Lancaster football nostalgia

Red Rose Boys Club 1950-51. Back row from left, Bill Kirby, Conroy Cullen, Jack Holmes, Brian Newbury, Les Heward and Ron Mitchell. Front row from left, Fred Isaacs, Jim Bonnick, Ken Holden and Pete Hudson.
Red Rose Boys Club 1950-51. Back row from left, Bill Kirby, Conroy Cullen, Jack Holmes, Brian Newbury, Les Heward and Ron Mitchell. Front row from left, Fred Isaacs, Jim Bonnick, Ken Holden and Pete Hudson.

Historian Terry Ainsworth presents his series of monthly articles highlighting sporting photographs of the past.

In the last month, two photographs landed on my desk from London and Canada and on closer inspection I realised that two Lancaster brothers, Alan and Ron Mitchell, had been reunited.

The Metropolitan Police in London, Alan Mitchell is seconf from the right on the front row.

The Metropolitan Police in London, Alan Mitchell is seconf from the right on the front row.

Alan and Ron were born on Rutland Avenue, Lancaster and went to Greaves Primary School where they blossomed in the football arena.

Ron certainly passed the 11+ examination but refused to attend Lancaster Royal Grammar School because they played with the wrong-shaped ball and instead he went to the Lancaster Technical College.

Ron had a fantastic career with Morecambe FC as a polished full back and did play as a professional with Leeds United who couldn’t afford the second £1,000 instalment on his transfer fee so Ron returned to Morecambe.

It is highly likely that Alan took the same decision when he too passed the 11+ plus exam before going to Lancaster Technical College.

Alan scored a record 62 goals in season 1951-52 for Dry Dock United before joining the Metropolitan Police.

In London he was approached more than once to turn professional but turned down all the offers because he felt he was at that level already being paid to play while working for the “Met”.

Two fantastic footballers and proud Lancastrians.

Conroy Cullen who lives in Canada sent me a photograph of Red Rose Boys Club from 1950-51.

The team are pictured on Barton Road, Lancaster in black and white striped shirts in front of the dressing rooms.

Although Conroy didn’t have all the names Pete Hudson came to the rescue and named them all.