THIS is the third in a series of memories from the notebook of journalist Gordon Brown relating to post-war association football in the Warrington area.

Towards the end of the 40s, my father, Bob, had just turned 40 and was still playing soccer. After a Royal Air Force career of playing at Padgate, Manston, Halton, Rutlanbd, Aberdeen and Wilmslow camps, he was demobbed in l946.

He took up employment at Risley at the start of the nuclear energy centre it is today.

I referred to this in my first article and I am grateful to Peter Caswell, of Glazebury, for pointing out that when my father and his father, Jim, joined the establishment, it was the Division of Atomic Energy of the Ministry of Supply and not Department of the Atomic Energy as I stated. Nevertheless, the same initials made up the name for DAtEn Sports and Social Club, of which Peter's Dad was first secretary and not my Dad, who was the first football secretary. We had a good old schoolyard-like chat about this.

The name of DATeN still stands, but at around 60 years old, it is well behind the likes of Rylands and Crosfields among local clubs.

Daten wore blue and gold quarters and early matches were against Drawing Office Rangers (D .O. Rangers) from the Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows, Statham Lads' Club, Orford Tannery, Penketh Athletic, in the Warrington and District League third division, with an expected first round knockout in the Guardian Cup, 4-l, to HM Blackcap on their emaculate turf at Stretton.

DAtEn played home games at Lyons Lane, Appleton, a Ministry of Supply ground, but have been established for around 40 years now at Culcheth, where they took over the former HMS Aerial land-based ship as a sports ground and social club and where a nuclear industry workers' hostel was established.

Games had also been played at the previous hostel, Newchurch Hall, off the Warrington-Leigh road.

DAtEn's inter-departmental games were also played at Newchurch Hall and at HM Aerial pitches in Withington Avenue, Culcheth.

Friendly games would be played against the likes of Glazebury Church, a force to be reckoned with in the Leigh and District Sunday Schools League at that time and later in the Warrington and District League, about which I will tell you in a later article.

DAtEn started life basically with players employed at Risley, but it was not long before it was found a bit of extra strength was needed.

Dad signed a friend, Harold Lythgoe, a strong goalkeeper with Warrington British Legion. They and Warrington Tube were among the leading Warrington and District League first division sides at the time.

Most poignant soccer memory from my post-war childhood was being lined up in the cinder-surfaced yard of Woolston Church of England School, which doubled up for a church on Sundays, and being told by headmaster William Entwistle ('Old Ent') to observe a minute's silence.

It was in memory of 33 people killed in the Burnden Park, Bolton, disaster of l946 during a Football Association Cup-tie between Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City.

Since then, of course, we have had the l985 Bradford City fire disaster in which 56 lives were lost and the Hillsborough disaster of l989 when the death toll from a Liverpool v Nottingham Forest F.A. Cup semi-final eventually reached 96 with the last victim having lingered on a life-support machine for more than three years.

The year after the Bolton disaster, Dad attended the F.A.Cup final between Charlton Athletic and, as it turned out, Burnley, at Wembley.

I say 'as it turned out' because he was hoping Charlton's opponents would have been Liverpool and as an Everton fan, he was hoping to see them lose! But Burnley beat Liverpool in a replayed semi-final.

I had his programme -a mundane effort for a penny in comparison to today's glossy brochure-type programmes - for years unti the family moved house and mother ordered me to throw all my programmes in the bin. What a shame!

Charlton won l-0 with a goal by Duffy.

When I took a look at Charlton's revamped Valley Ground at the end of the l992-3 campaign after a few seasons' closure, I bought the club's official magazine for winter l993.

It contained a feature on fans' views on Charlton'sd best-ever team.

While pride of place went as expected to Sam Bartram, their goalkeeper in that final, there was no mention of the Cup-winning team, the club's only one, or of Duffy, the left winger in the match. I was surprised.

The fact that my father had been to Wembley was magic to a lad like me, a far cry from playing on the triangle of land which formed Woolston School's pitch with coats for goalposts and where teams were chosen to play matches against neighbouring Padgate Church of England School, all lost, 4-0, 4-l and 2-l. But you can't win them all.

That was what my father discovered on leaving DAtEn and joining a club called St John's, not St Ann's as I stated in my opening article, in the Warrington Sunday Schools League open-age section in the late l940s.

Dad played in his customary left full-back role , backing up the goalkeeper and heading danger off the line. I never thought he could be blamed for any of the heavy defeats suffered.

Winwick St Oswald's, with the Hughes brothers, were the star open-age team in the Sunday Schools league at that time, with Padgate St Oswald's not far behind, while in the District League the l940s roll of honour read: Dodds Championship Shield : l940 Whitecross Rec; l94l-2 Padgate RAF; l943 Burtonwood R. Depot; l944 British Aluminium; l945 Infantry N School; l946-8 Burtonwood Athletic; l949 Burtonwood Old Boys. Guardian Cup: l940 Whitecross Rec; l94l Lancashire Steel Irlam); l942, l943 Padgate RAF; l944 Lancashire Steel (Irlam); l945 Newton YMCA; l946 Burtonwood Athletic; l947 SS Mary and John (Newton-le-Willows); l948 Burtonwood Athletic; l949 Burtonwood Old Boys. Depot Cup: l940 Whitecross Rec ; l94l Padgate RAF; l942 Whitecross Rec; l943 RAF Padgate; l944 Gosling, Croft; l945 British Aluminium; l946; HMS Blackcap; l947-9 Burtonwood Old Boys.

Lancashire Steel, Irlam, put a team in the Manchester League and for a change from watching matches in the Warrington and District League, Sunday Schools League and Stockton Heath Youth League, I would ride my pedal cycle from Woolston to watch Lancashire Steel, Irlam, in the Manchester League and enjoy some of the mock-crab (cheese and onion) sandwiches which were always on half-time sale there.

It was a time when Manchester United and Manchester City A teams were in the league.

In one particular match, United star Delaney was being given a run-out after injury.

There must be many memories among readers from the post-war era and even pre-war and further back, such as when Monks Hall were in the Cheshire County League only to disband in season l92l-22 and have their fixtures taken over by Stockport County. Monks Hall had been in the league in seasons l9l9-20 and l920-2l when they accumulated l8 and 4l points respectively.

So if you have any memories of soccer in the Warrington area in the l940s and further back, do not hesitate to contact me on telephone number 0l946 67l2l or email

Next time I hope to start reminiscing about the l950s, plus, of course, any memories you may have going further back.