42 thoughts on “Stockton Ancients

  1. My father Dennis Eyton played for the Stockton team against York in the FA cup – I have a newspaper cutting showing Lawton and Stockton players Thompson and Eyton. If anyone wants a copy, provide your email address

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  2. Hi does anyone now what happened to Cliff Chadwick ?
    I cannot find an obituary.
    I presume he emigrated
    I help with a book and website with Barry Hugman
    Any info please contact me through Picture Stockton (pictures@stockton.gov.uk) and they will forward on my email.
    Thanks
    Michael Featherstone

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  3. Looking at the stand in the background it is the old Stockton Stand that was burned down by local school kids, if I am not mistaken. If that is the case what year did the stand get destroyed ?Comments on the stand are made elsewhere on this site..

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  4. Charlie (Chuck) Helyer lived in Swale Road near to the bottom gates of the Frederick Nattrass School. What a really smart young man he was in those days. He was courting a girl who lived in Norton High Street and he would pass our door on his way to meet her. Could tell you her name but!…

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  5. Fred Laidman the former Everton, Sunderland & Bristol City player joined Stockton in 1948 with Chadwick. Harry Clarke also played for Leeds Utd. & Hartlepool, he & Cliff Chadwick scored the goals when Stockton beat Mansfield Town 2-1 in F.A.Cup replay when Rex Hazelton was outstanding in goal for Stockton in that game. Charlie Helyer had a long career he was still playing in 1967 for Norton C.C.T.

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  6. Benny Brown played for Hereford United when he was doing his National Service, he was a colleague of Eric Tomkins at the radar establishment in Malvern. Ben signed on amateur forms early in the 1956-57 season. A tricky inside left with considerable skills, he spent two seasons at Edgar Street.

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  7. I think it is obvious now that Johnnie Hancock never played for Stockton FC. At the time of this Photo Hancock was starring in a very good Wolves team. One player who did play for Stockton FC in about 1967 as an outside left was Freddie Jones who was team mate of mine in the Hereford United Team that played the all stars eleven. I never really found out how Freddie performed for Stockton FC as I moved to Bristol then Australia in the late sixties. I would be interested in Freddie Jones career with Stockton FC if any one knows it.

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  8. The suggested front row of the photograph is now: Joe Liddle, ? , Alf Rowland, Jock Newall, Cliff Chadwick. This is now beginning to look very much like the 1951-52 team. Is “?” therefore Clarke or Garton. We are also lacking identification on the back row of all those in white shirts and the chap on the right in the overcoat. Are Morris, Dodds and Hutchinson among these? Who was manager and or coach at this time?

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  9. The all Stars team Derek refers to was full of International players, Ray Daniel marked me as I recall. the match was a Testimonial match for Johnnie Layton. Joe Wade was the Manager, after captaining Arsenal for many years, Joe once said to me he thought he was going to have two or three seasons at Hereford United as an easy way in to retirement, but Joe reckoned they were the hardest years of his football career playing in the Southern League. It has always been a mystery to me why Stockton FC never managed to get in to the Football League when other smaller Towns with much less Footballing History are now playing League football. Stockton was always a hotbed of footballing talent for other teams to get their youngster, Players such as the ones now at the Boro Academy. Is it too much to hope for that one day a local personality will Bank roll a Stockton FC team to reach League status.

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  10. This is relevant to the player sitting next to Cliff Chadwick i.e. front row second from right. Benny Brown wrote three years ago and mentioned a testimonial match at Hereford. That would have been the one for Joe Wade, correct Benny? A photo, taken that night in 1956 or 1957 by a local photographer, of the All-Stars team has just appeared on Ebay (lot number 230325165202). The team includes Tommy Lawton, Jack Kelsey, Ray Daniels, Johnny Hancocks, Billy Hughes and Dennis Evans. The player at front row right in this rare photo looks remarkably like the player sitting next to Chadwick. It could be Johnny Hancocks (right size), but he never played for Stockton … or did he?

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  11. Charlie (Chuck) Helyer is the person extreme left wearing the scarf. Re. his age, probably born 1932 making him 19-20 in 1951-52. He was a Norton lad living in Swale Road. In about 1955-56 Primrose Hill tried to get him. I can remember him playing once, maybe as a “guest player” or training for the new season.

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  12. This was definitely Stockton FC home strip at the time in the photo, white shirts & black shorts. Charlie Helyer who was a good wing-half must have been very young in 1951-52 season.

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  13. Thank you Len for identifying Alf Rowland for me on the above photo. I am continuing my search for more information about Alf and in the course of this more data about Stockton keeps coming my way and it is my pleasure to share it with you all. In the 1951-52 season, Stockton were drawn away again to Notts County, this time in the 3rd round of the FA Cup and lost 4-0. I have a copy of the match programme: Tommy Lawton wore the no. 8 shirt; the full Stockton team listed is as follows: 1. HAZELTON 2. Morris 3. Hutchinson 4. Helyer 5. ROWLAND 6. Dodds 7. Garton 8. Newall 9. Clarke 10. LIDDLE 11. CHADWICK Names in caps have been identified already in the photo. I hope this team list may jog a few memories as to others. The match was played on 12th January 1952 and to add to the shirt controversy, Stockton played in red and black, but this may have been the alternative strip as Notts County were in the traditional black and white stripes and black shorts. From other sources I have more names which could figure in the photo: Billy Brown; Berry Brown; Harry Clarke; Benny Robson; Bill Russell; Frank Seddon; Bobby Simpson; Harry Smith

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  14. Alf Rowlands is on the front row with the ball at his feet, other photos he is on are Ref:-t3900 & t3898. Cliff Chadwick played 97 games & scored 27 goals for Middlesbrough between 1934-46.

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  15. Alf Rowland, former Stockton skipper and player with Aldershot and Cardiff City, was born in Stokesley. He was my father”s cousin, but I never met him. I am busy researching my family and Alf”s history as an interesting part of it. Can anyone identify Alf in this photo? I am sure that several people who posted here could help me with photos/reminiscences. The Picture Stockton can provide my email address to anyone who can help me.

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  16. I have to agree with Ken Bennie, this is Rex Hazelton who I remember once playing for Stockton at the Victoria ground, and he made no effort to stop a screemer from the opposition going into the top of the net and turned around to the crowd behind the goal and brought a big laugh by saying “I thought it was going over the top”. Rex as Bennie says, also played behind the wickets for Stockton and on a visit to see my Doctor last year a gentleman went past and just as he got near me he dropped a few sheets of paper and made a good but futile effort to catch them but failed. I waited til he recovered them and then told him that his Dad would have caught them quite easily. He laughed and asked if I knew him and I told him that I had played one game of footy with Rex and had seen him play cricket and later on supplied him with photos of Rex that he hadnt seen. Both very nice men.

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  17. I am not sure you are correct in naming the Goalkeeper as Rex Hazelton Ken, I played cricket with Rex at Stockton CC and I do not think this is Rex, but I do recognize the old wooden stand that was burnt down by young vandals just after this photo was taken. Fact is some times stranger than fiction in that I met a chap in Australia who shall be nameless who admitted to me that he was one of the young vandals who burnt the old wooden stand down those many years ago.

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  18. The 1950-51 season was the pinnacle of Stockton”s success as a professional club,winning the North Eastern League Championship, North Eastern League Challenge Cup & North Riding Senior Cup whilst attracting an average attendance of 3,003 spectators for their home fixtures at the Victoria Ground,this explains why the schoolboy games such as Stockton Boys & the Salmon & Salter Cup games attracted such big crowds in the forties & fifties.

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  19. Christine Coomber I knew your uncles Colin,Peter, David & their sister Margaret.I remember Colin telling me he played at Wembley in an army game while doing his national service,Peter played for Billingham Synthonia as well as Sparks.David is in the Newham Grange Intermediates 1953-54 photo on this website.

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  20. The player on the extreme left at the front is my uncle, Joe Liddle. He has recently shared a scrapbook with me, that my grandmother collected when he was playing and there are newspaper clippings and photographs of Stockton AFC, between 1949 and 1956.

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  21. Christine Coomber I knew your uncle Colin Clark who played for the Stockton Boys team of 1946 that was runner up in the All England Schools football Championship, Colin was a wonderful footballer but I do not think he ever played at Wembley Stadium. He played for most of his senior career for Sparks Bakery in the Stockton and district league. Colin had four brothers Terry, the eldest also a good sportsman who was drowned at Whitby on holiday, Billy the second eldest died very young, Colin, then Peter who was also a good footballer and played some cricket with Stockton CC, and David the youngest and only surviving brother, Also a sister. All the Clarke”s were good sportsmen. They were brought up on the Primrose Hill estate.

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  22. My uncle Leonard Colin Clarke played for Stockton Boys and I am lead to believe he also played at Wembly. One of your photographs had a picture of him. Colin was a wonderful uncle (the best) and I am told was an excellent footballer. He worked for Head Wrightsons as a draughtsman and a much respected person loved by all. The photo sent floods of happiness of the good times as I have seen the same photo at his families residence. Well done for an excellent and very informative website. Are there any more photos of Bailey Street School as my mother attended in the 1950″s and all her photos were with family who had a serious housefire and the pictures were destroyed.

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    • Christine, your uncle Peter played in the Northern League for Billingham Synthonia in the 1957-58 season, he played 15 games scoring 9 goals.

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  23. My father STUART BRUCE Captained Stockton Boys 1945 – 1946. I have many photos which I will submit. He captained at that time, he played centre half, playing at Leiceter City FC in 1946 and also Sunderland FC in Feb 1946 and Derby Fc Ground. I have the old programmes etc.

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  24. Is there any chance of Stockton relaunching a professional football team? If Hartlepool and Darlington have teams, why can”t Stockton?

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  25. I went to the match as a child, it was played at Ayresome Park and Stockton Lost 4-1 after drawing away at the first attempt. Tommy Lawton Played for Notts County that day. I had the pleasure of playing against Tommy in 1957 when I was playing for Herford United and he was playing for a Star Eleven in Benefit match for one of our team members. Tommy was one of the greatest Centre Forwards ever seen in an Englend shirt. He played in the same England and Great Britain team that included local players Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick, Stanley Matthews a Tom Finney were also in that team. George Hardwick the Boro Captain captained those teams and should have been rewarded in later life with a Knighthood, but northern players do not seem to figure when it comes to giving out Royal Honours for some reason.

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  26. I remember going to see Stockton v Notts Co.in the cup.The game was played at Ayresome Park and before a very large crowd. Notts at that time were a top team and had players like Tommy Lawton playing for them .Stockton did fantastic to do so well.

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  27. My father played for Stockton after the war (he is 89 now)and his abiding memory is of an FA cup match against Notts County in 1947/8 (he thinks). They drew at Nottingham with the replay being lost by the odd goal before a very large crowd. I assume it was played at one of the senior grounds. Has anybody memories of the match?

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  28. Would David Mills be “the” David Mills that played for Middlesbrough (boro) in the 1970″s? If so I remember the team from those days and always remember David for his “massive” transfer fee when he left “boro. David Armstrong left about the same time.

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  29. I played football for Stockton school boys in the 1963-64 season. My memory must be playing tricks as I was sure we played in white shirts and black shorts. I do however remember the senior Stockton team playing in the red and black strip at that time.

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  30. I was fortunate enough to Captain both the Stockton Boys Football and Cricket teams in the 1950 season. The football team played in white shirts and Black shorts. Harry Rigg was the man in charge of the football team along with Ray Irvine of Newham Grange, and Mr Sowler of Holy Trinity who wrote an excellent History of Stockton. My heroes were the Stockton Boys team who reached the Final of the All England Schoolboys Championshop in 1946. They lost in the Final at Ayresome Park to Leicester City Boys. My most pleasant recollection playing for Stockton Boys was in beating Boro Boys at Victoria Ground 3-2 after extra time, after being 2-0 down with five minutes to play. It is a disgrace that the Victoria ground was sold for development of housing, so much of Stockton football history was there.The Schoolboy finals always drew large crowds of locals to the ground.

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  31. I followed Stockton FC as a kid and my memories of them playing in the late 40`s and early 50`s were of the black and white strip shown in this photo. Long before my time Stockton was a very famous amateur team and I am told that they played in the black and red quartered shirts that Benny refers to. Some time after turning professional the black and white strip appeared but I don`t know exactly when that happened. Obviously from Benny`s comments they reverted to their old strip some time after I stopped going to the Victoria Ground. I do know that the Stockton schoolboy teams always played in the black and red quartered shirts.

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  32. The photo of the Stockton FC team puzzled me as I played for them in the 1958 to 1961 seasons and we always played in quartered shirts of red and black. My grandfather played for Stockton FC in the early 1900s and I think they played in the same red and black shirts then, also “Remember When” have published photos of old Stockton teams in the same red and black quartered colours. I think the team I played in would be the last Stockton team to win anything as we won the North Riding Senior Cup in 1959/60 season beating a Boro full strength team in the Semi Final at Victoria ground 2-0 and beating York City in the final. I have photographs of these teams if you are interested I will send you copies. Benny Brown

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  33. I think Alan is correct, it certainly looks like Cliff Chadwick to me. He was a wonderful left winger. I was also a staunch supporter of both Middlesbrough and Stockton FC`s. My loyalty was severely tested when Stockton played Middlesbrough Reserves in the North Eastern League but, being my hometown, Stockton always got my support. How strange that Stockton has become an “also ran” in the footballing world. I can remember in 1951, I think, they carried all before them winning the North Eastern League, the Durham County Cup and the North Riding Senior Cup. The win in the Durham County Cup was particularly exciting as they beat the best amateur side in the country, Bishop Auckland, 3-0 at the Feethams Ground Darlington. Players I remember in that team were goalkeeper Brown, captain and centre half Alf Rowlands, inside left Joe Liddle and right winger Jock Newall. Now the Victoria Ground is no more and the glory days of the Ancients is just a memory. How sad.

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  34. I can”t be sure but it certainly looks like Stockton AFC or the Ancients as they were called. I lived next door to the Victoria Ground. Looking at the photograph the player in the front row with the ball at his feet looks like Cliff Whitelum who at one time played for Sunderland. The player on his left looks very much like Freddie Laidman ..but I could be wrong. My mind is beginning to play tricks with me

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  35. I may be wrong but this may be Stockton AFC. The player on the extreme right of the front row is probably Cliff Chadwick. Cliff played for both Middlesbrough and Stockton just after the War. I went to both grounds with my Dad and definitely saw Cliff flying down the left wing for Stockton. Does anybody else remember Cliff? During this period Boro Reserves played in the then North Eastern league and when both teams met Boro invariably put out a strong team with some first team members playing. Even Mannion played at the Victoria Ground occasionally.

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