Band of brothers on £3 a week

WELCOME back to another Green'Un gold feature and to a picture we found here on our archives at the Green'Un.

Mike Bacon

WELCOME back to another Green'Un gold feature and to a picture we found here on our archives at the Green'Un.

It's from more than 30 years ago and features Felixstowe Town (the Seasiders), with none other than Dave Ashford, current president, on the back row, far left.

We spoke to Dave who was manager of that 1974 team team, and he admitted this Felixstowe side began a great run of success for the Suffolk club.

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Henry Page, back row, far right, was Dave's assistant.

“The picture was taken on the Town ground and all of the players with the exception of Mike Duley, and possibly Howard Osborne, played for Henry Page's Sunday side, Parkside,” Dave said.

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“Even I was called in on a few occasions!

“The majority of the players were very sensible. Jimmy Lankaster the goalkeeper was a director at timber merchants William Brown, Roger Page worked in the accounts department at Cranes, Mike Duley was an insurance broker, Dave Calver worked as a printer at Alstons at that time and several of the others had managerial positions in the building merchants trade.

“The joker and butt of the mickey taking was John Warren. Henry brought John into a level of football that he hadn't played before. He was a full back who didn't make many mistakes, and as manager I told him the best part of his game was passing back to the goalkeeper.

“The players were all friends and I think from memory when they came to Felixstowe they got £3 a week if they played, and they were expected to train Tuesdays and Thursdays for that too. At the time, the club had no bar at Felixstowe and we used the Station Buffet for our homes games, or the Ipswich-based players stopped off at the Golden Hind in Nacton Road.

“Coming back from away trips, we'd very often make for Ipswich and to keep the players together, they would come to my house for a few beers and some sandwiches.

“The outstanding player was Duley, who had played for Bishop's Stortford and Harwich. He was a central defender with us who liked to come forward with the ball and whose skill with it was tremendous. He would command a lot of money in non league soccer today.

“These were some of the happiest times for most of the players involved. They played together for years; they didn't get well paid; some of the changing facilities were pretty basic and on some occasions they washed their own kit. However they came to Felixstowe Town and changed the club's fortunes in 1972-3.

“Since 1968 when I first became involved with the club, I had tried to get a 'local' set of lads together, but with most working at Felixstowe Dock, the team changed every week due to shift work patterns, and we had to apply for re-election to the Border League at their AGM on several occasions.

“We climbed the ESBL for a couple of seasons, then were runners-up twice I think, and when we won the Suffolk Senior Cup, the committee applied, and were successful in the clubs request to join the Eastern Counties League.

“The reason the club is still where it is today is due in part to the efforts of the players Henry brought to Felixstowe Town and allowed me to manage. I am still friendly with all of them, and it was a pleasure to have been involved with them all.”

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