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 Steve Tyler (JRGS 1966-74) reports on football-playing alumni from the Fifties...

Wearing my hat as Croydon Amateurs historian and archivist, I noticed that The Mill recently included an image of school football teams from 1949-50, as can be seen below; Peter Oxlade (JRCS 1940-44) supplied these files after a visit to see Charles Smith (JRGS teacher 1942-78). The names in the caption caught my eye: namely Bill Prior, Laurie Montague and Melvyn Williams, as players of those names turned out at the Croydon Arena in the Fifties.
   Does anyone know whether they were one and the same, please? Looking at the ages of the players in 1949, and bearing in mind that Croydon Amateurs FC was founded in 1953 when these would have been adults, I put two and two together and have hopefully made four - Mr. "Smut" Smith would be proud!
   And these chaps weren't school friends of mine; I wasn't even born at that time!

JRGS football teams 1949/50

Stephen Tyler, Anytown, Anycountry; January 2019 Email

Julian Chenery (JRHS 1969-75) adds: I played in the same Ruskin team as Reggie Gaston, Cliff Gould and Teddy Dunne - all superb players. We won the U16 Croydon Schools Football League in 1973, and lost the Cup Final 2-0 against Selhurst (I think) which was played up at Fairchildes.
   I also played football with "Slug" Tyler for the Second XI when I was in the Sixth Form and down at Bingham Rec.

Tony Childs (JRGS 1947-53) adds: In reply to Steve Tyler, I played school football with Laurie Montague, Bill Pryor and Melvyn Williams - I appear in the back row of the photo). Although I have no concrete evidence, I think it very likely that they are the same as appear in the archive of the Arena. All three left school at 16 (Laurie at 15) in, I think, 1951. Laurie went to Fulham for two years but was deemed too small.
   A few additions and corrections to the photo. The unknown goalkeeper in the back row is Paine. In between Alan Sherman and Alan Deane in the second row is Dickie Burnley. Fourth from the left in the front row is Blundell. Paddy Bristone in the back row should read Paddy Bristowe; Eric Muggeridge, also in back row, should read Ernie Muggeridge.


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