Sunday 20th October 1974 (Sunday League Division Three):

  Box Hill 1  

  T.A.F.C. 8  

1 Hooper
4 Armitage         13 Pygas #         6 Slade         3 Claughton
2 Bailey         12 Toal         20 Cranston         5 Wiffen
14 Phillips         9 Ward

(# Sub - 10 Parkin)

Scorer - Parkin.

  This was the one occasion when I found something better to do than turning out for the team, the lure of Roxy Music at Leeds University on the Saturday night (the Country Life tour) proving too strong. I asked Steve Toal to organise the team, and this he duly did. At this distance, I can't remember why he made Norman Parkin sub - possibly he turned up late?

  By all accounts, the game itself was "undistinguished", which must have meant a great improvement on previous weeks, and our defeat at the hands of the Territorial Army team who were already looking like runaway champions was by no means as heavy as some they would inflict on other sides - I seem to recall they beat Dales 22-0. The most interesting aspect of this encounter, other than Norman's Dad admitting Duncan had "improved a hundred per cent" (what's a hundred per cent of atrocious?), was the unorthodox coaching technique of the T.A. organiser Company Sergeant Major Fox, who marched up and down the touchline, barking out orders to his troops as if they were on the parade ground at Burniston Barracks. I was told that Norman's goal was a bit special, something about taking the whole defence and cracking the ball home from the edge of the box. It sounded pretty spectacular, anyway, but maybe not quite as good as seeing Roxy Music in their heyday.

  Because of the fact that two clubs (Scarborough Celtic and, mercifully, Scarborough FC 3rd XI) had dropped out of the division before a ball had been kicked, but after Eric Sedgman had painstakingly put the finishing touches to his beloved - and unimpugnable - fixture list, we now had several weeks off, which we intended to put to good use, with a certain amount of reorganisation and reassessment, and lots of training at the Tip. It was during the moratorium that one of the most talked-about nights at the Penthouse ever, the Seventh Wave gig, took place.

  Ten days after the T.A.F.C. game, Don Revie picked his first England team, which beat Czechoslovakia 3-0 at Wembley, with goals from Bell (2) and Keegan. The side was: Ray Clemence, Paul Madeley, Emlyn Hughes, Martin Dobson, Dave Watson, Norman Hunter, Colin Bell, Gerry Francis, Frank Worthington, Mike Channon, Kevin Keegan. Yes, the omission of Sladey was baffling.

  Meanwhile, back at Box Hill, on hearing that our next game was to be a League Cup tie against the mighty News Avengers, one of the top sides in Division Two, we redoubled our (futile) efforts in training, and even cheekily attempted to sign one of their former stars, Geoff Hall, for the event. But no amount of training, nor influx of new talent, could have prepared us for what was to follow...

Next page, the League Cup tie with News Avengers.

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