A LOCAL football club with a reputation for nurturing professional stars are holding a reunion to mark their 100th birthday.
Seaton Holy Trinity Football Club have been responsible for kicking off the careers of Hartlepool United players such as the late Ken Johnson and Bobby Folland, Barry Parkes, Gordon Lithgo and twins Bobby and Billy Veart.
Mark Venus, assistant manager at Middlesbrough Football Club and a former Pools player, Ian Knight, whose left leg was infamously broken in seven places after a tackle while at Sheffield Wednesday, and Tommy Johnson, who played for Middlesbrough and spent 25 years as Pools’ physio, also began footballing life with the club.
A reunion is being organised by Tommy Johnson, now 86, alongside Tommy Jukes, who was team manager and chairman from 1975 until 1991, current manager Robert Thompson and Alan Thompson, Robert’s father and the club secretary.
The team, who play at Dodds Field, were set up by the Rev FB Bevan in the early days of the town’s Church League.
Mr Jukes, 77, who is married to Margaret and lives in the Chester Road area of town, said: “The lads used to turn up and forget their subs because they had spent it on the beer the night before. It had to come out of the manager’s pocket.”
Mr Johnson, from the Rift House area of town, joined the team when he was just 13 in 1939 and spent four years with the side before graduating to Middlesbrough FC’s Colts and then Boro’s first team.
He signed up for National Service in 1946 and rejoined Boro two years later before moving to Darlington.
Following injury, he became a scout for Hartlepool United, where he was to spend 25 years as a physiotherapist and then a further 10 years in a similar role at Middlesbrough.
The dad to Graham Johnson and grandfather-of-two and great-grandfather-of-three said he enjoyed the “camaraderie” of being involved with Seaton Holy Trinity.
The two Tommys remember Jack Parkes, a former Seaton Holy Trinity player and manager of the junior side, Bob Waller, who was a player and then manager around the 1930s, as well as Alastair Rae, who now works in Hartlepool Borough Council’s public relations department.
They would love to hear from any past and present players or anyone else associated with the team.
The reunion will be held at Seaton Carew Social Club, in Station Lane, from 7.30pm on Monday, April 16.
Tickets, which are £5 and include pie and peas, are available by calling Mr Jukes on (01429) 420892, Mr Johnson on (01429) 268082 or Robert Thompson on 07976104492.
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