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First football team 1956/57

How the team was formed

This is the First Football Team of West Blatchington Junior School, selected back in 1956. The teacher’s name was Mr Ken Booth who actually played for The Albion during the late 1940s.  Apparently he saw a group of us each day playing with a tennis ball during each playtime, and decided to form a school team. He walked into our class one day and proceeded to throw a football strip to each boy that he wanted for the team.

When I found the photo the names just flooded back. I think I remember all but one so here goes. As you look at the photo from your right to left we have;

Back row:

Keith Botting, Trevor Evans, Peter Blabber (Blay-ber),Mr Booth, Malcolm Wenban, Stan Brand and John Clarke.

Middle Row:

Georgie Hill, Terry Kirby, Peter Edmunds and Jonnie Strickland.

Front Row:

David Waldron, Don’t Know, Simon Elias, Barry Pratt and Alan Gardiner.

I hope everyone of these guys are still with us and thanks for the good times we had together.

Click on the photograph and it will open in a new window.

West Blatchington School: First football team 1957/57
From the private collection of Stan Brand

Comments about this page

  • Unfortunately, Stan, the names appear to have been reversed from the scanning. So that’s how the team was selected, I always wondered. Of course all the names are familiar – most of them ended up at the Knoll and in that school team. Unfortunately I have not seen any of them since the end of school days, but I still watch the Albion.

    By Richard Hazelgrove (24/08/2010)
  • I too played in that team. I believe it was the year after. I still have the photo.

    By Geoff Lucraft (24/12/2011)
  • Hi Geoff, do you know Ken (Georgie ) Hill who is in the photo? If you do could you ask him to re send his e-mail because Bigpond crashed and his e-mail was wiped off before I had a chance to answer it. Was Mr Booth the soccer coach when you played for West Blatchington? Are you in touch with any of the guys in the photo? If any want to contact me – here is my e-mail address All in lowercase with no spaces. I’d really like to hear from them after all these years. I live in Australia so I have plenty to talk about if they are interested. Cheers, take care. Stan Brand

    By Stan Brand (27/12/2011)
  • Have just been shown this sight and never realised that a team photo had ever been taken. Well done Stan for adding a photo I never knew existed. Were you aware that the lads who played football in Hangleton Park and Amberley Green went on to form Hangleton FC? Kenny Hill and myself were two of the founder members. Simon Elias played later for a while. Will add a photo at of that team if you are happy for me to do so, as you may well know everybody in the picture as apart from myself everybody went to The Nevill. I have to say that I am quite chuffed to have come across this sight and particularly remember you and Richard Hazelgrove. Where has the time time gone?

    By John Strickland (24/10/2012)
  • I have been looking for sometime on the ‘My Brighton & Hove’ site for something on Hangleton F.C. We played in the Sunday league back in the 60s. I see now that John Strickland and Kenny Hill are mentioned- both were in the same side as myself. I wonder if they too remember me.

    By Dave Barcock (11/11/2012)
  • Dave Barcock, I have just seen your comment. Remember you well. I have to admit that I have not seen Kenny Hill since the late 60s, but do recall that it was myself that persuaded you to join Hangleton FC. You were a bit of a player. Can let you have my email address if you wish to contact me. Have you still got that Buddy Holly album?

    By John Strickland (15/11/2012)
  • Hi John, I have to say it’s good to hear from you after all this time. I’ve been trying for some years now to get in touch with any of the lads from my playing days but to no avail until per chance I saw your comment here! Yes, I do still have the ‘Buddy Holly’ album albeit it is in one of my daughters collections now! Do you still get involved in any football at all? I am afraid that I am only a ‘watcher’ now I finished playing when I was 57 (Sunday div 5) bit of a comedown from the heady days of county league and SSL premier eh! Can still play 5-a-side but can’t keep pace with the youngsters now, still at 66 I am pleased to be still able to kick a ball. Once again John, nice to hear from you remember me to anyone from way back when. Regards from Dave B.

    By Dave Barcock (19/11/2012)
  • Dave my email address is My only football involvement is with my 8yr old grandson although I did play in a kick about with some of my old workmates back in September and played indoor with them until retiring last year. Good to hear from you. Cheers, John.

    By John Strickland (20/11/2012)
  • I played for West Blatch junior school team 1961-2 and after five years in Cornwall returned to play first for Alpine Rovers and then Hangleton, in the days when the Sussex Sunday League was biggest in the country with 13 divisions.

    By John Hewitt (12/10/2016)
  • Brilliant reading these posts and seeing the picture. I played for the juniors 61/62 with Johnny Stricklands brother Roland ( Gil) sadly no longer with us. I played county league, Brighton league, Sunday league . Last came div 2 Sunday league 2 years ago age 67 , I missed a penalty ( well he saved it) Time to call it a day 😂😂 Also played for Alpinein the early seventies like John Hewitt

    By Steve Bennett (12/10/2020)

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