This team photograph for the 1962 - 63 football season of the Field Lane Under 16s brings back memories of my own teenage years in football. Some readers may have happy memories of their own footballing days at school.
I knew I was never destined for the big time, in fact I would have been pleased to have sneaked into the small time. But as the right back, that was a defender in those far off days, my role was to prevent the opposing forwards from scoring. The general idea was this was to be through clever marking and slick tackling.
This was the era of the legendary Denis Law and George Best, we had equally great football stars on both our estate and local school. But my role as a full back was never to match the skills of Ray Wilson or George Cohen. In fact it was suggested on more than one occasion my best position would have been left back... yes I soon got the message, ‘left back in the shed’.
I finally realised it was time to hang my boots up, or better still according to some so called team mates chuck them away. This day came when our goalie Mick Brayshaw, a legend bowler for the St Chad’s School cricket team and a goalie who I am sure would have matched Chelsea’s Peter (The Cat) Bonnetti for his goal keeping skills at our school level. Upset, is not the word, I had failed to both mark or use any slick tackling to prevent the opposition putting a goal past him. Promptly he ran out and in a friendly almost play fighting way duff me up. I was not hurt and we both ended up in stitches laughing about it.
After that day I did chuck the boots away. Sadly, my old team mate Mick passed away a few years ago, but I for one still remember those days when he was, ‘The Cat’.
The lads in this photograph include; back row (left to right) Lockwood (vice captain), Shaw, Miller, Pearson, Thomson and V. Wild (Manager). Front Row: Ford, Wilson, Stables, Prest (Captain), Tattersall and Platts.
Many of these lads will be well now passed their best playing days. But like my own generation of footballing hopefuls they too would have all look towards their football heroes and considered just for a fleeting moment. ‘Maybe, just maybe, I too could make the big time’.