First team, Mick's Football Memories, Reserve team

Mick’s Football Memories – part 3

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.
First team, Mick's Football Memories, Reserve team

Mick’s Football Memories – part 2

Towards the end of 1953 I became close friends with a school mate and we would both visit each other’s houses several times a week after school. For Christmas he was given a football annual which highlighted in both words and pictures the 1953 F.A. Cup Final between Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers, known as the Stanley Matthews Cup Final.
This was the first time I had heard of or become aware of the F.A. Cup. We both learned a lot from reading about this match and looking at the many photographs. Bolton, including Nat Lofthouse, the England centre forward had led by three goals to one but Blackpool fought back to win 4-3 in arguably the best cup final ever seen, with Stanley Matthews running rings around and tormenting the Bolton defence.
The 1953/54 season ended with Wolves winning the First Division Championship for
the first time ever, making one little boy extremely happy.
By now I had a pair of football boots, the only problem was I didn’t know what to do
with them. They were plain leather with a toe cap and a strap going across the top of
the boot. They went right up over the ankle and had wooden studs. The laces were as
long as I was tall and went underneath the boot, then round the back of it, before
being tied at the front. No sooner had I mastered the art of tying them, than together
with my school mate we became the envy of all the boys. His granddad had a
cobbler’s or shoe mender’s shop in Knebworth High Street and he removed the
wooden studs from our boots and fitted rubber studs, almost unheard of at the time.
For the remainder of our time at Knebworth Primary School I was able to play
football in the organised matches and wearing a school football kit.
First team, Mick's Football Memories, Reserve team

Mick’s Football Memories – part 1

Mick Cooper is a Club volunteer and former Knebworth player, and was a long-standing committee member of the Herts Senior County League.

In nearly seventy years of playing, administrating and watching football I have many happy memories to look back on.  My earliest memory takes me back to 1953, as a seven year old.  That was the time when Knebworth Primary School decided to provide football training as part of our games lesson.  On a Wednesday afternoon we would queue up at the school gates, waiting to be taken up to Knebworth Rec. to play football on what is now A2 pitch.  The only problem was that I, like many of the boys did not have a pair of football boots.  Times were difficult after the Second World War and finances were strained.  The boys that did have football boots were given a football kit and played a match under the jurisdiction of the teacher.  Those of us who did not have boots were designated to play in what was known as “The Scraps”.  This meant we chased a football around the rec., still dresse    d in school uniform and under no control what so ever from the teacher.  As there was only one teacher available he would choose to organise and control the boys with boots and a kit who were playing a match.  This proved to be a regular occurrence, much to the dismay of my parents, as I would come home plastered in mud from head to toe, with my school uniform filthy.

At about this time we were given an old television with a nine inch screen and a large glass object, tinted pink, which was placed in front of the screen, this was a magnifying glass.  On this I watched my first football match, a floodlit friendly between Wolverhampton Wanderers and a team from Argentina, who they comprehensively thrashed by five goals to one.  Having watched this, with Wolves becoming the first English team I had seen play, I immediately became their number one supporter.

 

Adult teams, First team, Reserve team

Seniors’ season underway

The First team have had a mixed start to their Herts Senior County League premier division campaign; beginning with home draws against Weston (sixth in the table) and Cuffley (currently third), before defeat at Chipperfield (now ninth). A morale boosting win at home to bottom-of-the-table Sun Sports moved them to 11th and will hopefully ignite their season.

You can view their fixtures and results here; pop down to a home game where the kettle is always on, and you can get a front row view of the action.

The Reserves began with away defeats to Stevenage Borough Community (fourth in Reserves Division One) and Wheathampstead (seventh) before drawing at Bengeo (fifth), and currently sit eighth in the table. Their fixtures and results are here.

Jian Earle 3
Jian Earle on the ball against Sun Sports – image courtesy of Alan Sleator, Wonderful PR, http://www.wonderfulpr.com