IN THE 1950s, particularly, youth football played a prominent part in the life of aspiring football stars of the era.
The Brierley Hill Youth League ran not only a league competition but also two cup competitions with the clubs competing for The Coronation Cup, the final of which was always played at Stourbridge's War Memorial ground, and the League Cup, where the finalists met at Cottage Street, the home of the now defunct Brierley Hill Alliance.
In season 1956-57 Stourbridge A, who defeated Hawbush 2-1, won the Coronation Cup. The A team scored first through Mike Davies and held their lead until a few minutes from time when Hawbush equalised through Keith Banks. Extra time of ten minutes each way was played and the winning goal was scored midway through the first session when Mike Davies netted his second goal of the game.
The winning team are pictured with the cup being proudly held by captain Trevor Argent.
Back: M Davies, J Timmins, B Webb, B Gray, J Sidaway, E Sidaway, Mr Ben Morton (coach and trainer)
Front: M Robinson, T Argent, K Simpson, B McNaughton, B Parkes.
The runners-up Hawbush Youth Club are also pictured, and line up as follows:
Back: Mr E Quinton, A Reynolds, T Harper, J Yates, J Wood, R Banks, H Beaman.
Front: A Westwood, F Oliver, A Perry, K Banks, I Hill.
Although Brierley Hill Grammar School football teams were never very strong, individually the school produced some fine players.
No fewer than five former pupils played in this game: John Timmins for Stourbridge and Howard Beaman, Arthur Perry, Alan Westwood and John Wood for Hawbush.
JohnWood went on to have a fine career with local clubs, appearing for Brierley Hill Alliance, Dudley Town and Lye Town as well as playing for several seasons for Worcester City in the old Southern League, which was the forerunner of today's Football Conference.
This was in effect the fifth division of what was once known as the Football League.