey and M. Cotterill. At the front are: Hill, Longville, Bishop (captain), Southall and Green.
The annual report states, “The Sedgley, Tipton League was won by Park Lane who won all ten of their matches with the amazing goal average of 16 to 1. In addition Park Lane Under 14s won the Lower Gornal Cup, which seems to point to the school being a strong force next season also.”
In our picture of the senior team, on the back row we have: Mr D. Hughes, J. Oakley, F. Barnes, P. Baker, D. Butler, J. Smith, G. Halford and Mr W. Miles. Front row: N. Randell, M. Hartland, A. Goodwin (captain), B. Whitehouse and T. Bradley.
The Brierley Hill Under 14s League was won by Kingswinford while Tipton Grammar were champions of the Sedgley and Tipton Under 14s.
The Junior League was also divided into two areas. The Country League was made up of Brook, Glynne, Launswood Road, Pensnett C of E, Portway, Red Hall, St Mary’s and Wall Heath C of E, with Red Hall the league champions.
In the Town League the schools were Brockmoor, Hawbush Road, Mill Street, Mount Pleasant, Pensnett (Bromley), Quarry Bank, Queen Victoria, Robert Street and Tudor (Upper Gornal), with Queen Victoria the champions.
Our third photograph (bottom left) shows the senior area team, featuring the best players from various schools. On the back row: Mr G.E. Pearson, G. Newton, B. Sproson, R. Jefferies, E. Sherwood, B. Kinsey, T. Flavell and Mr D.L. Jones. Kneeling at the front: M. Cotterill, A. Baker, B. Rushton, N. Ashe and L. Page.
The boys finished the season with some silverware: “The Area team had quite a successful season, ending with the winning of the Staffordshire Leckie Shield.
“The first competition match of the season – the first round of the ESFA Trophy – ended very disappointingly as the team lost 1-0 to North Worcs – despite having 75% of the play. The point that it is goals that win matches was certainly driven home, for in all the subsequent matches the net was found on an average four times per match.
“The highlight of the season was undoubtedly the defeat away from home of the very powerful S.E. Staffs side in the semi final of the Leckie Shield. The final winning of this trophy against Wolverhampton by 2-1, was also a very great struggle. The defeat by Cannock by 6-4 in the quarter final of the B&D competition was a big disappointment especially as the team were two goals in the lead after only 10 minutes.”
Our last picture is of the Country League Area Team. Back row: Mr M. Kinsella, J. Parker, R. Horton, B. Jones, R. Whitehouse, B. Corfield, C. Pickett and Mr G. Yardley. Middle row: B. Carroll, B. Pagett, B. Tomlinson, K. Hudson, D. Fellows and G. Edwards. Front row: R. Scott, M. Shakespeare, A. Marsh (captain), K. Brown and R. Jones.
They too picked up a trophy: “This year the two Area sides were most unlucky in being drawn against each other in the first round of the Weddell Cup. That there is little to pick and choose between the two leagues, was proved by the fact that before a decision could be reached, three matches had to be played which involved extra time on two occasions. Eventually the Country League team emerged the winners.
“Due to these extra matches, the Country League team then had a further spate of three matches within a week.
“Tipton were the opponents in the semi final, and again two matches plus extra time had to be played before the victors were found, and once again the Country League side triumphed. After only one day’s respite they met Darlaston, but far from being leg-weary they defeated them although conceding much in height and weight. Those who watched the final were loud in praise of the skill shown an declared the Country League side worthy winners of the trophy.” ■ Did you play for your school football team? Have you any photographs of the time? Please share your memories with Bugle readers: email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, give us a call on 01384 889000, write to us, or pay us a visit at the Black Country Bugle, Dudley Archives and Local History Centre, Tipton Road, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 4SQ.
Brierley Hill Sedgley and Tipton Schools FA Senior team 1957-58
BHST Schools FA - Country League Team with the Weddell Cup
Audnam Council Secondary Modern - Brierley Hill Schools Senior League Champions 1957-58
Park Lane School senior XI - Sedgley and Tipton Schools Senior League champions 1957-58