Mick's Football Memories

Mick’s Football Memories – part 23

It was at about this time that Johnny Brooks, the former Stevenage Town, Tottenham Hotspur and England International, came to Knebworth as player manager. This had both a positive and negative effect on the club. He was a very friendly man, extremely knowledgeable, and he taught us a lot about improving our skills and knowledge. On the pitch he attracted players from a more senior level, which in a few seasons time would lead to Knebworth winning their one and only Herts. County League Premier Division title to date. The negative effect of this was that the first team in particular no longer consisted of local players, with a couple of notable exceptions, hence losing its perception as a village club. The only options for long serving local lads was to either play in the reserves or leave the club, which some did in search of first team football. There was albeit an unintentional positive side to this as the reserves won the Reserve Cup four times in eight years during the 1970’s and the Division One Championship once. Another negative effect was that when Johnny left the club the players he had brought in left and the first team was relegated, which automatically demoted the reserves from Division One.

The conclusion of the 1971/72 season saw Leggatts Way Old Boys win the Herts. County League Premier Division title. Leavesden Hospital won Division One, Hawker Siddeley Aviation Division Two and Leavesden Hospital Reserves Division Three. St.Margaretsbury won the Aubrey Cup defeating Rickmansworth Town 2-1 in the final. Knebworth finished fifth in the Premier Division and the reserves mid table in Division One. Rickmansworth Town were the only county league team to enter the Amateur Cup, defeating Wingate 3-1 in the First Qualifying Round before losing narrowly to Hemel Hempstead Town 3-2 in the Second Qualifying Round.

For the 1971/72 season the Southern League had split its Division One into North and South divisions. Stevenage Athletic were allocated to play in the North Division and finished 15th out of 18. Hitchin Town finished in mid table in the Isthmian League.

In the inaugural season of the UEFA Cup Wolves and Tottenham contested the final with Tottenham winning 4-3 over two legs.

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