Many, many thanks to Alf Simmonds who has supplied 4 great photos from his time between the sticks at Walthamstow Avenue.
Alf played for The Avenue between 1943 and 1951, with a few breaks along the way. He played in both The A’s famous games against Oldham in the 1948/49 F.A. Cup 2nd Round – the 2-2 draw at Green Pond Road (see video footage elsewhere on this site) and the 3-1 defeat in the replay at Oldham.
Alf writes; “I have two different photos to those you show. They include the following players not included so far in other team photos: Freddie Tomlin, Jack Jennings, Eric Hardy (my late wife’s favourite), Reg Stather, Fred Sturgeon, Bob Stringer, Ken Crouch.
At the end of 1948-49 season we played a friendly v Hastings Utd away. I also have a photo of that occasion. It was a club “Day Out”!!!. It includes officials, players, relatives and friends. Just over fifty of us, including eighteen players.
I played for the “A”s From 1943 to 1951 playing for Hayes, Bromley, Spurs and Watford reserves in between. I had two serious injuries at the Avenue, a fractured wrist in my first game, and they were the reason for a couple the moves.”
Alf met his wife of 53 years at Green Pond Road. Sadly, she passed away in 2004.
The Hayes & Yeading United F.C. website writes on Alf:
Another player with a Bromley connection, albeit tenuous, was goalkeeper Alf Simmonds. He joined Hayes from Walthamstow Avenue in March 1946 and worked in the accounts department of the Hayes News. He played for Hayes for three seasons, even turning down the chance to play for Watford in February 1948. In this time he made 80 appearances. During the summer of 1948, together with Ron Gadsden, he toured Holland with the Chelsea Mariners, a selection of amateur players from London. Later that summer he received his cap from Middlesex and played for a Hayes XI against the Indian Olympic team, before taking part in pre-season training at Great Yarmouth. He was pushing for the appointment of an experienced team manager, but when it became apparent that none would be appointed, he left and rejoined Walthamstow. Two seasons later he was playing for Bromley reserves and a season later for Redhill.
Click the photos for larger versions.
Walthamstow Avenue Team Photo. Back Row (left to right): Jim Lewis (Senior), Ken Crouch (Right Back), Fred Sturgeon (Inside Left), Alf Simmonds (Goalkeeper), Derek Saunders (Left Half), Eric Hardy (Left Back), Reg Wright (Manager). Front Row (left to right): Bill Banham (Asst. Trainer), Reg Stather (Outside Right), Jim Lewis (Centre Forward), Frank Butterworth (Centre Half (Captain)), Ken Facey (Right Half), Fred Tomlin (Outside Left), Ted Stringer (Inside Right), Fred Bosher (Trainer)
Walthamstow Avenue Team Photo. Back Row (left to right): Jack Jennings (Inside Right), Eric Hardy (Left Back), Ken Crouch (Right Back), Alf Simmonds (Goalkeeper), Derek Saunders (Left Half), T. O'Connell (?) (Inside Left), Reg Wright (Manager). Front Row (left to right): Reg Stather (Outside Right), Jim Lewis (Centre Forward), Frank Butterworth (Centre Half (Captain)), Ken Facey (Right Half), Fred Tomlin (Outside Left)
'Five Players plus Oldham Ladies and Gent'. Far Right Front: Ken Facey. In Middle: Ted Stringer. Back (left to right): Alf Simmonds, Fred Sturgeon, Fred Tomlin.
1948/49 Post-Season Friendly at Hastings United. Sitting: 4 Members. First Row: Jim Lewis (Snr), Curly (groundsman). Second Row: 1. Ted Harper. 4. Arthur Kingham. 6&7. Bert Pinner & Wife. Fred Tomlin. Third Row: 1. Mrs Waller & baby. Frank Butterworth & son. Bill Banham. Fred Lamprell & Wife & Scott (?), Jim Jeffrey & girlfriend, Reserve Goalkeeper Eric Hardy. Fourth Row: Alf's Best Man, Sam. Mrs. Sturgeon & Fred. Bob Waller, Mrs. Facey, Mrs. Fuller, Freddie Fuller, Mrs. Stather, Reg Stather, Ken Smith (?). Back Row: Alf Simmonds, Ken Drage & wife. Derek Saunders & wife. Mrs lewis & Jim Lewis Jnr, Fred Bosher & wife. Ken Facey.