Hope Tav­ern lads came out of re­tire­ment to win the league

Black Country Bugle - - YOUR LETTERS - Wayne Beach, Kid­der­min­ster

THE Hope Tav­ern foot­ball team shown in the Bu­gle of De­cem­ber 12 was in­deed from the pub at Cin­der Bank, Nether­ton.

The ma­jor­ity of us were ex-hill Tav­ern, Kates Hill, Dud­ley, play­ers who had fin­ished play­ing af­ter win­ning every­thing in the Dud­ley and Cradley Heath League in­clud­ing the pres­ti­gious Dud­ley Guest Hos­pi­tal Cup, and our man­ager Ray Tur­ley re­tired from manag­ing the team and be­gan ref­er­ee­ing and joined the D&CH League Com­mit­tee.


We were tempted to play again whilst in our late 30s be­cause we missed the game and the friend­ship so much, and were all eas­ily con­vinced by Fred and Gary White­house who both also played for The Hill Tav­ern FC pre­vi­ously and took over manag­ing the new side. They both missed the in­volve­ment of Sun­day foot­ball, Fred ac­tu­ally played a few games for the new side!

The League, when we ap­plied to join, I think felt a bit sorry for us due to our ages and put us in Divi­sion 6 to be­gin with, we did how­ever win the league quite com­fort­ably with­out ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a de­feat!

They then put us in Divi­sion 3, due to other teams com­plain­ing we were too old and too good, we again won the league, on then to Divi­sion 2 where we won the league again, we fin­ished up in the Premier League and reached the Dud­ley Guest Hos­pi­tal Cup fi­nal, which we had won eleven years ear­lier, un­for­tu­nately los­ing nar­rowly this time. By now we were mostly well into our 40s with a few in their 50s!

I hope other play­ers will be con­tact­ing you with more in­for­ma­tion be­cause there are two peo­ple in the pho­to­graph whose real names I am un­sure of.

The pic­ture I be­lieve was ei­ther the first game we played or def­i­nitely one of the early games. Stand­ing, from left: Ref­eree for the game Keith Din­g­ley, Man­agers Fred and Gary White­house, Bob (I think), Wayne Beach, Dave James (he trav­elled ev­ery Sun­day from his home in Bris­tol to play), Greg Port­man (his dad and un­cle played for The Hill Tav­ern), Harry Yard­ley (who played in the same team as me for al­most 40 years, from ju­nior school un­til we even­tu­ally stopped play­ing), Fred Jones (helped ev­ery home game putting up nets, mark­ing the pitch, etc.) Carl Dekin, John White (must have been in­jured at the time of the pho­to­graph).

Kneel­ing: Dave Bur­rows (fa­ther of Dave Bur­rows jnr who played for Al­bion, Liver­pool, Ever­ton and West Ham), Paul O’neil (Jonjo!), Richard Green (Tichy), Paul Guest, Dean Sey­mour, Mick Dunn, Wayne Wilkes, Tarter (for­got­ten his real name).

Re­ally good to re­mem­ber, a few of us remain in reg­u­lar con­tact but sadly not all !

The Hope Tav­ern lads had a very im­pres­sive ca­reer

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