By the start of the 1954/55 season, now eight years old, I would go up Knebworth
Rec. in the evenings and watch some of the early season mid-week matches. I would
lean against the goalpost and talk to the goalkeeper, whether he was playing for
Knebworth or the visitors. I was not allowed to go up the Rec. on Saturdays as I had
to go with my mother to visit my grandmother in Stevenage, who had recently lost her
husband, my granddad, who I was very close to. As the season progressed my mate’s
parents said I could go there for tea on a Saturday afternoon, enabling me to watch
football up the Rec. Frequently we would kick a football around on a piece of grass
adjacent to the pitch.
Up until this point I had never been allowed out to play on a Sunday as I had to go to
Sunday School but times were starting to change and we were beginning to be allowed out to play on Sunday mornings. There was no organised youth football at that time and nor would there be for many years to come.
Just about every boy in the village would turn up to play. We would play on the piece of
grass next to the tennis courts, where the amusements are now. We would use two trees as one goal, much to the displeasure of a local councillor and throw down a couple of coats for the other goal. By now I had a maroon track suit and thought I was the bees knees. Most of us wore canvas basketball boots and the football was leather with an inner tube and laced up. This got extremely heavy when wet and it was not a good idea to attempt to head it. We all wanted to be our favourite footballer and supporting Wolves I would always be Peter Broadbent, the very best footballer I have ever seen play.