The Story of Bradford Boys by John Bulled 1994
C Kreling (1945-1949)
W. Railton (1949-1954)
NB There was a gap in Bill Railton’s service, Jim Wooton taking over as Secretary in 1950-1952 during Bill’s illness.
In the first year after the war both the English and the Wylie competitions were designated ‘Interim’ competitions, not commencing until after Christmas. The first English Trophy game was against Dearne Valley on 12th January 1946. It was played at Horsfall Playing Fields and afforded us our first Trophy win in the post-war period. In the 2nd Round Barnsley were defeated 3-0 at Salts F.C. following a draw in South Yorkshire. However, the third encounter with a South Yorkshire side proved less fortunate, Rotherham defeating us at Salts on 2nd March.
Rotherham beat us for the third successive time (4-2) in the first round in the 1946/1947 season, and we did a little better in 1947/1948, beating Selby at Manningham Mills in the first Round, but losing by the only goal to Leeds in the 2nd following a1-1 draw at Leeds
1949/1950 brought us no better fortune. A trip to Airedale and Wharfedale produced an 8-1 win,but a journey to York ended in defeat by the odd goal in three.
We went a little further in 1950/1951 mainly because of the luck of the draw. We only managed a 2-2draw with Spen Valley at Manningham Mills, but won the replay 3-0. A narrow 3-2 win over Airedale and Wharfedale (away) was followed by a 1-2 defeat by Normanton at Manningham Mills, which was perhaps less of a surprise than it seemed on the surface.
There were five games in the 1951/1952 season, as we required replays with both Harrogate and with Airedale and Wharfedale, after which York gave us a thrashing, 5-0 in the 4th Round at Bootham Crescent. We needed two games to beat Airedale and Wharfedale in 1952/1953 in the 1st Round and succeeded in beating Spen valley 2-0 in the 2nd, but a 1-1 draw v Hull at Valley Parade in the 3rd Round was followed by 2-1 defeat in the replay.
This rather undistinguished period ended in season 1953/1954 with a 2nd Round defeat, 2-0 at Normanton, following a rather meaningless 7-0 win against Woodlesford at Bradford Rovers.
Though are record in the ‘Wylie’ in this period was hardly any better we did at least reach the semi-final in 1949/1950. Like the ‘English’, the first post-war competition was an ‘interim’ one, the matches being two legged affair. Rotherham who made a habit of beating us just then, put us out in the semi-final, after we had beaten Leeds in the 2nd round 7-4 on aggregate (4-1 and 3-3)
In 1946/1947 we succeeded in beating Dewsbury 5-2 at Manningham Mills in the first round but lost by three clear goals v York on the same ground in the 2nd.
The 1947/1948 ‘run’ was no longer; we achieved a 3-2 win against Rother valley (away) in the 2nd round, but our second expedition to South Yorkshire to play Don & Dearne was less rewarding, as we lost 1-5 to” a big powerful team.”
There were four ‘Wylie ‘matches in 1948/1949 as we drew with both Scarborough and Normanton before succumbing to the latter in he 3rd Round.
The 1949/1950 season provided us with our only ‘run’ in his period. We reached the semi-final for the first time since season 1933/1934. Valley Parade was made available on 12th November for the 1st round game v Eston. Admission prices were fixed at 1s, 6d and 3d and the match was advertised in the press and on tramway bills. The post-match meal was arranged for Driver’s Café, and all League games arranged for tat morning were cancelled. The result was a 4-1 win in our favour. In the 2nd Round Don and Dearne were the visitors, the match being played at Bradford Rovers on Christmas Eve. A 3-3 draw necessitated a visit to Bolton-on-Dearne for the replay on 21st January 1950. This was one of our more successful forays into South Yorkshire as we recorded a 4-1 win. However, we proceeded from the 'frying-pan to the fire’ for the 3rd Round draw required us to visit Maltby Main on 11th February to play Rother Valley; a 2-2 draw brought Rother Valley to Bradford on 4th March when we recorded an impressive 6-2 win. This success meant that we played Barnsley at Oakwell in the semi-final on23rd March, the first of many epic encounters between the two Associations in the next few years. The gate was 11,600 (these were halcyon days for schools’ football and indeed football generally) and they were well satisfied with Barnsley’s 2-0 win. Bradford had the lesser satisfaction of receiving £161-16-11d from Barnsley as their share of the ‘gate’.
We were back to a short ‘run’ in 1950/1951 season, an easy 6-1win at South Elmsall being followed by a 1-3 defeat against Doncaster at Manningham Mills.
The 1951/1952 side did rather better beating Rother Valley 2-1 at Bradford Rovers and Don and Dearne 2-1 at Manningham Mills before succumbing to Middlesborough (away) by the odd goal in seven.
In the following season, 1952/1953, we were summarily dismissed from the ‘Wylie’ at the first time of asking, losing 2-1 to Leeds at Bradford Rovers, and in the last season of this preiod Doncaster ejected us in the 1st round, but only after a replay.
The finances of these games are interesting; the home game at Bradford Rovers, produced a loss of 15s, income £27-9-11d being counter-balanced by expenses of £28-4-11d. The meals at Highfield canteen cost £8-7-6d. The game at Doncaster produced a profit of £3-2-0d.
The obtaining of grounds presented some problems in this period, the Secretary commenting, in his Annual Report for 1945/1946 on “the great difficulties experienced with regard to obtaining grounds” and adding “whilst the Park Avenue club were unable to offer assistance owing to their long run in the FA Cup, I have found them sympathetic towards the Association. I regret to say
That the Bradford City management were not in the least helpful”
The problem continued in the 1946/1947 season and a proposal to stage a county match had to be shelved on this account. Early in the following season a deputation, comprising Messrs. Hogg, (Vice Chairman), Moverley (Chairman) and Kreling (Secretary) was sent to the two professional clubs asking for use of their grounds.
The result of these deputations was reported at the meeting of 1st October, 1947; the City directors “ would be prepared to consider an application for the use of Valley Parade when they knew the date and nature of the game to be played”, while Park Avenue granted the use of their ground for a county match on New Year’s Day and, on a date to be arranged for the Schools' Shield Final. Subsequently, the use of Valley Parade was granted on March 31st, when the 1st Division final was played.
There were usually one or two ‘friendlies’ in addition to the Trophy programme. The first of these after the War was against Dewsbury (away) on 18th January 1947. The team was; Woodruff (Priestman), Robertshaw (Grange), Burgon (St Bede’s) Burnham and Worsman (both Highfield), Cresswell (St Joseph’s0, Jarvis (Carlton) Padgett (Thorpe), Walker (Tyersal), Hay (Grange), Fawthrop( Barkerend).
Bradford went to Dewsbury again on 26th September 1947, with the following team: Haigh (Drummond), Peace (Usher Street), Williams (St Bede’s), Hammill (Great Horton), Worsman, Cresswell, McLoughlin (St Joseph’s), Hay, Ashton (Priestman), McGregor (Woodroyd), Redfearn (Highfield).
There was a further ‘friendly’ on 29th October against Barnsley at Manningham Mills the following playing: Quirk (St Patrick’s), Handley (Barkerend), Bennett (Wibsey0 Flaherty (St Ann’s), Worsman, Williams, Hay, Ashton, Padgett, Cresswell, McLoughlin.
A return game was played with Barnsley on 14th February 1948 when the following boys travelled: Quirk, Briggs (Grange) Bennett, Barraclough (Belle Vue0, Worsman, Williams, Ashton, Monkman (Belle Vue), Mitchell (Grange), Galloway (Drummond), Smith (St Walburga’s).
There were also matches v Leeds and v Airedale and Wharfedale (at Yeadon). The team that played Leeds was: Pickard (Drummond), Briggs, Bennett, Mitchell, Slingsby (Belle Vue0, Williams (St Bede’s), Hepworth (Drummond), Worsman, Galloway, Smith.
There were two ‘friendlies’ in the 1948/1949 season, v Barnsley at Manningham Mills and v Halifax at Woodhall Playing fields. The team against Halifax was: Woodruff (Priestman), Briggs, Bennett, Day (Woodroyd), Mitchell, Cornforth (Carlton), Dawson (Tyersal), Carol (St Bede’s), Smith, Galloway, and Redfearn. Against Barnsley the following played: Tillotson (St Peter’s), Briggs, Bennett, Barraclough, Mitchell, Cornforth, Dawson, Delaney (St Bede’s), Smith, Galloway, Redfearn. There was also a return game against Halifax at the Shay .
Only one ‘friendly’ is recorded in the 1949/1950 season and that was against Keighley and Craven. Unfortunately there is very little reference to schools’ matched in the local press at this time, largely due to the limited space available due to post-war restrictions.
An important step was taken in the following season in response to a letter from Stoke-on-Trent SFA which was read on 25th October, 1950, suggesting a renewal of the annual fixtures between Associations’s, which had lapsed in 1938.
It was not until 19th April 1952 that the match actually took place, the team and officials making the journey by train on the previous afternoon. A return game was played at Park Avenue on 8th April 1953. Admission charges were 1s 6d (stand), 9d, and 6d. The meal after the match was held ay the Co-op café, the invited guests included the Lord mayor and Lady Mayoress, the Director of Education, the Chairman of the Education Committee and the President of the BSAA. The two teams were taken to the first house at the Alhambra and overnight accommodation was at Thorn Garth. The match resulted in a win for Stoke by three goals to two.
After this game the ‘series’ lapsed, the Stoke Association being unable to entertain us in 1953/1954, though there were matches between the two Associations in the English trophy in 1959/1960 and 1962/1963, as well as matches undertaken by the Under 14 team as part of their Easter tours.
In the period 1945-1954 eight Bradford boys gained county honours. The first pair of ‘caps’ was in 1947/1948 when V Williams (St Bede’s), left half, and A Quirk (St Patrick’s), the goalkeeper were honoured.
There was one ‘cap’ in the following season, G Mitchell (Grange), the City centre half.
Grange also provided the one ‘cap’ in 1949/1950, N Wharton, right back.
Belle Vue provided both county representatives in season 1951/1952, M Blake, the inside left and P Glover, the left half.
It was St Bede’s turn to provide two county boys in 1952/1953, M Hellawell, right back and J Firth, goalkeeper.
No boys proceeded to international trial in this period.
There were three big games in this period, viz.:
a) the county match v London on New Year’ Day 1948
b) the county match v Lancashire on 4th January 1950’and
c) the county match v Birmingham on 16th April 1952.
This was the first post-war county match, which was staged at Park Avenue. The organisation was put into the hands of four sub-committees, Reception, Ground, Publicity and Social. Admission charges were fixed at 1s and 6d (Ground), 1s 6d End Stand and 2s Centre Stand.The London party was accommodated at the Great Northern hotel, where he post-match function was also held. The invited guests included the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, the Directors of the two professional clubs, The Chairman of the Education Committee, The Deputy Director of Education, members of the council of the Yorkshire CFSA., Life Members and committee members of BSFA, the Chairmen of sub-associations of BSAA and the Chairman and Secretary of Manningham Mills Football Club. Twenty-four tickets @ 2s each were purchased for the pantomime at the Alhambra in the evening. A special meeting was held at the Mechanics’ Institute on 23rd December 1947, which was attended, by the County Secretary and Treasurer, who expressed themselves well satisfied with the arrangements.
Two Bradford boys, Williams (St Bede’s), who was made Captain, and Quirk (St Patrick’s) were in the Yorkshire side, the latter coming in as a late replacement. The match made a profit of £54-4s-2d.
The 1949/1950 ‘Roses’ match was tagged at Valley Parade. No Bradford boy were in the team as originally selected, but G. Mitchell (Grange), who had been selected as reserve, came in at the last minute at left half. George Tavender was appointed referee with Jim Wootton on the line.
The ‘drill’ for these big matches was now well established and the necessary arrangements proceeded smoothly. On this occasion the meals, both before and after the game, were taken at the County Restaurant. There was of course no call for over night accommodation. The match was less profitable than the 1948 one, the profit being £10-10s-0d.
The result was a disappointing one from a Yorkshire point of view, Lancashire recording a 7-1 win.
The third county game of this period was that between Yorkshire and Birmingham staged at Park Avenue on 16th April 1952. On this occasion Bradford provided one player, Glover (Belle Vue), one reserve Lister (Allerton), the goalkeeper, the referee, George Tavender, and one lines-man, J S Rhodes. One notes that the Birmingham captain was Duncan Edwards (Walsall), who also captained England that season before moving on to a glittering Professional career, sadly cut short by his death, along with other Manchester United colleagues, in the Munich air-disaster.
The result of the game was a 2-0 win for the visitors.
The visiting party was accommodated at he Great Northern hotel, where the function was also held. A visit to the second house at the Alhambra provided a fitting conclusion to the day for the boys. The list of guests for both the matches and the function was broadly the same as on previous occasions.
On the domestic front the main event of the period was the introduction of the ‘Aurora’ Trophy competition for Under 13 teams in season 1948/1949.In his report for 1947/1948 the Secretary stated that” with the raising of the schools leaving age (to15) it was considered necessary to provide football for s greater number of boys and with this end in view, an under13 league was formed and ten schools participated: Grange, Carlton, Wyke, Great Horton, Wibsey, Drummond, Highfield, Barkerend, Woodroyd, Tyersal. To this new competition was allocated the ‘Aurora’ trophy. This Trophy had been presented to BSAA by the officers and ratings of the corvette, HMS Aurora, the ship which had been adopted by the City of Bradford during the war.
In the1947/1948 season the trophy was presented to the winners of a play off between the winners of the two sections of the Under 13 League. The contestants were Grange and Carlton, the former being winners and first holders of the Trophy.
When football recommenced after the war it was limited to the senior schools. There were 23 teams, divided into 4 sections: A: Carlton, Hanson, Wyke, Great Horton, Woodroyd, Wibsey. B; Drummond, Whetley Lane, St Bede’s, Grange, Belle Vue, Princeville. C: Tyersal ‘A’, Highfield, Hutton, Barkerend, Thorpe, Lapage, D Tyersal ‘B’, Allerton, Clayton, Usher Street, Shipley Central.
It will be noticed that the idea of a separate ‘secondary’ Division which had operated in the years before the war was abandoned. The sectional winners were Wyke, Grange, Tyersal ‘A’ and Shipley Central (who had a 100% record) but no trophies were awarded. The Schools' Cup competition was also revived and attracted 25 entries. The final between grange and Tyersal, was played at Horsfall Playing Fields on 18th may, the former winning by 2 goals to 1 after a replay. Admission prices were 6d for adults and 3d scholars, and the Secretary was instructed, “ to send out the usual invitations.”
Season 1946/1947 saw a complete return to normality; 45 schools affiliated. There were 4 senior divisions, involving 28 teams, in addition to a ‘Reserve ‘section, and two junior Divisions comprising 17 teams. The winners of the 4 senior divisions were to play off for the Division 1 Shield. Unfortunately the weather after Christmas was so severe that the committee decided not to run the Schools' Cup competition but to complete the League programme. Wibsey, Grange, (unbeaten), Highfield and St Joseph’s played off for the Division 1 Shield; in the semi final Grange beat Highfield and Wibey beat St Joseph’s. In the Final played at Manningham Mills, Grange beat Wibsey 3-1, thus commencing their 4 year tenure of the Schools' Shield. The Junior Final between Marshfield and Wellington Road was played on the same day, Marshfield winning by 4 goals-1, their first success in the competition.
For the 1947/1948 season Division 1 reverted to two Divisions (16 teams) so Division 2 was ‘restored’, also with two sections. There were three junior sections this year. It was very much a glory year for Grange, who won not only the Schools' Shield for the second year in succession beating Belle Vue 4-1 in the Final at Valley Parade, but also won the Schools' Cup beating Drummond 3-1 at Park Avenue and became the first holders of the ‘Aurora Trophy’. The Schools' Cup regained its former glory this season . There was a ‘gate’ of 3541 at PA on the evening of April 21st, representing takings of £76-6s-=11d; the guest list included the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, the Chairman and Directors of Park Avenue, Life Members of BSAA, officers of BSSA, Mr. Marshall (PE Organiser), and officials of Manningham Mills FC.
The 2nd Division play off took place at Manningham Mills and was won by Thorpe for the third time, that school beating Whetley Lane 2-1 in the Final. Bradford Moor won the Junior Trophy for the fourth time beating St Walburga’s 2-1 in the Final, played at Manningham Mills. Marshfield were the other sectional winners.
The senior League became an Under 15 competition in season 1948/1949 when in all 90 teams took part. The format remained the same though the number of junior sections rose to four. Grange won the Schools' Shield for the third successive year beating Carlton by the only goal scored at Valley Parade, but they failed to repeat their ‘treble’ of he previous year. St Bede's beat them in the Schools' Cup Final at Park Avenue after a replay before what is described as “a record crowd for a Schools' Cup Final” and Wibsey won the ‘Aurora Trophy’, beating Woodroyd 3-2 (after extra-time) in the play off at Bradford Rovers. The Division 2 Shield was won, for the first time, by Hutton, who beat St Patrick’s 6-0 in the play off at Manningham Mills, while Bradford moor again won the Junior Trophy beating St Augustine’s by a single goal at Bradford Rovers. St Augustine’s got to the Final the hard way as their Section, G, produced a triple tie between themselves, Lidget Green and Horton bank Top. The Schools' Cup was again a source of considerable revenue to the Association, the original game at Park Avenue bringing in £101-0s-1d and the replay £71-1s-10d.
Grange won the Division 1 Shield for the forth year in succession 1n 1949/1950 beating Great Horton in the Final at Valley Parade. St Bede's also retained the Schools' Cup defeating Grange at Park Avenue. The Division 2 Final, played at Bradford Rovers, was won by Priestman, who beat Wyke 2-1 to register their second success in this competition. The Aurora and Junior Finals were also played at Parry Lane, Grange winning the former for the second time in the three years of its existence. Woodroyd were again the losing finalists. Horton bank Top won the Junior Trophy for the first time, beating Lilycroft in the Final.
Belle Vue did the double in the 1950/1951 season; they won the Schools' Cup for the fifth time after a gap of 34 yeas, and the Schools' Shield after a gap of 28 years. They thus ended Grange’s four-year tenure of the latter Trophy. In the Schools' Cup Final they met Priestman at Park Avenue, the latter appearing in the Final for the first time. The original game was drawn, Belle Vue winning the replay 2-1. Though not as profitable as the previous year’s Final the two matches brought in profits of £21-5s-3d and £34- 9s-3d. The Division 2 Final was played at Manningham Mills Princeville winning the Trophy for the third time. The remaining Finals were played at Bradford Rovers, St Bede's winning the ‘Aurora’ (now run in three sections) for the first time and Swain House the Junior Trophy for the first also.
One hundred and three schools entered the League in 1951/1952, the biggest entry so far; there were three Under 13 sections and four Junior ones. Belle Vue retained the Schools' Shield, again defeating Grange in the Final at Valley Parade but Grange won the Schools' Cup (for the eighth time), beating Hanson in the Final at Park Avenue. In his 1952 Report the Treasurer commented on “the comparatively low profit from the Cup Final”.
It is strange to see Barkerend winning the Division 2 for the first time in their history; declining numbers there were soon to end their participation in schools’ football. Belle Vue added the ‘Aurora’ to the Schools' Shield and Lilycroft had their name inscribed on the Junior Trophy for the first and only time, beating Dudley Hill. Included in the Lilycroft team was one Ray Killick, at the ripe old age of 8 years.
Organisation remained unchanged for the 1952/1953 season. The season was something of an ‘Indian Summer’ for Drummond, which, like Barkerend, was suffering a decline in numbers; they won the Schools' Cup for the first time since season 1908/1909, beating Grange 3-1 in the Final at Park Avenue, and completed the double by beating Belle Vue 3-1 in the Shield Final at Valley Parade. There was a new name on the Division 2 shield, that of Queensbury, who beat Northcliffe at Bradford Rovers. Old names appeared on both the ‘Aurora Trophy’ St Bede's (who beat Thorpe in the Final) and the Junior Trophy, Swain house, who beat Carr Lane after a replay. Both these Finals were played at Bradford Rovers, the former ‘in tandem’ with the Division 2 Final.
The last season in our period was that of 1953/1954. This was another ‘double’ year for Grange. In the League they were unbeaten in Section ‘A’ and went on to beat BelleVue 2-0 in the Final at Valley Parade, while in the Schools' Cup Final they defeated Barkerend at Park Avenue 1-0.
Lapage who in the past had normally been a 1st Division side, won Division 2 for the first and only time, thrashing Allerton in the Final at Bradford Rovers by 11 goals to nil. St Bede's retained the Aurora Trophy, beating Highfield 3-2 in the Final at Bradford Rovers and Marshfield had their second win in the Junior Trophy,defeating Lilycroft 2-0 on the same ground. The arrangements for the Schools' Cup Final are worth noting. The match was played at Park Avenue on the evening of Monday 3rd may. The details of the arrangements, as given in the Minute Book, are: Officials- to be decided by Mr. Moverley Chief Steward Mr. McKay. Tickets 500 Stand at 1s; Adults ground 1,000 at 9d; 1500 boys at 6d. Advertising: 350 single sided bills for BCPT vehicles and schools. Announcement and programmes at Park Avenue. Police: 2 policemen for both Valley Parade and Park Avenue. Programmes 1,000 t 1d. Guests: Lord and Lady Mayoress, Mr. And Mrs A Spalding, Mr. F J C Marshall, Officials of BSAA, Chairman Education Committee & lady. E Akers Esq., Alderman Kathleen Chambers, Mr. & Mrs. J C Skinner, Mr & Mrs. T F Davies, Officials Grammar Schools’ FA, Mr & Mrs W H Tomlinson (WRCC), Officials of Bradford Rovers &Manningham Mills, H Taylor Esq., BCPT Manager, Chief Constable, Mr. & Mrs. Burnett, Life Members of BSAA & Ladies, Heads of schools concerned & ladies, C R Williamson Esq., Secretary Bradford and District SFA, F Hill Esq., Chairmen, Managers, Secretary and Directors of Park Avenue and Bradford City.
This was to be the first of many such sets of arrangements over the next few years; George Tavender had been appointed temporary Secretary at the time and would be elected Secretary at the 1954 AGM,
The committee had a very light crop of disciplinary problems in this period, most of them involving the non-fulfilment of fixtures. It did not have to deal with any misdemeanours by individuals or any case of crowd trouble. There were two complaints about incompetent or biased refereeing, one, on 19th October 1946, by St Peter’s against Thornton, the other on 6th march 1951, by Wibsey against Great Horton. In both cases it was pointed out that the decisions of the referee were final.
Thee was one rather unusual complaint on 29th January 1954, St Patrick’s complaining about the behaviour of the Allerton team for smoking during half time. A copy of the complaint was forwarded to Allerton, and the handling of the matter by the teacher at Allerton was accepted by the committee.
The system established in 1939 under which the referee was normally a teacher at the ‘home’ school continued and obviously worked reasonably satisfactorily.
At th1 1946 AGM there was an animated discussion about ‘coaching’ by referees in junior games; finally, a resolution was passed that referees should refrain from coaching in all matches. On 1st October 1947 a letter was read from the Headmistress of St Peter’s School, asking for permission to use a non-teacher referee, as there were no male members of staff. The committee reiterated its view that al games should be refereed by teachers.
Refereeing was discussed again at the 1948 AGM and it was agreed that a Referee’s chart should be supplied to all schools. Moreover on 18th September it was agreed that Mr. G. Wilson of Leeds should be invited to give a lecture on refereeing to Bradford schoolmasters.
There was another query on 15th October 1948 about using non-teachers as referees and the committee adhered to its established ruling. However, at the meeting on 17th December 1950 the question of using the services of volunteer sports masters during the end-of-season programme was raised and it was agreed that invitations should be extended to such volunteers.
We saw, in the last chapter, that, since 1927, the Football Section had been entitled to call itself an ‘Association’; in fact, the old nomenclature persisted and it required a rule change at the 1947 AGM, deleting the word ‘Section’ throughout the rules and substituting ‘Association’ to establish the situation.
There was a very important rule change at the 1948 AGM. The 1944 education Act, the ‘Butler’ Act had raised the school leaving age to 15, and this came into effect, as far as football was concerned in the 1948/1949 season. The new rule deleted’14 years of age on 31st Mach’ changing this to ‘15 years on the first day of the current school year’. Further clarification was needed in 191, when it was resolved that the effective date should be that on which the school actually opened.
There was one alteration to the Association’s administrative ‘team’ in this period; at the 1952 AGM a ‘Fixture Secretary was added to the list of officers; Jim Wooton was elected as Fixture Secretary, a position he held until 1960.
As we have seen, team selection had traditionally been a matter for the whole committee and attempts to limit selection to a smaller number had been strenuously resisted. At the committee meeting on 12th September 1947, it was decided by (7votes to 5) “the full committee select a maximum of 22 players from which the City team should be selected by a Selection Committee of 3 (subsequently amended to 5) – Chairman, Secretary, Team Manager, plus Messrs Taylor and Whittingham.”
This system was retained throughout this period, although the personnel of the Selection Committee obviously varied from time to time.
As time passed, the role of the Selection Committee in picking teams increased; for example, when the team to play Doncaster in the 1st Round of the Wylie Shield in 1953 had to be selected, it was agreed that the matter be left entirely to the Selection Committee and, a little later on, it was the Selection Committee who put forward county nominations, though these were approved by the full committee, which put forward international nominations.
This became a matter of some controversy in this period, though it was not a new problem, especially since the Junior League had been instituted. There was a strong feeling within the committee that schools should support the City team, in other words that League matches should be cancelled when it was playing at home.
At the committee meeting on 17th December 1948 Mr Tavender mentioned that some junior schools objected to the postponement of their fixtures when Bradford Boys were playing at home. The general feeling of the committee was that junior schools should support City matches.
The issue came up again two years later’ when Bradford played Spen valley in the 1 st Round of the English Trophy on October 21st all League fixtures were cancelled. At the committee meeting on 29th November Mr.Tavender “reported complaints about the cancellation of fixtures.” The Committee stood by their policy and made it clear that no points would be awarded for matches played when fixtures had officially been cancelled. It added a rider that “ they consider that ordinary fixtures are postponed in order that boys may attend the City Boys’ matches.”
Needless to say the problem would not go away. At the committee meeting on 21st March 1950 Messrs. Railton and McKay proposed that the whole question particularly with reference to junior fixtures be raised at the next AGM. The Chairman, Wilf Moverley, introduced the topic at the 1951 AGM and a range of arguments were put forward. Mr. Todd (Drummond) “asked why 1,100 boys were to be deprived of football for the sake of 11”.
Mr. Dennison (Woodroyd) argued that the City Boys should be withdrawn from school teams for special coaching. The Treasurer estimated that about a third of the support at City matches came from junior schools (and of course gate receipts were a more important element in the Association’s finances than they are to-day.) The Secretary pointed out that there were 25 available Saturdays to accommodate 16 matches, quite regardless of the possibility of playing junior matches after school.
The final decision was to recommend the Secretary to fix “Club dates” to conform to the “draws” of ESFA and YSFA.
The issue came up again at the committee meeting of 23rd November as the result of a letter from the Grammar Schools’ Association complaining of the postponement of matches on the occasion of City Boys’ home games. It may be of interest to quote the number of such games over these years: 1945/1946: 4; 1946/1947: 2; 1947/1948: 2; 1948/1949: 3; 1949/1950: 3; 1950/1951: 3.
Later in the same meeting “the question of what action to be taken against schools who had played fixtures when B Boys’ were at home” provoked discussion. It was resolved that Sports-masters be asked to abide by the decision of the AGM and “that in future matches played would be deleted from the records and the schools ordered to replay them.
The topic recurred at the next committee meeting on 5th December when a letter from MR. Charlesworth (Dudley Hill) was read; he referred to the AGM’s decision on the matter.
However, Mr. Charlesworth had more to say on the matter at the 1952 AGM and succeeded in gaining a decision that cancellation of junior fixtures be abandoned in the next season.
T the 1953 AGM the Treasurer alleged “ that much of the falling off on the revenue of City matches was due to the non-attendance of junior school members!.” the decision was taken to resume cancellation but to leave blank dates in the season fixture lists to make alternate dates for these postponed games. This policy was reiterated in 1954.
As we have seen, the Association’s rules did not at the beginning of this period make any mention of “extra time” in cup matches, though ad hoc regulations were made e.g. For the 1945 Schools' Cup Final, when it was ruled that, if necessary, 20 minutes extra time should be played; failing a decision in that time the trophy would be shared.
In 1948 it was ruled that there should be no extra time in the Schools' Cup and the Division 2 Final. In the following year 10 minutes extra time was allowed for in the Schools' Cup and the Aurora Trophy, but non in the Junior Final.
At the 1949 AGM Rule 21 was amended to bring our rules into line with those of the ESFA and YSFA –matches which had been 30 minutes each way would now be 35 minutes and those which had been 35 minutes would be 40. There was to be no change for Under 13 and Under 11 Matches. The 1951 AGM finally tackled the question of extra time, the following new rule being approved; “That in the event of a draw in any semi-final, no extra time shall be played at the first meeting, but in the event of a second draw, the match shall be played to a finish in periods of extra time of 20 minutes duration (10 minutes each way). Failing a decision the Trophy to be held jointly by the competing schools!” An amendment was passed to the effect that “ in the case of Juniors only one period of extra time of 20 minutes duration be allowed in a replay.” As far as Finals were concerned a single period of extra time (10 Minutes each way) was allowed for, in the event of a second draw.
The question of ‘substitutes’ was on the agenda of the ESFA AGM in 1952 and it was interesting to read, in the minutes of the committee meeting of 27th June 1952, that “ the delegates to the ESFA AGM were advised to vote against the proposed alteration to rules about substitutes.”
As it was still to be some time before substitutes were introduced into schools’ football, it would appear that Bradford ‘s view was shared by the majority of Associations at that time.
In the first two seasons after the war Fixture lists were printed and sold at 1d a copy, but season 1948/1949 saw the production of a Handbook costing 2d a copy; the Secretary reported at the meeting of the 10th September 1948 that it would cost £21 to print.
The price was increased to 3d a copy for Season 1950/1951, following a loss of £7-1s-5d in the previous season. 2,500 were ordered, but the Treasurer reported on 6th October 1950 that a large number had been returned. In fact the handbook made a loss of 33-2s 3d this year and the order for 1951/1952 was reduced to 2,000; in 1952/1953, following a loss of £8 the number of copies was further reduced to 1,500.
In preparation for the 1953/1954 season a sub-committee was set up to examine the whole lay-out of the Handbook. Its recommendations formed the basis for the 96-page handbook published from 1954 to 1973.
The committee considered the purchase of medals at its meeting on 22nd February 1951;five sets of winners’ medals in metal gilt and 8 sets of runners-up medals in bronze were ordered from GN Dyer.
In the following season medals were purchased from Fattorini’s – 500 silver –plate medals, of which 156 were to be engraved for current use.
There were problems about grounds from time to time. Schools using public recreation grounds had their difficulties; on 3rd December 1947 it was reported to the committee that teams visiting St Stephen’s had to change on the field; on 17th March 1950 the committee passed on to the Superintendent of the Parks and Cemeteries Department complaints by parents “ about the state of the hut used by schoolboys in Ladyhill Park for changing.” On July 21st 1950 it was reported that Dudley Hill and Carlton Primary had no grounds to play on.
We have already noted the difficulties the Association faced in getting the use of Park Avenue and Valley Parade in the years just after the war, and though, on the whole things improved subsequently, help from the two professional clubs could not be relied upon as a matter of course; deputations continued to be sent from time to time, and ‘sweeteners’ were offered occasionally; on 27th April 1949 a £10 grant was made to Park Avenue’s “Ground Improvement Fund” and a little later it was decided to purchase a clock to grace the Board Room at that ground. Bradford Rovers’ ground at Parry Lane was the one most used by the Association and the club was helped on a number of occasions. On 21st July 1950 the committee authorised Bradford Rovers to purchase posts to the value of £40 as part of the project for enclosing the pitch, the bill to be rendered to the Association.
Two years later (27th June 1952) Bill Railton suggested the Association might help Bradford Rovers to build covered accommodation. Officials of the club were invited to meet the committee on 17th July. Following their attendance the committee resolved to offer financial help in consultation with BSAA. That body’s Executive Committee met in October and gave their advise to the effect that the Association should make an interest free loan to Bradford Rovers of £100; this offer the Club accepted.
At the meeting of 16th July 1953, it was reported that the work was going ahead and, at a subsequent meting on 3rd September the account from F Plews for work done was discussed at some length. It was decided; a) that the loan be repayable over a 10 year period; b) that Mr. Newstead, Solicitor to BDFA be asked to draw up an agreement, to be signed by three representatives of the Association and three representatives of the club; this was done.
For a short period following the war (1946-1948) the committee had the job of distributing clothing coupons to schools. At its meeting on 8th November 1946, 192 coupons were distributed as follows: Bradford Boys 60 (Shorts 36, stockings 24); Lilycroft 24 (12 jerseys); Bradford Moor 24 (12 jerseys), St Joseph’s 24 (12 jerseys), Woodroyd 15; Whetley Lane 15, St Bede’s 15, Shipley Central 15.
The following year 240 coupons were received from ESFA and schools were invited to submit applications. It was decided to allocate them for jerseys only, and nine schools received 24 coupons each, Marshfield being subsequently added.
The last issue of clothing coupons was in 1948 when 300 were received. In making their allocation the committee gave preference; a) to schools starting teams for the first time; b) to schools who had not received an issue in the past. Twenty-five coupons each were allocated to St Cuthbert’s, Lidget Green, Westgate Hill, Horton Bank Top, Barkerend Primary, Wibsey, Grange and Hutton, while St Bede’s got 10.
The end of this particular exercise was some indication of a return to normality.
We select the 1950/1951 Balance Sheet as representing this period. It showed a slight balance over the season (£4-19s-8d) increasing the Association’s balance to £497-10s-2d. The income was made up almost entirely of the profits from the domestic programme, the Cup Final (£91-5s-3d)and the replay (£34-9s-3d) being the largest contributions.
The trophy matches all produced losses. That involving the match with Doncaster at Manningham Mills (£17-6s-10d) was particularly heavy.
Immediately after the resumption of football in 1945 the committee resolved, at its meeting on 19th January 1945 “that the Association should insure the 22 schools taking part in schools’ football.” The Team Managers raised an interesting point at the meeting of 18th January 1952 asking “ if there was any cover in case of accident during the coaching sessions.” They were assured by the Chairman and Treasurer that this was so.
At the meeting of 3rd October 1953 the Treasurer reported, “ that the Association’s schools were now insured through ESFA.
By this time, of course, the introduction of ‘National Health’ had obviated the need for whip-rounds to over doctor’s bills.
In these years the committee met most often on school premises; Usher Street was the commonest venue in 1947 and 1948 and Cathedral School from 1950 to 1954.