Saturday, 6 September 2014

You can't beat an old Boscombe programme

As a history graduate I, like many I suspect, have been pleased to see the addition of old programmes being incorporated into the MatchDay programme this year. They add such colour to periods when the game I am sure was no less enjoyable to watch, and revive memories for many about players logged in the back of their memories. So how pleased was I when a work colleague sprung a surprise on me the other day by handing me a Bournemouth & Boscombe AFC v Tranmere Rovers programme from 14 January 1961? I could not believe my luck and was overjoyed just to handle the eight page programme. But that was not enough for me as I thought I wonder what light it sheds on the Boscombe team of the time so I set about a bit of Internet research.
1961 programme cover has a view of the cliffs just in
case you forget that you are on the south coast.
Dean Court chatter.
The first thing all fans want to know when they see a match programme is what the score was. I am pleased to say that the Cherries beat Tranmere 2-1 on the day. Perhaps one or two of you were there and you know the goal scorers? The Cherries were playing in the then football league division III and it is clear to see that the cliffs along the coast with their zig-zag paths featured prominently on the front cover along with a packed Dean Court picture.

You can't get away from the great language that was used to describe the action then and I might nick a few of those phrases with the 'Dean Court Chatter' remarking on the previous fixture against Burnley 
at Turf Moor, when the Cherries were apparently "only ten minutes away from another world-shaking Cup performance" - a reference to the 1957 FA Cup run when they beat Spurs and Wolves, before going out in the sixth round against the Busby Babes. How often have we heard phrases such as near-misses like the following? "A shot by Ray Bumstead; a header from Dicky Dowsett and  a whizz-bang effort just wide of the mark by Johnny King." I think the commentator had been saving that particular spiffing description for such a special occasion as a cup match, and it was a well attended game with 24,817 seeing Burnley progress 1-0 to the next round.
Team line ups: Tranmere v AFCB, 14 Jan 1961.
On to the Tranmere game then and those Cherries names appear again along with some others you might recall in a 2-3-5 formation! Winger Ray Bumstead is fondly remembered by many AFCB fans and there were some lovely comments about him on the Vitals website as I remember that he only passed a way a short while ago. He was known as 'the Ringwood Rocket' and played in Dickie Dowsett's era who is still recognised today for the his header profile on the club's crest. In goal was also a legend of the time, Tommy Goodwin who was also a member of the first non-UK side to beat England at home at Goodison Park in 1949. Sharp shooter Johnny King must have a special mention as he not only played for the Cherries in this match but went on to become Tranmere's manager in 1975 and later director of football at Prenton Park, while current Tranmere fans will know that ground still names one of the stands after him. Don Welsh was the Cherries manager at the time, but he was soon to tread the walk that so many managers make - sacked just one month after this Tranmere match!
Bournemouth & Boscombe AFC sat 18th out of 24 in the league.
Among Tranmere's players was Tommy Eglington who was previously at Everton and still is that club's all-time top goalscorer with a total of 76 - I knew Gary Lineker was not all that! Tony Rowley (born Antonio Camilio - an Italian) was similarly a great centre forward for Tranmere scoring 47 goals in his 100 appearances (Wikipedia says 45 goals) and was just as much a legend at Liverpool. While the names of Finney and Charlton might have any players worried when they are on the team sheet it was Ken Finney and Wilf Charlton turning out for Tranmere in those days.

Finally, you can't fail to notice the adverts on such programmes as these and I was pleased to see a few familiar names supporting the club then such as, St Christopher's Garage, Excelcior European Motorways (coach company), Trenchards Removals and Charles Fox jewellers. Just to show you how lucky you are watching football some nights at Dean Court, back in 1961 Boscombe fans were being asked to donate sixpence to reach the target of £500 which would pay for some floodlights, but at the time they had only reached £200 towards the total. 

While doing my research I came across the 'Where are they now?' site which might interest Bournemouth and Tranmere fans reading this post who like to know what has happened to some players that they used to watch. And that famous Man Utd Cup game in 1957 drew me to an excellent article on golf legend Peter Alliss' memory of the game, and yes, he's an AFCB supporter if you did not know. 

See how much you can get out of an old programme?

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