Lancaster nostalgia: exciting chapter for Flookburgh football

Back row from left: Arthur Booker, Bill Badley, Norman Fell, Dougie Burrell, Alan Nelson, Robert Nelson. 
Front row from left: Lloyd Saunders, Tony Tant Wilson, Arthur Cowperthwaite, Albert Hill, Keith Brian, Pearce Butcher, Jack Nicholls
Back row from left: Arthur Booker, Bill Badley, Norman Fell, Dougie Burrell, Alan Nelson, Robert Nelson. Front row from left: Lloyd Saunders, Tony Tant Wilson, Arthur Cowperthwaite, Albert Hill, Keith Brian, Pearce Butcher, Jack Nicholls
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Flookburgh is known as a delightful village on the Cartmel Peninsula and is approximately 31 miles from Lancaster via the M6 and the A590.

This ancient community still depends upon fishing and each day tractors can be seen on the extensive sands at low tide harvesting shrimp and cockles.

Lower Holker Football Club at Galgate prior to a 3-0 victory. Back row from left: Arthur Cowperthwaite, Robert Nelson, Albert Hill, Bernard Martin, Alan Nelson, Brian Pearce.
Middle row from left: Peter Lomas, Norman Cavin. Front row from left: Stuart Wilson, Sid Banks, Robert Dickinson.

Lower Holker Football Club at Galgate prior to a 3-0 victory. Back row from left: Arthur Cowperthwaite, Robert Nelson, Albert Hill, Bernard Martin, Alan Nelson, Brian Pearce. Middle row from left: Peter Lomas, Norman Cavin. Front row from left: Stuart Wilson, Sid Banks, Robert Dickinson.

In the 1950s and 60s football teams would travel there with a certain amount of trepidation, not relishing the twisting roads past Levens and through Lindale.

The football field seemed to be open to the elements and with a strong wind and a vociferous crowd many teams had mentally lost before the kick-off where victories were scarce and every ball and every inch of ground had to be fought for over 90 minutes. I suppose we were thankful that we only had to make the trip once every season but the Holker lads had the reverse trip every two weeks.

Lloyd Saunders, who lives in Grange and played for many years at Flookburgh, has filled in all the names but his memory cannot recall why he wasn’t on this photograph. Lloyd also recalls that there were lots of other teams in the vicinity of Flookburgh like, Cartmel, Lindale, Grange and Haverthwaite but now in 2016 only Cartmel survive.

The 1960-61 season was one of the most exciting in the history of the North Lancashire League with five clubs battling it out for the title, Lower Holker, Galgate, Caton United, Lancaster Lads Club Old Boys and Dry Dock United.

At the turn of the year Caton United and Lower Holker filled the top two positions in the league and in December 1960 the Flookburgh boys had been beating Caton at home 2-0 after 40 minutes when the match was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch. The anticipated fixture congestion for Lower Holker proved to be their downfall in many respects as on Monday May 1 1961 Galgate lost 0-10 on Ryelands Park against Dry Dock United in the semi-final of the Memorial Cup.

The previous weekend Lower Holker and Galgate had played out a 3-3 draw after extra time and met again at Grange on Wednesday May 3 with Holker finally lifting the Senior Challenge Cup 3-1.

Dry Dock United, Lancaster Lads Club and Caton United finished level on points (43) with the “Dockers” claiming the title on goal average. Lower Holker had lost five games in the final 12 days and finished in fifth place, 11 points behind the winners, but what a battle had been put up by this spirited bunch of Flookburgh footballers and the team celebrated in the usual fashion at the Floral Hall, Morecambe.

By Terry Ainsworth.