Treasured Memories of a Bygone Age – Part 3

John McFarlane [Senior]   10/05/2019 0comments  |  Jump to last
Continuing the theme of players I have seen in my boyhood, adolescent, and adult life.

Goalkeeper: Ted Burgin. Sheffield United, Doncaster Rovers, Leeds United and Rochdale.

A dark-haired acrobatic goalie, who for a long time, was on the brink of international honours, Ted Burgin eventually had to settle for 2 England 'B' appearances.

Whilst playing for Alford Town in Lincolnshire, he wrote to Sheffield United for a trial, before signing in March 1949. He was a regular at Bramall Lane until the advent of the brilliant Alan Hodgkinson, whose early displays soon warranted a regular first-team place.

Not happy to be a long-term understudy, the once prospective international goalkeeper moved to Doncaster Rovers, and a few months later, in March 1958, to Leeds United. He later went on to Rochdale and gave sterling service.

My personal memory of Ted Burgin is from the 1954-55 season and Everton's first game on our return to the First Division. I, along with a mate, travelled to Bramall Lane and we were informed by locals that Ted Burgin was to be the next England goalkeeper. Needless to say that, when the score was 5-2 to Everton, we had to beat a hasty retreat to the far end of the ground; this meant going via the cricket pitch, a considerable distance.

Right back: John Angus. Burnley & England.

John Angus was taken on by Burnley from Amble Boys Club on amateur terms in 1954 and became professional on his 17th birthday in September 1955.

He made his First Division debut in the 1956-57 season as a right back, giving early warning that he was one to take due note of, becoming a polished defender. He graduated from youth honours and under-23s to an England cap in 1961 against Austria in Vienna.

He won a League Championship medal in 1960 which was followed by a runners-up medal in the FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur in their well-nigh-invincible glory years. A loyal team member, John played for over 15 years before bowing out finally in 1971-72.

Left back: Graham Shaw, Sheffield United, Doncaster Rovers & England

A classy left back of the highest order, Shaw came through the Sheffield United nursery on leaving school. Whilst at school, he gained a reputation as an all-round sportsman, winning an England ABA boxing title and playing cricket for Yorkshire Colts.

He made his debut at Bramall Lane in March 1952, almost immediately becoming a regular until 1965, thereafter playing only sporadically. He formed a long-standing partnership with Cecil Coldwell, during which time he gained a Second Division medal in 1952-53. He also played for England on 5 occasions after representing the Football League and playing for the under-23s.

His younger brother, Bernard, was also a prominent Sheffield United defender, and at one time they partnered each other at the back.

Right half: Bobby Robson. Fulham, West Bromwich Albion & England.

Bobby Robson first joined Fulham in 1950, later forming part of the brilliant trio with Johnny Haynes and Bedford Jezzard, for whom Newcastle United offered a record fee which was turned down.

Constructive, sound and very stylish, he was great at going forward, and excelling either at wing half or inside forward. Transferred to the Albion in March 1956 for £25,000, he was capped two years later, playing 20 times for England, before going back to Fulham in August 1962 for a fee of £20,000.

On retiring from League football he had made 584 appearances, and went on to become a highly successful manager with Ipswich Town and England. I believe I'm right in saying that Bobby Robson was in the Fulham side the day Everton won the League Championship in 1963.

Centre-half: Mike England. Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham Hotspur, Cardiff City & Wales.

A tall defender, England developed with Blackburn Rovers junior sides, not establishing himself as a regular until 1963-64, despite having been capped at Under-23 level previously.

He became a tremendous centre-half of quality: cool, calm and collected, with great skill for one of giant stature.

Tottenham Hotspur reckoned the young man to be one of the key players to rebuild their once famous side, signing him in August 1966. Within a year, he had picked up an FA Cup winners medal against Chelsea.

After playing 300 League games for Spurs, he decided to finish his career back in his native Wales with Cardiff City.

Left-half: Ray Barlow. West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City & England.

A tall blond, attacking left-half, Ray Barlow after waiting many years in the shadows, finally won an England cap against Ireland in 1954. He was one of the best wing halves of that period, with a long stride and a terrific shot.

Converted from an inside-forward, championing the long pass, Ray Barlow was almost 'Buchanesque' in style and technique. Charles Buchan od Sunderland and Arsenal in the early 20th Century. Often playing up front, he was always a danger within shooting distance.

He signed for neighbours Birmingham City, finishing a career that was really incomplete, due to a distinct lack of international honours, although he was the proud possessor of a 1954 FA Cup winners medal gained against Preston North End.

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