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A trip down memory Lane.

edited February 2014 in Luton Town Forum
I saw this article and thought some would be interested ?

On this day - the 4th February

It was a decent time to be a Town fan in 1953. The Hatters were riding high in the Second Division (now Championship) with a swashbuckling strikeforce of Jesse Pye and Gordon Turner smashing in the goals left, right and centre.
Pye scored in a 1-1 FA Cup draw at First Division Manchester City in front of 38,411 at Maine Road before Turner took centre stage in the replay – on this day 61 years ago. His hat-trick dismantled the Citizens as the Town thumped five past the City defence to advance to the fifth round. 21,991 Luton faces went home happy that day, mumbling, no doubt, that the good times lay ahead.
Fifty-eight years later, on 4th February 2011, that electric victory over City was a dim and distant memory as the Town needed an 85th-minute winner from Luke Graham to see off a stubborn a Gloucester City in the FA Trophy in front of 2,212 souls at a cold Kenilworth Road. How times change.
Actually lived through most of that. Didn't see Jessie but grew up watching Gordon crack them in from the edge of the box.
Thinking about the weather right now, I do remember Man City coming to Kennilworth Rd and scoring six, well Dennis Law did and game being abandoned due to unfit pitch, similar to new years day actually. Then Luton winning the rearranged game 3-1. Must dig the programme out to check the date. Happy reading and let's hope Tamworth game goes ahead. You are in for some serious rain down there. Where I am in Derbyshire it's not so bad.



  • Yes 52 good memories, I didn't see Pye play, but saw a lot of GT I even played along side him for Luton Celtic after he finished with Luton and played Sunday football, he still had a tremendous shot. I also watched the great man decline rapidly with his motor neuron decease.
    I was also at both Man C games. The first was called off when Hannah couldn't place the ball for a corner in the Oak rd/ Bobbers corner it was under 6 inches of water.
  • edited February 2014 Posts: 0
    I saw JP play but cannot really remember him, I was only 8 or 9 at the time. Like you I remember Gordon Turner very well throughout his long career through thick and thin. In my view, Luton's greatest ever player!
  • I'm much to young to remember those players mentioned but it's always good to hear or read about the legendary names that form a major part of our glorious history.
  • Knuckles: Strikers hunt in pairs. Just as Benson and Gray have developed an understanding, then throughout history there have been some great ones. Remember the 'G' men at Spurs? and preceding that, and Luton's greatest ever, Turner and Cummins.
  • Posts: 705
    Westsussexhatter I think I may just have played against you ? I played for a team calked Gold Star. I remember playing against Luton Celtic. My brother played in the same team for Gold Star.
    Lizard, yes GT was great to watch around the box. How about Ron Davies. Not a bad centre forward. Then there was John Orourke who for me could have done so much more with his career.
    Does anyone remember Ted Phillips coming to the Town for a short while from Ipswich?
    What about Graham French scoring that amazing goal then throwing himself into the crowd in the Bobbers stand. Unheard of in those days. Lovely times....yes.
  • ACF: Ted Phillips, there's a name from the past. Ungainly as an Elephant but the hardest shot I have ever witnessed. And talking of pairs, wasn't it Phillips and Crawford at Ipswitch?

    Those days down in the fourth division with O'Rourke, Whittacher, Harrison et al were great and yes, thought JO would be a top player. Ron Davies was a different class and Graham French, although brilliant, unfortunately never had the opportunity to prove it at the highest level. Also in those days the new Stanley Matthews, as he was known at Nottingham Forest, before breaking his leg, David Pleat wasn't too shabby.
  • 1952, I played for Luton Celtic in the 1967/8 season, I remember Gold Star but not as a North Home Counties Prem team. Weren't they a 1st or 2nd Div club? was it a cup game?
    My main NHC team was Red Poets who I played for for about 6 seasons until i left Luton in 1977.
    My Sat club was Vauxhall Motors.
  • WSH: Did you play for VM in the Spartan League? Did you know John Slack?
  • Posts: 705
    Lizard, I played for VM in the Spartan League when as an Apprentice for the company. Then spent the next 38 years there.
    Played in the days of Gerry Mullen etc. but was still eligible for the youth side in the Chiltern League. Eventually got farmed out to Limbury Boys Club. Then went to Hertford Town playing in the Athenian League with Maurace Walby who was coach over there at that time.
    My Sunday football was mainly played in the Sunday Premier league with Red Poets. The side to beat in those days was Parkside who had an excellent side. Through injury my playing days was cut short at the tender age of 25. I guess it gave me more time to watch the Hatters.
  • ACF: What years were you at LBC? 14-16 or 14-18? Did you do anything else there apart from football? Do the initials RN or DK ring any bells?
  • Liz I used to go to the dances at LBC in the sixties.
    Do you remember the Whelan family ?
  • Do you mean Curley? If so was in same class at school after he got expelled from his previous one. He was a member of the Lansdowne for years and also drank in the Jolly Topers. Not sure if he is still alive, haven't heard of him for some time.
  • edited February 2014 Posts: 705
    Westsussexhatter I played for the Poets from 1975 through to 1978 before finishing with injury. Did you play during those seasons?
    Lizard played for Limbury Boys U15 and 16. 1968/69 season RN DK I am struggling with right now. Need another clue!
  • ACF: you're a bit younger than me so you would have played for LBC after it relocated from the School. RN was associated with the Club for years, he was a local referee.
  • edited February 2014 Posts: 705
    Yes I recall conversations about when the LBC was running from a school.
    I played with lads like Robin wainwright who went Luton and Jimmy Macaffrey who signed for Notts Forest. Excellent youngsters at the time. At that time Luton Town farmed out their youngsters to local clubs so those who were not getting regular south east counties games were getting game time. So as I was not a regular in the youth team I was sent over to Limbury.
  • Remember the name Robin Wainwright, was he a winger? and did he progress to the Combination side with the odd first team game?
  • Posts: 705
    That's the one lizard. Although he was a traditional inside left number 10. Spent some time at Northampton as well. Then finished up in local football.
  • Although 4 years younger as kids Robin was good enough to play with us big'uns at Blundell Rd rec he lived about 200yds from me in Denbigh Rd, sadly His older brother Barry Wainwright who played CH for park side died last year.
    Robin had tremendous natural ability but lacked that extra quality needed to be a successful pro.
    If you played for Red Poets in the 70's then you know me, 1952
    Alan Jones and John Alder were two of the managers.
    Loz Grummett our linesman is a regular at KR traveling from the midlands.
  • Red Poets I remember,Pip Burman in goal, Dick Burman who died at 39, the O'keefe brothers, Spud Murphy, Les Slatter, Des Watts, Cecil ???.
  • Dave Peck in goal.
  • Roger Anderson CH.
  • Dave Peck, now there is a character - I believe he was still turning out well into his forties.
    Robin Wainwright is a maintenance assistant at Luton sixth form and still has the same long (albeit much greyer) hair.
  • was that Dave Peck the builder?
  • Posts: 0
    Dave Peck is the flamboyant Luton postman and star of Cilla's Blind Date, who most local folk would recognise by his hair and gnashers.

    I know Robin Wainwright from his time as manager at Stopsley Sports Centre. I used to play five a side with him. Lovely fella and a silky player.
  • Posts: 705
    Westsussexhatter, well, well....yes, I guess I do. Alan Jones took me to Poets as I used to work with Alan at Vauxhall. John Alder managed Electrolux for a while where I captained the second string for him for one season in 1978.
    Terry Okeefe worked at Vauxhall too. I remember all those names you listed. I will send you a personal note westsussexhatter. I think it's time to reveal ones self .
  • Stevo said:

    I know Robin Wainwright from his time as manager at Stopsley Sports Centre. I used to play five a side with him. Lovely fella and a silky player.

    I too played 5-aside on a good number of occasions with Robin whilst he was manager at the Stopsley SC and you're right, in spite of his advancing years he was still a good player and as you say...a real nice fella.
  • AFC52, I'm slowly putting together a list of as many contemporaries as I can. Watch this space you might be mentioned.

  • Posts: 705
    Westsussexhatter , I will with baited breath !
  • Dave Peck in goal.

    I played with Les Slatter and against Dave Peck once.

    Dave Peck to ref: "Ref can you send me off for what I'm thinking?"
    Ref "No"
    Dave Peck "Well I think you're a ****"
    Laughter and didn't get sent off.
  • Okay 1952 here's the list. I hope you are on it.
    Vauxhall Motors.
    Frank Weedon. GK. Colin Weedon. Roy Cruikshanks. Mick Hoar. Gerry Mullen. Derek Mardel. Dudley Matthews. Dave Clarke. Barry Dollymore. John Dellar.
    Graham Ball. John Fennell. Liam McHugh. Don Yule. John Hill. Steve McMellon. Vinnie Keane.
    Dave Pedder. Muz Murray. Bob Watt. Stuart Watt Bonny Watt. Brian Hanscombe. Derek Tombs. Roy Halewood. Mick Hughes. Alan Emmerson.
    Steve Offer. Geoff Tillcock. Les Thurlborne. Malc Thomlinson. Pete Leaning. Gwynn Evans. Dave Summers. Brian Gill. Billy Christian. John Whortley . Connie Davies Micky Woods. Maurice Howkins Ken Adair (cousin of Luton T author Alan Adair). Derek Potter. Jim Heaney. Ken Edge. Kenny Bevis. Roger Haddon . Bob Taylor.
    Vic Hines. George Turner. Manager. Andy Anderson. Committee. Taffy Thomas. Committee.

    John Quinlan. Mick Alder. John Alder. Mick Alford. Charlie Dearden (father of Kevin Dearden. GK) Grandad Stevens. Terry Brown. GK

    Pop Whalley John Douglas. .

    Barry Wainwright. Stuart Lyden. Barry Butterfield. Pete Clarke.

    Paul Giggle. Peter Denton.

    Gray Valley.
    Ken Pain GK. Brian Pain, Gray. Ian Ormiston. Denis Ridley. Paul McAllear. John Kershaw. GK. Bill Large. Roger Skeggs Manager. Bob Browning. John Duggan.

    Red Poets.
    Sammy Saville. Lol Grummet Committee.

    Luton Celtic.
    Robby Burt. Joe McGonigle. John Manderson. Gordon Turner. Ollie Duggan. Liam Duggan.

    Luton Saints.
    Dick Barton Player & Referee. Tommy Cameron. Tom Adams.

    Barton R.
    Barry Frost GK. Graham Frost. Barry Reed. Player/ Manager.

    Lexy Green GK. Stretch Godfrey. Tring. GK

    John Graves Hitchin
    Mick Fensome.
    Mick Peck
    Billy Carroll
    Rioch brothers (Bruce's)

    Ray Rodell Ref (a bad one)
    Gilbert Pain Ref (a good one)
  • Joe McGonigle (Luton Celtic) was gracious enough to let me beat him, just, in a cross country race at what was then Luton Technical school, in the very early sixties.
  • Yes Tassie, that was Joe, he did attend the Tech, you might know Ian Ormiston (Ormy) who also went to the Tech but was a year younger than Joe.
    If you were ion the same year as Joe you were in the same year as me. I went to Denbigh Juniors prior to senior school.
  • Yes Tassie, that was Joe, he did attend the Tech, you might know Ian Ormiston (Ormy) who also went to the Tech but was a year younger than Joe.
    If you were ion the same year as Joe you were in the same year as me. I went to Denbigh Juniors prior to senior school.

    Yes WSH remember playing along side " Ormy " in an intra-school game at the Tech. Wish I could say that it " only feels like yesterday ", but it don't !
  • Posts: 705
    Westsussexhatter ,
    Thank you for that comprehensive list, of which I know and have played alongside most of them. Worked with Steve Offer in Personnel at Vauxhall before he tragically lost his life.
    Alas, I am not on that list. My name is Tony Fox. Played at Vauxhall, Electrolux and Red Poets.
    Did you play with or know Ray Winch who also was at Vauxhall, he was my cousin, sadly died aged 66 18 months ago?
    Tassiehatter...Joe Mcgonigle, now there's a name to conjure with,believe he was a shop steward at Vauxhall ?
  • ACF, Joe Mac as a shop steward, wouldn' t surprise me at all - always was a determined bloke, have to be to stand up against General Motors !
  • I worked with a Bob Watt in the toolroom at VM. I also worked with Dave Summers at both VM and Rootes/Chryslers
  • I recognize the the name Tony but unfortunately can't put a face to it. Sorry to hear about Ray and Steve, how did Steve die?

    Yes Joe was a shop steward, they asked us Drawing office members to go out on strike in support of Joe when he was sacked after he laid out a foreman after work in Kimpton Rd. We told them where to go, I don't know if he ever got his job back.

    hodgepodge didn't you know John Kershaw of the tool room on that list.
  • I'm not too sure. I left the toolroom about 50 yars ago and moved to another dept. and several other companies after that
  • edited February 2014 Posts: 705
    Tassiehatter, yes I remember JM as a T&G shop steward. Quite an excitable character. At that time I was in Industrial Relations in Personnel so I came across him quite often. Some would say he could start a fight in an empty room !
    Westsussexhatter, I remember when he got fired and the fall out it caused.
    Westsussex, you asked about Steve Offer, sadly one day after work he took his own life. Suicide I am afraid. Terrible shock for all who worked alongside him in the Personnel dept at that time.
    Really good to go back down memory lane with all this stuff...happy times I am pleased I raised the discussion.
  • Sorry to hear about Steve, a nice lad and a very quick winger. I grew up near JM he usually got others to fight his fights as a kid, not surprised he turned out to be a Union S.S.
  • Don't normally join these things but couldn't resist after seeing your list.
    These names are a real blast from the past!

    I used to sell programmes at Kenilworth Road 1962/3.

    Barbarians - One of the founder members of Barbarians Sunday football team in early 1960's. Not allowed to play competitive Sunday matches in those days, only friendlies against teams like Luton Nomads at Stockwood - Pop Whalley, Alan Rowley, Bob Simpkins, Barry Yearsley, Brian Morgan, John Close and a young John Douglas all played. When Sunday League football was sanctioned Barbarians were one of the founder clubs. Played home matches at Stockwood Park drank at the Enterprise pub in Elizabeth Street.
    Johnny Draper (from Draper's Coaches) played for us on condition he would let us on his coaches to the Mecca at Stevenage and Top Rank at Watford on a Saturday night!

    Icknield - around 1966 played with Don Yule, Tim & Jed Large, Barry & Pete Bright and football tours to Belgium and Jersey. We were briefly coached by Dave Pleat who was playing for Luton at the time (taught us to play football on the floor and in triangles) on occasions Graham French would turn up accompanied by a greyhound!

    Occasionally turned out as a "ringer" for Britannia Airways on a Sunday with Brian Murray in goal!

    Park Street Old Boys (formed by overage ex Vauxhall Youth players) - won Beds Junior Cup in 1968/69 - John O'Dell, Malc Large, Jim McTauge, John Douglas, Brian Murray, Dave Pedder, Dick Meadows, Phil Braund, Liam McHugh, Chas Gamble etc.

    Was in the same class and cricket team as Ian Ormiston at Tech School, still got long school photo from 1961, standing next to him.

    Still in touch with -
    John Douglas (was best man at his wedding)
    Brian Murray
    Don Yule
    Unfortunately Dave Pedder (bustling Vauxhall centre forward) died a few years ago.

    Sorry it's a bit long winded but this stirred great memories of many years ago!
  • Great post Spud, Dave Pedder died in Worthing, where live, of a stroke about 10 years ago, we went to many Luton games together with his and my boys.
    Did you know Graham Browning the ball boy at KR for many years.
    I played and or worked with Pop, Brian Morgan and Alan Rowley in the 60's at VM.
    Barry Yearsley and Bob Simkins recently at Boeing, Seattle.
    Give Johnny Douglas, Don Yule, and Brian Murray my regards, I'll PM you with my name.
  • Evening all ........ I imagine we're all either at KR or by the lap top for Diverse ( That's if you can pick it up, failed me for the last two games ! )

    Message for ACF1952 ...... is that Ticker Fox of Batford ?

    We may know each other from old.
  • Posts: 705
    Heatonmoorhatter,.....Good guess, yes you are right. Love to know who I am talking too ?
  • edited February 2014 Posts: 0
    My first post on here. I lived in Luton 1972-79. I worked and played for VM with Derrick Mardle as first team manager and Sir Matt in the seconds. Sundays I played for Leagrave Old Boys in the NHC Premier,it must have been one of the toughest Leagues to get up for, after a party at Pete Leaning's house!! We even began our own team called Chevettes FC,like the car it was full of holes!!. That will do for starters. Loved seeing some names from down Memory Lane,names I played with and against.One of the first results I still always look for is Luton Town!! I am now living on the South Kent Coast in Folkestone.
  • Posts: 705
    Now that's interesting SPORTSFERRET like you I spent my early years growing up in Folkstone. Lived with Grandparents at 15 Firbank Crecsent. Haven't been back in years but would love to.
    Remember Pete Leaning. Played against him several times I also played in the NHC Sunday league with Red Poets. Yes, it was a tough league with some excellent players. Westsussex has named quite a few.
    I also had a Chevette !
  • westsussexhatter, sorry didn't know Graham Browning.
    Dave Ped - what a great bloke, much missed. He got married two weeks after me in 1970. Remained good friends with his family ever since from Birchen Grove Luton, Dunstable to Worthing.
    Was last in Worthing in September for his youngest daughter's wedding. His wife has now got 17 grandchildren!!
    Never worked at VM, was apprentice at BAC at Luton Airport until VM took it over as their apprentice training school, transferred my apprenticeship to Hawker Siddeley Hatfield with Bob Simpkins and Barry Yearsley.
    Used to live two minutes from Stockwood Park so spent all my spare time in the early 60's kicking a ball around with lads from Farley Hill and London Road/Tennyson Road area.
  • Spud, are Spud Tatam, sorry If I got the spelling wrong. I remember VM taking the BAC apprentices,
    Trevor Lawrence for one, who died early,
    Ferret, wasn't the Chevett's formed in VM drawing office, names like Ziggy Biz, Jim Waites, Roy Hay manager, Greg Wright, Dave Litchfield GK and Terry Catlin, come to mind.
  • Posts: 705
    Heatonmoorhatter, seems as you said we just may know each other? I will send you a personal email using November contact. Hope it reaches you . If not do get back to me. Regards,
  • This whole thread is seriously nostalgic for me as an 'exile' from Luton for some 50 years but also ex Chiltern Youth League player with Luton Community Centre in the mid 60's. But I was at the Alfreton game on Saturday with Dick Mumford and Paul McAleer (exile too!) who is mentioned earlier and, indeed, we were talking about how Gordon Turner would never subsequently open up about the Cup Final - hardly surprising!

    But those names really stirred memories so thank you. I was at school (William Austin) with Joe McGonigle, Chris O'Keefe and a few others. Remember many of the other names. I was then at the Grammar School with Paul MacAleer, Gordon Day, Terry Wiles, Jack Handley, Jeb Brown, who may be off the radar for you all, but played school and club football in and around Luton in the 60's

    I am about to send Saturday's programme to Terry (Tedge) Allen, goalkeeper who was at Barnfield and has lived in Norway for many years - the Alfreton game was sponsored by the Luton Town Scandinavian Supporters but it might be news to him.

    Thanks again. ...and the Conference nightmare seems like it might be over - sshhhhh...
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