WHEN you talk about many of the old football teams in this area, you are often also talking about a lot of the old industries.
Many had their own soccer sides, and these pictures are a pleasing reminder of that.
In this case, the industrial concern was Peter Johnston’s pipework engineers, whose works were a well-known feature of the town for many years, having started out, I believe, as plumbers in Hill Street.
They went on to acquire the land and buildings of, first, the old-established iron foundry business of Smith & Co, close by in Nile Street, and, later, Carmichael’s foundry in Commercial Road. At their peak they employed well over a thousand people.
It’s a Peter Johnston’s side that you see here.
These pictures come from reader Diane Peacock, but it’s really her dad, George Peacock, that we have to thank, especially as he remembers all the names of these players.
He’s not certain, mind, how many actually worked for Peter Johnston’s but it’s assumed that some of them would have done.
Says Diane: “My father wasn’t employed by the company but enjoyed playing for them during the early 1960s. This photograph was taken during the 1961-1962 season.
“My dad was never happier than when he was playing football and was still playing in his early 60s – five-a-side at Bolingbroke Hall and Cleadon Park.
“Sadly, a broken ankle during one of these games ended his playing career.”
In the picture are, top row, from left: Alan Richardson, George Smith, Dougie Helyar, Billy Bennett, Jackie Carr and Peter Mills.
Bottom row: Ken Robinson, Patrick Day, Brian Corbrick, Diane’s dad, George, and John Bland.
The second of the pictures is of what was called Club 21.
Says Diane: “This team was a South Shields Sunday League side and this particular year, 1964-1965, they were league winners.
“My dad, George, and his brother, Dave Peacock, are pictured here, along with many old friends though, sadly, some of these young men are no longer with us.
“My uncle David was a gifted footballer and even made the A team for Newcastle United during the 1950s.
“This was a great achievement and if he had continued to stay at Newcastle, he may have played alongside some of the greatest players in Newcastle’s history.
“On the advice of his father, he ‘got a trade’ and went on to become a draughtsman for the Coal Board.
“A footballer’s pay was poor in those days and an injury could end your career at any time, so it was a risk you had to be willing to take.
“Dave played five-a-side football into his early 70s and never lost his love of the ‘beautiful game’.
“Sadly, he passed away a few years ago.”
Once again, though, Diane’s father remembers all the names here.
In the top row, from left, are: Andy Race, Tommy Gray, Dave Peacock, Derek Stenton, John Scott and Doug Woodhouse.
Bottom row: Billy Ruffel, Ken Clark, Andy Slater, George Peacock, and Graham Smith.
Another picture in Diane’s possession is an interesting one because it’s of Diane’s uncle David when he was playing for the Newcastle A team.
Says Diane: “My dad’s cousin, Keith Peacock, did become a professional footballer during the 1960s and 1970s, for Charlton Athletic, and his son, my second cousin, Gavin Peacock, went on to play for many teams, including Newcastle United in the 1990s when Kevin Keegan was the manager.
“So it would seem a Peacock was destined to play for Newcastle after all!”