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Len and treble-winning colleagues

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: February 05, 2014

By Gavin Jones

The treble-winning Lower Gornal Amateurs side of season 1919-20

The treble-winning Lower Gornal Amateurs side of season 1919-20

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LOCAL author and regular contributor Terry Church puts our way another fine footballing image this week, which has come to him via an old friend.

As a sequel to our article about Len Cooper in our January 9th edition (Tales of Big Dunc, Wolves and England, page 29) Terry's long-standing friend Arthur Hale of Gornal has supplied more information regarding the Cooper family. Len's father, also named Len Cooper, had a cobbler's shop in Summit Place next to the family home, repairing shoes for the good folk of Lower Gornal. He also was employed as a cobbler with the Army during World War One

Terry tells us:

"Arthur Hale's father, Teddy, sadly lost a leg during the First World War whilst fighting in France. Prior to that he had been a promising left winger with Lower Gornal Amateurs, impressing enough to attract the attention of both Wolves and Bristol Rovers.

"His place in the Lower Gornal team was taken by none other than Len Cooper, senior!

"As the photograph shows, the side won three cups in season 1919/20 although they did not win the League, as because of their success in the cup competitions the subsequent fixture congestion precluded them from fulfilling all their League fixtures. Len senior's brother Joe was also a member of the side, being a hard-tackling defender."

Arthur Hale's photograph has most of the names of the players with it, and they are:

Back Row: Harry Timmins, ? Legge, Joe Cooper.

Middle Row: Len Hickman, D Wakelam, Percy Beardsmore.

Front Row: Len Cooper, Job Jones, W Woodhall (Captain), Jack Jones, Alf Jones.

"The three Jones boys were brothers," Terry explains, "and their father is the man seated in the foreground with the pocket watch and chain. He went by the name of Billy 'on the hob' Jones!"

Can you name any of the missing players from this old Gornal side? Or do you have old sporting photographs of your own that you'd like to share with Bugle readers? You can drop them in at our office, give us a call and arrange for us to come and see you, or email them to gjones@blackcountrybugle.co.uk.

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