I was recently contacted by reader Richard Lee, who gently suggested that I was missing something with my local history coverage. Richard was quite right, I have left untouched a quite large piece of Brownhills history – the fact the we had a major-league football star in our midst.
Dickie Dorset played for Wolves and Villa and was a real footballing hero, signing to Wolves in 1937, and after the football break during World Warr II, during which Dickie served in the RAF, he signed to Aston Villa for the princely sum of £3,000. He was a well respected player, and by all accounts a solid good sport with a great deal of skill and integrity. After a car accident in 1950, he briefly returned to mainstream football, but retired to become a coach in 1953. After a spell at Liverpool, Dickie returned to Brownhills around 1962 and ran Brownhills Boy’s Cub. Dickie sadly passed away in 1999.
Much is written about Dickie Dorsett online, but it’s Sue Lote’s work that most interests me. Sue states that Dickie actually came from a family with a strong footballing pedigree, and has some really interesting bits an pieces on her page dedicated to the man who became known as ‘The Brownhills Bomber’.
I’m interested in why there seems to be no memorial to Dickie in Brownhills that I’m aware of – no streets named after him, and I’m similarly unaware of any memorials or dedications to him. Surely that’s a bit of a municipal oversight?
As readers can probably tell, football is a long way from my natural constituency, but I’d be interested in anything anyone would like to contribute about Dickie, or any other local sporting heroes. We’ve mentioned Walsall Wood Football Club before, and it would be nice to hear about Dickie’s life and folks’ recollections and legends. Brownhills has had various football and cricket teams over the years so there must be loads of stuff out there.
What do you know, folks? BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or comment here. Thanks to Richard Lee for the prod.
There’s also, of course, the mystery of the Dorsett inscription on the old Warreners Arms Pub, mentioned in my post ‘Persistence of Memory’…