Saturday 22nd September 1990 (Friendly):

  British Gas 8  

  Box Hill 3  

1 Pygas
4 Burns         2 Bailey         6 Slade         3 Claughton
12 Toal         5 Porter         7 Hayward
9 Suggett #         14 Phillips         11 Appleby

(# Sub - Daniels)

Scorers - Phillips 2, Daniels.

  The Box Hill 1990 reunion bequeathed to the world, among other things, this enjoyable but, in footballing terms, abysmal comeback game, played at the North Riding College on Filey Road.

  As per the old days, it was chaos mixed with anarchy. Barry Suggett and Rob Daniels ("Danny") were borrowed from the opposition after Andy Wiffen, who should have been our goalkeeper, vanished at the last minute, and Chris Pygas was forced to do the honours in goal at short notice. Andy Porter kept up the great Box Hill tradition of missing from the penalty spot, and Yours Truly the own-goal tradition (with more than a bit of help from Kevin Phillips). Hero of the hour was undoubtedly Duncan Claughton, who refused to wear the new orange shirt, preferring his tangerine original (and how many others could have fitted into theirs?), spurned the chance of glory from the penalty spot, and finally got himself sent off (a Box Hill first) for one of the worst fouls I have ever seen on a football field - although he was later sent back on by the rather congenial referee. Duncan maintains he went for the ball, but ... well, I've seen the video. The ultimate irony was that a team which, sixteen years before, had used their youth as an excuse for their poor results, now had little else to justify their shortcomings except old age. The exception was, as ever, Sladey, who, from playing as if he were five years older than the rest of us in 1974, now looked as if he were about ten years younger.

  Kevin scored two of our goals, one from a long way out, made superbly by the still effective Les Appleby, and the other stabbed in at the near post with the approach work being done by Mike Hayward, to give him the name he now prefers. Box Hill's last ever goal was headed home by guest striker Danny (following in the Terry Dobson tradition) from my cross, which I could have described as inch-perfect were it not for the fact that on the video you can hear me shouting Les Appleby's name as I hit it.

  Also present, in a purely watching role, were Steve Ward and Graham Armitage. Rob Davies (it's Bob now) attended the evening sessions, but couldn't make the game. Tony Hodgkinson sent his apologies. More or less everyone had been contacted, except Willy Weaver, who has since been traced, and, sad to say, Chris Hooper, as to whose whereabouts I could find no clue. Somebody out there must know something! For many people, this was probably the last game of football they'll ever play. For my Dad, who died one month later, it was the last game he ever saw. A day to remember, to put it mildly.

Pictures from this match. (10 colour pictures, approx 15-30Kb each.)

Next page, "Final Words", 1999.

Box Hill Home Page.