Archive for the ‘F.A. Cup’ Category

The Daily Mail reports on the Avenue’s 1953 trip to Manchester United (11th Feb 2011)

March 10, 2011

As Crawley Town prepared to take on Manchester United at Old Trafford in the F.A. Cup 5th Round recently, The Daily Mail’s Chris Wheeler looked back at some of United’s previous encounters against the ‘little guys’, including Walthamstow Avenue’s famous visit in 1953.

Click to enlarge.

Crawley Town v Manchester United - Daily Mail - Saturday 19th Feb 2011

Crawley Town v Manchester United - Daily Mail - Saturday 19th Feb 2011

Don’t write off Crawley… the little guys can scare Manchester United

By Chris Wheeler

Nobody will be giving non-League Crawley Town a chance when they visit Old Trafford to face the might of Manchester United in the FA Cup. The Blue Square Bet Conference side are in the fifth round for the first time after knocking out Derby and Torquay, while their opponents have won the famous trophy a record 11 times. But United have been victims of several upsets over the years and here CHRIS WHEELER meets the players who have managed to leave the famous Red Devils with red faces.

Manchester Utd 1 Walthamstow Ave 1 (FA Cup 4th rnd, Jan 31, 1953)

Nobody gave the Isthmian League underdogs a chance when they arrived at Old Trafford to take on Matt Busby’s English champions, even less so after United took a first half lead. But thermos flask salesman and England amateur international JIM LEWIS equalised (below) to earn a draw. Lewis, now 83, signed for Chelsea after scoring twice when United won the replay 5-2.

Jim Lewis scores Avenue's equaliser at Old Trafford

Jim Lewis scores Avenue's equaliser at Old Trafford

He said: ‘We saw it as a day out because we didn’t think we stood much of a chance. We’d never experienced playing in front of that kind of crowd before. There were 35,000 at Old Trafford and 46,000 at Arsenal (for the replay). Our average was about 5,000.

‘Eddie Lewis gave United the lead but I remember at half-time we didn’t think we were going to get thumped. We went out to give it our all. I equalised 10 minutes from the end. I was some way out and hit it straight into the top corner. It could have been the greatest upset ever because United keeper Ray Wood tipped my shot over, and Trevor Bailey, the England cricketer who sadly died recently, almost scored in the final minutes.

‘I think of it when I see the likes of Crawley doing well. They’ll think they’ve got a chance and you never know. It’s one of those things that does the FA Cup so much good.’

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Walthamstow Avenue rosettes

March 9, 2011

Again of unknown vintage. The bottom one looks to be for an F.A. Cup game.

Walthamstow Avenue Rosettes

Walthamstow Avenue Rosettes

Doug Young in The Guardian (17th Jan 1953)

February 2, 2011

Specially for Barbara who previously sent me some pics of her dad Doug (I really will get them on the site soon. Sorry for the delay!).

Doug Young in 'The Guardian' (Jan 17th 1953).

Doug Young in 'The Guardian' (Jan 17th 1953).

Dickie Lucas coshes Stockport, Sat Jan 10th 1953

June 16, 2010

Dickie Lucas scores both goals as Walthamstow Avenue beat Stockport County 2-1 at Green Pond Road in the F.A. Cup 3rd Round to set up the 4th Round tie with Manchester United.

The Daily Express wrote of Lucas: “The two first-half goals they cracked in came from inside-right Dickie Lucas, the man who, off field, wears a spinal corset to support his injured back and discards it for strips of plaster to fight in furious Cup Soccer.”

Dickie Lucas played for The Avenue for more than 10 years, and coached the team to the 1961 F.A. Amateur Cup victory.

I COSHED IT SAYS DICKIE. Dickie Lucas, 25-year-old Walthamstow stores clerk scored the two goals that knocked Stockport out of the Cup. Of the second one (pictured below, minus the ball) he said: "I didn't know where the pass came from. The ball dropped at my feet from nowhere, and I coshed it for all I was worth." Daily Express. Monday 12th January 1953. Page 8.

I COSHED IT SAYS DICKIE. Dickie Lucas, 25-year-old Walthamstow stores clerk scored the two goals that knocked Stockport out of the Cup. Of the second one (pictured below, minus the ball) he said: "I didn't know where the pass came from. The ball dropped at my feet from nowhere, and I coshed it for all I was worth." Daily Express. Monday 12th January 1953. Page 8.

Walthamstow Avenue 2-1 Stockport County programme. F.A. Cup 3rd Round 1952-53.

Walthamstow Avenue 2-1 Stockport County programme. F.A. Cup 3rd Round 1952-53.

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.

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).

Click for a larger version.

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.

Pathe footage of Walthamstow Avenue v Oldham Athletic in the 1948/49 F.A. Cup

July 22, 2009

Walthamstow Avenue 2-2 Oldham Athletic in the 2nd Round Proper of the 1948/49 F.A. Cup at Green Pond Road, 11th December 1948.

Also shows The Avenue/Oldham coming out of the hat in the draw for the next round.

Oldham won the replay 3-1 on December 18th.

Wathamstow Avenue v Oldham Athletic. December 11th 1948.

Wathamstow Avenue v Oldham Athletic. December 11th 1948.

“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).

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!”