Joe Dixon’s

Football Memories

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1977



Silksworth CW  1975 - 1976

At the end of the 1974/75 season Ryhope CA resigned from the Houghton and District League, which they had just won, in order to apply for membership of the Wearside League. Having dominated this league for a few seasons it now seemed a good time to compete at a higher level. However, I seemed to recall, this application was turned down because Ryhope already had a team in the Wearside League, namely the 'CW side. What difference that makes I don't know. The only option they had at the time was to reapply for the Houghton League. Unfortunately this was rejected too.

I can't remember at which point the Ryhope CA management team were asked to run the Silksworth CW side but it certainly meant that little time was left to organise for the new season. As it turned out the team did well to finish mid table.

I can't recall a team photo being taken that season although there is an action photo taken during a game against Gateshead Reserves and is shown below.
























This photo shows the athletic Derek Winlow, behind Bobby Pickering (back to the camera), flying through the air to punch the ball clear. It looks like our ever reliable centre half Jimmy Usher helping out. In the centre of the picture is yours truly. A very rare sight to be seen in our own penalty area but with Charlie Grose up front there was plenty of firepower should we counter attack quickly.


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This report was taken from the Sunderland Echo on 21 Feb 1976. I was 30 at the time and although Charlie Grose (about 37) should have been well past his best he was still scoring goals with ease. It just goes to show how good he was in his prime. In my book he was the best goal scorer in local football bar none. It was an honour to play along side someone I had admired for years.


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This report  appeared in the Football Echo, on the 20 March 1976, and it shows another good performance, by Silksworth CW, in beating Whickham 3-2 on their own ground. It was nice to see Harry Clark getting the winning goal. Harry and Brian Page were probably responsible for creating more goal scoring chances for me than any other players in my career. Prior to Silksworth CW we played for Ryhope YC (CA), Seaham Red Star and Silksworth 'Buffs'.

Included above are two other players I admired greatly, namely Norman Taylor (the forward not the fullback) and Stuart Ogden. I first came across Norman when he was in his teens and played for the very strong Natcobos side in the Houghton & District side. He was outstanding then and as he got older he got even better. Although small in stature he had pace, could score goals and was unbelievable in the air. I had the pleasure of playing alongside him when he joined Ryhope CA towards the end of the 1972/73 season. We also played together in the first half of the following season until a knee operation ended my season.

I didn't know Stuart at this time as he played mainly in the Northern league. However we did get to play together 10 years later for Seaham Red Star Over 35's. What a player - he was outstanding and was rightly voted the players player of the year.


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What a headline. That's the advantage of being a forward. You don't have to play well to make the headlines, just score and you get all the glory. It's embarrassing but I'll get over it. This report appeared in the Sunderland Echo on 3rd November 1975 and although it was an away match with Ryhope CW to me it was like playing at home.


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This cutting from the Sunderland Echo on 12 January 1976 shows what a great performance this was against a Boldon CW side, on their home ground, which had won the league the previous season and was challenging with Blue Star for the title again.

In the other reports there are several players mentioned who I admired and who left their mark in local football.
Tommy Henderson, Kenny Duckworth and Dougie Crosby to name just three.


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This report was from the Sunderland Echo on the 22nd March 1976 and shows another good team performance.


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This is the only league table I have but it shows, with only 7 games to the end of the season, Silksworths position was disappointing. However when you consider the short time available, to the management, for pre season preparation it was understandable.

On the positive side there were only the top 3 teams who had scored more goals.


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