Dawdon CW Juniors played in the Hetton Junior League, which was for under 18's, and
its home was at the Green Drive ground at Dawdon. It was of course the home ground
of Dawdon CW which played in the Wearside League. It was owned by the one of the
NCB's biggest collieries. The financial backing of the colliery meant the ground
was always in tip top condition and the playing surface was second to none.
early teens I spent quite a lot of weekends through at Dawdon because I was always
welcome to stay at relatives in Embleton Street and I also had a lot of mates from
the Ryhope Grammar School. I would often watch my cousin, Alan Deighton, play for
Sunderland Boys at the Green Drive ground. Obviously, as he played for Sunderland
Boys, he was the best schoolboy centre forward in the area. When he left school (Camden
Square) he played for Dawdon CW Juniors and would often take me to watch them play.
Occasionally the club seretary/manager, Charlie Roxby, allowed me into the dressing
room and I loved the atmoshere and the banter and I couldn't wait for my chance to
be there as a player.
In 1961/62 season my wishes came true when I signed for Dawdon
CW Juniors. I wasn't first choice for the inside forward positions but I still played
quite a few games and I loved it. Some of the players were recent school mates and
one, Tommy Haddon, was a school mate from my Ryhope Junior school days. We both played
for the under 11's when we were just in the 2nd year which was quite an achievement.
To be fair Tommy became a regular in the team that year whereas I wasn't but the
following 2 years we both were.
At the end of the 1961/62 season, which wasn't too
successful, the players still legible to play the following season were convinced
that if we stayed together we could win the league. So we all agreed to sign for
the coming season.
As it happened we didn't win the league as we were pipped by the
excellent Hylton CW Juniors side. Being runners up was still a great achievment as
it was a very strong league at that time. Personally I had a great season. I was
the clubs leading goal scorer with 50 goals and represented the league that season. Some
of the players that played that season were :-
It's a great pity that, as far as I know, there was no team photograph taken that
season. In addition I apologise to the players that have slipped my mind.
Goal Keeper - At times too brave. He only saw the ball. He was a great shot stopper with a safe pair of hands. He had a great sense of humour and seemed to play with a smile on his face.
Right Back - A solid defender who could link up well with Billy and his twin brother Ben. They had played together in the same school team for several years and therefore knew each others game well.
Left Back - A tall and well made lad and very few players ever got past him. He was an out and out defensive player strong enough to hit good long through balls from deep defensive positions.
Right Half - A strong player, full of energy and powerful in the air. Equally impressive defending or attacking.
Centre Half - A very cool and classy player and, I know it's corny but, was in the style of Bobby Moore. He was a greater organiser and just a natural captain.
Left Half - Always gave 100%. A powerful player and a great tackler. Kept things simple and used the ball well. Linked really well with Keith Fox and Tommy Haddon.
Outside Right - Great right winger. He had great pace, kept wide and just seemed to glide past defenders. Along with Tommy they provided a great supply of crosses.
Ray Bradbrook & George Routledge
Centre Forward - Both Ray and George competed with each other for the centre foward position and to be honest I don't know who played the most games. They had there own styles but both could score goals and whichever one played didn't seem to weaken the team in any way. We were just lucky to have both players available.
Inside Left - A naturally gifted player. Loads of pace and made goal scoring look easy. He was definitely in the Jimmy Greaves mould.
Ouside Left - A very mature player. Had a great turn of speed, a great left foot and a very powerful shot. Unlike most wingers he was also a very hard tackler. All in all he was a fullbacks nightmare.