Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Black Country football 1950-51 (Part one)

Posted by Tony Hutton

Although still a schoolboy, I travelled a bit further afield this season to take in games at West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. I also began to write detailed reports of most of the games I saw purely for my own amusement, but possibly with the vague thought that I might one day write a book of football memories. This never happened so some sixty five years later they now see the light of day for the first time!

SATURDAY 26TH AUGUST, 1950 AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH                     Attendance 11,178

WALSALL 1 (Chapman) SOUTHEND UNITED 2 (Wakefield, French)

Lewis; Jones, Skidmore; Walters, Russon, Dearson;
Bowen, Sutcliffe, Chapman, Millard, Allinson;

Coombs; Loughran, Walton; Wallbanks, Sheard, French;
Sibley, Davies, Wakefield, Lawlor, Harper;

Referee: Mr A. Bond, Fulham 

Southend, who finished third in the league last season, started well with a goal from centre forward Albert Wakefield, who came from Leeds United last season. Walsall with something of a new look forward line and without centre half Reg Foulkes who has moved to Norwich, looked as if they might struggle this season.

WEDNESDAY 30TH AUGUST 1950 AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 (Walsh) NEWCASTLE UTD 2 (Milburn, Mitchell)

Sanders; Rickaby, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Barlow;
Elliott, Williams, Walsh, Richardson, Allen;

Fairbrother; Cowell, McMichael; Harvery (capt), Brennan, Crowe;
Walker, Taylor, Milburn, Robledo (G), Mitchell;

With Ray Barlow in splendid form at left half, Albion were on the attack for long periods of the game, but their finishing was poor, mainly because big Frank Brennan kept Irish international Dave Walsh under constant watch.
The first goal, to Newcastle, came after 37 minutes, when Milburn robbed Vernon on the half way line, passed out to Walker on the right and in no time took the return pass in his stride and hit it home from twenty yards.
Albion equalised just on half time following a mistake by Irish international Alf McMichael who headed a long ball from Kennedy straight to Walsh , thus playing him onside, and with only the goalkeeper to beat the centre forward made no mistake.
After 58 minutes Milburn beat Vernon for the second time and again pushed the ball out to the long striding Walker, whose centre was pushed into the net by Bobby Mitchell standing almost on the goal line. So although Milburn could only get past Vernon twice in this game it was enough to give his side both points.

Newcastle United


SATURDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER 1950 AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE                             Attendance 45,127

ASTON VILLA 1 (Moss F.) LIVERPOOL 1 (Balmer)

Jones; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss F.;
Edwards, Gibson, Ford, Craddock, Goffin;

Sidlow; Lambert, Spicer; Jones, Hughes, Paisley;
Payne, Taylor, Stubbins, Balmer (capt), Liddell;

Referee;- G.L. Iliffe, Leicester


Veteran Jack Balmer's goal was the outstanding feature of this game. He had the ball in the centre of the field, on the edge of the penalty area, and waited for a split second for the goalkeeper Keith Jones to become unsighted by a defender and carefully shot the ball slowly into the corner of the net. It was not a fierce shot but just perfectly placed and admirably timed.

MONDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER, 1950 AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

ASTON VILLA 1 (Ford) MANCHESTER UNITED 3 (Rowley 2, Pearson)

Jones; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Edwards, Gibson, Ford, Craddock, Goffin;

Allen; Carey (capt), Aston; Gibson, Chilton, Cockburn;
Bogan, Pearson, Rowley, Downie, Mitten;

The very strong United side ran out easy winners in a rather one sided contest. Reg Allen who is the most expensive goalkeeper ever, following his signing from QPR, was rarely troubled and the forward line looks as dangerous as ever.

Manchester United 1950-51


SATURDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER, 1950 AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH

WALSALL 0 BOURNEMOUTH 1 (Evans)

Lewis; Jones, Walters; Devlin, Russon, Green;
McMorran, Corbett, Chapman, Dearson, Knowles;

Bird; Cunningham, Drummond; Woodward, Gripton, Casey;
Boxshall, Haigh, McGibbon, Evans, Weigh;

Bournemouth players


Walsall lost their second home game in three days by the single goal and after seven games this season still do not boast a victory. There seems little wrong with the defence, Lewis in particular being in brilliant form in goal, bu the forward line is far from effective.
McMorran, a young, slight former Manchester United reserve achieved little on the right wing. Corbett, a red haired local boy and Knowles another youngster, playing only his second league game, are both far too inexperienced at the present time.
The remaining forwards both suffer from excessive weight, Chapman, the fair haired centre forward has lost his speed and Dearson, the former Welsh international, while still capable of showing his obvious ability, sweats profusely with his efforts.

SATURDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER, 1950 AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE                        Attendance 30,000

ASTON VILLA 0 BOLTON WANDERERS 1 (Moir)

Hindle; Parkes, Dorsett; Canning, Martin, Moss (F);
Gibson, Powell, Ford, Dixon, Goffin;

Hanson; Ball, Banks (R); Howe, Gillies, Murphy;
Hughes, Moir, Lofthouse, Webster, Langton;

Referee;- R. Wood, Sunderland

Moir scored the only goal of a scrappy match in which Villa never got going.The move of wing half Ivor Powell to inside forward was not a success and Villa also fielded two reserves in goalkeeper Hindle and wing half Larry Canning.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

The Midlands football scene 1949-50 (part four)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 18TH MARCH 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 3 (Devlin 2, Foulkes) NOTTS COUNTY 3 ((Lawton, Johnston, Simpson)

Lewis; Jones, Walter; Crutchley, Russon, Green;
McMorran, Dearson, Foulkes, Devlin, Betts;

Smith; Deans, Rigby; Simpson, Baxter, Adamson;
Broome, Chapman, Lawton, Evans, Johnston;

Referee:- G.L. Illife, Leicester          Attendance 19,589

A huge crowd, by Walsall's standards, was there to see just one man - the legendary Tommy Lawton regular centre forward for England in the immediate post war years.
His sensational move from Chelsea to Third Division Notts County in 1947 shocked the soccer world. His first appearance at Fellows Park in 1948 had set the ground record of 20,283 which was almost equalled today.

County who had fast become the top club in Nottingham also included another former international Frank Broome, previously with Aston Villa, in their ranks. Walsall continued with the experiment of playing centre half Reg Foulkes at centre forward and included a new signing Welsh international Don Dearson, from Coventry City.

Walsall,cheered on by the large crowd shook the league leaders with some splendid football  and raced into a 3-0 lead, thanks to goals from leading scorer Johnny Devlin and another from skipper Reg Foulkes.

However, it was too good to last and with only fifteen minutes remaining, Tommy Lawton, who else, rose to head a typically brilliant goal from a left wing cross. This inspired the visitors and two furthers goals in the last few minutes saw them earn a point which their earlier display scarcely warranted.


Notts County with Tommy Lawton centre of front row
                                                                                                                                         
 
SATURDAY 1ST APRIL 1950
 
LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL
 
WALSALL 1 (Devlin) IPSWICH TOWN 3 (McGrory, Pole 2)
 
Lewis; Jones, Walters; Crutchley, Russon, Green;
McMorran, Dearson, Chapman, Devlin, Betts;
 
Brown (T); Feeney, Mitchell; Baird, Rees, Fletcher;
Parker (S), McGrory, Pole, Driver, O'Brien;
 
Referee:- R.G. Burgess, Reading                  Attendance 9,000
 
Walsall lost this vital match against fellow strugglers Ipswich with both teams in danger of falling into the last two re-election spots. The new look half back line which had done well in recent matches could not match the Ipswich midfield and consequently Walsall lacked possession. Devlin continued his scoring success but Ipswich took a useful step up the table with a relatively easy win.
 
FRIDAY 7TH APRIL
 
LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL
 
WALSALL 0 SWINDON TOWN O
 
Lewis; Jones, Walters; Crutchley, Russon, Green;
Condie, Dearson, Foulkes, Devlin, Betts;
 
Burton; Foxton, Lloyd; Cowie, Hudson, Kaye;
Onslow, Dawson, Peart, Simner, Bain;
 
Referee;- L.D. Thompson, Worksop                       Attendance 8,305
 
Walsall stuck to the same defensive formation, but introduced a new right winger Jimmy Condie and brought back Reg Foulkes, normally a centre half, at centre foward. Much had been expected of recent signing Don Dearson, but the former Welsh international has failed to make an impression and looks overweight. The Good Friday crowd were unhappy with the performance and a couple more wins are badly needed.
 
Swindon seemed happy to settle for a draw as they are already safe in mid-table away from the re-election places. This was a thoroughly lack lustre affair with few chances falling to either side.  
 
SATURDAY 15TH APRIL
 
LEAGUE DIVISION SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL
 
WALSALL 1 (Chapman) LEYTON ORIENT 2 (Pullen, Blair)
 
Lewis; Jones, Skidmore; Walters, Foulkes, Russon;
Condie, Dearson, Chapman, Devlin, Medd;
 
Welton; Walton, Banner; Taylor, Rooney, Trailer;
Pullen, Blair, Sutherland, Deverall, Pattison;
 
Referee:- L.D. Thompson, Worksop
 
Two more valuable points lost to another side near the bottom of the league. It is really going to be a close call for which two teams have to apply for re-election to the league.
Walsall re-jigged the defence moving Foulkes back to his proper position of centre half with Russon moving alongside him. They were also without consistent outside left Eric Betts who has moved to West Ham.
 
 
Orient could almost field a team of Scotsmen, with no fewer than eight of their squad of twenty players having been born in Glasgow. There seems to be quite a trend in this division especially of signing players from Scotland and Northern Ireland.
 
SATURDAY 22ND APRIL, 1950
 
LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM
 
ASTON VILLA 3 (Goffin, Dixon 2) BOLTON WANDERERS 0
 
Rutherford; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Dixon, Gibson, Ford, Goffin, Smith (L);
 
Hanson; Roberts, Bingley; Barrass, Gillies, Howe;
Hughes, Moir, Lofthouse, Heron, McShane;
 
Referee:- H.C. Williams, Fulham                  Attendance 35,000
 
With just two more matches to play after today, Villa could settle for mid-table respectability, but Bolton although safe from relegation were four places below them in the bottom half. Johnny Dixon continued his good form with two more goals to bring his total to eleven for the season. Billy Goffin got the other to finish with thirteen goals just behind leading scorer Trevor Ford with sixteen.
 
Bolton Wanderers
 
The man Bolton look to for their goals Nat Lofthouse has only managed eleven goals this season and the team has only scored eleven goals away from home. Obviously improvement is required in this area for them next season. They also struggled in defence today with a young reserve left back in trouble against Dixon.
 
THURSDAY 4TH MAY 1950
 
FRIENDLY - BENEFIT MATCH FOR LEWIS, FOULKES & NEWMAN
 
WALSALL 0 MIDLAND XI 1 (Massart pen)
 
Lewis; Jones, Skidmore; Walters, Russon, Devlin;
Whitehouse, Dearson, Foulkes, Corbett, Green;
 
Taylor (Coventry City); Jones (Coventry City), Millard (West Bromwich Albion);
Montgomery (Walsall), Lewis (Mansfield Town), Baxter (Wolves);
Smith (Wolves), Mullard (Crewe Alexandria), Massart (Bury), Lishman (Arsenal),
Betts (West Ham United);
 
Many former Walsall players returned to play for the Midland XI in a well deserved benefit game for three stalwarts - goalkeeper Jack Lewis, centre half Reg Foulkes and wing half Albert Newman.
 
Sadly the feast of goals expected by the spectators never happened and it was left to a penalty from Dave Massart to provide the only goal of the evening.
 
 
 
 Walsall in fact ended the season just outside the re-election places but only on superior goal average, finishing level on 34 points with Aldershot and Newport.
Newport and Millwall, the bottom club with 32 points, both successfully applied for re-election to the Third Division South.
 
 
 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Midlands football scene 1949-50 (part three)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 4TH FEBRUARY 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Devlin) BRISTOL CITY 1 (White)



SATURDAY 11TH FEBRUARY 1959

FRIENDLY MATCH AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 5 (Goffin, Ford 2, Dixon, Smith) HIBERNIAN 2 (Reilly, Ormond pen)
Rutherford; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Dixon, Gibson, Ford, Goffin, Smith (L);

Younger; Govan, Clark; Paterson, Cairns, Buchanan;
Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Combe, Ormond;

Referee:- F.C. Green, Wolverhampton              Attendance 35,000


This friendly game with the star studded Scottish side Hibernian from Edinburgh
brought a substantial crowd of 35,000 to Villa Park. The forward line nicknamed 'the famous five' lacked only Bobby Turnbull at inside left. Gordon Smith was one of the all time greats of Scottish football along with centre forward Lawrie Reilly. Inside right Bobby Johnstone would soon move south to join Manchester City.


Hibs played some magical football but lacked the staying power to keep up with the Villa, perhaps emphasising the gap that exists between English and Scottish football at club level, although they can always find a side to challenge England at international level.

SATURDAY 18TH FEBRUARY 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 2 (Ford 2) HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 (Taylor J.)

Rutherford; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Dixon, Gibson, Ford, Goffin, Smith (L);

Mills; Gallogly, Stewart; Battye, Hepplewhite, Boot;
McKenna, Lynn, Taylor (J.N.), Nightingale, Metcalfe;

Referee:- J. Houston, St Annes on Sea          Attendance 40,000

Huddersfield put up a good performance but were beaten by the goal scoring ability of Trevor Ford. The Welshman is in a run of good form at the moment and the new look Villa forward line combination seems to be working.

SATURDAY 25TH FEBRUARY, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 1 (Gibson) WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0

Rutherford; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Dixon, Gibson, Ford, Goffin, Smith (L);

Sanders; Pemberton, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Barlow;
Smith, Dudley, Walsh, Ryan, Lee;

Referee:- J.H. Parker, Macclesfield    Attendance 40,000

Another big crowd was in attendance for this very closely fought local derby. Colin Gibson scored the only goal of the game but Albion were in it all the time with the two wing halves Joe Kennedy and Ray Barlow being particularly prominent, alongside the three Irishmen Vernon, Walsh and Ryan.



SATURDAY 4TH MARCH, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 3 (Devlin pen, Betts, Foulkes)BRISTOL ROVERS 1  (Bradford)

Lewis; Jones, Walters; Crutchley, Russon, Green;
McMorran, Corbett, Foulkes, Devlin, Betts;

Liley; Bamford, Fox; Pitt, Warren, McCourt;
Petherbridge, Bradford, Lambden, Roost, Bush;

Attendance 9,179

A new look Walsall side with a completley new half back line worked wonders against the strong Bristol side. Centre half Reg Foulkes was moved to centre forward and not only scored the decisive third goal but won a lot of the ball in the air. Probably not a permanent move but at least it brought some success.

SATURDAY 11TH MARCH, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM


ASTON VILLA 2 (Goffin, Dixon) LIVERPOOL 0

Rutherford; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Dixon, Gibson, Ford, Goffin, Smith (L);

Sidlow; Lambert, Spicer; Taylor, Hughes, Jones;
Payne, Balmer (capt), Stubbins, Fagan, Liddell;

Referee:- L.D. Thompson, Worksop               Attendance 40,000

Villa were yet again unchanged and this side seems to have turned the corner. Another good win against a strong Liverpool side helped by the veteran Harry Parkes at right back playing Billy Liddell, the poweful left winger, out of the game. Con Martin had another good performance at centre half against Albert Stubbins. The Villa forwards continually had the Liverpool defence under pressure and this will keep the loyal fans happy.

                                       Liverpool FC 1949-50
Back Row - Taylor, Lambert, Hughes, Sidlow, Jones, Paisley, Spicer
Front Row (players only) - Payne, Baron, Stubbins, Fagan, Liddell

The Midlands football scene 1949-50 (part two)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER, 1949

FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 2 (Betts, Chapman) READING 0                    Attendance 8,000

Lewis; Methley, Skidmore; Walters, Foulkes, Newman;
Medd, Hewitt, Chapman, Devlin, Betts;

Marks; Moyse, Wicks; Henley, Brice, Reeves;
Fisher, Edelston, Blackman, Allen, Allison;

Referee:- W. Ling, Stapleford

Walsall continued to tinker with their forward line, although the defence remained unchanged. Reading, with a lot of experience in their team, failed to put up much of a fight. Centre half Gordon Brice was an occasional county cricketer for Northants, Maurice Edelston an England amateur international and Blackman a regular goalscorer at centre forward.

SATURDAY 17TH DECEMBER, 1949

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 1 (Moss) MANCHESTER CITY 0

Wakeman; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Dixon, Harrison, Ford, Edwards, Smith (L);

Trautmann; Philips, Westwood; Fagan, Rigby, Emptage;
Bootle, Black, Turnbull, Clarke, Allison;

Referee:- G. Salmon, Stoke on Trent

Much interest surrounded the appearance of former German prisoner of war Bert Trautmann in goal for City. He was recently signed from St Helens Town after settling in this country after the war. He gave a good performance and only conceeded the one goal of the match from wing half Frank Moss.
Despite some initial protests Trautmann went on to become a folk hero at Maine Road, making more than 500 appearances for City.


SATURDAY 24TH DECEMBER, 1949

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Devlin) NOTTS FOREST 3 (Ardron 2, Johnson)

Lewis; Jones, Skidmore; Walters, Foulkes, Newman;
Hewitt, McLaughlin, Devlin, Whitehouse, Betts;

Walker; Whare, Hutchinson; Anderson, Gager (capt), Burkitt;
Scott, Johnson, Ardron, Capel, Kaile;

Referee:- J. Platts, Nantwick                                            Attendance 11,000

Christmas Eve brought promotion favourites Notts Forest to Fellows Park and they cemented their position with a comfortable victory with two goals from Wally Ardon, signed from Rotherham, who is well among the goals at the half way point of the season. Another new signing Tommy Capel from Chesterfield also looked useful.


TUESDAY 27TH DECEMBER, 1949

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 1 (Dixon) WOLVES 4 (Swinbourne 2, Pye, Smyth)

Wakeman; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Dixon, Harrison, Ford, Edwards, Smith (L);

Williams; McLean, Pritchard; Crook, Shorthouse, Russell;
Smith, Swinbourne, Pye, Smyth, Mullen;

Referee:- H. Holt, Rochdale.                                              Attendance 70,000

This Christmas local derby produced by far the biggest crowd I had ever seen and I was restricted to a long distance view from the very top of the Witton End terracing.
The home side were no match for the powerful Wolves team, even without England captain Billy Wright and outside right Johnny Hancocks.
Roy Swinbourne, the young tall centre forward from Yorkshire, soon made his mark with two goals and veteran Jesse Pye and Irish international Sammy Smyth scored the others. Johnny Dixon scored a consolation goal for Villa.


SATURDAY 7TH JANUARY, 1950

FRIENDLY MATCH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 2 (Devlin, Corbett) BRISTOL ROVERS 2 (Watling, Warren)

Lewis; Jones, Skidmore; Walters, Foulkes, Newman;
Hewitt, Corbett, Chapman, Devlin, Giles;

Weare; Bemford, Fox; Pitt, Warren, McCourt;
Bush, Roost, Lambden, Morgan, Watling;

Referee:- H. Wootton, Walsall                                    Attendance 4,000

With both sides already knocked out of the F.A. Cup they took the opportunity for some much needed match practice. 

SATURDAY 14TH JANUARY, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Corbett) NORWICH CITY 1 (Ashman)

Lewis; Jones, Skidmore; Walters, Foulkes, Newman;
Hewitt, Corbett, Chapman, Betts, Giles;

Nethercott; Duffy, Lewis; Pickwick, Low, Armes;
Gavin, Kinsey, Ashman, Jones, Church;

Referee:- L.D. Thompson, Worksop                                 Attendance 11,000

A hard earned point for the Saddlers against a strong looking Canaries side.

SATURDAY 21ST JANUARY, 1950

FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 4 (Goffin 2, Ford, Craddock) MIDDLESBOROUGH 0

Rutherford; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin Moss (F);
Craddock, Gibson, Ford, Goffin, Smith (L);

Ugolin; Dicks, Blenkinsopp; Bell, Whittaker, Spuhler;
Reagan, Linacre, Fenton, McCrea, Walker;

Referee:- J.W. Bowers, Huddersfield                           Attendance 30,000

For once the long suffering Villa supporters went home happy. Four goals in one game almost unheard of in recent times. Billy Goffin appearing at inside left instead of his usual left wing role and helped himself to two goals against a Middlesborough side struggling without several big name players.

Middlesborough 1949-50

Monday, 12 October 2015

The Midlands football scene 1949-50 (Part one)

Posted by Tony Hutton

Apologies for the delay in continuing my football marathon, but during the cricket season my full time job is watching and blogging on that sport to the exclusion of almost all else.

However I can now take up the story from October 1949 following my move from Yorkshire to Walsall in the West Midlands, due to my father's job. I was twelve years old but already a football fanatic and the big bonus for me, after the problems of moving schools and trying to learn the local dialect, was the number of teams I could now watch. Not only Walsall, then languishing in the lower reaches of Division Three (South), but Aston Villa, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolves were all within easy travelling distance.

The first clubs I concentrated on were the two nearest, i.e. Walsall and Aston Villa, but in time I watched them all over different periods and this would continue until the end of the 1966-67 season when I moved on again.

SATURDAY 15th OCTOBER, 1949
LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 0 MANCHESTER UNITED 4 (Rowley, Bogan, Mitten 2)

Jones; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Craddock, Dixon, Howarth, Lowe (E), Goffin;

Crompton; Ball, Carey (capt); Warner, Lynn, Cockburn;
Deleaney, Bogan, Rowley, Pearson, Mitten;

Referee:- R.N. Lloyd, Oswestry.                                     Attendance 47,483

Not much information on this game, although I remember Manchester United playing in blue shirts. They had a few changes from last season's cup winning team with Johnny Morris having gone to Derby to be replaced by Scotsman Tommy Bogan. Ball and Lynn were deputising for Aston and Chilton, probably due to injuries. As the score suggests they were still an outstanding side and had no problem taking the points from a poor Villa outfit.
There were some useful players for Villa including Welsh internationals Keith Jones in goal and wing half Ivor Powell. Con Martin was an Irish international centre half, previously with Leeds United and Eddie Lowe had played wing half for England.


SATURDAY 22ND OCTOBER, 1949
FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION THREE (SOUTH) AT FELLOWS PARK

WALSALL 1 (Morris) SOUTHEND UNITED 1 (Wakefield)
Lewis; Methley, Skidmore; Walters, Foulkes, Green;
Medd, Morris, Whitehouse, Devlin, Betts;

Hankey; Lindsay, Walton; Wallbanks, Sheard, French;
Jones, McAlinden, Wakefield, Morris, Tippett;
Referee:- W. Ling, Cambridge                                       Attendance 11,000

I started my quest to see all the teams in the Third Division South at the compact Fellows Park ground, which was virtually three sided due to the proximity of the laundry wall at the railway end of the ground. Walsall had a rather diminutive goalkeeper in Jack Lewis, who was a very good player and had a lot of work to do during the season. Left back was Bill Skidmore, a Yorkshireman, with a tremendous left foot shot for penalties and free kicks. Reg Foulkes was a commanding centre half and inside forward Johnny Devlin, from Scotland, was the main goalscorer.

The goalscorer for Southend in this match was Albert Wakefield, who I had previously seen playing for Leeds United. Jimmy McAlinden was an Irish inside forward who played for Portsmouth in the last cup final before the war and later for Stoke City before joining Southend. 


SATURDAY 29TH OCTOBER, 1949
LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 1 (Dixon) STOKE CITY 1 (Sellars)
Jones; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Craddock, Gibson, Ford, Dixon, Goffin;

Herod; Watkin, McCue; Mountford (F), Franklin (capt), Sellars;
Mountford (G), Bowyer, Godwin, Johnstone, Ormston;

Referee:- J. Houston, St Annes on Sea                                Attendance 40,000.

Dickie Dorsett, the Villa left back, had come from Wolves and was a poweful tackler and striker of the ball. Miller Craddock was a young fair haired winger and Colin Gibson had come from Newcastle and stayed for seven seasons. He played for the Football League XI but never quite made it as an international. Trevor Ford, was the bustling Welsh international centre forward and Johnny Dixon was to become one of Villa's regular goalscorers and would eventually captain them to a Cup Final victory.

Neil Franklin, the England centre half, was Stoke's big star and was soon to become embroiled in the Bogota scandal, when several leading players including team mate George Mountford and Charlie Mitten of Manchester United went to South America for huge wages in comparison with what was available in England.

Neil Franklin, Stoke City and England

SATURDAY 5TH NOVEMBER, 1949
LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Devlin) PORT VALE 0
Lewis; Methley, Skidmore; Walters, Foulkes, Newman;
Medd, Heseltine, Whitehouse, Devlin, Betts;

King (R); Hamlett, Butler; McGarry, Cheadle, Todd;
Barber, Allen, King (G), Polk, Hulligan;

Referee:- B.M. Griffiths, Newport, Monmouthshire                 Attendance 9,000

Walsall collected two valuable points thanks to Johnny Devlin's goal. Port Vale included two little known players who were to become famous later in their careers. Bill McGarry gave valuable service to Huddersfield Town and Ronnie Allen had a marvellous career with West Bromwich Albion, both winning international honours with England.
Port Vale including two future England players Bill McGarry and Ronnie Allen

SATURDAY 12TH NOVEMBER, 1949
LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 2 (Ford, Craddock) SUNDERLAND 0
Jones; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss (F);
Craddock, Gibson, Ford, Dixon, Smith (L);

Mapson; Stelling, Hudgell; Watson, Walsh, McLain;
Wright (T), Broadis, Davis, Shackleton, Reynolds;

Referee:- F.H. Gerrard, Preston                                         Attendance 40,000

Sunderland 1949-50

A good win for Villa against a strong Sunderland side, which just could not get it together. Ford, who was soon to join the visitors in a big money transfer deal, scored the first goal and the youngster Craddock the second. Sunderland's two big name inside forwards, Ivor Broadis and Len Shackleton had little impact on the game.Willie Watson, the Yorkshire cricketer, gave his usual polished performance at wing half.


Trevor Ford in action for Villa at Fulham