Ian is credited with starting SAC Youth (originally St Albans Fourth FC) and received a presentation from the Herts FA in recognition of his 50 years of service to football (seems longer). Ian also received an award from John O’Callaghan of the Herts Sports Partnership for his contribution to local sport. It was nice to hear George Walker get a mention in Ian’s speech; it is just over ten years since George passed away.
Brian Pyke (whom some of you may recall from his association with the senior club a few years back – probably 20 years thinking about it – (he is also the son-in-law of former City secretary the late Ron Mann) was busy throughout the evening and I believe played a large part along with Bob Murphy in setting the thing up. Dave Wray also appeared busy.
Oswy put in an appearance along with his good lady who is due to give birth in around two weeks time and there were a whole host of familiar faces amongst a gathering of well over 300 people who skated across the somewhat tricky car park.
Simon Martin and James Gray (the latter being coach to the midweek youth side as well as captain of the 1st team) were there along with youth team manager and former City player (Reserves) Graham Golds, and midweek youth secretary Simon Wroe. If you haven’t yet signed up to receive the weekly newsletter put out by the club it is well worth doing so and the person that puts these together, Phil Coombs, was also there.
Greg Deacon was there and hasn’t yet ruled out making a return to ‘the only club I want to play for.’ Greg is married now and his wife, too, is on the pregnant list. Another former First teamer, Andy Goodchild, was there and I could have got through the evening a lot more comfortably had he not given every gory detail regarding the injury and operations carried out to his left leg. Seems like he was constantly told by specialists that the leg should be amputated just below the knee but he couldn’t contemplate that and settled for a steel plate and numerous screws.
Clive Attwood, former City youth chairman, put in an appearance, he is currently taking a break from any involvement with the youth but is likely to make a comeback when he feels ready. Clive’s son Jake, formerly of City youth and the 1st team, was also there. There were probably loads of past and present City youth managers in attendance but amongst those I spotted were Tony Jarvis along with his son (Mark, I think), and Mark Clark (somewhat disappointingly didn’t get to chat to him).
Lawrence Levy was there on his one good leg and two good crutches (cruciate knee ligament operation three weeks ago) but didn’t spot fellow club owner John McGowan (he must have thought it was a 1st team game). Malcolm MacMillan was there during one of his brief spells in this country. He seems to have worked all over the world over the past year and is shortly to head off to Prague to pull in a few more dollars, or is it Euros, or drachma, etc. When I first got there Malcolm was chatting to a chap who looked remarkably like our former MP Kerry Pollard. Terry Edwards was there; hardly surprising though given that there was a large buffet.
Comedian Russ Williams was booked for the evening and he was quite brilliant….surely people should know better than to walk across the hall when the stand-up chap is in full flow; easy targets and a relief for the rest of us that he had moving targets to aim at. Russ also ran an auction for various items (six to be precise) and there was also a raffle with the top prize being a 40” tv (gosh, can almost remember the days when we had had serious raffles in the senior club at Easter and Christmas; whatever happened to Steve Kirby and the chap that now stands in centre circles in the Sunday League).
For those that didn’t want to mingle there was a rolling slideshow of images on a projector screen of teams and big matches throughout the 40 years of City Youth.
Anyhow, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and really nice to see a lot of faces that I’ve not seen for far too many a long day.
40 year Event Pictures are provided by mcrphoto.
A Greater selection of pictures from the evening can be found at :
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40 Year Event