The Second XI had a pleasant and reasonably successful season back in 1980-1981, although it was possible to organise only seven fixtures. They lost their first match against Becket School, but were only to lose one more of the next five matches. Their record for the season of two wins, three draws and just two losses would have placed them comfortably in mid-table in the Premier League of today. Perhaps another Crystal Palace, Everton or West Ham. We drew games against High Pavement, Bramcote and Clarendon and then defeated Clarendon by 3-0 in the return and Bilborough by 5-2. Not a bad record for a team of eleven players picked from just nineteen available candidates:
The goalkeeper was Richard Clark:
In defence we had Chris Turner:
Alongside him was Julian Bower:
Ken Blecher was the sweeper. He was the Team Captain, so he had the shiny satin finish shirt:
For some reason, we played in fairly dark blue shirts of a shade called ‘Admiral’ or ‘Azure’ apparently. This had been worn as a change strip by Sunderland in the First Division a few years previously. The sleeves had a red and white design on them, as did the collars.
Now, back to the players.
Phil Sermon was a 100% team player who, although he was often a little quiet, always gave everything on the pitch:
Paul Chappell was almost surgical in the strength and calmness of his tackles:
Bert Crisp was a strong runner and created many chances:
Chris Ffinch played well in attack:
Robert Harwood was a confident goalscorer:
Stuart Burns also contributed well in attack:
On the team photograph, two players remain a mystery to me, although this all took place some 35 years ago now. The first is CD Richardson:
And the other is David Nowell, who, as you can see from the comments below, was the left full back, but who was unfortunately injured very early in the season :
Forgive me gentlemen.
Overall, the Nottinghamian reported that the players were “all keen to play and all contributed to a most enjoyable season. Everyone has done his best and given his all.”
A lot of my readers, of course, will not be familiar with any of these young men. Let them stand, therefore, for your own sporting efforts at school. Did you do your best and give it your all?
Perhaps you were not in a sports team of any kind. Well, just look at the faces of these sixteen, seventeen and eighteen year old young men. Look at their expressions. Their inner thoughts.
Nowadays they will be in their early fifties. Their team coach back in the day was in his late thirties. Well now, I am in my early sixties, and I just regret that I didn’t enter more Ché Guevara lookalike contests when I had the chance: