Archive for May, 2009

Isthmian League 4-4 F.A. Amateur XI (02/10/54)

May 21, 2009

This match, staged to celebrate the Isthmian League’s golden jubilee, saw 4 Walthamstow players represent the Isthmian League (Gerula, Farrer, Lucas, Julian). Former Walthamstow player Vic Groves (now at Leyton Orient) played for the F.A.

The Times - Mon 4th Oct 1954 - Isthmian League Jubilee Game Report

The Times - Mon 4th Oct 1954 - Isthmian League Jubilee Game Report

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Great Britain 3-3 Bulgaria (12th May 1956)

May 21, 2009

A crowd of 30,000 watched one of the first evening games to played at Wembley;  a qualifying game for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Turning out for Great Britian in ths game were Avenue players L.T. (Tommy) Farrer (Captain) and Stan Prince.  Former Avenue player Jim Lewis (now at Chelsea) was also in the team.

Prince unfortunately scored an own goal, and Jim Lewis was fouled for and scored the penalty to make it 3-3.

Great Britian lost 5-3 on aggregate (having lost 2-0 in Sofia in October) but subsequent withdrawals from the tournament meant the British team was invited to make up the numbers in Melbourne. They were eventually eliminated by Bulgaria again!

The Times said Bulgaria “…bore the stamp of being too highly drilled, an automaton unable to extemporize or adjust itself to changing circumstances.”

Great Britian v Bulgaria. Olympic Games Qualifying Match at Wembey. 12th May 1956.

Great Britian v Bulgaria. Olympic Games Qualifying Match at Wembley. 12th May 1956.

Green Pond Road in 1987

May 16, 2009

Contributed by Steveb from the Tony Kempster forum. The main stand on March 30th 1987. The day Walthamstow Avenue lost 4-1 to Carshalton Athletic in front of 132 fans.

The Green Pond Road main stand in 1987

The Green Pond Road main stand in 1987

Amateurs who shook Old Trafford

May 15, 2009

By Ricky George
From The Daily Telegraph – 07 Jan 2005

Crowning glory: Jim Lewis (inset) scored against United in the replay after earning an Old Trafford draw

Crowning glory: Jim Lewis (inset) scored against United in the replay after earning an Old Trafford draw

As Nationwide Conference club Exeter City prepare for their dream FA Cup third-round tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford tomorrow, a sprightly 77-year-old by the name of Jim Lewis this week recalled the last occasion a non-League side visited the Theatre of Dreams in the old competition.

Lewis was centre-forward for Isthmian League side Walthamstow Avenue when on Jan 31, 1953, they took on Matt Busby’s Football League champions in a fourth-round tie which the Old Trafford crowd had assumed would be a formality.

United were in a transitional stage and their side included a mixture of ageing greats like Johnny Carey, Stan Pearson and Jack Rowley, who scored two goals in the 1948 final victory over Blackpool, and Busby’s new wave of youngsters, among them goalkeeper Ray Wood, future England captain Roger Byrne and recent signing Johnny Berry.

The ‘Reds’ had taken the title the previous season with a 6-1 demolition of Arsenal on the last day and were trailing the Division One leaders, West Bromwich Albion, by three points.

Walthamstow Avenue had the brilliant Polish goalkeeper Stan Gerula, a future Chelsea captain in centre-half Derek Saunders, Essex and England cricketer Trevor Bailey and the prolific goalscorer Jim Lewis. They were top of the Isthmian League, which they would win, and the previous May had taken the FA Amateur Cup at Wembley, beating local rivals Leyton 2-1 in front of 100,000 people, a game in which Lewis had scored the first goal.

To win the prize of a trip to Manchester the amateurs had already beaten two League clubs: Watford after a replay and Stockport County, a game witnessed by 16,000 people at Avenue’s old ground, Green Pond Road, which sadly no longer exists.

“It was windy at Old Trafford,” Lewis recalled, “but the pitch was good. I remember we were under great pressure for most of the first half but Gerula stopped everything. Eddie Lewis scored for United just before half-time. It was quite funny; both centre-forwards were called Lewis.”

The Manchester United programme, which cost four old pence, contained a tongue-in-cheek cartoon which in one breath ridiculed the precocious non-League team and in the next pleaded with them not to shock the champions. In fact, Lewis shocked the entire football world when he equalised 10 minutes from time to earn a replay, which was played at Highbury the following Thursday afternoon in front of 53,000 people.

Arsenal hurriedly printed a programme for the replay which was a penny cheaper, but included a description of Lewis’s goal at Old Trafford. The editor wrote: “That quick-as-lightning centre-forward had the ball in the net in no uncertain manner.”

Lewis also scored twice in the replay, which ended in a 5-2 victory for Manchester United. However, this epic FA Cup story barely scratches the surface of his remarkable career. Lewis made his debut for Walthamstow Avenue at the age of 16, alongside his father, Jim Snr, himself an England amateur international. In two spells at Green Pond Road, Lewis Jnr played 522 games and scored 423 goals.

In between, still as an amateur, he made 95 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 40 times and winning a League championship medal in 1955. He won 49 caps for the England amateur side, finding the net 39 times, and represented Great Britain in three Olympics, scoring four goals.

When Walthamstow Avenue had their memorable day at Old Trafford 52 years ago, Chelsea were bottom of Division One. Lewis signed for Ted Drake soon after and became a Stamford Bridge legend as part of the side who won the club’s one and only League championship. “I think we all got a suit for winning the League,” he recalled, “but in 1959 I received an ornate plaque to commemorate my career at Stamford Bridge.

“I’ve got some wonderful memories,” he continued. “I’ve scored against Bert Trautmann at Manchester City and Ted Ditchburn at Tottenham and never received a penny for playing, but I wouldn’t have swapped any of it. Good luck to Exeter, I’m going to ring Steve Perryman [Exeter’s director of football] and wish him luck and tell him to tell the players to bloody enjoy it. I did!”

Stan Prince

May 15, 2009

Stanley Terence Prince. (Born Jan 24th 1927. Died Newham Oct 2005).

Captained Walthamstow Avenue in the 1961 F.A. Amateur Cup Final.

Stan wore the number 11 shirt in both of  Great Britain’s games in 1956 Olympic Football Tournament in Melbourne.  A 9-0 defeat of Thailand on 26th November in the First Round, and the 6-1 defeat by Bulgaria in the Quarter Finals on 30th November.

Fellow Avenue player Jim Lewis wore the number 9 shirt in both games, and scored a goal in each.

Stanley Prince leads out the Amateur cup semi-finalists 1959

Stanley Prince leads out Walthamstow Avenue - Amateur cup semi-finalists 1959

Stanley Prince 1960

Stanley Prince 1960

The ground 1905-1910

May 15, 2009

The following is taken from http://parishofwalthamstow.wordpress.com/gallery/ which talks about Lloyd Park.

“The park is now named after the newspaper publisher, Edward Lloyd, who lived in Water House from 1857 when Morris moved out. In 1898 his family gave the house and gardens to the Walthamstow Urban District Council, to be used by the public as a recreation ground – providing the council bought some adjoining land to be used as playing fields.(This adjoining land is now Aveling Park which, from 1905 to 1910 was the home pitch for The Walthamstow Avenue Football Club.)”

Ipswich Town 2-2 Walthamstow Avenue 12/12/1953

May 15, 2009
Ipswich Town v Walthamstow Avenue Programme 1953

Ipswich Town v Walthamstow Avenue Programme 1953

The Times - Mon 14th December 1953 - Ipswich Town v Walthamstow Avenue Report

The Times - Mon 14th December 1953 - Ipswich Town v Walthamstow Avenue Report

Match Report
IPSWICH TOWN (0) 2 – 2 (2) WALTHAMSTOW AVENUE
FA Cup 2nd Round
Season 1953-54
Saturday, December 12, 1953
Referee: F Coultas
Manager: A Scott Duncan
Portman Road
Attendance: 18403
Match Number: 482
Goals
Neil Myles
Thomas Brown
Ronald Walker  
John Richards  
Substitutions
n/a n/a
Cards
n/a n/a
Teams  View Player Pictures
Jack Parry (GK)
Basil Acres
Jim Feeney
Neil Myles
Doug Rees
Tommy Parker
Billy Reed
Thomas Brown
Tom Garneys
John Elsworthy
George McLuckie
(GK) Stanislaus Gerula
Douglas Clarke
Tommy Farrer
Edward Harper
Lou Branan
Dickie Lucas
Reg Groves
Victor Groves
Bunny Groves
John Richards
Ronald Walker
Substitutes
n/a n/a

Info from here

Walthamstow Avenue 0-1 Ipswich Town 16/12/1953

May 15, 2009
walthamstow v ipswich 1953

Walthamstow Avenue v Ipswich Programme 1953

The Times - Thu 17 December 1953 - Walthamstow v Ipswich Report

The Times - Thu 17 December 1953 - Walthamstow v Ipswich Report

Match Report
WALTHAMSTOW AVENUE  (0) 0 – 1 (0) IPSWICH TOWN
FA Cup 2nd Round, Replay
Season 1953-54
Wednesday, December 16, 1953
Referee: F Coultas
Manager: A Scott Duncan
Away
Attendance: 11000
Match Number: 483
Goals
n/a Alex Crowe  
Substitutions
n/a n/a
Cards
n/a n/a
Teams  View Player Pictures
Stanislaus Gerula (GK)
Douglas Clarke
Tommy Farrer
Edward Harper
Lou Branan
Dickie Lucas
Reg Groves
Victor Groves
Bunny Groves
John Richards
Ronald Walker
(GK) Jack Parry
Basil Acres
Jim Feeney
Neil Myles
Doug Rees
Tommy Parker
Billy Reed
Alex Crowe
Tom Garneys
Thomas Brown
George McLuckie
Substitutes
n/a n/a

From here

Arsenal 2-2 Walthamstow Avenue 06/10/1952

May 15, 2009

Apparently Arsenal used to field their Reserve team in the London F.A. Challenge Cup between 1931 and 1974 (with the exception of 61/62 when the first team were entered). Arsenal won the replay 8-3 on Monday 13th October (The Times printed  the result with with Arsenal first again, so presumably the replay  also took place at Highbury).

Arsenal v Walthamstow Avenue Programme 1952

Arsenal v Walthamstow Avenue Programme 1952

F.A. Amateur Cup winners 1951/52

May 14, 2009

walthamstow avenue with fa amateur cup 1952

Walthamstow Avenue captain Derek Saunders (with cup) is hoisted aloft by his team mates after Avenue beat Leyton 2-1 in the 1952 F.A. Amateur Cup Final.