Looking back on success of school teams on football pitch

The Liverpool team, muddied and weary after winning the cup, 5-3, on Easter Monday 1926 at Springfield Park although only 10 players appear on the photograph.

The Liverpool team, muddied and weary after winning the cup, 5-3, on Easter Monday 1926 at Springfield Park although only 10 players appear on the photograph.

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Ripley Scholars by Terry Ainsworth, sponsored by Vincenzo’s coffee house.

My connection to Ripley School is tenuous to say the least. My father attended the Boys National School or the “Nashy” as it was affectionately known and in 1928 scored the only goal of the game in the final of the William Smith Festival to defeat Skerton Council School and win the shield.

Ripley School 1955-56.'Back Row: Keith Harrison, Keith Nicholas'Middle Row: Norman Ellis (teacher), Brian Spencer, Martin Woodend, Dickie Danson, Ben Shepherd, Ralph Hewartson, Charlie Timperley, Mr Andy Wilson (headmaster)'Front Row: Ronnie Emery, Jim Cross, Harry Bland, Harvey Morley, Terry Stackhouse, Charlie Moore, Norman 'Nodder' Muckalt

Ripley School 1955-56.'Back Row: Keith Harrison, Keith Nicholas'Middle Row: Norman Ellis (teacher), Brian Spencer, Martin Woodend, Dickie Danson, Ben Shepherd, Ralph Hewartson, Charlie Timperley, Mr Andy Wilson (headmaster)'Front Row: Ronnie Emery, Jim Cross, Harry Bland, Harvey Morley, Terry Stackhouse, Charlie Moore, Norman 'Nodder' Muckalt

I also live on the site of the old “Nashy” School on the corner of Alfred Street and St Leonardgate so my visit to Ripley St Thomas Academy in February 2015 was eagerly anticipated.

A retired teacher, David Bateman, revealed a box of photographs and memorabilia that became the basis of this short piece.

David has compiled a book relating the wonderful and inspiring story of this school over 150 years and describes an institution that is indeed a jewel in Lancaster’s crown. Ofsted described Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy as “Outstanding” in 2012.

Once more the archives of the Lancaster Guardian were invaluable in providing an article from 1926 as follows:

Ripley School 1956-57'Back Row: Mr John Dakin (headmaster), Tommy Dodding, Barry Curwen, Ken White'Front Row: Pat Noble, Jimmy Knowles, 'Nodder' Muckalt, Keith Nicholas, Ron Jones''Clark, Harry Murphy, Norman Ellis (teacher)

Ripley School 1956-57'Back Row: Mr John Dakin (headmaster), Tommy Dodding, Barry Curwen, Ken White'Front Row: Pat Noble, Jimmy Knowles, 'Nodder' Muckalt, Keith Nicholas, Ron Jones''Clark, Harry Murphy, Norman Ellis (teacher)

“One of the most successful re-unions in the history of the Ripley Old Scholars’ Society was held at Lancaster on Easter Saturday 1926 when friends from Liverpool were joined by about 200 Lancastrians.

The visitors arrived by a saloon coach attached to the 9.30 am train and were welcomed at Ripley Hospital by the Principal (Rev. H. B. Edwards), Mr H. Pedder (chairman), Mr T. J. Parkinson (treasurer), and Mr W. Fryers (secretary). Ideal weather conduced to the pleasure of the gathering.

The football match between Lancaster and Liverpool was one of the best games seen for many years by the Old Scholars.

At half-time the honours were fairly divided, 2-2, and again at full time, 3-3, but Liverpool’s stamina enabled them to win the cup 5-3 in extra time.

The Lancaster scorers were Bibby and Jack Smith (2). Mr Edwards handed the cup to the Liverpool captain (Dennett) and it was mentioned that Lancaster had won the cup 11 times and Liverpool 10 times.

In the afternoon the present scholars enjoyed a programme of sports and football.

About 275 attended the whist drive and dance in the Alexandra Hall on Monday evening.

The Master of Ceremonies for dancing were Mr R. Holden and Mr H. Mitchell and for whist Mr H. Pedder, who controlled 24 tables.

The prizes were given by old pupils and tradespeople.

The whist winners were:

Ladies 1st, Mrs Dobson, 2nd Mrs Holden, 3rd Mrs Eccles, 4th Miss Richards.

Gentlemen 1st J. Cook, 2nd J. Hayton, 3rd W. Alston, 4th J. Atkinson.

Refreshments were catered by Mr Ducksbury.

The band of Mr Templeton (an old boy) supplied excellent dance music.

The Liverpool contingent were given a hearty send-off when they left to catch the 9.53 pm train home.”

Over the next two decades the “Nashy” Old Boys flirted with the North Lancashire Junior League and in 1930-31 defeated a Warison’s team 4-0 with Cummings and W Hargreaves (3) scoring the goals.

In 1944-45 and 1951-52 “Nashy” Old Boys played in the Junior Division of the North Lancs League finishing 9th and 3rd. We now move on to the 1950s and look at teams under the influence of a much respected teacher, Norman Ellis, who retired in 1988 after 40 years’ service. From the immaculate and meticulous records kept by Norman Ellis I can reveal that this team played 11 games, won 11 games while scoring 113 goals and conceding only four.

The scorers were Morley (54), Smith (18), Muckalt (11), Bland (8), Danson (5), Emery (5), Teasdale (3), Stackhouse (3), Shepherd (2), Harrison (2), Woodend (1) and Nicholas (1).