Saturday, 11 May 2013

Who was Bull Durrant?

Here is something a bit different for Cherry Chimes. I was sent a beautiful Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic Football programme a few weeks ago from Julie Newman whose grandfather was Arthur Lane, who played for the Cherries in the 1920s and 1930s. Arthur used to play with Freddie Wilson who carried on playing after the Second World War for the Cherries. Julie asked me to do some investigative detective work on one of the programmes where Freddie Wilson is listed as playing in the 1947-48 season.

Mr Wilson played in centre midfield and the match programme below which shows him in the Cherries team to play Queens Park Rangers. Perhaps the older ones remember hearing about Freddie Wilson or have heard stories about him playing?

The programme was discovered along with some others in an old Morris Marina car, under one of the carpets some 25 years ago, and being an avid AFCB supporter Julie hung onto the programmes and this one in particular as it was important to her with Freddie on the team sheet.

Now it is the picture above of the team and the writing at the bottom that I'd like you to look closely at. The Bournemouth & Boscombe team reads:

Goal keeper@ Bird 
Full backs: Marsden and Sanaghan
Midfield: Tagg, Wilson, Percival
Wingers and Forwards: MacKenzie, Blair, Milligan Lunn, McDonald

QPR's team reads: 
Goalkeeper: Allen
Full Backs: Jefferson and Powell G
Midfield: Smith A, Smith G and Powell I
Wingers and Forwards: Hartburn, Mills, Hatton, Stewart and Boxshall.

They are quite attacking line ups with those formations, not like today's 4-4-2. What we are interested in is the name and the information scribbled in pen on the bottom of the programme, which reads: ''Bull Durrant scored only goal.''

I can detect that Bournemouth & Boscombe lost the game 0:1 from old league records, but we want to know who was Bull Durrant? Did he play for Bournemouth & Boscombe, coming on as a sub to score an own goal or did he play for QPR and score a goal for them that day?

I expect it was the latter as I have seen the name Durant on a couple of QPR blogs on matches of that time, but we need confirmation. Perhaps you have a photograph or know someone who follows QPR who knows more about Bull Durrant?

It seems that subs were never listed in programmes in those days. Moreover, why does Durrant not appear on QPR's 1947-48 team photo which I have seen on ebay? Perhaps there is another story there?

The match was a very important game as both teams were pushing for promotion as you can see from the table below on the back cover of the programme.

Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic ended up that season being runners-up to QPR who won the Third Division South title. If you know of someone who could have been at the match or if you know how we can find out more about Bull Durrant and who he played for we are keen to find out more.

If we can get the full story of that day we would be pleased to let Cherry Chimes readers know what the outcome was, but we need some help. 

Furthermore, Julie would love to know if any of the families from the programme are still living in Bournemouth. Apparently, Arthur Lane used to have Freddie Wilson and several of the other members of the Cherries come round to his house after the Second World War to do the football pools. Mr Lane was always telling stories to the then current Bournemouth players about what the Cherries were like to play for in the early years, before the war. 

I hope we can find out some more details for Julie.

In the meantime, if you have a good story about a former Bournemouth & Boscombe player, perhaps a relative of yours, please write in and send a photograph.

Perhaps we could start a gallery of former greats, even if Mr Durrant is not one of them!

Julie also asked me to kindly mention Mr Vernon Maslin, who was a lifetime Cherry supporter who sadly passed away after a long illness on 21 April 2013. Our condolences to the family.


  1. My immediate comment, is to say there were no substitutes in those days.
    On 21 August 1965, Keith Peacock of Charlton Athletic became the first substitute used in the Football League when he replaced injured goalkeeper Mike Rose eleven minutes into their away match against Bolton Wanderers....

    1. Thanks for your comment Pete. So Fred Durrant played from the start of the game but was not on the programme. One of the QPR listed players must have been injured before kick-off I suppose.

  2. All I can come up with besides the result, is the gate 25,495. No mention of the goal scorer, and Bull Durant brings up nothing... Although, HAD WE beaten QPR we would've gone up instead...

    1. A gate of over 25,000! I think we need to tell Mr Mitchell that we used to have much bigger support than we do today. Thanks for doing that digging Afcbpete!

  3. Go back to 1971-72 season, we frequently had 15,000+ gates and several over 20,000. That was without doubt the most incredible season, and such a shame that side never got promoted... We start doing well in the Championship I'm certain we will have excellent support. We have a large possible fan base, not to mention the away support.

  4. Did some quick research - it was Fred Durrant who scored that day.