The Rock

AS we sat around the barrack- room fire, the conversation turned to football. Funny how sport always crops up when I’m about. The lads had dealt effectively with the Russian advances, our air raids on Germany, the snow and slush outside, and now it was soccer. “What was the League match or Cup-tie that stands out in your m em ory?” was the question. Lanco-Corporal “Hutch,” our very Amy Life bulky and very cheery Squadron Leave Clerk, had no hesitation. He’s a Londoner. Thinks Arsenal a wonder team and still thinks so, despite the fact that we pulled his leg when Chelsea beat the Gunners 5—2 and 5—1 on Christmas Day and Box­ing Day. “It was at New Cross,” began Hutch, poking the fire with his boot.“ Millwall were playing Middlesbrough in the F.A. Cup. Borough were at their zenith with Camsell, Pease and Co., and were leading 3—1 at half-time. “Then the exciting second half. Mill­ wall made it 3—3 and, with only three minutes togo, George Chance, the Millwall outside-right, picked up a loose ball just insido his own half. He had no one to pass soto, he went on his own, beating man after man, five in all, and scored a marvellous winning goal.” Next up spoke Trooper Eric Hainsworth, a burly Tyke fra’ Bradford, very much liko the Yorkshire cricket brothers, Norman and the late Roy Kilner. •Gallant Defenders “It was a cup-tie at Huddersfield some 12 years ago when the Town, with Alec Jackson, George Brown, Smith, Wilson and the rest, were carrying all before them,” said Eric. “Bradford City were leading at half-time by a goal by Cochrane and the second half was all Huddersfield. But what a defence tho City put up! “Summers, the City’s Scottish centre- half, played the game of his life and 15 minutes from time the Valley Paraders wore still 1—0 ahead. Came a final assault by Town and Brown and Jack­son scored, but I’ll always remember the gallant display by the City de­fenders.” Said Trooper Bill Seddon, of Liverpool: “Tho Everton v. Sunderland cup-tie at Goodison a few years ago, which Everton won 6—4 after extra timo, was a classic. Glorious football and full of thrills.” Trooper Bert Winter recalled the Barnsley v. Manchester Utd. cup-tie just before the war. The result was 1—1 but an astonishing goal by Bokas, tho Barnsley half-back, will be talked about in Barnsley for years to come.“ Bokas was known for his big throw- ins,” said Bert. “In this match, he tossed one right into tho United’s penalty area. The ball bounced in front of Breen, the goalkeeper, who had Then, as it bouncod over his head Breen jumped and touched it —but into the net it forwent a goal. "Had Breen not touched the ball it would not have been a goal, because one cannot score direct from a throw-in.” Lance-Corporal Charlie Wayne is a Sheffield Wednesday diehard. “The best team in Britain,” he started. “Manchester City have plucked their feathers many a time,” said a Lancashire voice. A Wembley Memory Charlie ignored this: “Remember when the Owls beat West Brom. 4—2 in the final at Wembley,” he went Ion.“ was there. What a match! What a team! I can see Ellis Rimmer gott-ing a pass from Starling and running down the wing —”You seo. Ninety out of a hundred people remember Cup-ties and not League games. That’s because, for most folk, Cup- ties are few and far between. An exception came when Sergt. Bright- nian ( “ Shiney” to his pals) looked in: “Well I think the match at Newcastle a few weeks ago when ll.A .F .beat Scotland 4—0 was a smasher. Stanley Matthews was a marvel. The way he walked the ball up to opponents and left them stand­ing was a treat. I’ve never seen anything like it.” M y turn came. I ’ve seen so many matches that I had a hard job to pick one out— Dixie Dean scoring his 60th First Division goal in one season to beat George Camsell’s record of 59 Port Vale’s surprise 3—2 win at Everton when the “Blues,” top of the Second Division, thought they were on a soft thing when leading 2—0 with 10 minutes togo Manchester City’s Cup Final win over Pompey when Tilson came along with a And Sport couple in the closing stages after Ports­mouth had led 1—0 England’s 7—0 win over Ireland at 01 Trafford when Willie Hall scored five (in­cluding three in 3J minutes) and Matthews played a blinder Barnsley’s 2—1 Cup-tie win over Sheffield Wednesday when the home goal­keeper, a reserve, was carried off shoulder high at tho finish Villa’s 10—0 win over Burnley on the opening day of the season in which the new offside rule came into force, and soon and soon. Happy days! They’ll come again. Look at little Tranmere Rovers, for in­stance. They’ve got Big Ideas. They are planning to open aground in the middle of Birkenhead to house 70,000. Back to those peace-time Saturday nights when wo used to rush to buy the Brummagen “Sports Argus,” the Sheffield ’“Green Un,” the Bolton “Buff,” and all the other football papers up and down tho country. This Army Business Meanwhile there’s this Army business. After reading the interesting articles in “The Rock” Magazine about the spit, polish and bianco the last war lot had to do, I suppose we can consider ourselves lucky, though when we slap on our Khaki Green No. 3 we certainly do our share of grumbling. Every night we faithfully lie on our trousers to preserve the creases (or else sneak into the Sergeant’s bunk to bor­row his electric iron). We faithfully brush our berets, which attract all the BY FRANK COBB, former Sports Columnist of the Northern “Dally Herald," now in the Army. dust going, make our cap badges sparkle, give our brasses a rub, and dub­bin our boots. There is a popular word for all this and the Greeks didn’t know it. You know it. We get our laughs. Best recently was the story of one of our Sergeants whoso new beret was too large. “I’ll shrink it for you,” said an obliging Cook. He took it away and put it in a pan of boiling water, meaning to take it out in a minute or so. But he forgot about it until two hours later. When he fished out the beret, it was a soggy, sorry mess, certainly woll shrunk. “Heck,” ho cried. “Here, give us a hand at stretching it.” So his pals pulled and pulled. They dried it and it was sent back to the Sergeant. “Hellfire!” yammers the Sarge.“ I can’t get ito n !”And he did so only with a great struggle, whereat it looked alike skullcap. But he had to wear it and, when he prised it off sometime later, he had a gorgeous red mark right across his fore­head. And he did say sweet things about the cook and his parents, some of which were slanderous. But tho cook heard them not, for he kept out of the way! In Brief ...Now for a brief resume of British sport. The Northern League championship, for what it is worth, was won by Blackpool (as 1 forecast before the season started).-They are now 4—1 favourites (in bookmakers’ adverts.) for the League Knock-out Cup. You can have 5000 to 1 Aberaman and Swansea Town. Liverpool are 8—1, and odds of 500 to J, 1000 Ito and soon are offered against other 'clubs. Providing they can field their best players, l fancy a'M -to 1 shot, Manchester United. Arsenal, despite those shocK defeats by Chelsea, look good tor the London League title again, .buvell’s Athletic are Western champions and Rangers should winnow tho Scottish Southern Loaguo with ease. Rangers beat Coltic 8—1 (a record for In Britain one of these “Old Firm” games) on New Year’s Day, but Celts had two players, McDonald and Lynch, ordered off for argu­ing with the referee. Raneers were- in another scene when they forced a 1—1 draw at Edinburgh against their nearest challengers, Hiberian. Some sporting gent threw a bottle v.'hich struck Jerry Dawson, Rangers' famous goalkeeper, on the head and knocked him unconscious. Dawson was carried off and the Rangers players be­gan to walk off the field but were per­suaded to return and finish the match. Stanley Matthews is playing in Scottish football for Morton. He helped the Greenock side to boat St. Mirren 8—0 whon Urum netted six.
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