Back in the days of real football

Goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson punches clear a York City corner in the 1954-55 FA Cup replay. City players are, from left, Norman Wilkinson, Billy Fenton and Arthur Bottom

Goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson punches clear a York City corner in the 1954-55 FA Cup replay. City players are, from left, Norman Wilkinson, Billy Fenton and Arthur Bottom

First published in Letters by

LIKE everyone else, I am disillusioned with England’s World Cup performance – or lack of it – in Brazil.

I got more excitement as a lad down at Bootham Crescent watching York City in the FA Cup run in 1954/5 with outstanding players I remember such as Billy Fenton, Tommy Forgan, Billy Hughes, Norman Wilkinson, Sid Storey and Arthur Bottom.

Their skills and tenacity captivated the country during this season – and they were part-time players on a pittance who had “proper” full time jobs. In that year football had a purity and magic that you can’t buy.

Since Division 1 separated from the Football League and became the “Premier” League in1992 our national game has fallen apart. How did they get away with the deal they carved out for themselves?

The Premiership is not English any more but a highly successful marketing phenomena based around world-wide BSkyB and BT television money. Incredible money like £3 billion between the clubs for three years– but they put peanuts back into little grassroots clubs such as York City and football in general.

What has this obscene amount of money done for our national team? Nothing. The World Cup highlights all the flaws and greed that is now our national “beautiful game”?

Give me the York City class of ’54 any day.

Keith Massey, Mill Lane, Acaster Malbis.

Comments (4)

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3:49pm Fri 27 Jun 14

sheps lad says...

Norman "curly boots" Wilkinson, he could stand on the goal line and still manage to kick the ball over the bar!
Norman "curly boots" Wilkinson, he could stand on the goal line and still manage to kick the ball over the bar! sheps lad
  • Score: 0

6:54pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Dave Ruddock says...

agree in the 50s were football players, since end 60s all highly over paid Madonna,s . Not worth 2pence in my book
agree in the 50s were football players, since end 60s all highly over paid Madonna,s . Not worth 2pence in my book Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 3

9:17pm Fri 27 Jun 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

About 2/3rds of the Premier league is made up from foreign players, effectively stealing the opportunities of home grown players.
It will be interesting to see what the promised Brian Barwick 'root and branch investigation report' on England's Euro failure in 2008 has to say about this?
Still waiting for that report and 48 years since England's so called senior men won anything in football.
Looking at the way those running the game are / have been going about addressing the problem, it could be another 48 years before we get anywhere.
More recently, the attention of the media and pundits have been focussed on a Uruguayan striker and his antics, rather than why England scored NO points in their first two games and effectively out of the contest.
For all the fortune they are paid, we have no world class strikers and therefore, to compensate we need a defence that will not switch off and can deal with a real top class attack. We don't have that either and hence the result.
In short, a lot of money and talk but no action!
About 2/3rds of the Premier league is made up from foreign players, effectively stealing the opportunities of home grown players. It will be interesting to see what the promised Brian Barwick 'root and branch investigation report' on England's Euro failure in 2008 has to say about this? Still waiting for that report and 48 years since England's so called senior men won anything in football. Looking at the way those running the game are / have been going about addressing the problem, it could be another 48 years before we get anywhere. More recently, the attention of the media and pundits have been focussed on a Uruguayan striker and his antics, rather than why England scored NO points in their first two games and effectively out of the contest. For all the fortune they are paid, we have no world class strikers and therefore, to compensate we need a defence that will not switch off and can deal with a real top class attack. We don't have that either and hence the result. In short, a lot of money and talk but no action! ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 5

11:29am Sat 28 Jun 14

Dr Robert says...

Did Billy Fenton have a son called Stephen Fenton who started secondary school at Lowfields in Acomb, when it opened in 1961, he was a very good footballer and so I believe went on to play professionally.
Did Billy Fenton have a son called Stephen Fenton who started secondary school at Lowfields in Acomb, when it opened in 1961, he was a very good footballer and so I believe went on to play professionally. Dr Robert
  • Score: 0

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