50 years on they’re still the plucky losers!
IT HAS been 50 years since this group of men earned the title of ‘champion losers’ at school thanks to their dreadful record as an under-10s football team.
Ageing members of the original squad, which ended the 1973 season without a single win, overcame aches and pains for a reunion match last weekend... and promptly lost again.
The 6-2 result will not have come as a surprise to the players, who were facing a team largely made up of their children.
The former Downham Feoffees Primary School under-10s have met up to play every ten years since their ignominious record became national news in their youth.
They have yet to taste victory.
Speaking of the latest defeat, organiser and midfielder Keith Missin, 60, said: ‘I think we were given the goals. The ref was on our side, he was the brother of one of our players.
‘We’re all about 60. [At one stage] I could see the ball coming over and I wanted to run, I had it in my mind what I wanted to do, but I just couldn’t do it.’
Another player, Brian King, who travelled from the US to take part, joked: ‘We are very consistent.’
The team were originally put together by Tony Hurlin, headmas
ter of the school in the Cambridgeshire village of Little Downham.
They played around a dozen matches in their green and white striped shirts but got thrashed every time, though their enthusiasm remained undiminished.
After they attracted attention in the national news, they were handed replica England squad strips and offered tickets to an old First Division match between Arsenal and Manchester City.
Mr Missin, a plumber who still lives in Little Downham, said: ‘We never thought, “What’s the point?” It was about playing and running around and enjoying ourselves. Our hearts were in it all the time.’
There is already talk of a 2033 reunion – although Mr Missin predicted that his squad, aged 70 by then, would have the agility of Subbuteo players.
‘They have yet to taste victory’