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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Yeovil in the Championship - Quite a journey from Cliff Myers joining Torquay!

Well, I will be honest, I never thought I would see the day. Back in the day, when I was a regular at the old Huish, watching Stewart Housley and John Clancy tearing up the wings and crossing onto the head of Dicky Plumb, we dreamt of a place in the Football League but were constantly frustrated by the re-election year after year of Bradford Park Avenue, Workington Town and Stockport County.

When we did have a sniff, Cambridge United and Wimbledon stole our thunder. Oh and Hereford. Well, where are any of those teams now? None are in the Championship and Wimbledon aren't even in London!

They were great days nevertheless. Plumb was an old style centre forward - combative, belligerent and clumsy. We saw him shoulder barge Dicky Guy of Wimbledon into the net and the goal was given! Like Cyril Davies, a gifted midfielder, he was given his chance at Charlton but neither really had it in them to play in the top half of the Football League.

Myers too, left for league football, joining Torquay. And if memory serves me right, had the decency to miss a penalty as we beat them 2-1 in a Cup game. Or is that wishful thinking? Maybe Myers scored the penalty before joining Torquay; it's all so long ago now!

Other players of that era who stand out in my memory are Mike Penguin Hughes, the pot bellied player manager, and Len Harris who was grounds man at our school.

Back then, as I say, making it into the League was an all but impossible dream. Yeovil Town was a West Country back water club with no local allies. The teams in the North West re-elected each other to maintain receipts from derby games and avoid expensive travelling costs - and back then, Bristol Rovers and City were not in the bottom division so could not support us.

There was that game against Arsenal - which we lost 3-0. I seem to remember a cup victory over, coincidentally, Brentford which we won 2-1. West Ham played a friendly at Huish and won 2-0 or 3-1. I remember Paul Brush scoring for the Hammers. Those games apart, the diet consisted of derby games with Weymouth and fixtures with the likes of Dartford, Romford and Nuneaton Borough.

Back then, Yeovil Rec was a joyous wilderness, the Duke of York served beer to fourteen year-olds, the old cinema was still open  (and, aged 14, I dressed up in a flared suit to get in to Ken Russell's The Devils), the Grammar school wasn't a housing estate, John Peyton sat in the safest Tory seat in the land and the biggest supermarket in town was Keymarkets managed by the terrifying, and now deceased Mr Hart. oh, and there was a petrol station on the Mudford Road in front of the water-buck and a shop to the left that sold football stickers!

So much water has gone under the bridges that cross the Yeo. Where are Chris Hoddinott, Michael Maggs, Chris Mills, Jimmy Hodder, John Tiffin, Bolton and Blackburn, Stagg, Cross, Looby J Reid and Paul Saunders now? John Parish is, of course, playing with P J Harvey.

Well done to Yeovil Town! West Ham won today, but your victory was so much more significant! Today, Yeovil Town, you came of age. And you made this old boy from the East End very proud!

5 comments:

  1. has David Gold been wafting hot air again into Upton Park? You sound like a raving loon

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shut up Neville and go outside you prick

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations for leaving 'Leeds' out of this headline. Should have a huge impact on the number of comments however it's the right thing you have done

    Oversight perhaps?

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  4. Saw Yeovil earlier this season at Bramall lane, they were great, all the very best to them for next season....Love from a Leeds fan

    ReplyDelete
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