Pre-History: The Braeburn 6-a-Sides,
18 May 1974.

"March of many miles must begin with a single step." - Old Chinese proverb.

"The Red Flag".

"It was my idea, so I'm calling it the Red Flag." - G.Armitage.

  This outfit, the brain child of Graham Armitage, was without doubt the most under-rated football team in the world, at least until Box Hill. The organisers of the Braeburn competition having sent application forms to Sixth Form College P.E. supremo Barry Beanland, he duly passed them over to us, and the rest, as they say, is history. Unluckily, the red and white rugby jerseys he was persuaded to lend us were several sizes too big, so we played in an assortment of red shirts. Little did the well-meaning Mr Beanland know what a monster he had unleashed on an unsuspecting town.

  1st Round - beat Dales 'B' 2-1. Team was: Pete Cranston, Willy Weaver, Duncan Claughton, Steve Burns, Graham Armitage, Kevin Phillips. Scorers - Claughton (pen), Burns.

  Kev was under orders from Graham to fall over if he was tackled in the penalty area. This he duly and rather outrageously did (he'd be cautioned for certain in this day and age), and Duncan banged in the penalty. After Dales equalised, Graham was put through with only the keeper to beat. He hit the post, and the ball rolled tantalisingly along the goal-line. It may have been a tap-in from six inches (OK, it was a tap-in from six inches), but I'll remember that goal as long as I live.

  Pete had played in goal for us due to original keeper Hector MacKay turning up late, as he'd "been to see Sabbaff in Bradford" the night before, although so had Graham and Duncan. For an hour or so, we thought we were the greatest football team on earth, while Graham wrestled with the decision as to whether to reinstate Hector for the 2nd Round game.

  2nd Round - lost to Bridlington YMCA 0-6. Team was: Hector, Willy, Duncan, me, Graham and Kevin. What Pete thought about being unused substitute for this one, I don't know.

  On the morning of this tournament, I'd been to town to buy the new Sparks album "Kimono My House", which, for a few weeks, seemed like the greatest record ever.

"Hot Negara".

  The records of this lot are a bit more patchy. The team was Mick Bradley, Steve Slade, Les Bailey, Andy Wiffen, Dave Cochrane and Ian Everett, with subs Dave Irvine and Michael "Peb" Stone. Like us, they beat a Dales side in the first round (presumably, Dales 'A'), and, like us, they went out ignominiously at the next time of asking - it is thought to Cayton Youth Club, by about three or four goals to nil, but accurate records are not available.

Next page, Summer of 1974.

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