A couple of weeks ago an enquiry about Brownhills United football team reached me from Andy Richards in Florida, USA – he wanted to know if anyone had any memories of this long lost footy team.
There was a surprisingly strong response to the post, which pleased me as I thought it might be a slow burner.
I’ve had a great message and photo sent in by Bob Woodward, a veteran of the team, who’s supplied a wonderful photo and some great memories.
My thanks to Bob for an excellent and fascinating contribution. Wonderful.
Please, if you remember the team, can answer Bob’s points or have anything at all to add, do comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
Bob Woodward wrote:
Following Andy Richards enquiry about Brownhills United here’s a photograph of the squad that won the Staffs County Div 2, season 1974/75. I think it was Div 2.
They are. Back row L to R. P Chapman(committee), A Pearce, A Dixon, D Kilbride, A Portman, M Beddows, R Jagelski, ? P Mills, N Bailey, J Cooper, M Arblaster , D Wright.
Front row L to R. B Lewis(committee) P Wilkinson, S Surch, M Gerry (Manager) R Woodward, R Hayward, B Cooper.
The two on the ground are L Jackson and M Hawkins.
Others who played that season who do not appear on the photograph are Steve Russell, Billy Ryles and possibly Paul Wilkinson’s brother Phil. Can’t remember, it’s 40 years ago, somebody help please?
At the time Andy was enjoying success with Brownhills, 72/73, Micky Gerry was looking after the football team at Walsall Wood Youth Club. When he was invited to become Brownhills Utd manager, possibly 73,74? Several of the Youth Club team followed him. Myself, Steve Russell, Steve Surch,Pete Mills, Paul Wilkinson and Billy Ryles, maybe.
What I recall about that 74/75 winning season is a fixture backlog that required us to play 5 games, I think, in 8 days and needing to win most if not all of them to top the division. The league was won on the final day with a win at Penkridge.
But, Andy is correct when he refers to problems regarding a permanent home for the club. This squad was denied the chance to play in a higher division because the facilities at the Aldridge Airport ground we were using were not considered good enough. Is that where we were playing? I recall an offer to move to Yates Sports ground near the Turf pub but, that was rejected by Brownhills Utd. Again I need help for confirmation.
A few of us left at the end of that season including myself so, I’m struggling to help Andy after that. I cannot remember if Mick managed the following season or if Barry Copper took over then. Mick was certainly at Walsall Wood f.c a few seasons later, reunited with myself, Dennis Kilbride, Alan Dixon and Alan Pearce. Barry was also at Walsall Wood in the early 80’s so, did that coincide with Brownhills Utd ceasing to exist?
Sadly a few on the photograph are no longer with us. Mick Gerry, Pete Mills, Paul Wilkinson and John Cooper. I’m also aware that 2 of the players Andy listed, Bruce Fryer and Ticka Brookes, have joined them on the great footie pitch in the sky.
I do bump into some of the other lads occasionally, Dennis Alan Dixon, Bob Hayward and Martin Hawkins and I’m glad to report that all retain the same . And Barry Cooper has only recently stopped wearing those flared trousers.