Merthyr Imp

Football Days

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Tidying up a cupboard, I've sorted through my old football programmes, and I thought I'd start to put a few images on here relating to the various Nottinghamshire clubs.

Starting with my first ever Forest match.

This was away to Crystal Palace, then in the Second Division (now the Championship) in the FA Cup 5th Round. I seem to remember Forest had beaten Sunderland in the round before.

In front of an attendance of over 41,000 Palace won 3-1, Forest's goal coming from Frank Wignall in a poor performance.

I remember I went with my mother's 'gentleman friend' on a trip from a pub which I think was the Robin Hood on Robin Hood Street - I remember that morning walking across the footbridge over Victoria Station and along a snowy Union Road to get there. A coach from Lamcote's of Radcliffe provided the transport.

After the game the party made its way to a restaurant near King's Cross station then a nearby pub (which I assume must have been known to some of them) where they drank steadily until closing time. Although not quite 15 years old I sat with them and nothing was said - probably due to being tall for my age. Got home in the early hours.

The front cover is practically blank except for a drawing of the old Crystal Palace, so here is the title page:

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These were the teams. Roy Horobin was a former Notts County player.

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There'd been hopes that Forest might have gone on to reach the Cup Final that year, and who knows? - if they'd beaten Palace that day history might have been changed and I'd be writing this under the name of Merthyr Red instead of Merthyr Imp.

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I've got stacks of Nottingham Forest programmes from games that I've been to over the years. When I was sorting the loft out I spent hours looking through them. There are League, Cup and European games in the boxes.

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Merthyr i actually remember that match at Crystal Palace,........i was working in Nuneaton with a Palace supporter,..........i was gutted.

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My first visit to Meadow Lane was 5th February 1966. Unfortunately Notts won 2-1 in Division IV (now League Two). A decent attendance of 5,122 considering Notts were mid-table.

I'll just copy the front cover and a page of adverts.

Notts team was:

1. George Smith

2. Ivan Hampton

3. Tony Bircumshaw

4. John Sheridan

5. Alex Gibson

6. Dick Edwards

7. Brian Bates

8. Tony Flower

9. Ron Still

10.John Beresford

11.Peter McNamee

Sub: Dennis Shiels

Notts manager was Ernie (Tim) Coleman

Notts205.2.66_zpshjh2cpvd.jpg

Notts205.2.662_zps0ehdim8i.jpg

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A couple of seasons later the cover design had changed to one that would last for a few more years.

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Score was 0-0 and the attendance was a very good 6,238 despite Notts being in the lower reaches of the Fourth Division at the time. Manager was Billy Gray. Team lineup included the young David Needham, later to play for Forest of course, and at centre forward was the almost as young Dave Watson later to find fame as a centre half for England. In midfield for Lincoln was the ex-Forest player Billy Cobb who later ran the Sherwood Inn on Mansfield Road, Sherwood for a number of years.

Notts2030.9.672_zpsiss5brux.jpg

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In December 1967 Arnold, then an established Midland League club reached the First Round of the FA Cup - as it said in the programme, as fine an achievement as Forest reaching Wembley. I went along to see their game against Bristol Rovers, then of the Third Division (now League 1). Somehow a crowd of 3,390 crammed into the ground, and if I remember correctly, the game was played on a snow-covered pitch. Rovers won 3-0.

I think this was a special edition of their match programme - I doubt they would normally have produced one costing a whole shilling!

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Of the players, I remember Joe Boucher was a prolific scorer for Arnold in those days, and Bobby Tait, the no. 10 was a former Notts County player.

In the Bristol Rovers side, Ray Mabbutt was the father of Spurs and England defender Gary Mabbutt.

Arnold209.12.67202_zps0fdcl0g4.jpg

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Another visit to Meadow Lane came on 1st March 1969, and another 0-0 draw with Lincoln. I won't bother showing the front cover of the programme as it was the same design as before - although the price had doubled to 1/-. Here's one of the advertisement pages:

Notts201.3.69202_zpsp9lkyvyy.jpg

I think manager of Notts at the time was Jack Wheeler. Despite struggling to avoid finishing in the re-election zone there was a decent attendance of 5,870. The team shows several players which formed the foundation for Jimmy Sirrel's success a year or two later - Dave Needham, Les Bradd, Richie Barker and Don Masson. Playing for Lincoln were a couple of notable managers-to-be in Graham Taylor and Jim Smith.

As I often say, you know you're getting old as a football supporter when you realise players you saw play have now retired as managers.

Notts201.3.69_zpsmtzlb5hi.jpg

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Couple of other spots in the Lincoln Team.

Ray Harford was Assistant Manager to Kenny Dalglish at Blackburn when they won the premier league in 1994/95. He had an unsuccessfull spell as manager when Dalglish stepped down. Barry Butlin went on to play for Forest 1974-77.

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Great to see your old progs. Merthyr, many of the old players names bring back fond memories,also nice to see the teams set out in the old formations,proper full backs,half backs and even inside forwards,...............then it got all complicated,...........deep lying centre forwards,wing backs and defensive midfielders,..........ah for simpler days and players who's name you could pronounce ,lol.

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There you are! Welcome back.

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Thankyou Katy, :)

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(#1) My first Forest match was one against Crystal Palace but some years before this. If I remember correctly, Forest won 1 - 0 and Tommy Capel scored the goal.

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Wondered where you'd got to, B45 (sounds like a face cream!). Hope you've enjoyed wherever you've been...

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Yes, the teams may still have been listed in the programmes in the old formations, but by then they had begun playing 4-4-2, 4-2-4 or 4-3-3.

What I don't like is the squad numbers of the present day. Thankfully, in the Southern League, which is where I watch my matches these days, the players are still numbered 1 to 11 (with substitutes 12 onwards).

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#15 too late for face cream' in my case Margie', and yes ta' had a lovely holiday.

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This was my first ever match at the City Ground - 31st March 1969. It was a rearranged match which explains why it was on a Monday night. I went along, attracted by seeing the European Cup holders, and was seemingly not the only one who did so, as there was an attendance of over 41,000 despite Forest struggling against relegation and United only being mid-table.

It was the only time I saw George Best play, but apart from him scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot remember very little of the game. I stood at the top of the terracing on the side opposite the main stand.

Forest manager at the time was Matt Gillies.

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The centre pages when opened out were too big for the scanner so I've put it in two halves:

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Forest2031.3.69203_zpsfxs7qul3.jpg

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Some of them Forest players bring back memories merthyr, Bob mckinlay kicked off a game for us when at school in 1956,new Peter Hindley when i lived in Peterboro,played with Henry Newton at schoolboy level,and Colin Hall saved me from a kicking at the 99 club circa 1970,..........happy days lol.

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Another visit to Arnold was to see them play a top team in the FA Trophy. Although not quite the draw they would be today, Wigan were one of the leading non-league teams in the country in those days. They were too strong for the home side, winning 5-2.

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Arnold2010.1.70202_zps0bsjqvih.jpg

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Another visit to the City Ground attracted by the opposition - Tuesday 13th April 1971, and Arsenal on their way to winning the double. They won 3-0 on the night with goals from Kennedy, George and McLintock. Attendance was over 40,000. Under Matt Gillies Forest were just clear of the relegation zone at the time although fielding a side with some useful players in it (and some not so useful):

1. Jim Barron

2. Peter Hindley

3. John Winfield

4. Bob Chapman

5. Liam O'Kane

6. Doug Fraser

7. Barry Lyons

8. Paul Richardson

9. Neil Martin

10. Peter Cormack

11. Ian Moore

Sub: Ronnie Rees

But Arsenal had one of their all-time great lineups:

1. Bob Wilson

2. Pat Rice

3. Bob McNab

4. Peter Storey

5. Frank McLintock

6. Peter Simpson

7. George Armstrong

8. George Graham

9. John Radford

10. Ray Kennedy

11. Charlie George

Forest201_zps6rwydx81.jpg

I've included this page because it shows the advert for the Golden Egg Restaurant on Parliament Street. Who remembers that?

Forest%202_zps8c6ib4jg.jpg

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Some great characters on both sides,pretty sure i was there Merthyr'..........and just a thought.......every one of em British.

and even one of the Managers was from Bulwell.

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I loved the Golden Egg, used to get a fry up for dinner as an energy boost while Saturday shopping....

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I'm not a big football fan but a couple of names come to mind Flip le flem Trevor hockey Winfield peter Grummit I think billy grey. not sure what year that was.

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