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How a trip to the cleaners led to a visit from the police

Marsden CW Jnrs, with Jim Calvert on right.
Marsden CW Jnrs, with Jim Calvert on right.

Reader Jeff Appleyard recently reminded us of a local football club stalwart, his uncle Jim Calvert.

For many years, Mr Calvert was one of the main men behind the success of Marsden CW Juniors.

Can you name the lads pictured in this team shot?

Can you name the lads pictured in this team shot?

Such was his standing at the club, whom he served for more than 30 years, that he was honoured with a testimonial match and a trophy in 1976.

Today Mr Appleyard tells of an occasion involving his uncle, which led to his nephew being questioned by the police – because of a blood-soaked suit and top coat.

“Thank you very much for the lovely interesting write- up you did on my uncle,” wrote Jim.

“It was really great and brought a lot of memories back to me and my wife Ada.

“One event I forgot to mention was when he was coming home on the Economic bus on the Coast Road in South Shields.

“It was a dark night and he had a young footballer with him who I think had been for a trial with a team.

“Both got off the bus at the Frenchman’s Way bus stop and were crossing the road when a car appeared out of nowhere.

“Jim pushed the lad out the way but Jim was knocked down and badly hurt. He was taken by ambulance to the Ingham Infirmary to be treated for his injuries.

“After going to visit him, I decided to take his suit and top coat to Harton Cleaners as they were covered in blood.”

But the good turn nearly backfired when the police questioned him about the blood-stained clothing.

“I had to sign a statement for the police as to why they had that much blood on them,” added Jeff.

“I felt like I had committed a murder!

“Thankfully Jim recovered from his injuries after a few days and having rested at home got ‘back on the horse’ to Marsden Juniors.”

The Marsden CW Juniors articles also prompted George Dixon to get in touch regarding the attached team shot. He wrote: “The photo is from about 1965-66

“The lad, third from the left, in the front row is David Jones.

“David went to Mortimer Road School, leaving in 1965. I was a fellow pupil and member of the same school football team. I also started to pay for Marsden Juniors in 1968 just before I was 18, after a chance meeting at a party.

“David went on to sign for Arsenal, though I am not aware of him playing for the first team.

“After leaving Arsenal, David went on to become a member of the Metropolitan Police force.

“David returned to the area a good while ago, and played in an over 40s team with my brother.

“I have not heard anymore about David for a few years.”