Woolwich & Districts
of playing in the Conway Primary School
Soccer Team 1949
memory stretches back 57 years........... to a wet and windy
Saturday morning when I failed to score for our Conway Road
Junior and Infants School soccer team.
was quite a good turnout of parents, family, neighbours etc.
Our Headmaaster, Justice of the Peace. Mr Cyril Bull, a large
distinguished gentleman, was also in attendance. Our school
was recognized as a force on the soccer field. But in my time
we had not defeated arch rivals Wood Hill School of Woolwich.
From previous seasons games the scores were: 0 : 0; 1 all draw;
and a 0 : 1 loss.
this particular morning, it was very wet and our opponents Wood
Hill were goalless at half time. Our Sports Master, Mr Lovatt
instructed me to remain as deep as possible around the half
way line and to watch out for the offside trap. The resumption
of the second half found Wood Hill pressing for the winner with
our defence under pressure. They were well drilled and their
lone defender kept me close to the half way line. However, the
one and only chance presented itself, a long ball from our defence.
To this day I remember the screams and shouts from our supporters
and how it alarmed me, I even glanced their way. But, with the
ball at my feet I rounded their lone defender making good ground
goal wards on that heavy muddy pitch only to shoot weakly for
their advancing goal keeper to smother the ball, he must have
thought it was Christmas!
only I'd tried to round the goalkeeper with even a penalty chance.
I have relived the experience many times in my life, remembering
also the disappointment on my father's face. Also Mr Lovatt's
hands on his head looking skywards and the resignation of our
dignified Headmaster, Mr Bull. I also remember a remark from
a team mate's older sister as we carried the goalposts and crossbars
back to the park keeper's hut, " But Mark is usually so
good!" Well that morning 57 years ago was so very wet and
in those days the ball was heavy enough without the added moisture
that its untreated leather absorbed.
should have taken it round the goalkeeper ............
I was the youngest ever to play for Conway Road at 9 years of
My school soccer hero was a bloke named Brian Dumford who was
two years older than me. He would let me play during the dinner
time football games in the playground. Brian was of course in
the school soccer team before me.