When South Shields FC got their own back for earlier defeats

South Shields v Chesterfield in 1956.
South Shields v Chesterfield in 1956.

You will remember that in order to mark the continuing march of the Mariners (that’s South Shields FC to those not familiar with the town’s resurgent football team) I recently featured a few old photos of the club playing York City and Chesterfield in days gone by.

Not all the details of the matches were included on the back of the pictures so I asked if anyone could shine a light on the scores – and sure enough, you were on the ball, as usual.

South Shields school boys with the England School Football Trophy 1937.

South Shields school boys with the England School Football Trophy 1937.

Regular contributor Oswin Coutts kindly got in touch to say that he was at both games.

“I was at the York City match with my dad,” he recalls of the 1957 FA Cup clash.

“York won three goals to one, but South Shields got their revenge when York City returned in the 1960s and Shields beat them, I think, 1-0.”

The Chesterfield game, played in 1956, ended in a draw, resulting in a replay.

“South Shields were beaten 4-0 in the replay,” explains Mr Coutts, “but once again they got their revenge when they later beat Chesterfield 1-0.”

And it was during the earlier first-round match that Mr Coutts was reacquainted with an old Army colleague.

“Playing centre half for Chesterfield that day was a centre-half called Allison.

“We served together in the same regiment in Germany, the Second Battalion of the DLI. He was a corporal”

Tomorrow South Shields play Hartlepool United at Mariners Park in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, and Mr Coutts, knowing I’m a life-long Pools supporter, expressed his regret that it would be the end of the road for the “monkey hangers”.

Well, we’ll see, and being diplomatic, and having grown as fond as I have of the people of Shields, I’ll simply say ... let the best team win!

Meanwhile, another reader kindly sent me this wonderful photo of another South Shields team, this time, the town’s schoolboys who lifted the England School Football Trophy in 1937. The match was played at Worksop in Nottingham.

Pictured with the team are treasurer Alec Murray, who was a teacher at Baring Street Boys School; chairman Alec Aitchison, also a teacher at Baring Street Boys School and secretary, Tommy Hedley, a teacher at Stanhope Road Boys School.

A few of the players named include (back row, second from the left, David Mason, who, the writer said, was lost in a plane during the war, while the lads either side of the trophy are Ireland and Mortensen.

Both, said the supplier of the picture, went on to become professional footballers.

Meanwhile, following this week’s centre page spread of nostalgic scenes, featuring former staff from the Shields Gazette, Mr Alec Abernethy got in touch.

He said: “I worked in the composing room from 1947 to 1986.

“During that time, in 1959, they amalgamated the Shields Evening News with the Gazette, with their staff coming over to the ‘south side’.

“I saw a lot of changes in that time, from hot met to the photo production process,” he added.