Do you remember Brownhills United?

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Church Street recreation ground in Clayhanger, formerly home to Brownhills United FC. Imagery from Bing! Maps.

A great enquiry reaches me from Florida, USA the home of Brownhills lad Andrew Richards, who emigrated there in 1990 – when Andy lived here, he played for Brownhills United and has written a wonderful piece requesting information on this lost local team.

It’s a great question and a side I’m keen to find out more about, as although we have plenty of material about Walsall Wood FC, and a little about Brownhills Albion, I don’t think we’ve really covered much local soccer in Brownhills.

Please, if you can help, do comment or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

My thanks to Andy, who wrote:

Hi Bob

Discovered your blog a few months ago and have enjoyed it immensely. I lived in the area back in the 70s and 80s before emigrating to Florida in 1990. We lived on Watling Street just down from Whitehorse Road, our two daughters were educated at Brownhills Comp and before that at the junior and infants school at the junction of the Parade and Watling Street.

I wondered if anyone had ever come to you with memories of Brownhills United FC. I played for them for 10 years on and off as a goalkeeper and have some great memories of my playing days and the people I met but have now lost contact with.

In the early 70s we played in the Staffs County league our home ground was at the recreation ground in Church Road, Clayhanger getting changed in the Church hall. While holding our own in the league but not setting it alight we did have success in the Fazeley Cup, one of the oldest cups in the area. We reached the final two years running, winning once and losing once, I think it would be 1972 and 1973.

The team as I can remember from those days was made up of the following:

Me (Andy Richards), Bob Dolan, Michael Joberns, Alan Portman, Horace (Hoss) Timbrell, Pete ???, Bruce Fryer, Michael Cook, Bob Hobster, Alan Winter, Michael Brookes, Alan Dixon, John and Barry Cooper. The team at that time was managed by Bob (Libby) Hill. Apologies to thise I may have missed.

In the years following the team did start a reserve side and the first team was later managed by George Martin and then Mick Geary and became quite a force in the Staffs County league before it lost traction and I believe broke up in the early to mid 1980’s. I think one of the problems came from not having a solid home ground in the Brownhills area as over the years the team moved from Clayhanger, to Walsall Airport to Ogley School to Rushall etc.

It would be great to hear if anybody else remembers the team and its achievemnets.

Best Regards
Andrew (Andy) Richards

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8 Responses to Do you remember Brownhills United?

  1. Hi Andrew, I presume that the ?? by Pete means you cannot remember his name. I was just wondering if you knew if United became attached to The Station and Roy Heath later. I was assosciated with that team in the late 70’s and they were run by a Pete, and I cannot remember his surname but hidden in the old grey cells, I seem to remember him saying that they were at one time called Brownhills United and played in Clayhanger. In the late 70’s they played in the center of Holland Park (in the park, not the Cricket pitch side)

    • Andrew Richards says:

      Hi Mike
      I want to say that Pete’s surname was Fletcher but not really sure. The last person in charge that I am aware of was Barry Cooper I think 1976/77 or round about then. Always seemed logical that Brownhills Utd should play at Holland Park but I don’t know the reasons why they didn’t, after all the facilities at Clayhanger were not really ideal, getting changed in the church hall !

  2. Mick Jobburns says:

    Hi Andrew ,
    I’m the Mick Jobburns in your team . I now live in Cannock & have done for the last 35 years . I was a young 20 year old when I played for the Brownhills United first team , they had two teams We then played on Holland Park next to the cricket pitch & the manager was Frank Handley .
    I played left back & played in one of the Fazeley Cup finals , I think the winning one but I’m not sure after all these years . Great to read your blog & bring back memories ..

    • Andrew Richards says:

      Hi Mike
      Yes you were left back I remember. Bob Hill was definitely manager when i first joined , Frank doesnt ring a bell with me.
      Didn’t you also go to Aldridge grammar ? Did you work at the Birlec ? I seem to recall you speaking with my wife, Mary, who worked there and telling her that Brownhills Utd needed a goalkeeper and that’s how I came to join them. Am I right ?

    • Andrew richards says:

      Hi Mike

      My wife was Mary Freeman and she worked for Stan Evans in purchasing. I didnt know they had their own team.
      I need to communicate with you further about Birlec but this is not the place for that. Can you email me arichards at indianlanding dot com .

  3. Mick Jobburns says:

    Hello Andrew ,
    You are right , your memory is better than mine . I went to Aldridge Grammar for one year until Shire Oak was opened . I worked at the Birlec for 12 years . Did your wife work in the punch card room with Wendy Hackett ( now Dunn ) . If so she might have gone to a Cookery Class at Brownhills Comp with my wife . What was her maiden name ? After playing for Brownhills United I played for Birlec Saturday & Sunday sides .

  4. Pingback: Brownhills United 1974-5: Athletic figures and groovy hairstyles | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  5. Stuart Beddow says:

    Hey Bob, my dad was the keeper for a few seasons there and was indeed the GK that played in the 5 games in 8 days(or something like that), he is the GK in the pic, Malcolm Beddow(not Beddows!, this has always been a bug bare of mine, why do ppl just add an ‘S’ on the end even when you’ve told them your name, even wrote it down! 🧐..anyway he left with a few other players to go to Bilston Town where a similar scenario happened, having to win and not concede a goal in about 6/7 games to win the league, unfortunately on the last game my dad dropped a bollock and let a goal in, well it ended 2-2 and they failed..on another note, the great Sir Geoff Hurst who was managing at the time approached my dad at the final whistle to shake his hand and tell him that, “you’ve had one hell of a run, it had to end sometime and I’m glad it was tonight!, and then said to him that ‘we do our homework, we know why this team has achieved this”, in other words he got a massive compliment from the ONLY player to ever score an hat trick in a world cup final, pretty cool stuff..

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