Football memories from Oz

Tommy Johnson and Tommy Jukes(right).
Tommy Johnson and Tommy Jukes(right).
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ORGANISERS of a reunion of a 100-year-old football club say they have received a great response from former players – including as far away as Australia.

A reunion that celebrates the centenary of Seaton Holy Trinity Football Club is just days away, and former players have been contacting organisers with their memories.

Seaton Holy Trinity FC 1958-59 team (back row left to right) Barry Beresford, Bill Arbuckle, Bobby Dobson, Tony Pattenden, (???), Ken Gardner.'(front row left to right) Dicky Gardner, Stuart Parker, Bob Folland, Gordon Lithgo, George Waggott.

Seaton Holy Trinity FC 1958-59 team (back row left to right) Barry Beresford, Bill Arbuckle, Bobby Dobson, Tony Pattenden, (???), Ken Gardner.'(front row left to right) Dicky Gardner, Stuart Parker, Bob Folland, Gordon Lithgo, George Waggott.

One of those is Bill Arbuckle, who played for the team in the 1950s and 1960s and now lives in Australia.

Tommy Jukes, who was team manager and chairman from 1975 until 1991 and is helping to plan this Monday’s get-together, said: “Bill contacted me and sent me some old team photographs over. “He said he hasn’t been back since he moved over there in 1963.

“He told me he reads the Hartlepool Mail on the internet. “He has fond memories of the team.”

Bill sent this great picture of himself as a member of the 1958-59 Seaton Holy Trinity FC squad.

In the pictures are lads that would go on to play for Hartlepool United, Bob Folland, Barry Parkes and Gordon Lithgo, but Bill is keen to find out who the player second from the right in the back row of the photograph is (ringed).

Mr Jukes is organising the event alongside Tommy Johnson, 86, who played for the team as a schoolboy before playing for Middlesbrough and spending 25 years as Pools’ physio, current manager Robert Thompson and Alan Thompson, who is Robert’s father and club secretary.

He said: “I have also been in touch with Derek Simmons, who lives in Greatham, as well as some of the lads who played for me who want tickets. “The tickets have been selling well, and we are expecting around 120 people there.”

Mr Jukes, 77, who is married to Margaret and lives in the Chester Road area of town, added that special guests on the night would be Tommy Harvey, a member of Durham Football Association, as well as former Seaton Holy Trinity FC and Hartlepool United star Kenny Johnson’s widow, Olwyn and daughter Julie.

The Mail reported last month that the historic team, which plays at Dodds Field, has a reputation for nurturing professional talent, counting ex-Pools stars Bobby and Billy Veart, Mark Venus, assistant manager at Middlesbrough, and former Sheffield Wednesday player Ian Knight among its old boys.

The reunion will be held from 7.30pm on Monday at Seaton Carew Social Club, in Station Lane.

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.

Anyone who recognises the player in Bill’s picture can also contact any of the above numbers.