I was fascinated to see the picture of the 1922 Welwick AFC team sent in by Bill Patrick. I came across mention of a team at Welwick during research into my ongoing 'The Story of Easington United & Football In The Back Of Beyond'.
Many years ago, I interviewed Gordon Clubley, former player & Chairman of the Easington club. During a discussion about pre-War football in Holderness he said: “Welwick had a team back then and bah they were a hard lot, with 'Cam' Connor and Frank Hill in their ranks. Games again’ them used to be a fairly rough affair”.
This was a view endorsed by Cam's nephew, Tom Graham. He told me that Cam was "a keen footballer of some repute, having played for Sunderland in his younger days" (although I'm not sure to what level) prior to moving to Holderness in 1921. Tom remembered standing next to him watching a game at Thorngumbald where Cam constantly harangued friend and foe alike, urging a "more robust" style of play. When Tom reproached him about this, Cam replied, "You've got a lot to learn about the game young 'un!" Robert Campbell Connor later went on to be President of the South Holderness Football League.
Such recollections are also backed up in Don Rowland’s 1997 publication celebrating Withernsea AFC’s centenary. Therein he quotes a 1925 Withernsea Gazette report of: “…a very rough house in the cup-tie between Patrington and Welwick last Saturday, for the bill of damages was…one broken leg, one broken collar bone, one displaced patella, one strained muscle and sundries”!
In addition to the above anecdotes about Welwick AFC, I also have in my possession the attached South Holderness League match report cuttings, which I believe are from either the ‘Gazette’ or the former ‘Hull & East Yorkshire Times’. They are included in an old scrapbook given to me several years ago by my great-aunt Dorothy Webster. They are undated but given the dates on the other bits and pieces in the scrapbook, would appear likely to originate from about 1919.
More interesting was the second team engagement with Patrington. This was Withernsea’s first engagement in the Holderness League. Throughout, the match was stubbornly contested, and although Withernsea won by 2 goals to nil, Patrington had an equal share of the game. That they did not score was due to the splendid exhibition of the Withernsea backs (R. Woodhouse and Medforth). These two players kicked with judgement and time after time checked the rushes of the visiting forwards. Gallagher scored in the first half with a fine shot, and Dickinson, following a fine run, scored the second point. For Patrington Meadley played a fine game, as also did Lockwood, Coates and Walker.
A WITHERNSEA WATERLOO
Patrington met Withernsea 2nd at Patrington on Saturday in connection with the Holderness League. For a number of years there has been a keen rivalry between these two villages in the football circle and this rivalry remains to this day. Patrington were easy winners by a margin of three goals. Had not Dame Fortune been against them the score would have been about twice as large. The Sandjumpers only looked like scoring about twice in the first half.
Thorpe and Houlden scored for the “Pats” in the first half, and the latter placed another two goals to his credit in the second half. Rawdon scored the only goal for the Sandjumpers. On the whole Withernsea were completely outclassed by the “Pats”, who really played a fine game right through.
The players who deserve mention for the winners are Leary (full back) who was easily the best man on the field, Bolderson and Marritt, of the half-back line, who played a magnificent game, and all the forwards, the three inside men deserving extra praise. If it had not been for Gallagher, the visitors’ custodian, the score would have been considerably larger. The only other shining light was Carr. Patrington are no longer at the bottom of the league and it is to be hoped that they will win every match now and finish up mid-way of the league table.
PATRINGTON FOOTBALL – Although the Patrington football team failed to gain a victory at Paull on Saturday, they delighted their supporters by giving their best display of the season. Paull are an admittedly clever side, and in Alderson, the inside left, have a forward much above the average of the South Holderness players. He was responsible for both the goals which Paull obtained, and throughout played a grand game. Patrington put up a good fight, and Cressey netted the ball, but unfortunately the point was not allowed. Stephenson in goal was in brilliant form, and stopped several hot shots in masterly fashion. Walker at back and Holden at centre-forward both distinguished themselves, whilst they received every assistance from their colleagues. On Saturday a good match should be seen at Patrington, when Hedon pay a visit to fulfil their South Holderness League fixture.
SOUTH HOLDERNESS FOOTBALL
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)
The South Holderness League match between Withernsea 2nd and Burstwick produced a lively encounter. The match was played at Withernsea but Burstwick (who, by the bye, have five Withernsea players in their ranks) proved the victors by 2 goals to 1. The match was stubbornly contested, always keen, and at times rough. Smith (for Withernsea) and Spreckley (for Burstwick) scored in the first half, and Manson scored for Burstwick in the second half. The play in the second half was very keen, and Smith (Withernsea) was ordered off the field. There was not much to choose between the teams, but Burstwick accepted the chances on offer.
At Patrington, the South Holderness League match between the locals and Hedon was productive of some excellent football. Hedon, in the first half, were the superior side, and well deserved their one goal lead at the interval. Casson was the scorer, and a rare good goal it was. In the second half matters were far more even, but Hedon increased their lead by means of a goal by Andrews, who converted a well-placed centre. Although beaten, Patrington played a good game. Leary, at back, being especially fine, and throughout played a splendid game. Stephenson kept a goal, and stopped several hot shots. The Patrington halves were also in good form, Balderson, on the left, and Marritt, in the centre, being on their best behaviour.
Note the reference to both Patrington and Withernsea as "villages", along with the nicknames of "The Pats" and "The Sandjumpers". Perhaps Gazette readers will recognise some of the names and possibly be able to confirm that my estimated dates for the reports are correct.
As stated at the end of my attachment, when cross-referencing with Don Rowland's 1997 publication, the Withernsea club referred to in the reports is probably "Withernsea Juniors", who became "Withernsea United" in November 1919 and were certainly members of the later South Holderness League (1946-1953).
Withernsea United were one of two clubs in the town (village?!) between 1919 and 1925, the other being "Withernsea North End" (the present day Withernsea AFC). In his book Don didn't seem to think that either were members of the South Holderness League but the attached match reports would suggest otherwise. Or was there a third Withernsea Saturday team at the time? (Don does list a third team, "Withernsea St Matthews", but they played in the Hull Sunday School League)