Part 4 – The 1963-64 Season Begins

Players Story

The start of the first ever season was now close and to give the team experience of playing competitive football Dick Lambert arranged a friendly

It was against one of the other teams in the same league.

The game was to be played against New Clifton on the Swansdowne Road pitch. Clifton All Whites turned up in their brand new football kit, a rare sight in the days when kit was made up of odd socks and different coloured shirts. Add to this clod hopper style football boots, it was a sight for sore eyes and definitely not very photogenic.

New Clifton, another team formed by local League Secretary Ken Bowers turned up in Grey and White Hoops, except for one player who was to play in Grey and White vertical stripes, a neat trick as he was to be the captain of the home side.

Iain ‘Yanny’ Walsh had heard about the game from his schoolmates, they were regularly going on at school about the team after training sessions. He was also a big friend of the New Clifton captain who tried to get him to sign for the club. Being inquisitive, it was a game he could not miss and he went down to the game on his bike.

As for the game, Dick Lambert made David Marshall the first-ever captain of Clifton All Whites. The game was a close encounter and the game finished a 2-2 draw. Eddie Lambley, now a resident of Brinsley was the scorer of both goals, a little bit of trivia, All Whites first-ever captain and first-ever goalscorer.
When the season began, Eddie, because of his goalscoring exploits, was to be made captain of the team. After the game, Dick told the lads that the first player to score a hat trick would have his name published in the local paper.

As for Iain ‘Yanny’ Walsh signing for New Clifton, the team Captain had pointed out that next season they will be playing over there, pointing at Farnborough Fields. He turned them down, was it the sight of the smart brand new All White playing kit that did it?

After the game, he could not resist asking Dick Lambert if he could sign for the All Whites team, resulting in Dick turning him down flat as he had already got more than enough players. Slightly disappointed and already turning New Clifton down, he came back to Dick and asked: “Well can I come training then?” Of which Dicks reply came “Tomorrow morning 10.30 down on the Fields.

The training sessions were led by Harry Bull (pre-War England Schoolboy International and ex Coventry City), Tony Bloor, (ex Corpus Christi player and later to be the Coach to a successful Fairham fc team) and Bert Dicks (ex Ruddington Village and Nottingham Parks Stalwart). They were all taking their Coaching badge, a great learning curve for a newly formed Under 12 Junior All Whites football team

The training exercises finished and a game was arranged to finish the session. A lot of the lads who were younger complained that Yanny was hard and fouling them of which the coaches replied. “Have you not been tackled properly before and to stop moaning and get on with it. This held them in great esteem as the future in years to come found them up against stronger and older opposition.

The new season was to commence and the Under 12 league had 6 teams registered. Phoenix Athletic from Carlton and the rest from Clifton. Clifton All Whites and Thistledown Rovers were a mixture of the two teams from the Thistledown Road area, Clifton Pradalac from the season before, Park United and New Clifton.

21 Sep 1963 saw All Whites play their first-ever league game against another Clifton team Park United. It was a great start as the team won by 4 goals to 2.
Paul Hills who later came to Clifton All Whites was playing for the opposition.

Eddie Lambley scored the first goal to leave the All Whites leading by 1 goal to nil at the Interval. Robert ‘Nobby’ Ekrem a regular future goalscorer and a year younger bagged a couple of goals for himself. His father Ivor, who was to become another of the great assets to the club would regularly turn up to watch the games.

As for half time in All Whites games, Dick Lambert worked for Rowntrees Chocolate factory, Peeled oranges were out of the window and players were supplied with two-fingered chocolate Kit Kats as a refreshment in the interval

On the same day, Thistledown Rovers drew 2-2 with New Clifton. The match proved a real thriller with Stephen Lambert scoring after 2 minutes. Later Page showed his skill with a second goal, but New Clifton came fighting back to score two late goals.
Clifton Athletic, last years champions started their season in the Senior league with a 8-0 thrashing of the senior Phoenix Athletic side.