WALTHAMSTOW RANGERS FOOTBALL CLUB

1958 - 1978

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MATCH REPORTS AND REVIEWS

 

For a number  of years, Rangers published regular Magazines and Newsletters.  In three of the magazines, team managers reminisced retrospectively about particular past games they remembered.  Newsletters often contained short reports of matches played in the preceding week.  This page contains a small selection of some of those reports and magazine reviews submitted at various times by Colin Arnott, Dave Clarke, Jim Butler, Reg Eldridge and Dick Raymond.  They are reproduced as near as possible to the originals, although bear in mind  that some of the items were composed when the contributors were very young .  Just a few grammatical errors and tense have been altered.   Most of the items are taken from material loaned by Eric Allinson to whom, again, grateful thanks are due.  If any reports come to light featuring other Rangers teams, they will be added at a future date.  

 

 

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 6 Grasshoppers 5  

 

Starting in the 1958-59 season this match is included because it was our first ever game against another club.   Rangers who were all from the Sir George Monoux School in Walthamstow were able to wear the school kit of Red and Black squares.  We had a most enjoyable encounter against the Leytonstone side. Grasshoppers, wearing blue shirts with light blue sleeves, did most of the early attacking. Rangers opened the scoring through Terry Eccles but were soon struggling as Grasshoppers took a 3-1 lead. Micky Brett pulled one back, but by half time Grasshoppers had extended their advantage to 4-2 and looked well in command.

 

Tactical alterations improved Rangers side in the second half and two further goals from Terry Eccles and one from Micky Brett put us back in the lead. A last gasp effort from Grasshoppers levelled at 5-5 but the young Rangers (then at Under Thirteen level) had a little bit more in reserve and held on to win with Micky Brett completing his hat-trick.

 

Team: Brian Ashton; John Shearer, Dick Raymond; Alan Cripps, Roy Fentiman, Mick Rabey; Micky Towell, Brian Simpson, Micky Brett, Terry Eccles, Colin Arnott.

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 10 Five Star Dagenham 1

 

Rangers first adventure in competitive football came the following season, 1959-60. We had taken over another team’s fixtures in the South West Essex Junior Football League Division Two. Following our admission into the division, we had begun to find out what this league business was all about. Barking had given us a tough baptism in the opening match, when we went down by the huge score of 2-13.  A considerable number of the team were unavailable because of a Monoux School match.  Our next game was in Dagenham away to Grafton Athletic, which we lost 2-5, and then against a depleted Newbury Park side, the eventual champions,  which we again lost this time by 2-4.

 

Nevertheless, each result had been an improvement on the last and this was eventually bound to pay dividends. We took the field wearing our new gold and black jerseys for the first time (although without the later familiar black hoops). Our opponents were Five Star Dagenham and the match was played on 26th March 1960. Colin Lewis opened the scoring and by half time we had run up a five goal lead with further goals from Terry Eccles (2), Micky Brett, and Graham King.

 

The second half went the way of the first and although Dagenham pulled one goal back, they could never match Rangers aggression. Further goals from Terry Eccles, who finished with five, Micky Brett and Roy Fentiman completed the tally to give the club its first ever league win.

 

Team: Brian Ashton; Barry Mears, Dick Raymond; Bob Newland, Barry Graham, Roger Smith; Graham King, Micky Brett, Terry Eccles, Roy Fentiman, Colin Lewis.

 

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 4 Woodford Green 3

 

An amalgamation with Lea Vale, a club started by Colin Arnott, none other, gave us two teams for the 1961-62 season and enabled us to play again in the South West Essex Junior League this time in Division One (the Under Fifteen division). For many of these games we were wearing unfamiliar claret and blue colours, but our first win of the season came on 28th October 1961 against Woodford Green. A goal by Tom Parsons gave us an early lead, and with the help of some good goalkeeping by Chas Miller, we maintained this advantage until half-time.

 

The second half saw a revitalised Woodford Green side playing really slick football and twice taking the lead. However Rangers came back strongly to win by 4-3 with further goals from Dilwyn Porter, Roy Batten and Geoff Crane.

 

Team: Chas Miller; Pete Bailey, Richard Farmer; Mickey Oram, Colin Roberts, Dilwyn Porter; Geoff Crane, Johnny Blackwell, Tom Parsons, Roy Batten, Colin Arnott.

 

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 2 Upminster 1

 

By later in 1961-62, Rangers had established themselves within the division eventually finishing in the top four.  We headlined in the local press sports pages for the first time following an 8-1 win over Romford Town and then 4-1 against Newbury Park (which prompted the “Guardian” to put out in thick black headlines, “Rangers trounce home giants”). That 4-1 win put us into our first ever cup final, a game which undoubtedly deserves a place in this magazine.

 

Rangers settled down first in this evening match for the Haines Memorial Cup at the Hare and Hounds Ground in Leyton in front of a large crowd. The date of the match was 24th April 1962.  After several long-range efforts Rangers took the lead through Dennis Swift who headed home the opener powerfully.   Upminster retaliated to try to wipe out Rangers lead. The half-time whistle went with Rangers just hanging on to their one goal advantage.

 

In the early stages of the second half, Upminster attacked incessantly and the inevitable goal came when Wiley blasted the ball into the net for the equaliser.  As the match reached its climax, Rangers again took the initiative and ten minutes from time Peter Bailey slammed the ball home in off the underside of the crossbar for the winner. It was a great result for Rangers, and marked our arrival on the local junior football scene.

 

Team:  Chas Miller; Derek King, Richard Farmer; Colin Sinclair, Harry Willis, Colin Jennings; Colin Wood, Colin Roberts, Dennis Swift, Bert Anderson, Peter Bailey.

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 2 Newbury Park 1

 

The first cup and league double by any Rangers team was achieved by the Under Seventeens in the 1962-63 season when they won the South West Essex Junior Football League Premier Division and the Haines Premier Cup.  Opposition in that division was not as high quality as in the preceding season, but this should still not detract from the efforts of what was a strong Rangers side which went though the season unbeaten.

 

This fixture finally gave us the league championship (and we went on to defeat Newbury Park again 1-0 in the final of the cup at the Hare and Hounds Ground.  A copy of the programme is shown elsewhere on the site).

 

The match was played on 27 April 1963 at St James Park in Walthamstow.  Rangers, as unbeaten league leaders, were quick to take the initiative and opened the scoring after fifteen  minutes when a long Roy Fentiman clearance was chased  down by Richard Farmer who slipped the ball just inside the post past the advancing Newbury Park goalkeeper.  By half-time Geoff Crane had put us a further in front. Newbury Park came back well in the second half but only managed to score once.

 

Team: Chas Miller; Barry Mears, Dick Raymond; Bob Newland, Roy Fentiman, Colin Jennings; Colin Roberts, Trevor Jones, Geoff Crane, Peter Cooper, Richard Farmer.

 

 

 

 

Upminster 3 Walthamstow Rangers 2

 

The 1963-64 season was noteworthy in that Rangers reached three cup finals. Although we lost all of the matches, one cup final in particular, involving our Under Twelves, deserved particular comment. It was played on 1st April 1964 against an Upminster team which was, at the time, considered quite exceptional.

 

It was before the Bobby Wiles and Brian Gulliver era of the team. Most of the spectators anticipated a heavy defeat and their fears seemed to be confirmed when Upminster went into a 3-0 lead. But they had not bargained for the fighting spirit of the young Rangers who fought like tigers to the end and were unfortunate not force a replay. Tim Watts and Bobby Nugent scored the goals that put us back into the game and gave Upminster quite a fright.

 

Team: Mick Stanley; Richard Peacock, Melvin Browne; George Berryman, Tim Watts, Alex Gillan; Keith Colley, Des O’Neil, Bobby Nugent, Dave Stocker, Cliff Jones

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 10 Willesden United 1

 

This Regent Boys League Division cup replay was played on 29 November 1965.  Although the Under Twelve and half team was  undoubtedly having a very fine season, and were top of the Regent Junior League, their cup hopes were not very high after being held to a 2-2 draw in a rough house game at Roundwood Park Willesden in the first round. The team was grimly determined to win the replay at our own Lloyd Park ground and they turned in an outstanding performance to power their way to a 10-1 victory.

 

The forward line in particular was in great form and Lee Butler, Colin Pearl and Gary Tomlin got two goals apiece. Left half and captain Earle Jacotine contributed his share with another brace of goals while Edgar Dunkley and George Berryman scored one each. This second match was kindly and ably refereed by our Derek Finch who never allowed the play to get out of hand a second time (neutral referees were rarely avaliable in the Regent league).

 

Team: Phil Godfrey; Billy Jones, Johnny Overton; George Berryman, Peter Bliss, Earle Jacotine; David Blyth, Edgar Dunkley, Gary Tomlin, Lee Butler, Colin Pearl

 

 

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 3 Hillcrest Reserves 1

 

Rangers started this “Guardian” cup quarter-final match at Wanstead Flats on 5 February 1966 with all the odds against them. They were playing an away match, Hillcrest were from a division higher, and Rangers had had a poor league record by this stage of the season. The only factor in their favour was that the team usually played  better on a heavy pitch.

 

The first thirty minutes comprised mainly unimaginative and negative football by both sides. However just before half-time, a bad defensive error by our defence let in the Hillcrest centre forward to make the score 1-0 in their favour at half-time.

 

After the break, it was a completely different story. The Rangers were in full command and were pressing hard for the equaliser. Dave Clarke had two fierce shots turned away by the opposition goalkeeper. After ten minutes, this pressure, was rewarded when Jim Kavanagh scored the equaliser.

 

Unfortunately, he was injured scoring the goal when he collided with the goalkeeper and Rangers had to play the rest of the match with only ten players.    However, this setback only seemed to encourage Rangers to play even better and in the next few minutes surprisingly Rangers went into a 3-0 lead with further goals by Ray Bassett and Fred Pike.

 

The last twenty minutes had Rangers playing with a nine man defence, and luck was with them when Micky Speller saved a penalty. The strain of playing with only ten men was naturally beginning to tell towards the end but the team held on gallantly to gain a surprising but, we felt, deserved win.

 

Team:  Mick Speller; Derek Finch, Colin Arnott; Fred Pyke, Ray Treacy, Jim Kavanagh; Ray Bassett John Howard, Dave Clarke, Bobby Swash, Peter Selby.

 

 

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 16 Mildmay 1

 

Rangers 1965-66 Under Twelve and a half side had a quite exceptional season. Having already become champions of their Regent Junior League Division with some ease, they won through to the divisional cup final where they met Mildmay, who at the time, were one of the Regent League’s top clubs. Their youngest team had yet to reach the standard of other Mildmay sides but, even so, they could not have expected to receive the avalanche of goals that happened in the final match. The game was played at Harrow on 3rd April 1966.

 

Rangers play was near to perfection that day. Every pass, every shot at goal, every minute move seemed inch perfect. It was one of those days when we could do no wrong and our goalscorers at the end of the match were Gary Tomlin 5, Lee Butler 4, Colin Pearl 3, George Berryman 2 and Dave Blyth 2. No one who was there criticised Mildmay, only praised the wonderfully mature football of the Rangers. It was a truly awesome performance which rounded up a wonderful season.

 

Team: Phil Godfrey; Billy Jones, Johnny Overton; Trevor Paige, Edgar Dunkley, Earle Jacotine; Dave Blyth, George Berryman, Gary Tomlin, Lee Butler, Colin Pearl.

 

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 7 Debden Celtic 0

 

A Walthamstow Sunday League Under Sixteen match played on 12th November 1967.

 

After a stunning start which saw Brian Gulliver net twice, the work rate in mid field dropped noticeably.  Under considerable pressure, our defence again saved us with Alex Gillan and Billy Hazle being outstanding.  Bobby Wiles' delayed entry in to the game tightened our midfield again but it was well in to the last quarter of the match that Dicky Bird notched our third.   Then Dave Piercy found the mark and set in motion a late goal rush which saw Brian Gulliver complete his hat-trick.  Then Dave Piercy matched with two more goals to achieve a hat-trick of his own.

 

We were delighted to have Cliff Jones back in the team for the first half and hoped that this would be the first of many more Rangers games to come for him.

 

 

Team:  Tony Hafford; Dennis Stinton, Billy Hazle, Alex Gillan, Melvyn Browne;  David Littlechild, Brian Gulliver, Paul Littlechild;  Dicky Bird, Dave Piercy,  Cliff Jones.   Sub.  Bobby Wiles.

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 5 Newham Sports 1

 

Another fixture during the 1967-68 season that was particularly worth remembering took place on 25th February 1968 when Reg Eldridge’s Under 14 side, who were already leading the division, took on second placed Newham Sports in what proved to be the championship decider.

 

At first it looks like being a very close call for our boys. Brian Harris gave us the lead, but Newham equalised just before half-time. The superior strength of Rangers told in the second half. John Bacchus scored a hat-trick and Colin Pearl contributed a fifth to make our victory really decisive. The team went on to make it a league and cup double by beating Fairburn House 6-3 in the divisional cup final.

 

Team: Chris Howard; Steve Evans, Micky Gunn; Trevor Paige, John McDonald, Dave Cook; John Bacchus, Brian Harris, Geoff Crowe, Graham Dennis, Colin Pearl

 

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 8 Hutton Athletic 1

 

After a less than convincing sequence of games in the Harold Hill League, a strengthened Rangers Under Fifteen side played exceptionally well to beat second placed Hutton Athletic.  The game was played on 3rd February 1968 with Rangers clicking right from  kick off.  Hutton Athletic never really settled down and after ten minutes Lee Butler scored a very neat opening goal from a cross by Stan Peck.  Quite soon afterwards both Richard Peacock and Earle Jacotine netted to give Rangers a three goal advantage.  Edgar Dunkley, in trying to save a goal, handled the ball to give away a penalty.  Phil Godfrey stopped the spot kick but was unlucky when the taker then reclaimed the rebound to take advantage of Hutton's only clear cut chance in the game.  Shortly before the interval, a Richard Peacock shot was parried by the Hutton goalkeeper and Lee Butler followed in to slot the ball home.

 

It was all Rangers in the second half. Richard Peacock scored again, this time from a corner. Dave Lander scored our sixth with a magnificent shot from outside of the penalty area. Late on in the match, Earle Jacotine and Lee Butler completed the scoring to give us a very convincing victory.

 

This had been the team's best result in several games and gave us hope for the clash against league leaders Dagenham United the following week.

 

Team: Phil Godfrey; Gary Tomlin, Dave Wilkins;  Dave Lander, Willie Fairchild, Edgar Dunkley; Earle Jacotine, Stan Peck, Richard Peacock, Lee Butler, Ronnie Dulieu. Sub. Keith Newman

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 3 Collier Row 2

 

This Andrews Essex County cup semi-final was played on 16th March 1968.  Most of the game saw Rangers play with only two forwards, Martin Watts and Steve Kirby backed up by Bobby Wiles when needed. Bobby Wiles scored both of the Rangers goals during normal play. However, Colley arose and snatched an equaliser right on time for Collier Row.

 

Colin Arnott was reluctant to single out any particular player in his match report as this was essentially a team effort, but in extra time Tony Hafford continued to perform miracles in goal and Billy Hazle was outstanding as he marshalled his defence. The final bizarre touch of a tremendous game was left appropriately to Steve Kirby who scored a fairytale goal right on time to put us into the final.

 

The final was a little bit of an anti-climax and it took two games to overcome a resolute Debden. Undoubtedly the match which deserved pride of place was the semi-final.

 

Team: Tony Hafford; Clive Ingram, Billy Hazle, Ian Jackson, Mick Titheradge; Dave Littlechild, Bobby Wiles, Paul Littlechild; Martin Watts, Barry Biggs, Steve Kirby.

 

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 5 Rippleway 1

 

In a match played on 13th October 1968, Rangers Under  Twelves clocked up their third win of the season in the Walthamstow Sunday Football League with a convincing performance against the league leaders.

 

David Notley opened the scoring in a very even first half. It was fortunate for Rangers that Rippleway resorted to defending with nine players even though they had a strong wind their backs. It soon became obvious that any chance they might have had in the first half was completely lost as Rangers kept the play in their opponents half after the break. John Pitman, playing his usual extremely intelligent game, added a second goal fairly early on and then right winger Ian McCormack, showing great tenacity, made two runs that both resulted in further goals. A second goal from David Notley brought the scoring to an end.

 

During the last part of the game, we allowed Rippleway to get on top just at the time when perhaps we should have been consolidating our five goal lead instead of resting on our laurels. However it did give goalkeeper Shane Welton a chance to shine and pull off two very good saves.

 

Mention must be made of our fullbacks Stephen Garnar and John Watts who both played a very important part in our win. They tackled strongly and covered efficiently to give us a solid platform in defence.

 

The Rippleway line up included Brendan Batson who joined Rangers at the end of the season after his family moved from Barking to Walthamstow.  As recorded in the Home Page, Brendan went on to play professionally for Cambridge United, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion.

 

Team: Shane Welton; Stephen Garnar, John Watts; Alan Felstead, George Ferrari, Alan Warren; Ian MacCormack, John Pitman, David Notley, Andy Manston, Micky Cleaver.

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 3 Topaz United 2

 

Rangers Under Fifteens were reduced to ten players for this Harold Hill League clash on 20th October 1968 after late withdrawals by goalkeeper Chris Howard and Nicky Tarten.  Despite these injuries Rangers did well to contain a very strong Topaz side.  

 

Geoff Crowe put the ball in the net after thirty minutes to give us the lead and, soon after halftime, Colin Pearl broke free to make it 2-0.  Topaz replied when excellent team work led to their first goal shortly afterwards.  They nearly got a second  minutes later when they were awarded a penalty which was superbly saved by stand in goalkeeper Barry Ryder.  The defence continued to hold fast, and then a second penalty was awarded in the match which was ably converted by Graham Dennis.

 

Topaz scored a consolation goal three minutes from time and so ended a very sporting and entertaining game

 

Team:  Barry Ryder; Steve Evans, Stephen Humprhries, Dave Cook, John McDonald, Eddie Nash, Brian Harris, Geoff Crowe, Graham Dennis, Colin Pearl.

 

 

 

 

Walthamstow Rangers 2 Pitfield 2

 

Rangers Seniors faced their toughest London and Essex Border League Division 2 challenge of the 1968-69 season at Low Hall Farm on 11th January 1969. Pitfield, up to that stage in the season, were unbeaten and had also thrashed Rangers in a challenge cup tie during the previous season. They were a team we held in great esteem. The way they played on Saturday proved we were right not to underestimate them. The fact that after half an hour we were 2-0 up showed the very significant improvement recently. Unfortunately it seemed that our boys could not believe that they were winning although only luck and good goalkeeping had kept the score from being 4-0 in our favour.

 

After a few  dangerous raids Pitfield’s right-winger emulated our own Albert Fox by firing in a shot that neither Rod Green, Gordon Banks or Peter Bonetti could have saved and possibly not even all three on the line together.

 

Dave Boosey, playing his first game for us at right back, improved as the game went on. Peter Williams played very well, but it was particularly noticeable that Reg Eldridge did not put a foot wrong the whole of the game. Reg had not enjoyed the best of fortune so far that season, but this game saw him back with all his old flair and working a fine understanding with Eric Allinson, who played as only Eric could.

 

Brian Russell and John Goff ran themselves into the ground and benefited from receiving good service from Derek Rainbow who was playing behind them. Both deserved goals but, alas, no. True to his much improved form of recent weeks, Albert Fox gave their left back and nightmare match, one cross causing the defence to net an own goal, and then a screaming drive from a very oblique angle which left the goalkeeper helpless.

 

The Seniors were due to play Pitfield again the following week. It was noted in the match report how very much appreciated it was to see four of the members of the junior section at the game and Jim Butler finished his match report with a request for even more support for the return fixture.

 

Team: Rod Green; Dave Boosey, Roy Fentiman; Eric Allinson, Reg Eldridge, Peter Williams; Albert Fox, Derek Rainbow, John Goff, Brian Russell, Eddie George.

 

 

 

Rippleway 1 Walthamstow Rangers 2

 

The boys deserved a great deal of credit for this gratifying result on 2nd February 1969 in a Metropolitan Essex Cup Under 12 section third round replay.  We had been a little fortunate the week before to have a second chance after we snatched a draw with a last minute equaliser.

 

Any team that could keep fighting after playing a team of Rippleway's calibre with only ten players and without a recognised goalkeeper deserves to achieve success.  A goal less first half provided plenty of thrills and excitement but little indication of the ultimate winners.  Despite continuous Rangers' pressure, it was Rippleway who took the lead through Barry Morris. So for the third time in this tie, Rangers found themselves a goal behind.  How Rangers responded.   A chip in from outside the area gave Micky Cleaver the equaliser and then a great move on the right wing ended with John Pitman centering for Micky to claim his second of the game.

 

This was a great boost for the Under Twelves and although it was not appropriate after such a great team effort for any one player to be singled out, everyone at the match agreed that Alan Warren deserved particular praise for his display as our stand in goalie for the day.

 

Team:  Alan Warren; Steve Garnar, John Watts; Alan Felstead, George Ferrari, Andy Manston; Ian McCormack, John Pitman, Kevin Massett, Micky Cleaver.

 

 

 

Stowe Villa 1  Walthamstow Rangers 2

 

Rangers newly promoted Senior team continued their unbeaten run in the London and Essex border League Division One on 27th September 1969 at Capel Road. Early on, it seemed as if nothing was going to go right for Rangers. Despite the fact that we were without Brian Russell and Albert Fox, we created enough chances but had little luck with our finishing. In the end, it was Stowe Villa took the lead and it was not until the last quarter of an hour that Rangers got back into the game through a Johnny Goff penalty.  From then on it was all Rangers and it was only a question of time before the winner came - again from Johnny Goff.

 

For Rangers, Eric Allinson and Micky Lucuk had outstanding games in defence, and Johnny Goff and Roy Batten got through a tremendous amount of work up front.

 

Team: Rod Green; Dave Boosey, Dick Raymond; Eric Allinson, Reg Eldridge, Micky Lucuk; Malcolm Leigh, Johnny Goff, Roy Batten, Jimmy Martin, Peter Perryman.

 

 

 

 

Modern Telephones 2 Walthamstow Rangers 7

 

This opening league game for the Sunday Seniors in the North Middlesex Sunday Football League Division One at Regents Park proved a nostalgic occasion for both players and manager. No less than seven of the side had played their first match for Rangers before or during 1960, as had the manager, Dave Clarke, and injured first team regular Ray Bassett. And all this in a side that had not one player over the age of 23.

 

The atmosphere of amicability did not extend towards our opponents. Playing under difficult windy conditions, Rangers opened with fast exciting football and deservedly took a two goal lead within a quarter of an hour of the start. Unfortunately, soon after the second goal, Graham King was carried off following a heavy tackle from behind and was unable to continue. Modern Telephones took advantage of the situation and scored two quick goals to level the score at 2-2 by half time.

 

The pace of the game began to take its toll on the Modern Telephones' team. Their defence finally cracked and the floodgates opened. The constant midfield probing by Lee Butler and Colin Arnott had paid off. The pitch suddenly resembled a one way system. All roads led to the Modern Telephones goal. In a period of 20 minutes of hard running and chasing, Rangers put five goals past their opponents' helpless defence.  Alex Gillan and Colin Arnott celebrated with two goals each and a cracking goal by Micky Brett completed the scoring.