The Story of Bradford Boys by John Bulled 1994
The most important event in this period was probably the revision of the Constitution of the BSAA in 1927. As we have seem, ever since the attempt to run a Rugby Section of BSAA in 1907, the Association had only organised two activities, football and the Park Avenue Sports which provided its finances.
However in the 1920’s a number of other sections were formed; a Rounders sub-association came into being in1922, followed by Cricket and Swimming sections in 1926, while in 1924 a Secondary Section was formed to cater for the Athletic activities of boys over the statutory leaving age.
It became increasingly difficult for BSAA to run this range of activities, so at the 1927 AGM it was decided to set up a Sub Committee comprised of the President, Secretary and Treasurer, two from the Secondary Section, the Secretaries of the Swimming and Cricket sections and four other members, Messrs. Charlesworth, Brook and Booth and Miss. Stansfield.
The new Constitution was presented to, and accepted by, the adjourned AGM on 8th July 1927.
In future each body in membership of BSAA was to style itself “... an Association of the Bradford Schools’ Athletic Association”, with the right to elect its own officers and committee.
Thus the “Football Section” became officially the “Football Association” and Mr. French, who had been Secretary of BSAA since 1908, became Secretary of BSFA in1927, while Mr. E .M. Hall became Treasurer.
In the 1927/1928 season Mr. H. Brooks was both President of BSAA and Chairman of BSFA but subsequently the two offices were held by different people.
The resulting two-tier administration did not always function harmoniously; there was not really enough for BSAA to do and BSFA because of its strength and established position, was somewhat of a “cuckoo in the nest”.
As we shall see, occasions for friction could and did arise.
The period was one of modest success for Bradford in the English Trophy; in eight seasons the City team failed to progress beyond the 1st Round. The most successful years were 1928/1929, when they reached the 5th Round, and 1936/1937 when they went one better and reached the 6th- “... the most successful time since 1916” (Annual Report.)
In the 1928/1928 season we were fortunate to have four successive home games,
In the 1st Round, North East Derbyshire came to Park Avenue on the 17th November and were beaten 5 - 0, Ryan (St Patrick’s) scoring three of them.
The next three games were all played at Valley Parade; a single goal was enough to put out Scunthorpe on 27th December, King (Shipley Central), who was to become one of Bradford’s more prolific scorers, scoring the all-important goal.
York came to Valley Parade on 19th January 1929, and were beaten comfortably by 3 goals to nil, while Leeds, the visitors on 16th February, were dispatched even more decisively, Brear (Drummond Road) scoring three of his sides five goals.
The 5th Round required us to visit Chesterfield, where 3,500 spectators saw the home side triumph by 3 goals to 1 (a penalty scored by Ryan)
The 1936/1937 was notable for a ‘marathon’ with Shrewsbury in the 5th Round, two draws preceding our eventual success.
In the earlier rounds we had a comfortable 3-0 win at Ardsley, followed by a 3-1 win over Doncaster at Valley Parade on 21st November.
The 4th Round gave us the rare treat of a second good win against South Yorkshire opposition, when we gained a 5 - 2 win against Dearne Valley at Valley Parade on 2nd January 1937. Priestley, (Belle Vue) scored four of the goals.
Then came the triple tie with Shrewsbury - 1 - 1 at Bradford Rovers on 30th January, 1-1 again at Shrewsbury the following week, and then finally a 4 - 0 win at Park Avenue on 13th February.
As George Tavender would have said, “... Was it to be our year?” Not really. Blyth, enjoying their best ever season in the Trophy (they were to be the beaten finalists) came to Bradford Rovers on 20th February and thrashed us 6 - 1.
Indeed one or two thrashings came our way in this period; Sheffield put six into us without reply at Birch Lane in 1923.There was also another ‘marathon’ in 1933/1934 when we had three meetings with Mexborough in the 3rd Round, 3 - 3 at Park Avenue, followed by 1 - 1 at Mexborough, before one goal at Park Avenue broke the deadlock. After all that effort we went out 1 - 2 to Rother Valley at Manningham Mills in the next Round.
In the 1937/1938 season, Bradford did not participate in the English Trophy competition; this decision is recorded in the Minutes as follows: - Competitions for 1937/1938.
Approved: Daily Dispatch Competition, Yorkshire Count Shield competition. Not approved - English Shield Competition.
As a footnote to this decision, in the Minutes of the meeting of 17th September 1937, Mr. Tait mentioned that the “... Bradford’s non-entry in the English Shield competition had created a sensation at the ESFA meeting."
At the 1925 AGM there was a proposal to the effect that “... we do not join the English Schools’ Shield unless Secondary Schools are included.” Ultimately it was decided to take part in the competition as well as the Yorkshire competition, but to protest against the exclusion of Secondary schools.
The issue seems to have lain dormant for some years, although at the Committee Meeting of 29th February 1928 Mr. Hodgson “... pleaded for a City match in which secondary boys could take part.”
This came about during the ensuing Christmas holidays when a team, including seven secondary boys, played Dewsbury and Batley at Valley Parade, losing by 5 - 3. Scorers were Dixon (Hanson) and Clapham (Carlton) 2.
In 1930 ESFA altered their rules so as to permit secondary boys to play in the Trophy competition. There seems to have been some suggestion that YSFA might follow suit and the Bradford Committee, due to select a team to play Dewsbury in the 2nd Round of the ‘Wylie’ selected two teams, one assuming that secondary boys were eligible (three were selected) and an alternative team assuming they were not. In fact a ruling was received from the Secretary, YSFA to the effect that secondary boys were not eligible.
At the beginning of 1931 the issue was raised again in an aggravated form; we received a letter from Sheffield SFA informing us that they had withdrawn their affiliation to YSFA on the issue of playing secondary boys. They had been told by the Secretary of YSFA that they would be in order in playing secondary boys, but had subsequently been disqualified and had not been allowed to send a representative to put their case.
The Committee resolved to inform Sheffield that at the next YSFA AGM they intended to move a resolution that YSFA should come into line with ESFA on this matter.
At a Committee Meeting on 13th February 1931 it was reported that ESFA had asked for our views on the issue and the Secretary was instructed to inform them that we heartily supported Sheffield’s views. On 27th February it was resolved that notice of motion re. Alteration to Rule 4 is sent to the County Secretary.
Nothing came of this and a similar resolution was submitted to the YSFA’s 1933 AGM. However on 25th July Mr. Moverly reported no progress yet again, only Bradford and Sheffield being in favour.
The next occasion when the position of secondary boys vis-à-vis the ‘Wylie’ Trophy was raised was at a Committee Meeting on 12th December 1934; in the discussion the hope was expressed that “ ... this would be swept away in the near future”.
At the same meeting the Association was asked by the Secretary of YSFA to send a representative to a meeting at Leeds regarding the ‘Daily Dispatch’ Shield competition; it was resolved that Bradford would only participate if secondary boys were allowed to play’. It would appear that this was allowed as Carlton Street, Grange, St Bede’s, Hanson, and Belle Vue appear in the draw, but it would also appear from comments made at the meeting on 11th July 1935 that they were only allowed to play in the local and not the County competition, for Bradford’s representatives at the ‘Daily Dispatch’ meeting were instructed to convey the message that “... secondary boys should be eligible to the end of the inter-county competition.”
However in the two seasons in which Len Shackleton played for Bradford Boys, he was not permitted to play in ‘Wylie ‘ Shield games; nor, though he played for his country, could he represent his county. In fact in his final season (1935/1936) he played just one Trophy game for Bradford v Sheffield in the 1st Round of the English, though as we shall see, he did also play in some ‘friendly’ games.
The Association continued to play a programme of ‘friendly’ games in addition to its Trophy matches, the number of them depending on the success or otherwise of the City team and, indeed, of the other Associations.
The first post-war ‘friendly recorded was at York on Boxing Day 1918, the game resulting in a 1 - 1 draw: The Bradford team on this occasion was: Bower (Drummond Road), Newton and Walker (both Barkerend), Phillips (Whetley Lane), Higgins (St Joseph’s), Wadsworth (Horton), Bagshaw (Ryan Street), Infield (Whetley Lane), Webb (Horton), and McEvoy and Hart (both St Joseph’s). Webb was the scorer.
There was a return game with York at Valley Parade on 18th January 1919, which Bradford won 2 - 0.
Kelly (St Mary’s) came in at centre half, Higgins moving to left half in place of Wadsworth and Walker (Carr Lane) played at left wing.
There was a more extended programme in 1919/1920, the first game being at York on 20th December 1919; Bradford won 1 - 0, the scorer being Lawrence. The team was; Foster (Barkerend),Lazenby (Grange), Florence (St Joseph’s), Hall (Great Horton), Kerr (Carlton Street), Asquith (Hanson), Pratt (Green Lane), Stringer (Grange), Harwood (Carlton Street), Lawrence (Drummond Road), and Rhodes (Whetley Lane).
On 20th December the City team went to Sheffield losing by the odd goal in five.
On 24th January 1920, the team played Liverpool at Anfield and were well beaten by six clear goals.
Sheffield came to Park Avenue on21st February and “... the Bradford ‘hopefuls’ made quite a plucky fight until a few minutes from the end when Buckley scored a couple of goals in quick succession. Chief honours went to the defenders on both sides." The Bradford team was; Foster, Lazenby, Asquith, Kerr, Cockcroft (Belle Vue), Thomas (Grange), Stringer, Lilley (Belle Vue), Infield (Whetley Lane), and Daniel (Grange).
Liverpool also came to Park Avenue on 27th March; they again won but by a reduced margin 3 - 1; in fact, at the interval Bradford were leading through a goal scored by Asquith, but in the second half Liverpool’s superior height and weight plus their improved finishing gave them the edge. The team was: Kemp (Whetley Lane), Lazenby, Florence, James (Hanson), Kerr, Lloyd (Belle Vue), Thomas, McAvoy (St Bede’s), Asquith, Bottomley (Hanson), and Daniel.
In 1920/21 there were only single games against Sheffield and Liverpool, both played at Park Avenue and both resulting in defeats, 0 - 2 and 1 - 3. There appear to have been only two other friendly games, one with the newly formed Brighouse Association which resulted in a 7 - 0 win the other with Dewsbury at Tyersal on 12th March 1921, the result of which is not recorded.
The team that played against Brighouse was: Yeadon (Bolton Woods), Richards (St Joseph’s), Wilkinson (Fairweather Green), Draper and Jollands (both St Joseph’s), Hillas (Ryan Street),Jowett (Fairweather Green), Brook (Barkerend), Tankard (Whetley Lane), Lake (Bolton Woods), and Longley (Lapage Street)
The friendly programme in 1921/1922 was a very sketchy one. Castleford invited us to visit them on 8th October; the following team made the journey and suffered a 1 - 0 defeat; Wilman (Bradford Moor), Richards, Humpleby (Horton), Draper, Gill (Bradford Moor), Douglas (Barkerend), Eames (Horton), Mason (Ryan Street), Waugh (Bradford Moor), Lake and Kemp (Whetley Lane). On 5th November a City team visited Skipton winning 11 - 0 (hardly a basis for selecting a team to meet Dearne Valley in the ‘Wylie’ a fortnight later) Lake scored seven times and Jagger (Wyke) four times. The team was: Mason, Richards, Humpleby, Draper, Bates (Horton), Douglas, Eames, Jagger, Lake, Meadowcroft (Cathedral), and Kemp.
There was only one more friendly game this season; it was at Dewsbury and, as it coincided with the Dearne Valley game, the team was selected entirely from secondary schools; it lost 2 - 0. Those who played were Hird (Grange), Naylor (Hanson), Foster (Carlton), Joyce and O’Dowd (both St. Bede’s), Gill (Carlton), Leeds (Carlton), Harland and Swift (both Belle Vue), Crowther (Hanson), and Batt (Carlton)
There was a notable ‘challenge’ match at Christmas 1922 when Bradford entertained London at Valley Parade with the following side: Hill (St Bede’s), Pyrah and Hartley (both Wyke), Goodyear (Bradford Moor), Warman (Hanson) Halstead (Grange), Jagger (Wyke), Batt (Carlton), Knowles (St Michael’s) and Gill (Whetley Lane).
On the previous day London had suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the full Yorkshire side. The 2,000 spectators were “... treated to as fine a game as anyone could wish to see”, although the pitch was a sea of mud. London were ahead at 1 - 0, 2 - 1, and 4 - 2, but each time Bradford fought back, scoring through Batt (2), Jagger and Pyrah (a penalty).
In the afternoon the London party were taken to Park Avenue “ ... to watch the famous Corinthians”.
Apart from this ‘big’ game there were ‘friendlies’ with Skipton on the ground at Tyersal, which had been offered to the Association but which they played on very little, which was won 10 - 0, with Brighouse at Knowles Lane, Wyke (3 - 0) and one at Keighley on Easter Tuesday which was won 9 - 0. The team in this last game was: Gillett (Drummond Road), Medley (Grange), Pyrah, Mitchell (Carlton), Heaton (Grange), Warman, Smith (Ryan Street), Jagger, Batt, Greaves, (Drummond Road) and Gill. For some years after this ‘friendly’ matches were few and far between. There were two main reasons for this; one was the growth in the number of competitions. Apart from the two trophy competitions, the Association was now running the Park Avenue Supporters’ Trophy and the ‘Daily Dispatch Shield’. The second reason was the plethora of trial games organised; there was, of course a good reason for this, as we have seen, for boys could and, for economic reasons, mostly did leave school as soon as they had reached their 14th birthdays, so City teams were in a constant state of flux. At the same time one has a feeling that the Committee was wedded to the idea of trials, and when in doubt, arranged one.
In season 1927/1928 there were trials on 15th October, 22nd October (Final), 26th November, 10th December (postponed), 23rd December (postponed) and 30th December. In 1928/1929 they were held on 27th October (4 teams), 1st November (Final), 10th November and 8th December (Secondary and Elementary).
Indeed there is no mention of another ‘friendly ‘game until the ?? of 27th April 1927 when the following team was selected “... to enhance Bradford good name at Barnoldswick.”: Blakeley (Fairweather Green), Smith (Horton), Hickton (Undercliffe), Haigh (St Bede’s), Horner (Grange), Davies (Fairweather Green), Geldard (Whetley Lane), Brown (Belle Vue), Hawksworth (Usher Street), Sumpter (Bradford Moor), A. N. Other (Grange).
There was now a gap until 22nd December 1928 when Dewsbury were invited to play at Valley Parade and went away victors by 5 goals to three. The Bradford team was: Baxter (Grange), Fretwell (St Bede’s), Petty (Carlton), McGrath (St.Bede's), Webster (Hutton), Hebden (Drummond Road), Dixon (Hanson), King (Shipley Central), Clapham (Carlton), Ryan (St Patrick’s), and Waddington (Belle Vue). Clapham (2) and Dixon scored Bradford goals.
Dewsbury were also Bradford’s opponents in their next ‘friendly’ game, though not before some problems had been sorted out. Based on information received from the County Secretary, the Committee selected a team including secondary boys, while at the same time, taking precaution of selecting a team including elementary boys only; in the event, it was the latter team that played; Clark (Highfield), Chapman (Drummond), Pulling (St Augustine’s), Hanson (Cathedral), Holmes (Wilsden), Orme (Wyke), Harper (Shipley Central), Mitchell (Princeville), Charlesworth (Low Moor), Crossland (Highfield), Simpson (Usher Street). The result was a 3 - 2 win for Dewsbury. However the Committee Meeting of 12th December 1930 was able to discuss a really ‘prestige friendly’ fixture. The Committee had offered to stage an International game at Valley Parade on the following Easter Monday, but when this fell through, it was decided to approach Glasgow. Their response was a little ‘canny’; they asked for travelling expenses and hotel expenses for 12 boys and four officials (which the Committee considered reasonable) and half the gross gate if it exceeded twice the expenses (which the committee were somewhat dubious about). However on consideration, the Committee was prepared to accept Glasgow’s terms if they would offer the same to Bradford when they paid a return visit the following year. On this basis the match was arranged.
Three sub-committees were set up to make the arrangements, Selection, Reception and Advertising and nomination of players was requested.
At a Meeting on 13th March 1931, it was agreed that the Glasgow party should be accommodated at the Alexandra Hotel and that the Deputy Lord Mayor should be invited to the match and the Luncheon.
There was protracted argument about the colour of the new set of jerseys which was to be purchased, the final decision being ‘claret ground, amber band with black hoops.’
The hand-bill advertising the match waxed historical (we were better educated in those days) asking, “... will it be Flodden or Bannockburn?”
The Bradford team for this epic encounter, which Glasgow won 3 - 2 was: Barnes, Storr, Bateson, Hawksworth (Usher Street), Alderson, Smith (Hanson), Harper (Shipley Central), Summers (Belle Vue), Holmes (Wilsden), Mitchell (Princeville), and Whittaker (Cathedral).
Before the return game took place in1932 there was a ‘friendly’ against Dewsbury and Batley at Park Avenue on 12th December 1931. The Bradford team on this occasion was: Robson (Whetley Lane), Crawshaw (Shipley Central), Pulling (St Augustine’s), Dale (Lapage Street), Town (Shipley Central), Brown (Whetley Lane), Harrison (Tyersal), Noble (Drummond Road), Gallagher (St Peter’s), Rhodes (Priestman), and Whittaker (Cathedral).
The eagerly anticipated visit to Glasgow took place on 4th January 1933; it was, from all accounts, ‘.... a wonderful experience’.
The party was greeted on arrival by Jimmy Wilson, the indefatigable Secretary, and such characters as ‘Long’ Stalker, ‘Lengthy’ Todd, McNair the Highlander, Camm 'the canny one', and 'Little Campbell', etc. etc.
Their head quarters were the grand Hotel, Charing Cross, Glasgow, where the boys enjoyed “... the novelty of bedrooms with separate beds and hot and cold water in each room”.
The evening was taken up by a visit to the Carnival – “a miniature South Shore Blackpool, followed by a tour round one of Glasgow’s large newspaper offices.”
Wednesday, the day of the match, began with breakfast at 9-00. “And what a breakfast. Porridge, fish, bacon and eggs, toast, fruit etc, and butter adlib - a feast fit for a king!”
The party had the free use of a double-decker bus generously provided by Glasgow Tramway Committee, in which they toured the city, including the magnificence of Ibrox Park before going to City Hall, where they were received in the Council Chamber by the Lord Provost.
After lunch (steamed fish, toast and tea) the party moved to Cathkin Park, the venue for the match.
The Bradford team was: Pickles (Highfield), Beech (Lapage Street), Lawton (Whetley Lane), Craven (Whetley Lane), Davies (Drummond Road), Wilde (Whetley Lane), Powell (Great Horton), Bateson (Shipley Central), Warnett (Barkerend), Rhodes (Priestman), and Hopkinsn (Forster Square). 4,500 saw the game and Bradford, although beaten 5-2, were “... just as clever on the ball, but their shooting was not as good.” Summing up, the Daily Express correspondent said, “.... team-work did it and, had the visitors played less as individuals there would not have been as wide a margin at the end.” Bradford’s scorers were Hopkinson and Rhodes.
Even when the match ended the pleasures of the visit were far from over. There was dinner at the hotel when, in our honour, the haggis was piped on and “.... lived to tell the tale”
The day ended with a visit to the Empire, for the pantomime “Mother Hubbard”, the antics of the monkeys and dogs ”... giving particular enjoyment."
The party returned on Thursday “... with the vowed intention of contradicting anyone who dares to say that the Scottish people are not hospitable.”
Regrettably, this fixture lapsed after this particular game; at the Meeting on 4th March 1933 “... the Secretary was instructed to reply to Glasgow pointing out the difficulty of inviting them here next year and to suggest the shelving of this match till the following year.”
At the same Meeting (and this may or may not be significant) an invitation was received and accepted to play Stoke on Trent home and away in alternate years, the first game being at Stoke. At the meeting on 24th March nominations were invited from schools, including Secondary Schools.
The match was played on Easter Tuesday, and resulted in a 3 - 3 draw, Bradford equalising in the last half minute. Scorers were Rhodes (Priestman), Bateson (Shipley Central), and Turner (Great Horton) and the Bradford team was: Cooper (Belle Vue), Taylor (St Bede’s), Blanchfield (Carlton), Bateson Davies (Drummond Road), Hopkinson (Forster), Conroy (St Bede’s), Turner, Warnett (Barkerend), Rhodes and Pickles (Highfield).
The return game was played at Valley Parade on 27th December 1933 and resulted in a 7 - 3 win for Stoke. The following played for Bradford, but are not placed in positional order. Chandler (Barkerend), Lister (Highfield), Ackroyd (Drummond Road), Clegg (Belle Vue), Warnett (Barkerend), Stead (Whetley Lane), Wilson (Priestman), Davies (Hanson), Emmett (Barkerend, Chadwick (St Michael’s), and Mortimer (Lapage Street).
The match was unfortunately ruined by the fog and it was only by careful manipulation of the financial side that the Section was prevented from sustaining heavy financial loss.
There were a couple ‘friendly’ games this season; on 28th October there was a game with Leeds at Oldfield Lane, which resulted in a 3 - 3 draw, Durkin (St Anne’s), Warnett (Barkerend) and Wilmore (Barkerend), being the scorers; the other was at Redcar on 31st March. Redcar had been to Bradford three weeks earlier in the ‘Wylie Shield' and had been so impressed by the welcome they had received in spite of the snow, that they had invited Bradford to visit Redcar. The result was a 4 - 2 win for Bradford with Warnett (2), Fewson (Lapage Street) and Mortimer the scorers.
There were two 'friendlies’ in November 1934, on successive days. On the 2nd the City team visited Leeds, winning 4 - 3 (Scorers- Keeling (Carlton) (2), Burnden (Forster) and Shackleton (Carlton), while on the following day a 2nd XI went to Bingley and won 2 - 1 (scorers: Chadwick (St Michael’s) and Ross (Barkerend)
Bradford second visit to Stoke took place on New Year’s Eve, 1934. The game was played on the Stoke City ground and the linesmen were two members of the club’s 1st XI, Frank Soo and Stanley Matthews. The Bradford team was: Shorter (Barkerend), Fisher (Drummond Road), Sharp (Highfield), Mouncey (Wyke), Ferrand (Hanson), Hill (Wibsey), Dobson (Grange), Shackleton (Carlton), Keeling (Carlton), Chadwick (St Michael’s), and Burnden (Forster). Stoke were successful by 4 goals to 2, Keeling scoring two opportunist goals for Bradford, who were handicapped by an injury to Sharp after only ten minutes’ play. Shorter in goal gave “... a brilliant display of goal-keeping”.
In the 1935/1936 season the first ‘friendly’ was at Leeds on 1st November, followed by a match at Bingley. Then came Stoke’s visit on New Year’s Day 1936, The party was accommodated at the Osborne Hotel, where the post-match function was also held. Guests at this included the Director of Education and his wife, the Chairman and managers of the City and Park Avenue clubs, Councillor Waterhouse and his wife, H. B. Slavin (Secretary YSFA), the President BSAA, F. J. Marshall (P. E. Organiser) and the President and Secretary of Bradford Rovers F.C.
In the evening the visiting party were taken to the pantomime at the Alhambra.
The Bradford team on this occasion was: Shorter, Tait (Belle Vue), Jowett (Wibsey), Young (Hanson), Armitage (Usher Street), Offord (St Bede’s), Greenwood, Shackleton and Varey (all Carlton), Naylor (Highfield, Earnshaw (Carlton), Fred Greenwood, the right wing on the Bradford side, reminded me in a letter that Carlton furnished four forwards on this occasion. The result was a 0 - 0 draw.
The match resulted in a financial loss of £11 - 5s - 4d.
We visited Stoke again on New Year’s Day 1937 and were beaten by 4 goals to 1, Herridge being the scorer. The team that day was: Teasdale (Drummond Road), Murphy (Grange), Wood (Drummond Road), Barraclough (Priestman), Wright (Carlton), Firm (Drummond Road), Sugden (Carlton), Duggan (St Joseph’s), Herridge (Grange), Priestley (Belle Vue) and Walker (Woodroyd).
The next (and final) visit from Stoke in a ‘friendly’ was on 20th April 1938, at Valley Parade. The Bradford team was: Taylor (Drummond Road), Langwade (Usher Street), Appleby (Drummond Road), Benson (All Saint’s), Bower (Highfield), Elliot (Lapage Street), Audsley (Carlton), Clark (St Barnabas), Wilkinson (Belle Vue), Racher (Lapage Street), and Walker (Woodroyd).
On 26th August 1938 the Committee resolved that the Secretary “... write to Stoke that owing to a congestion of fixtures we found it necessary to discontinue the match for this season at any rate.” The reason given may have been a little disingenuous, for in his Annual Report the Secretary commented - “... The annual ‘friendly’ match with Stoke was abandoned, there being a feeling that this had lost some of its attraction.”
In the last two seasons before the War ‘friendly’ games disappeared from the Association’s programme.
In the period under consideration four Bradford Boys gained international honours, a further seven took part in international trials and 30 gained County caps. There was some overlapping obviously, but Shackleton and K Wright both of Carlton, did not play for Yorkshire, although they attained ‘higher ‘ honours.
The first name to be recorded was that of F. Bower, the second international to come from Drummond Road. He kept goal in all five of Bradford’s Trophy games in the 1918/1919 season. At the Committee Meeting on 7th March 1919, the Secretary announced that he had been chosen as goalkeeper for the English team which played Wales at Swansea.
In the following season A. Kemp of Whetley Lane, another goalkeeper, was selected for the County side. A versatile player, he appeared for Bradford in this as well as the following season as a forward.
In the same season J. E. Jowett (Fairweather Green), who played at right wing, or inside right for Bradford, gained County honours.
There were two Bradford Boys in the County side in 1921/1922, J Richards (St Joseph’s), who played nine times for the City in that and the previous season, normally at right back, and E. Lake (Bolton Woods), who also played nine times in the two seasons, usually at centre forward.
Four Bradford Boys won County caps in the 1922/1923 season, and remarkably three of them came from the same school - Wyke. The odd man out was Gill (Whetley Lane), the Bradford left wing. The Wyke representatives were Ernest Jagger, who played ten times in Trophy matches in this and the previous season at inside right, Harry Pyrah, who played eight times at left back, and John Hartley, who played right back three times in the early part of the 1922/1923 season.
Jagger went on to receive an international trial this season.
Bradford did hardly less well in the 1923/1924 season with three County caps. One of these, Cyril Gardener (Princeville) went further, playing for England v Scotland at Burnley and v Wales at Cardiff. The other two were L. Holdsworth, another from Wyke at left wing, and S. Brogden of Usher Street at right wing.
The 1924/1925 season saw the beginning of the remarkable career of Albert Geldard of Whetley Lane, who not only appeared in 19 Trophy matches for Bradford in this and the following three seasons, but played for three seasons in the County side. In this particular season he was joined by W. Ward (Princeville), the City centre- half. Geldard continued his County career, in 1925/1926 being joined in this season by his brother Norman Geldard.
In the following season, after taking part in an international trial at Bristol, he was selected to play for England v Scotland at Glasgow, and he gained two more international caps in his final season 1927/1928 v Scotland at Leicester, and v Wales at Swansea.
There were County caps in 1928/1929 for A. Brown (Whetley Lane), who played nine times at left back for the City team that season and for A. Pickles (St Michael’s), who played six times in this and the preceding season in a number of positions.
E. King (Shipley Central), scorer of 18 goals for Bradford in seasons 1928/1929 and 1929/1930, was selected for Yorkshire in the latter season and also played in the international trial at York.
Bradford supplied the County side of 1931/1932 with two players, E. Gallagher (St Peter’s), a wing half and J. Noble (Drummond Road), who normally played at inside right.
The following year there were three, all forwards, E. Rhodes (Priestman), inside right, R. Warnett (Barkerend), centre forward, and J. Bateson (Shipley Central) inside right. Warnett scored 21 goals in Trophy matches in this and the following season, when he took part in an international trial. All three of these boys played against Lancashire in the County game staged at Bradford and played at Valley Parade, on 28th November 1932, which Yorkshire won 4 - 2.
There was a regrettable tail-piece to this season’s award of Ccounty caps. The procedure was for these to be purchased by the Association, which then asked the individual schools to purchase them for the boys. On this occasion two of the schools concerned, Priestman Central and Shipley Central declined to do so, and at the Committee Meeting of the 4th May 1933, “... the Section recorded its disappointment that schools concerned cannot see their way to purchase caps for their boys and that these schools be notified of this.”
Bradford provided Yorkshire with a goalkeeper, H. Lister (Highfield) in season 1933/1934, as well as Warnett, Wilson (Priestman), left back, and G. Mortimer (Lapage Street), inside left.
In 1934/1935 only one cap came our way: to G Fisher (Drummond Road), right back. In the same Bradford side as we have seen, was Leonard F. Shackleton (Carlton), who, as a secondary schoolboy, could not play for his county.
None the less he proceeded, on the 1935/1936 season, through the process of international trials to three international caps in spite of playing only one Trophy game for his Association.
In the following season 1936/1937, M. Priestley (Belle Vue), inside left, and K. Wright (Carlton), centre half, became the first Bradford secondary schoolboys to play in the County side; both of them also played in an international trial at Liverpool.
J. Walker (Woodroyd), a left wing, was our only county representative in 1937/1938, but in the final season, before the outbreak of war, we had two, W. Elliott (Lapage Street), left half, and D Jackson (Drummond Road), centre half. Elliott, together with the goalkeeper K Burgoyne (Drummond Road), took part in the international trial, which was played at Park Avenue on 25th February 1939.
There were three ‘big occasions’ in this period:
1. the Yorkshire v Lancashire game in 1932;
2. the Yorkshire v London game in 1935;
3. the International trial in 1939.
Wilf Moverley had been elected to the Council of the Yorkshire Schools’ Football Association at its 1932 AGM and it was felt that it would be appropriate for Bradford to offer to stage the Yorkshire v Lancashire game.
At the meeting on 21st October three Sub-committees were set up to organise the match, Publicity, Reception and Entertainment. The game was to be played at Valley Parade on Wednesday, December 28th and the admission prices were fixed at; Ground: Adults 6d, Boys 2d. Centre Stand: Adults 1s, boys 6d. Invitations to the match, and the subsequent tea were extended to: The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Councillor A. Smith, Chairman of Park Avenue, The Director and Mrs. Boyce, The Deputy Director and Mrs. MacPherson, Mr Jennings, Miss Hardaker, Councillor D. H. Waterhouse and Mrs. Waterhouse, the HMI for the City, Mr W. L. French, Mr R. Wright, and Mr. C. Hudson. It was also decided to invite to the match the members of the executive Committee BSAA.
The Yorkshire team included three Bradford Boys, Rhodes (Captain), Warnett and Bateson. Yorkshire took an early lead through Stamps (Rotherham) “... which brought a wild cheer from hundreds of youthful throats.” Lancashire were the bigger side, but Yorkshire appear to have been “... a livelier combination.”
Lancashire went into the lead through two goals early in the second half, but Yorkshire fought back and regained the lead through two goals scored by Jones (Sheffield)and a late goal by Stamps ensured victory to the home side. The attendance was about 3,000.
At the Committee Meeting on 5th September 1934, Wilf Moverley was instructed to put forward Bradford’s offer to stage the London game if he was elected Chairman of YCSSA (YSFA). He was so elected and, at the Meeting on 3rd October, he reported that YCSSA had accepted Bradford’s offer.
The game was arranged for Wednesday 2nd January 1935, at Valley Parade. The admission prices were the same as for the Lancashire game in 1932.
The London party was accommodated at the Osborne Hotel on 1st January (high tea, bed and breakfast – 6s 6d for boys, 7s 6d for adults) and 2nd January (bed and breakfast only - 4s 6d boys, 5s 6d adults) and the 3s dinner was agreed upon, consisting of: Cream of Celery Soup, Boiled, Turbot and shrimp sauce, Roast Norfolk Turkey and sausages, Kidney Beans, Green Peas, Baked and Mashed potatoes, Christmas Pudding and rum sauce, Coffee.
The guest list was much the same as in 1932. On the day of the match there was to be a Mayoral Reception at 11-00a.m. and a visit to the pantomime in the evening. Fisher of Bradford captained the Yorkshire side. The game itself resulted in a 2 - 2 draw and was described by the Yorkshire Sports reporter as ”... the finest exhibition of schools’ football it has been my privilege to watch.” Yorkshire dominated the first half but were thwarted in their efforts to score by “... the brilliant goal keeping of Gillings (Dagenham). The second half produced a ding-dong struggle; London seized on two defensive errors to take a 2-0 lead. To all intents and purposes it was all over bar the shouting, but Yorkshire staged a wonderful rally and two goals in the last five minutes by Murphy (Eston) following clever play by Sidebottom (Leeds) restored equality.”
At the Committee Meeting on 18th November 1938, the Committee resolved, “... that we offer to stage the North Trial in Bradford.” The preliminary arrangements included the appointment of Entertainment, Reception and Publicity Committees and the fixing of admission charges at 4d and 2d to the ground, and 1s and 4d to the Centre Stand, as well as the engaging of two policemen.
The guest list included the Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor, Messrs. Boyce, Marshall, Dearden, Timperley, Henry, Roase, and S. H. Shuttleworth the Life Members of the Association, The President of BSAA, the Chairman of the Education Committee, Messrs. Sheek, Westgarth, Briggs and Maley, and the President and Secretary of Bradford Rovers.
The game was arranged to be played at Park Avenue on 25th February 1939 and headquarters were fixed at the Co-op Café. W Elliott (Lapage Street) was elected as Captain of the North East side and K. Burgoyne (Drummond Road) was in the side subsequent to the original selection. There was a gate of 2,363.
The most important development in this period on the domestic
front was the introduction of a Junior Competition in season 1931/1932.
This had been mooted the previous year; there was a
recommendation at the Committee Meeting on 14th
“... that a junior section be formed.” This was followed up at the Meeting on 7th May 1931 when it was resolved “...that all junior schools be circularised regarding their opinions.” Twelve schools applied to take part and they were divided into two sections as follows. Section G: Ryan Street, St James’s, Carr Lane, Marshfield, Lorne Street, and Fairweather Green. Section H: St Barnabas, Eccleshill Church, Feversham Street, Bradford Moor, St Mary’s Junior, and Hutton Junior.
The age rule laid down that a boy in a Junior Section should become eligible on his 12th Birthday. Goal posts were to be 6 feet high and the duration of the games was to be 25 minutes each way. Medals were not to be awarded but the Committee hoped to obtain a Trophy.
At the 1932 AGM the Secretary commented “... on the success of theJunior Section.” The sectional winners (there was no play off) were Fairweather Green, St Mary’s Junior, and Hutton Junior.
When football resumed at the end of the 1st World War, the Association placed its 27 affiliated schools into four sections, The nine strongest being placed in Division A and the remaining 18 being divided into three geographical sections as follows: Section A: Belle Vue, Barkerend, Grange Road, Hanson, Carlton, Drummond; Section B: Ryan Street, Wyke, Woodroyd, Carr Lane, St. Joseph’s, Carlton Street; Section C: Bradford Moor, Lapage Street, Wapping, St Peter’s, St Mary’s, Parish Church; Section D: St James’s, Fairweather Green, Bolton Woods, Green Lane, St. Patrick’s, St Cuthbert’s. No trophies were awarded in these competitions but the Schools’ Cup and the Wickham Shield were awarded as usual. St Joseph’s won the Schools’ Cup beating Belle Vue 1 - 0 at Park Avenue; this was incidentally their first success in this competition.
In the next year 1919/1920 Division 1 consisted of ten teams while the 21 teams in Division 2 were placed in three sections. A play off was required between the winners of these sections. This was a ‘double’ year for St Joseph’s; in the Schools’ Cup Final they beat Fairweather Green at Valley Parade. The latter had some compensation, however, in winning the Division 2 championship. Grange Road beat Horton in the Final of the Wickham Shield.
The organisation remained the same in 1920/1921, but there was an important change of rule, which allowed boys ....to play to the end of the term in which they reached their 14th birthday. There was a new name on the plinth of the Schools' Cup this year, but one, which was to appear there with some frequency in the future - St Bede’s, who beat Carlton after extra time at Valley Parade; the game attracted a gate of 372. Belle Vue and Wyke won the two Shields.
In 1921/1922 both Divisions of the league were divided into three sections, play-offs being required in both. Wyke, newly promoted, beat Carlton in the Final of the Schools’ Cup (their first success) and added to it the Divisional title in which Carlton and Cathedral were the other section winners. The Division 2 play-offs saw St. Peter’s, St. Patrick’s and Woodroyd battling it out with St. Peter’s the ultimate winners, (their only success). The Wickham Shield went to Whetley Lane.
The same arrangements operated in season 1922/1923. In the Schools’ Cup both semi finals were played at professional grounds. Wyke and Horton drew 2 - 2, Wyke winning the replay 2 - 0, both games being played at Park Avenue. Carlton beat St Mary’s 1 - 0 in the other semi final at Valley Parade and went on to beat Wyke 2 - 1 in the final on the same ground. This was their first success in this competition. They possessed a free scoring centre forward in Batt, who proved too elusive for Wyke, scoring both the goals. E Jagger obtained Wyke’s goal. Belle Vue won the Schools’ Shield, the other section winners were, Whetley Lane and St. Mary’s. Princeville for the first time, won the Division 2 Shield. All Saints and Bolton Woods being the other sectional winners.
For season 1923/1924 The five secondary schools: Belle Vue, Carlton, Grange, Hanson and St Bede’s, were placed in Section A, the other 16 schools in Division 1 being divided into two sections (B and C); the Division sides were again divided into three sections. This was very much Wyke’s season; they were unbeaten and achieved the ‘treble’ they beat Whetley Lane 1 - 0 in the Final of The Schools’ Cup and St. Mary’s in the Division 1 play off; finally they acquired the Wickham Shield in the Final of which they beat Whetley Lane 5 - 1. This was the last year in which this Trophy was competed for. Princeville, led by their England international Gardner, won Division 2 for the second year in succession.
At a General Meeting on 20th June 1924, a letter was read from the Park Avenue Supporters’ Club, regarding a Cup, and a delegation (President, Secretary, Treasurer) was appointed to discuss the matter with representatives of the Supporters’ Club. On 26th August 1924, it was reported that the competition had been adopted and a draw was made; certain of the matches were allocated to Park Avenue.
A month or two later another competition (for the same age group) appeared on the horizon when Mr. Gledhill (President) reported on 17th December 1924, on a visit to the ‘Daily Dispatch’ office in Manchester. The paper was prepared to put up a Shield and medals for a knock out competition within Associations, to be followed by a competition involving the winners. In the first place it was intended that secondary boys should be permitted to take part, but at some stage the conditions were altered, a decision, which caused some disgust in the Bradford Committee; indeed there was a proposal (which was lost) that we should withdraw from the competition.
Thus the Committee now had to organise two extra competitions, the Park Avenue Supporters’ Cup and the Daily Dispatch Shield (also referred to as the 'Allied Newspaper Shield’, the ‘Newspaper Shield’ and, the ‘Manchester Shield.’
Reverting to the older competitions, Wyke won the Schools’ Cup for the third time in four years, beating Whetley Lane in the Final. The original game at Park Avenue produced a 1 - 1 draw, Whetley scoring a late penalty. A crowd of some 3,000 (paying £80) turned out for the replay on the same ground. The turning point was a seven-minute burst just before half time when Wyke scored three times through Hirst (2) and Hogan (a penalty); Mounsey and Malone added further goals in the second half while C. Smith obtained Whetley’s consolation. Whetley Lane were also beaten finalists in the Shield Competition, Wapping winning it for the first time. St Joseph’s won Division 2 for the fourth time, the other section winners being Lorne Street, Marshfield and St. Patrick’s.
In the two new competitions Wyke completed a ‘double’ in beating Wapping 3-1 to win the Final of the Park Avenue Supporters' Cup. Whetley defeated Wapping 3 - 1 to win the ‘Daily Dispatch Shield’. This success gave Whetley Lane a semi final place together with schools from Bolton, Preston and Leeds. Whetley Lane’s opponents were Folds Road School, Bolton. The game was played on the Whetley Mills ground in Thornton road (a site now occupied by Morrison’s) and the following boys represented the home side; Burton, Irving, Lancaster, H. Smith, Booth, Page, A. Geldard. Bradley, C. Smith, N. Geldard, and Reader. The match attracted over 1,000 spectators.
The visitors had the best of the first half, crossing over with a 2 - 0 lead, however a penalty scored by Norman Geldard put the ‘Laners’ back in contention, and, with the wing halves gradually taking command, they were able to equalise through Bradley. Seven minutes from the end they went into the lead through C. Smith; with Folds Road throwing everything into attack a shot from their centre half, which was going wide, struck a spectator and rebounded into the field of play, crossing the gaol line. Amazingly the goal was allowed to stand.
Thus a week or so later Whetley Lane had to travel to Bolton
for the replay.
The Education Authority showed remarkable consideration in allowing Whetley Lane to start afternoon school at 1.30 to enable the team to set off for Bolton at 3.45. The, expedition, however, was doomed to disaster, heavy thunderstorm had left the pitch at Bolton waterlogged and the start was delayed for an hour; even so, the conditions were atrocious when play did begin. Whetley Lane held the home team to a single goal in the first half playing against a slope, but a second goal of a very dubious nature decided the issue. The goal was of course 6 feet high with a tape across the goal; a shot hit the original crossbar, came out and was headed in by a Bolton forward; it could be claimed that, when the ball hit the crossbar it had become dead. So ended Whetley Lane’s fateful journey to Bolton in 1925.
There was a slight change in the Organisation of the league in1925/1926. The 18 Division 1 sides (less the secondary schools) were placed in two sections and the 30 Division 2 sides in four sections. There was some hesitation about running the Park Avenue Supporters’ Trophy, as the club was proposing to charge the Association £10 for the use of the ground. A delegation (President and Secretary) was elected to meet the Park Avenue officials and the matter must have been resolved, the competition being played and won by Whetley Lane. Wapping won the ‘Daily Dispatch Shield’ beating Whetley Lane in the Final, and repeating this feat to retain the Schools’ Shield. They were also in the Final of the Schools’ Cup, where they were beaten by Carlton at Birch Lane. The four sectional winners in Division 2 were St. Stephen’s, St. Michael’s, Undercliffe and Usher Street - St. Stephen’s winning the Shield for the only time in their history.
There was another minor alteration in the arrangements for 1926/1927, the Division 1 sides being divided into three sections. Honours were well distributed; Grange won the Schools’ Cup for the third time; Bradford Moor were the beaten finalists, but they beat Whetley Lane in the Final of the Park Avenue Supporters’ Cup. Whetley Lane in turn beat Fairweather Green, in the Final of the ‘Daily Dispatch Trophy’ competition, but Fairweather Green won the Division One Shield for the only time in their history. Usher Street won Division Two for the first time since 1911/1912.
The organisers of the ‘Daily Dispatch Competition’ fell foul of the ESFA this year, particularly as regards the inter-county stages of the competition. The Bradford Committee at its Meeting of October 26th 1926 resolved to adhere to ESFA policy.
The organisation of the League remained unaltered In 1927/1928. The ‘Daily Dispatch Shield’ remained something of a ‘ hot potato’ and entry was delayed until ESFA pronounced on its legality. Usher Street beat Hanson 4 - 1 in the Final at Manningham Mills and went on to play Stourton Council School, Leeds in the Inter Association competition. The game was played at Blythwick, Shipley and Usher Street were beaten 4 - 1. Usher Street also won the Schools’ Shield for the first time in their history, Great Horton and Whetley Lane being the other section winners. Both the semi finals of the Schools’ Cup were played at Park Avenue, the winners being Fairweather Green who beat Belle Vue and Whetley Lane who beat Usher Street. The Final was a protracted affair: at Park Avenue Whetley Lane and Fairweather Green drew 3 - 3; the replay, at Manningham Mills, produced a 4 - 4 draw and in the second replay on the same ground Fairweather Green won 4 - 3, their one and only success in this competition. Division 2 was won, for the first time, by St. Michael's, their sectional opponents being St. Mary’s, Thornton and Low Moor.
During 1928 a considerable re-organisation of schools took place, forcing the Committee to re-think the layout of its Leagues; in the end the following decision was made;
a) there shall be no Junior League in 1928/1929;
b) a ‘Church Schools’ League shall be formed;
c) the first Division shall have three sections, one secondary, two elementary (seven in each section, divided geographically);
d) schools shall be allowed to enter two teams;
e) Division 2 shall comprise two ‘ordinary’ and two Church Schools’ sections
Barkerend, Whetley Lane and Drummond entered second teams.
Special provision had to be made for them; any boy who had
played four games in a 1st team was debarred from
playing in a second team. The set–up,
following these discussions was:
Division 1: Section A (Secondary) Belle Vue, Carlton, Grange, Hanson and St Bede’s;
Section B: (Elementary): Barkerend, Woodroyd, Highfield, Usher Street, Lapage, St. Stephen’s, and Wyke;
Section C: (Elementary): Drummond, Whetley Lane, Horton, Thorpe, Princeville, Thornton, and Shipley Central;
Division 2: Section D (Ordinary): Priestman, Buttershaw Church, Carr Lane, Low Moor, Lapage ‘A’, Barkerend ‘A’, and Hutton;
Section E (Ordinary): Whetley Lane ‘A’, Drummond ‘A’, All Saints, St Phillip’s, Frizinghall, Allerton, and Forster;
Section F (Church): Cathedral, St. Peter’s, St. Anne’s, St. Mary’s, St. Augustine’s, and St. Joseph’s;
Section G (Church): St. Andrew’s, Shipley Church, St. Barnabas, St. William’s, St. Michael’s, and St. Patrick’s.
The Committee seriously considered ceasing to take part in the Park Avenue Supporters’ Competition because of congestion of fixtures and the difficulty of finding grounds for representative games and finals and semi finals. It suggested to the Supporters' Club that it might help the Association to obtain ‘dates’ at Park Avenue. Subsequently a five man delegation from the Supporters’ Club met the Committee and, after a “... full and amicable discussion”, it was agreed that the Association would take part in the Park Avenue Supporters’ Cup competition and that the Supporters’ Club use its influence to secure dates at Park Avenue for ‘English’ and ‘Wylie’ Shield games prior to reserve team matches. Following this the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer joined representatives of the Supporters’ Club in interviewing the Park Avenue Directors.
These gentlemen made it clear that they would only help the Association on condition that it reached amicable arrangements with the Supporters’ Club, which had adversely criticised as one-sided the agreement made by them.
The upshot was that Park Avenue granted the Association two dates prior to Reserve team games (at which it was to be allowed to keep all receipts from the sale of tickets), plus a date for the Schools’ Cup Final, when it would be allowed to keep all receipts. A date (Easter Tuesday) was also allocated to the Park Avenue Supporters’ Cup Final.
After all this coming and going the season got under way.
The Association decided not to take part in the ‘Daily Dispatch Competition’. The Schools Cup Final was played, as arranged, at Park Avenue in the evening (5-15 pm) of 27th March. Admission was 6d for adults 3d for boys. The contestants were Lapage Street and Great Horton, the former winning 3 - 0.the first time they had won the Trophy. They were also in the Final of the Schools’ Shield, played at Manningham Mills, but were beaten by Whetley Lane, whose name appeared on the Trophy this season for the last time. St Joseph’s won the Division 2 Shield for the fifth time, Hutton being the losing finalists.
The format of the League was unaltered for the 1929/1930 season and the committee again decided not to enter the ‘Daily Dispatch’ Competition. Hanson won both the Schools’ Cup (for the first time) and the Park Avenue Supporters’ Cup, but Lapage won the Schools’ Shield for the first time. The Division 2 Shield returned to St. Michael’s for the second and last time.
Again no change was made in the League’s organisation in 1930/1931. Usher Street won the Schools’ Cup for the first time since the 1899/1900 season, beating Hanson in the Final; they also won the Schools’ Shield for the second time. In the Park Avenue Supporters Trophy the positions were reversed, Hanson beating Usher Street. Edward Hawksworth, a member of the successful Usher Street 1930/1931 side, also provided me with information about this team. He played for the ‘ Boys’ and claims (justifiably I am sure) a record in having played at Park Avenue in the Schools’ Cup final in the morning and in the afternoon playing for Bradford against Glasgow at Valley Parade. This was on Easter Monday 1931. Mr. Hawksworth reminds me that his cousin, Willie Hawksworth, played for Bradford in 1926/1927, and his son Stuart, also did so in 1965/1966.
In Division 2, Cathedral beat off the challenge of the other sectional winners, St. Patrick’s, Allerton and St. John’s, to get their name on the Trophy for the one and only time.
In 1931/1932 season, as we have noted, saw the introduction of the Junior Section. Otherwise the general pattern remained the same, although Division 2 now contained only three sections, some schools having become ‘Junior’ schools. Shipley Central won the Schools’ Cup - the only occasion - beating St. Bede’s in the Final at Valley Parade by three goals to 1. Lapage Street won the Schools’ Shield for the second time; they met Whetley Lane in the play off and, after a 1 - 1 draw at Park Avenue, beat them 1 - 0 on the Ripley East ground. This was the first of three successive years when Lapage won the Shield. Whetley gained some recompense for this defeat by beating Shipley Central in the Final of the Park Avenue Supporters’ Cup. St. Mary’s were Division 2 winners for the first time, the other sectional winners being Carr Lane, and St. Patrick’s.
In 1932/1933, Division 2 again consisted of three sections, the third of which was made up entirely of Reserve teams. The number of Junior teams participating rose to 15. It was reported that the newly acquired trophy (presented by Bradford and District FA) was to be a League Championship Trophy, to be played for by the leading teams in each section. Low Moor Church School, and Hanson Primary School met in the first Junior Trophy Final playing a 0 - 0 draw on the Cleansing Department Ground. Lapage Street and Barkerend met in the Final of the Schools’ Cup at Valley Parade, the game attracting 3,276 spectators and producing a record profit of £39 - 2s - 0d. Lapage were successful by 5 gools to1 (their second winning of the Trophy). This was also the season of their second winning of the Schools’ Shield, Great Horton being the losing finalists. Division 2 had fresh winners - St. Anne’s who beat St. Michael’s in the play off at Valley Parade. The Association did not run the Park Avenue Supporters’ Trophy competition in this or subsequent seasons.
The Junior League expanded to three sections in season 1933/1934 when in all 68 teams took part in the various competitions. On the other hand the senior teams were contracted into a single Division with 5 sections, Secondary, three Elementary and a Reserve section.
Grange won the Schools' Cup for the fourth time beating, Barkerend at Valley Parade. In fact Grange had been beaten 5 - 2 in the semi final by St. Ann’s who were subsequently disqualified for playing ineligible boys. Bradford Moor (with a record of 16.-15 –1 –.0 GF 87 GA 9) and Ryan Street were the finalists in the Junior Trophy, playing a 1 - 1 draw at Bradford Rovers before Bradford Moor won 4 -1 in the replay on the Ripley East Ground. Of the first game the Yorkshire Sports wrote, “... I never wish to see a better game.”
Division 2 was restored for the 1934/1935 season with two sections, Division 1 being reduced to two sections also. The Junior division was smaller, with 18 teams in two sections. The Association showed a revived interest in the ‘Daily Dispatch’ competition; the Secretary attended a meeting at Leeds, but it was resolved not to participate until secondary boys were allowed to play. Subsequently it was decided to ask for entries.
Wyke won the Schools' Cup for the fourth time, beating Highfield in the Final at Valley Parade. They were perhaps fortunate to be in the Final as their semi final at Bradford Rovers was abandoned because of rain with Drummond leading 2 - 0. Wyke were also involved in the Schools' Shield Final at Bradford Rovers, but in this they were defeated by Drummond, who thus commenced their five year tenure of the Shield. They were also involved in the ’Daily Dispatch Final’ at Park Avenue, “... a magnificent game” according to the Yorkshire Sports, which St. Mary’s won 2 - 1. Thorpe won Division 2 for the first time, beating Thornton in the Final at Valley Parade (prior to the Schools' Cup Final) while Bradford Moor retained the Junior Trophy, beating St. James’s in the Final, also at Valley Parade.
At the Committee Meeting on 23rd May 1935, members discussed “... the need for a Trophy of our own” and it was resolved “... that a cup be acquired (£10 -10s -0d being the maximum allowable). The committee, in entering the ’Daily Dispatch’ Competition in 1935/1936 reiterated its view that secondary boys should be eligible throughout the competition, not just in the local competition.
The pattern of the competitions was unchanged and there was a record entry of 69 teams. Drummond again beat Wyke in the Shield Final but were themselves beaten by Whetley Lane in the Final of the Schools' Cup. The Lane also won the ’Daily Dispatch’ Shield, beating Carlton at Park Avenue, and entered the county competition in which they had to travel to York. The competition was described by the Secretary as “... a huge financial success”. Woodroyd registered their first winning of the Division 2 Shield, beating St. William’s1 - 0 at Bradford Rovers, while Thornbury won the Junior Trophy for the first time beating Ryan Street 6 - 0 in the play off.
Drummond won the Schools' Shield for the third successive year in 1936/1937, beating Lapage Street in the play off at Bradford Rovers, but Lapage Street won the Schools' Cup for the third time. Priestman won Division 2 for the first time beating Frizinghall in the Final at Bradford Rovers and Bradford Moor also at Bradford Rovers, beat Low Moor to win the Junior Trophy for the third time. Carlton beat Grange in the Final of the ’Daily Dispatch’ competition and went on to play Brotherton School (Leeds) in the County competition.
The lay out of the League remained the same for 1937/1938 except for
promotion and relegation. Highfield were Drummond’s victims by a
single goal at Bradford Rovers as they went on to their fourth
successive Schools' Shield success, but Lapage not only took the
Schools' Cup for the fourth time beating Tyersal 3 - 0 at Parry
Lane, but also won the ’Daily Dispatch’ Shield. In this
competition they proceeded to the County Final, losing to the
Doncaster representatives in the second replay. St. Joseph’s won
the Division 2 Shield for the sixth time, beating Allerton 4 - 1
in the Final.
In the last season before the War, the general organisation remained unchanged, although the Junior Division, now consisting of 24 teams, was divided into three sections. Drummond won the Schools' Shield for the fifth successive year, an incomparable record, although Grange (1946-1950) and St Bede’s (1971-1975) have since won the Shield and its successor, the ‘Walter French Trophy’ on four successive occasions. This year Drummond beat Lapage in the Final by a single goal at Manningham Mills. It should be pointed out ‘of course’, purely as a matter of record, that in their record ‘run’ Drummond were not called upon to meet the five secondary schools who at this time competed in a separate section, Highfield reached the Final of the Schools' Cup this season, only to be beaten by Grange (their fifth success) at Valley Parade. 3,700 saw the game.
The ‘Daily Dispatch’ competition was won by Barkerend, who went on to beat the Sheffield winners Burngreave School, 2 - 0 at Parry Lane after a replay in the 1st Round of the county competition, only to lose to the Don and Dearne School, Brampton GS, in the next round, Thorpe registered their second winning of the Division 2 Shield, beating Priestman 3 - 0 in the Final at Bradford Rovers, while in the Junior Trophy, Grange Road and Wapping, both appearing in the Final for the first time were joint winners.
In this period the number of disciplinary cases handled by the Committee declined sharply - just 14 examples of indiscipline by players and six examples of ‘crowd trouble’. One of these came before the Committee on 27th November 1925, when Highfield were suspended for the rest of the season “... for bad language, bad conduct and disputing the decisions of the referee.” They were in trouble again in 1927 when the Head Master was written to “... deprecating the conduct of spectators and player;” one player was suspended for six matches and another sine die.
A somewhat unusual piece of “crowd trouble” was reported in the same year, Mr. Greave (Carr Lane) lodging ”... a complaint against Mr. Dunning and girls from Low Moor School of unsportsmanlike conduct…. The girls used bad language as they followed him from the field.” The defence offered was that of mistaken identity. Were the girls in fact, Low Moor girls? Rather puzzled, perhaps the Committee resolved “... that the Head Master of Low Moor be requested to warn Low Moor spectators re. unsportsmanlike conduct.”
During the 1934/1935 season there were complaints from Grange about unruly spectators at Ladywell Park in their cup match with St Joseph’s, as a result of which the ground was banned for school matches until further notice.
The requirement of referees continued to be a problem; the Association maintained its attitude of encouraging them, arranging social functions for their benefit e.g. a Supper on 27th February 1920, but at the same time continued to bewail the lack of “... an efficient staff of Referees.” Finally, in 1933, the Association decided on a change of policy with regard to the refereeing of its matches; at the meeting on 7th October Mr. Hodgson “... raised the question of the unsatisfactory nature of the refereeing.” He proposed that the existing system be scrapped and that a teacher of the home team should officiate. The committee on the whole felt that there should be another effort to compile a list of referees, and an appeal was issued to all teachers.
The position does not seem to have improved, and in 1935 the situation was again discussed very fully, the final decision being that “ ... for all matches the first choice be a master from the home school, the second choice be a master from the visiting school. Special matches to be dealt with by the Fixture Secretary.”
Finally, at the 1939 AGM a new rule was introduced to the effect that “... For all League matches the referee shall be a master from the home school, failing which a master from the visiting school. Special matches to be dealt with by the committee. Neutral referees shall be appointed for the knock-out competition.” Basically this is the system that still operates.
We have already mentioned the re-organisation of BSAA in 1927; another important development, which affected the Association to some extent, was the formation of the Secondary Section in 1924; we shall have something to say with regard to the organisation of football for boys over the statutory leaving age in another Chapter. As a result of the new Constitution the size of the Committee was increased from nine to ten. Indeed at the 1933 AGM there was a proposal to raise the number by a further two, but this was defeated.
The Association’s representative sides had traditionally been selected by the whole Committee, but, as time went on, there was a growing feeling that a smaller Selection Committee would be more appropriate. At the beginning of the1932/1933 season a Selection committee comprising Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Team Manager (Wilf Moverley), and three elected members (Messrs. Firth, Padget and Hobley) chosen, but the Committee took a step backward at the beginning of the following season when it was decided that the whole Committee should act as a Selection Committee to produce a ‘squad’ of 22 and after that there should be a smaller Selection Committee of seven members. This arrangement did not last long, as in the 1934/1935 season the whole committee again took over team selection, a situation that continued until the War.
At the meeting of 5th September 1933, the Committee agreed in principle to the appointment of District Secretaries “... in order to relieve the work of the Secretary,” the actual allocation being left to the Secretary. Little more is heard about the operation of this scheme, but it was obviously still in operation in the 1934/1935 season, for we read in the Minutes “... District Secretaries as last year except Mr. Dawson for Mr. Walsh and Mr. Will for Mr. Padget. Great Horton allocated to Mr. Tait.” We hear nothing further of this arrangement.
This was a matter of continuing concern to the Committee. As we have seen, the Association‘s rule stated that a boy was eligible to play “to the end of the term in which he attained the age of 14, providing he still be in attendance at school. The term to commence on the first day after the holidays.” However as the Elementary schools and the Secondary schools enjoyed different holidays, this rule required further clarification, which was given by the Committee on 24th September 1926, to the effect that the phrase “... beginning of term “ be interpreted as “... the first day of the opening of the Elementary schools of Bradford after the Christmas, Easter and Midsummer holidays.”
A further logical step was taken at the Meeting of 11th May 1932, when the rule-change was drawn up (and passed at the subsequent AGM) to the effect that “... boys under 14 on the first day of the Easter term and still in attendance at school on the last day of the Easter term shall be eligible for League matches and all finals, whenever played.”
The first instance we have of a school playing boys who were over age occurs on 27th September, when Mr. Long (Great Horton) reported that he himself had played two ineligible boys against Drummond. It was agreed that the match should be replayed. At the meeting of 3rd January 1934, it was reported that Grange had played an ineligible boy in their cup-tie v St Michael’s; again the match was ordered to be replayed with the proviso that “... Grange be allowed to play boys who were eligible in November.”
There was another case, just a month later, when a school (Belle Vue) admitted to offending, the game being ordered to be replayed. In addition the Secretary was instructed to write to the Secretary of the Secondary Section and to all secondary schools pointing out that there had been two known lapses and asking that greater care be taken in future. The Secretary was also instructed to “... send a circular to all schools stating that drastic action will be taken by Committee in all proved cases.” However later in the same season, the matter came to a rather unfortunate head; Grange wrote in querying the eligibility of certain members of the St. Ann’s team that had played against them in the Cup semi-final. A lengthy discussion followed and it was decide “... that the Secretary be instructed to write to the Head Master of St. Ann’s asking for names of players in the semi-final v. Grange and for a definite assurance that every boy was eligible as per attached copy of the rule.”
At the ensuing Committee Meeting (25th April) such assurance was received. This was not, however, the end of the affair. The Chairman authorised the Secretary to carry out further investigations and at the next Meeting (3rd May) St. Ann’s were represented. It emerged that certain boys had indeed been working prior to the semi-final, though the teacher himself had not been aware of this.
Unfortunately, at this time the Association had no rule laying down what constituted “... attendance at school”; there was however an ESFA rule on the subject and it was agreed that this be accepted. As a result it was resolved “... that the semi final be replayed without two boys, Flaherty and Durkin.” Further, the match was to be played “behind closed doors.” Unfortunately, the same two boys had played in the League play off against St Michael’s, so this too was ordered to be replayed. However, at the next meeting on 7th May it was reported that St Ann’s “did not intend replaying the matches with Grange and St Michaels as ordered by the committee.” In view of this reaction it was resolved: a) that the semi final of the Schools' Cup be awarded to Grange High School and that the final be between Barkerend and Grange; b) that, in view of St Ann’s general attitude towards the rulings of the committee, the semi final be awarded to St Michael’s.
As a result of this unpleasantness a new rule was introduced at the 1934 AGM defining a “bonafide scholar” as “one whose name is on the roll and who has made at least 50% of the possible attendances in the previous four weeks.”
Belle Vue were in trouble with the committee during the 1936/1936 season; the following Minute appears concerning the meeting on 3rd December 1935: “re R. Tait playing for Belle Vue when ineligible. That confirmation be obtained or otherwise in view of the statement that Mr. Hirst had been told before the match that the boy was ineligible.” At the next meeting a letter from Belle Vue regarding Tait was read, as well as further letters from Belle Vue and All Saints. Following discussion it was resolved “that the match be awarded to All Saints and that Belle Vue be asked to send a deputation from their Sports committee with reference to the frequent infringement of rules.” At first Belle Vue demurred about sending a deputation, but one did attend the committee meeting on 6th March 1936.
It expressed regret at the shortcomings of the Belle Vue Sports master and guaranteed that there would be no further cause for complaint, and the committee passed a most conciliatory resolution to the effect that “ it is satisfied that Mr. Hirst has committed these infringements inadvertently and thanks him for the valuable work he has done in connection with schools’ football.”
There are no reports of any further difficulties in this respect in the remainder of this period
An arrangement which might have been expected to produce problems but which in fact, did not do so was the decision, first made in1928 to allow schools to enter to teams, as a result of which, Lapage, Barkerend, Whetley Lane and Drummond ran reserve teams in Division 2. A rule was drawn up to meet possible difficulties to the effect that “any boy who has played in four League games with the 1st team shall be debarred from playing in the 2nd team during that season unless the sanction of the committee be previously obtained.”
These were matters that caused the committee a good deal of concern, especially in the last few years before the War. From the earliest days schools had been required to pay an entrance fee of 2s 6d which was refunded if all fixtures were fulfilled.
In 1933 it was specified, in a new rule, that 1s 6d of this was to cover insurance and the provision of twelve fixture lists. The rule was again amended at the 1939 AGM follows” there shall be an annual subscription of 2s per school, which shall include 1s entrance fee and 1s for Fixtures… This must be paid by October 1st, failing which membership of the Section (!) ceases for the season and all records be expunged.
Similarly from the earliest days, schools had been required to register their players by a certain date. In the rules for 1931/1932 the date for registration was 30th October. Difficulties over these matters seem to have been infrequent until the late thirties. The Minutes of the committee meeting of 18th October 1935, record that the Secretary reported “that some teams have not yet registered their players as per rule” and it was resolved that “non-registration of players be regarded as a breach of Rules 4 and 11 and, failing receipt of registrations by November 1st, the committee will reserve the right to suspend defaulting teams.
At the following meeting (1st November) the fixture Secretary reported non-receipt of registration forms from three schools, Belle Vue, Carr Lane, and Bierley Church. The committee resolved that “until registration forms are received from defaulting schools, these schools be suspended from all competitions. Matches due to be played during the period of suspension shall be awarded to opponents.” One presumes that this worked the trick, as there is no further report on the matter. However, the problem had clearly not been solved for we read in the Minutes of the meeting on 7th October 1938 that “eight defaulters (re. registered players and entrance fees) be given until the end of the week to meet their obligations.” By 28th October Carr Lane were the only defaulters. Adopting a lenient view the committee gave them until 4th November to pay up, which presumably they did, as there is nothing more about it in the Minutes.
This long-standing issue continued to be raised from time to time in this period. On 10th September 1920 the “increased tram fares” were discussed and the Secretary was instructed to write asking for “more favourable facilities”, in the meantime Mr. Brook was to see Mr. Conway and Mr Long to interview Mr. Palin on the matter. All these efforts appear to have been fruitless for at the next meeting (15th October 1920) a letter was read from the Tramways department stating that no further facilities could be granted to scholars travelling to Saturday matches. Further efforts were made in 1923, 1927 and 1930 without achieving any result; interestingly, the Rules for 1931/1932 contain a footnote as follows: “Bradford City tramways. School Passes are available up to 12-30 pm on Saturdays for scholars travelling to playing centres for activities which are part of the school education.
In this period there were, from time to time, suggestions that the Association should organise Rugby again; at the committee meeting on 25th January 1925 the Secretary reported an unofficial conversation he had had with the Bradford Northern Directors. As a result the committee decided to send to schools a questionnaire asking them which code they preferred. A few months later (17th June 1925(a deputation of Northern directors attended a General Meeting of the Association, urging a chance for the Northern Union game” and offering the Association facilities at Birch Lane.
At the 1926 AGM Mr. Brook moved a resolution (which was passed) that “we send to schools, asking whether they wished to play rugby, soccer or both and whether in league or cup or both.” This was done, and, at the committee meeting on July 16th it was reported that only two schools, Ryan Street and St John’s, wished for a Rugby League, while 11 desired a cup competition. It was decided to run a knock out competition, the Rugby committee being left to contact the interested schools and draw up rules.
Rugby was discussed again on 13th December 1929, when the Secretary drew the attention of the committee to a statement in the Yorkshire Sports to the effect that “ since the absolute control had been vested in the Schools’ Athletic Association former interest had not been maintained.” The Secretary reported writing to the Editor stating that “the BSAA had never had any control over schoolboy rugby league football.”
At the BSAA AGM (8th October 1932) a letter was read from Mr. Rawlinson (Hutton) “regarding the formation of a Rugby League Football Section.”
The last mention of Rugby in this period came at the BSSAA executive Meeting on 3rd March 1933 when the Secretary read a letter from Bradford Northern asking for the views of BSAA on a Rugby League committee for schoolboys. He was instructed to reply “that, if a body of teachers decided to organise a Rugby League Football competition and desired to become a section of BSAA their application would be favourably considered, providing that the Bradford Northern FC had no financial or other controlling interest.”
There the matter rested; there was little doubt that the interest existed among schoolboys, but there was insufficient interest amongst teachers to organise a Rugby League section
The long-standing presentation of footballs to schools when they paid their entrance fees came in for criticism at the 1928 AGM; Captain Hudson, in seconding the adoption of the Balance Sheet, “said he would like to ask the Football Committee to see carefully if there were not places where money could be saved”- he cited particularly footballs (£26) and medals (£21) and “doubted the wisdom of spending so much.” Consequently, at the General Meeting on 21st September, it was decided, “ that no footballs should be given.”
Presumably, by this time, schools could afford to buy their own footballs.
Medals continued to represent a sizeable proportion of the Association’s expenditure.
At the 1919 AGM it was decided to present medals to the winners and runners-up in the Schools' Cup and Division 1, and to the winners of the three sections of Division 2.
As we have seen, there was criticism of the expenditure on medals at the 1928 AGM and by 1932/1933 this expenditure (£14-1s-3d) represented about a quarter of the Association’s total (£58-5s-2d). The new junior section had to be accommodated from 1931 onwards; initially it was decided to obtain a Trophy but not to give medals, but from 1933 onwards medals were presented. Normally local firms continued to present their ‘wares’ to the committee, who then allocated their order; in1929 Messrs. Fattorini, Uttley and Vaughton displayed medals and 12 medals @ 4s and 13 @ 3s- 6d were ordered from the last-named for cup winners and runners up.
In the following year Uttley & Co. Vaughtons Ltd., Fattorini & Son and Messrs. Fattorini Ltd., submitted specimens and the order was spread as follows: Uttley – League winners (3s 6d) and 1st Division section winners (2s 9d) Fattorini & Sons – League winners (4s 0d)
The expenditure on medals continued to be a matter of some concern; in 1928 it took the Chairman’s casting vote for them to be purchased. In the following year it was decided” that no medals be given or accepted, but that, instead, a permanent record of some kind be given to the winning schools.
The Decision produced a request for a Special General Meeting, which was held on 18th October and which rescinded the motion, which had decided not to present medals. Medals were to be presented at the discretion of the committee.
This too continued to be a matter of annual debate. The General Meeting of 6th September 1927 resolved to abandon the production of a Handbook and to print 1,500 leaflets containing fixtures and playing rules, which were to be sold at 1d each.
In 1929 there was a considerable revision of rules and the Secretary reported that, finding it impossible to include the revised rules in a pamphlet of last season’s size and cost he had examined the possibility of issuing a 16 page Handbook with advertisements. Messrs. G H Field & Son had quoted him £6-15s-0d as the cost of 1,000 such Handbooks. This could be reduced by charging for advertisements. Wilf Moverley pointed out that the Leeds Cricket Association got their rules and fixtures printed free of charge by the Yorkshire Evening Post and the Secretary was instructed to see if the paper would do the same for us. Unfortunately the YEP could not oblige, so the Association made do with 1,000 pamphlets like the previous season’s.
This continued to be a problem, in spite of the introduction of a rule covering it in 1914. At the meeting of 25th September 1931 “it was suggested that the Secretary notify all teams of the desirability of a teacher accompanying their team in all matches.”
There is little doubt that many teachers found themselves out of pocket as a result of their commitments to schools ‘ football and taking into consideration the precarious nature of the Association’s finances for many years, there was reluctance on the part of committee members to raise the issue. The matter was first raise at the committee meeting on 5th October 1932; the Secretary stated that the time had come when the finances of the Section were in a healthy state and that something might be done towards paying some part of the expenses incurred. “It was resolved that before any match the question of payment of railway fares be discussed at the previous committee meeting. This procedure was followed when the City team visited Scunthorpe in the English Trophy; “committee members travelling to Scunthorpe were to receive 3rd class rail fare.”
A little later on came the trip to Glasgow, when it was decided that not more than five railway fares be allowed. When the team travelled to Rother Valley on 4th February 1933, 2s 6d was allowed to all committee members who had made the journey. The procedure had thus been established- that payments to committee members for travelling should be decided at a previous committee meeting.
1. In 1926 Bradford held an “Education Week” and BSAA were asked to put on a football match and swimming event. The football match was arranged for Valley Parade on 25th March 1926 at 11-00am.
2. In 1929 the Association decided to arrange a Dinner. This was held at the Talbot Hotel on11th October. Guests invited were Messrs. Boyce, Jennings, Wright, Pearman, O’Rourke and Ingram.
Three outstanding personalities ended their Association with schools’ football in this period. The career of W. L. French and ‘Jack’ Charlesworth are outlined in the chapter on “Personalities”. The third was H Brooks, who had first joined the committee in 1903, had been Secretary from 1904-1908, President twice, in 1916/1917 and 1927/1928 and was a Life Member; he retired as Head of St Michael’s School in 1936 and retired to Worthing. The same AGM that recorded Mr. Brook's retirement also saw the attendance of Miss Casey (St William’s) “the first lady teacher to have attended a Football general meeting”_ brave lady.
During most of this period the Association ‘s financial situation was fairly ‘comfortable’ thanks to profits from the Park Avenue Sports.
In 1919 the profit on the Sports was £86-2s-6d, of which £40 was handed over to football and the same sum to various charities. The profits obviously varied somewhat, the largest amount being £201-4s- 7d in 1933. Football received sums in the region of £50 in several years.
These amounts served in most years, but, even with this help, the Association was hard put to it to pay its way in some years. In season 1929/1930, for example, the Treasurer reported a loss on the season of £9-14s-3d, mainly due to Middlesborough having to pay two visits to Bradford. The share of the profits from the Sports was not, of course, the Association’s only source of income; inter-city games could produce a profit; indeed, in season 1931/1932 every inter-city game produced a profit. Moreover, domestic competitions, especially the Schools' Cup Final, could bring in worthwhile sums of money.
At the end of the season1935/1936 we have, for the first time, a copy of an Association Balance-Sheet. Profits were made on the English Trophy game with Sheffield (£6-6s-8d), on the ‘Daily Dispatch’ final ‘(£12-7s-3d), on the Schools' Cup Final (£14-16s-10d), and on League Finals (£13-13s-3d).
The Committee continued to be asked to help towards the medical treatment of boys injured on the football field. On 17th December 1920 Mr. Hall, on behalf of Barkerend School, asked for financial assistance towards paying the doctor’s bill of a pupil, whose arm had been broken during a match. It was decided that BSAA would pay the difference (about 15s) between the doctor’s bill and the amount raised by the school.
The next incident was in March 1923; the committee heard that L. Ruddock, one of the Ryan Street team, had broken his arm and asked for a grant towards the doctor’s fee etc. Again it was decided to pay the difference between the amount raised by Ryan Street and the doctor’s bill.
The committee was unable to respond to an appeal from Low Moor on behalf of a boy, J. Mortimer, who had fractured his leg in a friendly game between that school and Bankfoot St Matthew’s, as the game was not an official BSAA fixture.
The first mention of the need for insurance is in the BSAA Minutes of a meeting on 4th September 1931, when Mr. Kendall, the Secretary of the Football Association, drew the attention of the meeting to a recent case in which heavy damages had been awarded against both the Newcastle Schools’ FA and the Newcastle United FC for injury to a spectator at a school football match at St James’s Park.
He then pointed out the possibility of taking out a policy covering the whole of the Association’s activities. The Secretary was instructed to obtain definite information in time for consideration at the AGM. The Secretary duly reported to the next meeting (18th September) and the question was referred to a sub-committee, consisting of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary.
The next reference appears in the Football Association’s Minutes of 16th October 1931; it merely read, “the Secretary was instructed to pay the premium of 2s 6d to the ESFA. “ Balance Sheet 1935/1936. Meanwhile BSAA’s sub-committee had reported and it had decided to ask advice from the NUT, at the same time submitting specimen policies supplied by Ben Iveson & Sons Ltd, and A W Bain & Sons Ltd.
The NUT’s advice was that the protection offered to their members extended to cover work connected with an Athletics’ Association. Their solicitor expressed the opinion that the risks were so slight as to be negligible. Accordingly the BSAA decided not to insure.
On 4th March 1932 BSAA heard a letter from ESFA giving their insurance scheme, by which, for a premium of 1s 6d per school per annum a school could be insured for football, with coverage for all sports for an extra 1s.
BSAA decided not to participate. A little later on, the football committee discussed insurance again (on 29th June); delegates to the AGM of the YCSSA were instructed to raise the question of insurance and delegates to the ESFA AGM were instructed to ask whether “in view of the assurance given to BSAA by the NUT, ESFA had consulted the NUT or NAS and other teachers’ unions on the subject and if so with what result.” In any case they were instructed to oppose compulsory insurance.
Following the ESFA AGM the Association decided at a General Meeting on 21st July to take insurance at 1s 6d per school for football only, leaving the question of insuring other sports to the BSAA Executive. There was a snag, in that the payment of premiums by schools would require a new rule
As schools could not be compelled to pay premiums in the current year, it was resolved that the Association pay the premiums but that “attempts are made to get the premiums from schools.”
An interesting individual case was reported on 15th November 1933, a letter being received from a Mr. Chandler regarding infirmary charges on behalf of his son, who had broken his arm in a trial game.
It was resolved that the Secretary write to the Secretary-Superintendent asking if, in view of the Association’s grant of £15 (from Park Avenue Sports’ profits) and scholars’ collections of £157 for Bradford Hospital Fund, “our boys cannot receive free treatment, including out-patients’ treatment.” There is no record of a reply to this plea.
At the AGM of the BSAA held in October 1933, there was reference to “the failure of the attempt to collect the insurance premiums from schools.” This matter had already been attended to by the Football Association (Section) which had introduced a new rule at its AGM introducing an annual subscription of 2s 6d, of which 1s 6d was to cover insurance and the provision of fixture lists. There was a meeting of the BSAA Executive on 4th May 1934, at which MR. Kendall, the Football Secretary, expressed himself “as strongly opposed to the ESFA scheme and that £545 had been paid to the Insurance Co. without any claim being made.” It was resolved that “ a letter be sent to ESFA asking them to take a referendum of all affiliated associations as to their desire that the scheme should be put in operation next year.”
At the Football committee meeting on 6th June it was resolved that” it be a recommendation from the Football Section to the Executive that the Football Chairman and Secretary be sent as representatives to the ESFA General Meeting.”
At its meeting on 27th February 1935, the committee received an appeal from the Blackburn SFA on behalf of one of its boys, Fred Howarth, who had a leg amputated following an accident on the football field; a grant of one guinea was sent.
We hear no more about insurance until after the war.
There are on or two miscellaneous items reported concerning match conditions. On 19th September 1924 it was reported that the goal posts in English trophy matches were to be 7 feet high; ‘Wylie’ followed suit in 1926/1926, but it was decided to retain the 6 foot crossbars in domestic competitions. This situation continued until the 1931/1932 season when 7 foot crossbars were used n all matches. Arrangements for extra-time remained fluid; on 7th March1930 it was ruled that the Lapage v Horton replayed cup-tie should be played to finish. In 1932, when the Junior League was introduced, it was decided tat 30 minutes each way should be played. On 4th March 1933 when the committee were making arrangements for the various finals it was decided that, in the League playoffs, extra time of 10 minutes each way should be played if necessary, and if a draw after that time the game should be replayed. The Schools' Cup Final was to be played to finish.
Apart from miscellaneous meeting-places, AGM’s were held at Christchurch School until 1933 when Carlton Street came to be the preferred venue.
Most committee meetings were held at the Osborne Hotel in 1919 and 1920, and then at the Rawson until 1932, then the Queen and the Talbot became meeting places again.
The County Restaurant was the commonest venue in 1934 - 1936, after which the Osborne again took over.
|Balance from 1934/1935||64 10 10½||Treasurer’s postages|| 7
|Sale of fixtures||4
||Expenses to general meetings||1
|Sale of Handbooks||5
||Cost of Handbooks||4
|Sale of stationery||5
||Owing to Sec. (1934/1935)||19
|Insurance refund from ESFA|| 2
|Profit on Sheffield match||6
|Profits on DD matches||Insurance paid|| 2
|Carlton v Drummond|| 2
||Fixture Sec’s expenses|| 3
|Whetley v St Bede’s (SF)||2
||Medals, etc|| 15
|Whetley v Carlton (Final)|| 12
||Cost of stationery, etc||
1 3 9
|Profits on Schools' Cup||Printing, fixtures etc|| 3
|Carlton v Whetley (SF)|| 7
|Wyke v Drummond (SF)|| 5
||v. Leeds|| 13
|Whetley v Drummond (Final)||14 16 10½||v Bingley||10
|League Final profits||International trials and matches|
|Wyke v Drummond|| 3
1 2 6
||North Midlands (York)|| 9
|Ryan Street v Thornbury|| 4
||North v South (Walsall)|| 1
|St William’s v Woodroyd||5
||England v Rest (Kettering)|| 1
|Refund from Fixture Sec|| 2
||England v Wales (Aberdare)|| 3
|Refund from Bingley Assn.|| 10
||England v Scotland (Villa Park)||
3 1 0
|Bank Interest|| 2
||Committee guests to England v Scotland match|| 2
|England v Ireland (Belfast)|| 4
|Rooms for meetings|| 19
|Cost of Dearne Valley match||1
|Loss on Stoke match|| 1
|Cost of Rother Valley match||
1 5 11
|Secretary’s expenses|| 3
|Messengers & Parcels|| 7
|Tel and telegrams|| 1
|DD meeting at Leeds|| 3
|Audit expenses paid||
|Out of pocket expenses|| 2
|Treasurer’s expenses|| 3
|Boys to county trial||12 1½|
|City Boys practices|
|Equipment account|| 13
|Grant to YCSSA in lieu of match|| 2
|Bingley’s share DD profits|| 1
|Cheque book|| 5
|Bank Charges|| 9
|Balance in Bank|| 62
|In Hand||12 7 3½|
|140 19 11|| 140 19 11
The 2nd World War caused a much greater interruption to schools’ football than the 1st World War had done; the English Trophy competition continued throughout the 1st World war, whereas both it and the ‘Wylie’ were cancelled for the duration of the 2nd.
The outbreak of the2nd World War in September 1939, found the Association ‘geared up’ for the coming season, intending to participate in the English, Wylie and Daily Dispatch competitions. There were 18 teams in division 1of the League, divided into two sections, B & C, and a further 12 teams in Division2, divided into two sections, F & G, together with a reserve section (H) of 11 teams. There were also 26 junior teams, divided into three sections D, E and I.
None of these arrangements were, in fact, implemented and the committee did not meet again until January 1940. It decided to approach the Director of education and ESFA to investigate he legal implications of running schools’ football. The replies that were received persuaded the committee not to organise football in the current year, but at the AGM in July, when 19 attended, it was decided “that the Association make every effort to provide football in some form” in the 1940/1941 season.
All officers were re-elected and vacancies in the committee were filled.
Eighteen senior and 8 junior teams expressed a wish to play organised football in 1940/1941 and they were organised into 3 and 2 section respectively. The 3 senior sections were to compete for the 1st Division Shield (A), the 2nd Division Shield (B) and the Wickham Shield (C) In the end there was only one junior section, the teams in which (7 in number) were to play each other home and away.
It seems a little incongruous, at a time of national crisis, to read a complaint from Fairweather Green that Swain House had infringed Playing Rule 8 by not notifying their opponents of the arrangements for the match by the appropriate day (Wednesday). More 9n line with events in the ‘wider world’ was an appeal for subscriptions for a Christmas present to members of BSAA serving in the Forces.
After Christmas 1940 senior and junior cup competitions were organised; 21 schools entered the senior competition and 9 the junior one. All matches except the Final were played on a home and away basis, with extra time included up to the first goal scored.
In addition the committee took steps towards arranging an inter –city game with Leeds, but nothing came of this ‘ as there was no football in Leeds.’ An approach was therefore made to Keighley with more positive results, a match being arranged for Easter Tuesday at Valley Parade. Trials were organised and the following team selected; Reeves (Carlton), Conroy (Tyersal), Helliwell (Grange), Babbs (Drummond)< Taylor (Grange), Storey (Tyersal), Townson (Carlton), Taylor (Grange), Jowett (Grange), Harrison (Lapage), Leedal (St Bede’s). Reserves were Croft (Carlton), Gill (Drummond), Harrison (Carlton). The two Taylor s were the sons of Harold Taylor, a member of the 1915/1916 team.
The referee was MR H Reed of Wyke Modern School. “Mr. Kendall kindly offered to provide tea and biscuits for refreshments and Mr. Hodgson volunteered to provide some pies.” The match, the result of which is not recorded, produced a profit of £25.16s.2d, £25 of which was handed over to the Lord Mayor for his Comforts Fund at an official function at which the press were represented.
The winners of the League Competitions were; Division A Tyersal, Division B Drummond, Division C Grange, Juniors Harden. The senior Cup Final, Grange v Carlton, was played at Park Avenue on 12th May, admission charges being 2d and 4d. Grange were the winners. The junior final between Harden and Swain House was played at Bradford Rovers on 14th May (admission 1d and 2d) and was won by the former. Profits in the two games were £2.13s.8d and £1. 8s.3d. Trophy winners in this season were asked to have the words “War Time Competition” inscribed with the name of their school.
At the 1941 AGM (11 present) only ten nominations for committee members were received so they were elected en bloc. Subsequently, the Chairman, Tommy Hogg, was ‘called up’. Entries to Leagues were received from 24 senior teams and 3 junior teams. The seniors were arranged in four sections but no junior fixtures were arranged. In fact the severe weather prevented any competition being completed and the Association seems to have ceased activities until January 1943, when the AGM was held. It was reported that “ although football was played in the city, there had been no organised League football… and on account of staffing difficulties it was almost impossible to arrange League football.”
However there was football in the 1943/1944 season- 22schools took part, arranged in three sections, the winners being Hanson, Drummond and Tyersal. There was also a Cup Competition with 16 entries, the Final being played at Park Avenue Grange being the winners.
Twenty-four teams (Hanson and Tyersal entering two teams) took part in the League in 194/1945 and there was again a Cup Competition. The League winners were Carlton, Drummond, Hanson and Tyersal ‘A’, while in the Cup Final St Bede’s beat Queensbury 6-1 at Park Avenue ‘before a crowd of 962’.
With an optimistic eye to the future the committee resolved at a meeting on 13th April 1945 “that the Bradford Association express its willingness to participate in any county activities for season 1945/1946.