Archive for the ‘1950s’ Category

Doug Young ‘Cockney Sparrer’ – Jan 21st 1953

June 1, 2010

Walthamstow Avenue’s Doug Young speaks to The Daily Mirror ten days before the A’s famous 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford in the F.A. Cup 4th Round.

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Walthamstow Avenue's Doug Young talks to The Daily Mirror, Wednesday January 21st 1953, page 13.

Walthamstow Avenue's Doug Young talks to The Daily Mirror, Wednesday January 21st 1953, page 13.

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Alf Simmonds, Goalkeeper, 1943-51

May 30, 2010

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

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

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'.

'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

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.

Coventry City 1-0 Walthamstow Avenue – F.A. Cup 1st Round – Sat 16/11/1957

October 1, 2009

1957-58: Having beaten Bedford Town 1-0 in a replay at Green Pond Road in the 4th Qualifying Round of the F.A. Cup, Avenue were drawn away at Third Division South Coventry City in the 1st Round Proper.

I’m not sure why Coventry wore red & white in this game, as supposedly their home kit was blue & white at the time. The A’s turned out in green & white – was this their away kit at the time?

Coventry went out 4-1 at Aldershot in the next round.

Coventry City v Walthamstow Avenue F.A. Cup 1st Round 1957-58 Programme 1

Coventry City v Walthamstow Avenue F.A. Cup 1st Round 1957-58 Programme 1

Coventry City v Walthamstow Avenue F.A. Cup 1st Round 1957-58 Programme 2

Coventry City v Walthamstow Avenue F.A. Cup 1st Round 1957-58 Programme 2

Coventry City v Walthamstow Avenue F.A. Cup 1st Round 1957-58 Programme 3

Coventry City v Walthamstow Avenue F.A. Cup 1st Round 1957-58 Programme 3

Coventry City v Walthamstow Avenue F.A. Cup 1st Round 1957-58 Programme 4

Coventry City v Walthamstow Avenue F.A. Cup 1st Round 1957-58 Programme 4

Match report from 'The Times' Monday 18th November 1957.

Match report from 'The Times' Monday 18th November 1957.

Stan Gerula appears in ‘Life’ magazine (December 1952)

October 1, 2009

Having dispatched Wimbledon in the 1st Round Proper of the 1952/53 F.A. Cup, Amateur Cup holders Walthamstow Avenue were rewarded with a home tie against Watford in the 2nd Round.

The match took place on Saturday 6th December 1952.  The A’s led at half-time thanks to a Crocker own-goal, but Watford equalised in the 2nd half through Meadows. The game ended 1-1 and was replayed at Watford on Wednesday 10th. Walthamstow won the replay 2-1 and went on to play Stockport, then Manchester United in the 3rd and 4th Rounds.

So noteworthy was the fog that day, that this picture of A’s goalkeeper Stan Gerula appeared as  ‘Life’  magazine’s ‘Picture of the Week’. (Issue dated 22nd December 1952).

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test

AN INDOMITABLE GOALIE IN RECORD FOG. In the circumstances, it was understandable that Goalkeeper Gerula of Walthamstow had only the foggiest idea what was going on as his team met Watford in the British Football Association Cup match. Somewhere downfield the ball, Gerula's opponents and his teammates were lost from sight in London's worst fog on record. Elsewhere across the city, traffic stalled dead, streetlights were invisible beyond 35 yards and even the ducks got lost from their pond in Green Park and went quacking disconsonately through the streets. But in the traditions of British sports, the game had to go on (just as the Oxford-Cambridge cross-country race had to go on with marshals calling, "This way! This way!" to mark the course in scant five-yard visibility). Lonesome but still alert, Goalkeeper Gerula missed only once in the mist and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

Wimbledon 0-3 Walthamstow Avenue at Highbury. F.A. Amateur Cup 4th Round 2nd Replay (Wednesday 5th March 1952)

September 18, 2009
AMATEUR STYLE. London: An attack on Wimbledon goalkeeper A. Hooper (right) by J. Lewis, Walthamstow Avenue's centre-forward, during the second replay of the Football Association Amateur Cup fourth round, at Arsenal's Highbury ground. March 5th. 1952. (Topham)

AMATEUR STYLE. London: An attack on Wimbledon goalkeeper A. Hooper (right) by J. Lewis, Walthamstow Avenue's centre-forward, during the second replay of the Football Association Amateur Cup fourth round, at Arsenal's Highbury ground. March 5th. 1952. (Topham)

Match report from The Times (Thursday 6th March)

Match report from The Times (Thursday 6th March)

Match report from The Guardian (Thursday 6th March 1952)

Match report from The Guardian (Thursday 6th March 1952)

“Tussle at Highbury” 1953

July 22, 2009

Another great action shot from The Avenue’s legendary encounter with Manchester United in the 1953 F.A. Cup.

London: J. Lewis, Walthamstow Avenue's centre-forward - who scored two goals in the match - and Chilton, Manchester United's centre-half (plain shirt), in a tussle for the ball in front of the goalmouth in the fourth round replay match of the Football Association Challenge Cup, played at Highbury. February 5th 1953. (Topham).

London: J. Lewis, Walthamstow Avenue's centre-forward - who scored two goals in the match - and Chilton, Manchester United's centre-half (plain shirt), in a tussle for the ball in front of the goalmouth in the fourth round replay match of the Football Association Challenge Cup, played at Highbury. February 5th 1953. (Topham).

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

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.

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