Lads' Club, Beeston - 1952/53 Football Team

Lads Club 1952/53 Football Team

Back Row (L to R) : Rex Johnson, Brian Preston, Tom Star, Gerald Gibson, Ray Northridge, Malcolm Scott and Alerick (Trig) Denham
Seated (L to R) : Mr. Pears, John Belton, Geoff Shaw, Roy Humberstone, Jeff Oxley, Mick Gough, Tony Hudson and Mr. Morris

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Thanks to Brian Preston for offering the photograph and given the above names and giving the memories which follow

This team won the League and Shield in 1952/53, losing only one game, and even beating an Ericsson team in the Charity Cup before losing to the eventual winners. Brian recalls the amazing experience for the team, when several bus loads of people went to the Boots Sports Fields to watch the cup final versus Dakeyne St. There were people four and five deep all around the pitch.

This success by a Lads' Club side, ended the long drought which followed the phenomenal success of its team that played two victorious seasons during World War 2. Thought by some to be one of the best junior sides ever assembled, they took all before them. By the time of their second season they were on the look-out for worthy opposition and even Nottingham Forest and Notts County accepted the challenge. In turn, Billy Walker's Forest side were beaten and County was devastated by being beaten 10-0 - and prompted offered to sign virtually the whole team !

Unfortunately, no photograph has emerged so far of this amazing team - but most of the names are recalled by Brian Preston :
In goal originally was Bryn Elliott but he was placed by Watts, originally a full back, when he went into the Forces. After the War, Elliott is believed to have played for Southampton.
Frank Allcock played at full back before service with the Royal Navy and going on to play for Bristol Rovers.
At half back was "Tanner" Allen who went on to play for Notts County before becoming a succesful local businessman.
Roland Wheatley went into the Forces and was replaced by Fred Hall who had played previously for Long Eaton Albion and later went into the Merchant Navy and then moved to Canada where he founded and ran an engineering company.
Other members of the squad included Ken Frost, Bridgewater, Jack Shaw, Billy Smith, H Simpson, F Lofthouse, George Wisher (who went on to be a referee), Mick Mellors, Roy Prentice and Bill Clarke

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Rex Johnson Brian Preston Tom Star Gerald Gibson Ray Northridge Malcolm Scott Alerick (Trig) Denham Mr Pears John Belton Geoff Shaw Roy Humberstone Jeff Oxley Mick Gough Tony Hudson Mr Morris