Joe Dixon’s

Football Memories

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1977





Pre - 1975 / 1976 Season


I played on and off for the 'Buffs' over a few seasons but, unlike the 1975/1976 season, we never had any success. This is obviously the reason for the lack of any available information. However I recently came across the photographs below courtesy of Keith Hembrough and Dennis Doran. The photos all relate to end of season friendlies which were at Doncaster, Dundee and Stoke. The connection the club had with these places was probably a result of colliery closures here and miners moving to other mining areas. Dennis believes that Jack Tatters and Jimmy Ibbotson, both from Ryhope, were two of the connections at Stoke.

These friendlies were then a great way to re-unite old friends. The hospitality of the families at both Dundee, Doncaster and Stoke were unbelievable. We used to travel on the Saturday morning and when we arrived we were welcomed into, for most of us, strangers houses and treated like long lost friends. We were fed and provided beds for the night. The Saturday night we would all get together in the local club, whose football team we were to play, and have a great time. Even after the club closed we all carried on celebrating at someones house. Great fun but, you would think, not the best preparation for a match the following morning. Amazingly we always seemed to play really well and there were some cracking games.

The photo below we believe was from one of the friendlies we played at Doncaster. The one recollection I have from this game at Doncaster was a goal from
Alan Sopp. Alan, when he was a few years younger, was a great left winger and one of the clubs he played for was Ryhope CW. He hit a half volley from the halfway line on the left wing and it smashed into the net. I have never ever seen a shot hit so sweetly and powerful. I certainly wouldn't like to have been a goalkeeper facing Alan when he was in his prime.



























   Back from left  :- Malcolm Baines, John Nordon, Alan Sopp, Billy Faulkner, Tommy Craggs,

                            Kenny Vose and Billy Benson

   
Front from left  :- Harry Clark, Dennis Doran, Joe Dixon, Norman T Taylor, Bobby Forsyth

                           and Keith Hembrough

   
Mascot           :-  ?


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The photo below was taken up at Dundee.























    Back from left  :- ? , ? , Mel Stewart, ? , John Nordon, Geordie Pickard, Billy Benson, ? ,

                            John Teasdale, ? Forsyth, ?

    
Front from left  :- Ronnie Young, Keith Hembrough, Joe Dixon, Brian Page, Harry Clark,

                            Kenny Vose and Bobby Forsyth


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The photo below was taken in 1972 at Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent.

























     Back from left  :- Geordie Pickard, Tommy Craggs, Billy Faulkner, John Nordon, Keith                               Hembrough, Kenny Vose, Alan Sopp and Billy Benson

     
Front from left   :- Bobby Forsyth, Norman T Taylor, Dennis Doran, Joe Dixon and Harry Clark

     Mascot           :- ?



I apologise to the players and committee for not recognising/remembering all of their names. Hopefully I can remedy this in the not to distant future.