MEMORY LANE: A game of great hats and handlebar moustaches

TRENDSETTERS: These men were footballers whose hatwear was a tradition of their games
TRENDSETTERS: These men were footballers whose hatwear was a tradition of their games

THEY might not look like it but these men are all footballers.

Despite the grand hats and handlebar moustaches, they are all ready for a match which was played in Hartlepool more than 100 years ago - and with hatwear as they battled it out.

We have Hartlepool man Malcolm Cook to thank for this tremendous photograph which was taken on Easter Monday in 1913. Malcolm does know some information about the image but he is also hoping that Family Roots readers can help him out with some more.

Malcolm told us that the match involved the townsmen of Hartlepool versus the fishermen and the game was part of an early 1900s tradition.

He added: “The fishermen played in top hats following a tradition started in Scarborough when fishermen played a game of football following the loss of two sailing trawlers.

“Everyone is wearing hats, of one kind or another, and the children have their Sunday best on. Their shirts have very wide collars.”

But Malcolm is hoping Mail readers can help with some missing details.

He added: “ I cannot pin down were the photo was taken, could it have been the Old Friarage? Any information would be welcome.”

We would love to know more about the game and whether football in top hats was a trend which continued.

Was it played at the Old Friarage? Does anyone know the score and who were the heroes of the match.

How did the game come into fruition and did it continue after 1913.

And do you recognise any of the people in the photograph? Perhaps they were an ancestor of yours.

We would love to get answers to all of these questions.

Get in touch by contacting Chris Cordner on (01429) 239377 or email