Archive for the ‘Olympic Games’ Category

The Day The Olympics came to Walthamstow

March 25, 2010

Whilst the football at the 2012 London Olympics will be taking place at top-end stadiums all around the UK (including Scotland and Wales), at the 1948 London games things were a little more localised. All but two of the games took place in what would today be considered London.

On Monday August 2nd (the actual kick-off time may be lost in the midsts of time –  FIFA say 18:30 and Wikipedia says 12:00), Turkey took on China in a first round match at Walthamstow Avenue’s Green Pond Road ground. Turkey ran out 4-0 winners thanks to goals from Kılıç (18′, 61′), Saygun (72′) and Küçükandonyadis (87′).

I’d imagine a pretty good crowd watched this game (23,485 watched South Korea beat Mexico 5-3 at Dulwich Hamlet’s Champion Hill ground on the same day), but I haven’t been able to find out the attendance.

Sweden went on to win the tournament, beating Yugoslavia 3-1 at The Empire Stadium, Wembley.

Below is a scan of the front cover of the Turkey v China programme, which recently sold on Ebay for £51.

China v Turkey 1948 Olympics programme

Turkey v China 1948 Olympics programme

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.