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Fresh-faced Harts Hill footballers of century ago

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: August 25, 2014

By Dan Shaw

  • Harts Hill United, 1914-15

  • Unknown football team from Woodside area of Dudley, 1913-14

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WE turn the clock back 100 years with these football photographs that come to us from the Woodside History and Memory Group.

The group is dedicated to preserving the history of the old Woodside ward of Dudley, which included the areas of Holly Hall, Harts Hill, Scotts Green and Low Town, and they have done much work to research the lives of the men of the district that gave their lives in the world wars and are recorded on the Holly Hall war memorial.

These pictures date from the time of the First World War. Our first picture shows the young lads of Harts Hill United in the 1914-15 season.

We have few names for the players, although the man seated centre with the ball at his feet is John H. Grainger. Sitting over on the front left is Harry Chancellor and behind him is his younger brother Sid.

Their elder brother was John Richard Chancellor, who appeared in our April 17 edition. He served with the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and was killed in action on May 28, 1918, and is buried near Reims, France.

We have no more names for Harts Hill United and neither do we have any names for the lads in our second photograph. We don't even have the name of the team but the picture appears to have been taken a year earlier for the 1913-14 season.

There may be a Chancellor connection again but does anyone recognise a grandfather or great-grandfather among these players?

Interestingly, the young lad standing at the far right is dressed as a sailor, while the moustached man at the left wears the uniform of the Royal Marines. Does this give anyone a clue as to their identity?

Do you recognise a relation among these young footballers of a century ago? Contact dshaw@blackcountrybugle. co.uk if you have any old sporting photographs or family stories to share with Bugle readers, or write to 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL.

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