Mick's Football Memories

Mick’s Football Memories – Part 16

Stevenage Town had joined the Southern League at the start of the 1963/64 season and finished a creditable sixth in Division One at their first attempt. The star player in the Stevenage side was Johnny Brooks, the ex Tottenham Hotspur player, who had been capped a couple of times for England and would, a decade later, manage Knebworth.

Hitchin Town in their first season in the Isthmian League finished fourteenth. As I was now playing regularly on Saturdays I would take every available opportunity to watch both Hitchin and Stevenage mid week matches played under floodlights.

The 1964/65 season was an excellent one for Knebworth. In our first season in the Herts. County League Premier Division we finished fifth behind champions Leggatts Way Old Boys. Runners up were Kings Langley who at that time played on a site at the old Ovaltine factory. They were later to lose this ground for development and would become nomadic for several seasons. Buntingford Town won Division One, Kings Langley Reserves Division Two and Hawker Siddeley Dynamics Reserves Division Three. Leggatts Way Old Boys completed the double defeating Leavesden Hospital 2-0 in the Aubrey Cup Final.

At the end of the season Knebworth played Woolmer Green in the “Denny Croft Trophy”. This was in aid of a gentleman of the same name who lived in Datchworth and was seriously ill. This game played at Woolmer Green recreation ground, was extremely well supported and would be played for several more seasons in the future. The reason for the large attendance no doubt was because the referee was Dave McKay and the two linesmen were Cliff Jones and Jimmy Robertson. After the match we all retired to the Red Lion pub, where Dave McKay proved he was as good a drinker as he was footballer!

Both Stevenage Town and Hitchin Town improved on their initial season in their new
leagues; Stevenage finishing fifth in the Southern League Division One and Hitchin
finishing eleventh in the Isthmian League.

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