Stockton Footballers Terry Turnbull and Eric Young

t15202Mohun Bagan v Crook Town – two Stockton footballers Terry Turnbull and Eric Young played for Crook Town in Calcutta, India. The match was watched by a crowd of 100,000.

Back Row (l-r): E. Young, C. Nattrass, C. Sinclair, G. Richardson, B. Agar, P. Brown, T. Turnbull, G. Potter.

Front Row (l-r): S. Bell, J. Suggett, C. Morrison, E. McMordie, W. Horner, P. Weatherall. Mascot, A. Banergee.

Image and details courtesy of Anon.


17 thoughts on “Stockton Footballers Terry Turnbull and Eric Young

  1. What a wonderful story. It must have been a great thrill to play in front of 100 000 fans although earlier Crook Town Teams played in front of similar crowds in their many Wembley Finals. A great pity to see the Crook Town Team of today languishing in a lowly Northern league second division and not even being competitive in this league. I watch the Indian Premier League on a weekly basis and I am impressed at the standard they are playing at. This improvement overall in the Countries who do not have a tradition of Football is worldwide. Having played in South Africa in the sixties they have improved out of site also this week the lowly Thai team drew with the Asian Champions Australia in the World Cup match. Also watch out for Japan as an improving nation. I also watched this week the match when Australia beat England at Wembley 3-1 when Wayne Rooney made is debut as the youngest cap for England at 17 years of age. A lot of this improvement is due to teams like Crook Town in this story going overseas to play against the locals..


    • Thanks, never ever thought of our experience in that way, it was wonderful to do it and a great thrill to play 6 games out there and see the colour and enjoyment of the locals who swamped us allover Calcutta… thanks again its brought some great memories back….


  2. There were lads in Crook Town’s team who’d never been much beyond Cullercoats when suddenly they were invited to Calcutta.

    There were receptions at the British Embassy and at the governor’s house, 100,000 crowds, five star hotels, 100 degree temperatures and a whole treasury of travellers’ tales.

    It was 1976 and now the story of that remarkable passage to India is being told – affectionately, idiosyncratically – in a new book by Steve Chaytor from Sedgefield. Among them was long time Middlesbrough full back Gordon Jones, Crook’s manager at the time of that Indian Spring. He mentioned to it in passing.

    “It rather tickled my fancy,” says Steve, as well it might have done.

    The key to it all was Dr Orun Kumar Banerjee, then a Crook GP – now retired – and the club’s medical officer since arriving in the town in 1972.

    “Someone mentioned a tour of India in the clubhouse one night,” Dr Banerjee recalls. “They thought it was a joke. I said ‘Why not’?”

    They also thought it was a joke when the doctor suggested packing formal evening dress, and took Crook casual wear instead.

    “There were a couple of maharajahs, the chief minister, all sorts of people,” he recalls. “Some of our players even had to ask me to lend them a tie.”

    Their hosts were Mohun Bagan – “the Manchester United of India” – for whom Dr Banarjee’s father had played before the war. The Calcutta club paid all expenses but asked if a member of England’s 1966 World Cup team, preferably Bobby Charlton, could be in the squad.

    The deal was agreed in a Manchester hotel.

    “Don’t worry, I’ll not let you down,” Charlton told the Co Durham delegation. He did, crying off two days beforehand with a knee injury.

    Mohun Bagan offered him £1,000 just to step onto the pitch. Charlton declined to fly.

    Crook eventually persuaded Terry Paine, who’d played once in the 1966 finals, to fly over for the last of their six games in 13 days.

    Good Northern League lads like Charlie Gott, Terry Turnbull and Charlie Morrison – whose long throw amazed the Indians – were joined by third division professionals like Colin Sinclair, Clive Nattress and Eric McMordie.

    FA Cup final referee Pat Partridge, up the road in Cockfield, agreed to referee all the games.

    “The reception at the airport was incredible, thousands of people and press awaiting us and all our players garlanded,” remembers Dr Banerjee.

    Crook lost just once, to the Indian national side, drawing four of the matches 1-1. One game was played in the mountains of Darjeeling, four others at Eden Park, the Calcutta cricket ground.

    Crook thus became perhaps the only football team to have played on two test match cricket grounds – the Oval had staged a 1958 Amateur Cup replay against Corinthian Casuals.

    Dr Banerjee – “really helpful” says Steve – also has a silent 70s video dubbed with music from that era. Crook run out at Eden Park to the theme from Hawaii Five-0.
    [An extract from the net concerning playes & matches played in Calcutta 1976.]


    • They were guest players, Gordon Jones was the tour manager & Bobby Charlton pulled out at the last minute. Crook Town’s chairman at the time was a Dr Banergee, hence his son is the mascot. Also Charlie Morrison who is the father of James the West Brom & Scotland player.


  3. What year was this? Was that Eric McMordie of Boro? What was the occasion? Does anybody have any more information about the match? It sounds incredible for 100,000 to be there when cricket is their national game.


    • It was May 1976, the game ended 1-1 draw with Terry Turnbull scoring the Crook goal, it was the first time a football match had been played at the National Stadium, they later played the Indian National Team & lost 1-0.


    • Yep we had to bring in recruits from local pro teams because the full Crook team either could not get time off or could not get holiday time off? With Gordon Jones (manager at crook ex Boro player) rounded up about eight pro’s he knew would do a job for us !! and what a great mix it turned out to be, we at Crook thought that we would be looked down at… just the opposite,they were all great lads and set the Crook lads a great example…. Eric McMordie, Billy Horner, Clive Mattress, Eric Young, Graham Richardson…Terry Paine 1966 World Cup players and of course Pat Partridge world class referee. Great experience for us non pros!


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