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Bilston team that began life in a scrapyard

By rob taylor  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

The team in 1970.

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TOM LOWE, of Hughes Road, Bilston, who was featured in our columns a few weeks ago, in the 1951 Bilston Town Boys football team, has kindly dug out a picture of another local team, of some twenty years later.

He writes... “Following the euphoria of the 1966 World Cup, after many lunchtime kickabouts in the scrapyard, and a challenge match between shopfloor and office staff, Norton Athletic FC was formed, at J. Norton and Son, Loxdale Sidings, Bradley, Bilston (scrap merchants and steel stockholders).

“Sponsored by the company, the team joined the Wolverhampton Sunday League, and rented a pitch from another local firm, W.G. Allen’s of Tipton, complete with changing rooms and hot showers (a real luxury in those days).

“The team progressed up the league and also played charity matches against ex professionals, Midland All-Stars, etc, and even a team of trainee monks in Shropshire”! Tom goes on, “We had some very good players, including prolific goal scorer Jeremy “Jesse” James, but I think the greatest asset was the team spirit.

“Sadly, J. Norton’s stockholding section closed in 1980, and the scrapyard followed a few years later. The site is now a modern housing estate”.

In the photograph, the nine year old mascot is Tom’s son, Chris Lowe, now a 51 year old police sergeant, and still playing five a side football. “How time flies”, concluded Tom.

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