Mick's Football Memories

Mick’s Football Memories – part 6

My great interest in amateur and non-league football started when I watched the 1956 Amateur Cup Final between Bishop Auckland and Corinthian Casuals. The match ended in a one all draw and was watched by 100,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium.

Bishop Auckland subsequently won the replay 4-1, in what was the second of a hat trick of wins in the competition. They were the most successful club in the history of the Amateur Cup, winning it a total of ten times. Watching this match inspired a love and interest in amateur football, particularly at the top end, Northern League, Isthmian League and Athenian League which has lasted to this day. This in turn led to an interest in semi-professional football and the Southern League in particular. Several Hertfordshire clubs had considerable success in the Amateur Cup, including Barnet, Bishops Stortford, Hitchin Town and St.Albans City. This interest led to me visiting Hitchin Town on many occasions during their time in the Athenian League and I continued to watch them after they were invited, and accepted an offer, to join the Isthmian League in 1963.

The 1956/57 season was a disappointing one for Wolves with them finishing sixth in Division One behind Manchester United, who were champions. Aston Villa won the FA Cup, beating Manchester United by two goals to one, hence preventing them from being the first team this century to complete the league and cup double.

The season however was even more disappointing for Knebworth FC as they finished bottom of Division One in a re-constituted Herts. County League, without winning a game. Their final record being Won 0, Drawn 4, Lost 20. There was a photograph of this team, with a caption underneath it, which hung in the old pavilion at Knebworth Rec. for many years. Knebworth did not enter a reserve team into the league this season. London Colney won the Premier Division and Dickinsons (Croxley) won Division One. London Colney, unlike Manchester United, completed the league and cup double, defeating Colney Heath 2-1 in the Aubrey Cup (League Cup) Final. The Aubrey Cup had been donated to the league by the Aubrey family from Redbourn after the Great War. The original trophy was replaced for the 1952/53 season.

Bishop Auckland completed a hat trick of wins in the Amateur Cup, beating Wycombe Wanderers 3-1 and Real Madrid retained the European Cup, defeating Fiorentina 2-0. Manchester United became the first English team to enter the competition.

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