NATIONALLY, Tottenham Hotspur, with Ted Ditchburn in goal, were First Division champions but my team Everton were relagated with Sheffield Wednesday. How interesting that the two clubs were to meet in that epic 1966 FA Cup Final when Everton fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

Coventry City and Queens Park Rangers were relegated from the Second Division to Third.

Newcastle United won the FA Cup with "wore" Jackie Milburn grabbing the two decisive goals in a 2-0 victory over Blackpool, for whom Stanley Matthews missed out on a Cup winners' medal for the second time. For Newcastle it was the first of two successive Final victories.

In the Warrington and District League, in contrast, Golborne United, with Alf Topping as skipper, won the league and cup "double" of First Division title and Guardian Cup.

There was a huge following from the mill and mining town in a 400-plus crowd in pouring rain at Rylands Recreation Ground, the night before the FA Cup Final, as the custom then was, to see Golborne beat Stockton Heath (later Warrington Town) 2-1 in the Guardian Cup Final.

Moore United collected the Depot Cup, also beating Heath in the final; Thelwall City took the Starkey Cup back to the smallest city in England on the "old" Cheshire side of Warrington; Croft, who had a great little village side captained by Cyril Ingham and played at Smithy Brow, captured the Rylands Cup which, like the Starkey Cup, was for the lower division sides.

A great marksman for Stockton Heath is that era was Eric Griffin, who was leading scorer for three successive seasons with 46 in 1950/51, 33 in 1951/52 and 30 in 1952/53.

The year 1951 was my last full year at Culcheth Secondary School.

One teacher, Walter Toomes, sensing I wanted to be a newspaper reporter, invited me to report on school team and house matches.

He would type my hand written reports out and pin them on the notice board in the main corridor.

One day, the other children were so interested in reading one of my reports, they blocked the corridor.

Up strode a not-amused headmaster, Ralph Simpson.

He decided who was responsible for blocking the corridor and gave me one stroke of the cane!

The school had no magazine in those days, so the board was where everyone got the news, apart from Assembly.

The "offending" report read:

The House Championship Decider - Massey House 1 Southworth House 0.

Playing on a pitch that was like a quagmire, Massey kicked off. The first good attack came from Southworth when Radley hit the post. At the other end Dean would have been beaten, but for a puddle and as in most cases he took the job on with coolness.

Southworth had many good shots blotted out by the Massey defence including good saves by Holt.

Aldridge, the Southworth centre half, kept his forwards on the move.

Weir headed a Rowlinson corner away in the 30th.

On the whole both sides played good, fast football. Half-time: Southworth 0 Massey 0.

Ten minutes after the restart Weir scored from the penalty spot for Massey after Birchall had handled the ball.

Weir did his best to get a second goal but failed just the same as Southworth failed in their search for an equaliser.

Final score: Southworth 0 Massey 1.

There were two other salvaged examples of reports from my pen which went on the school notice board to the delight of fellow pupils. One was:

Culcheth County School verus Irlam SM, Wednesday 12th December, 1951.

The highlight of the game this afternoon at Culcheth was Dean's spectacular save in the second half when he dived from the other side of his goal to push a powerful shot around the post.

For Culcheth, Aldridge and Mann were hard workers.

Injuries were negligible although this pitch was frozen hard.

Wilfred James, the Irlam left half, played an outstanding game, while the forward line were good until they reached the vicinity of the goal: but for Dean they would have scored on at least six occasions.

The goal which won them the match was a very fortunate affair. They had a throw-in and the left-back made, in my opinion, a foul throw.

I was running the line and I flagged for this, but the referee took no notice. From a flick of the foot off the throw-in, Dean was beaten at last.

I am sure Irlam could have scored a more genuine goal than that with all the chances they had.

Final score: Culcheth 0 Irlam 1.

The referee who took no notice of me when I waved for "a foul throw" was Mr Toomes, the teacher who typed these reports for me and pinned them on the notice board.

After he retired to the Channel Islands and I was writing the Early Days section in a newspaper Roger Hunt Testimonial Supplement some years later, Mr Toomes was kind enough to write a piece for me, as he had actually recommended Roger (of an earlier school age group than my reports) to the club Roger supported, Bolton Wanderers, just as their England international centre forward Nat Lofthouse was hanging up his boots.

But the Wanderers, who signed Roger from Liverpool in the autumn of his career, turned him down. What they missed!

The best of Roger's career, which with better judgement could have been spent at Burnden Park, was during the start of Liverpool's glory years while Bolton had fallen to the Football League's lower reaches.

Irlam's Wilfred James, mentioned in my school match report, was a fellow pupil of mine at Woolston Church of England School and had a brother who later played for Lancashire Steel in the Manchester League.

The following day, the two schools met again, this time at Irlam, and my report ran:

Thursday, December 13th, 1951. Irlam SM (1) 1, Culcheth SM (0) 0.

This game at Irlam was played on a pitch that was too hard for outstanding goalkeeper Dean to dive on and attempt to save Irlam's goal.

It started with a series of throw-ins. Irlam were a much better side than Culcheth and were first to attack. They scored in the first minute through centre forward Witta.

The first time that Culcheth got into the Irlam penalty area was when Thomason had a shot well taken by the Irlam goalkeeper.

Irlam's inside-right McDowell was always there when chances came his way. All Culcheth's team, except the goalkeeper, were very shaky.

The second half opened the same as the first half, again with a series of throw-ins and Irlam being the sounder team.

The main thing that won Irlam the match to complete a double, was their fine man-to-man passing.

Culcheth did not see enough of the ball to equal these moves, the reason for this being the Irlam defence, which was a menace to Culcheth.

All the Culcheth team did their best, but Irlam did better and full marks must go to all the home side for putting up such a wonderful show on such a terrible pitch.

It is interesting to recall that when goalkeeper Dean, Malcolm Dean, and I were watching Roger Hunt, then 10, playing for Culcheth Primary School against Glazebury Primary School on the Culcheth Secondary School hockey pitch, I turned to him and said: "He is going to be an international."

Malcolm, who I think got a trial at Bolton Wanderers, replied: "An international? Don't be daft."

With Stockton Heath not yet having joined the Mid-Cheshire League, the Warrington soccer fans had to travel out to watch any game above district league level.

Lancashire Steel (Irlam), mentioned in a previous article, was one such destination and another would be Newton YMCA, who had joined the Liverpool County Combination on the Sankey Sugar Works ground at Earlestown.

One particular Saturday, they played a home match at Eagle Sports, Hood Lane, Sankey Bridges - a rare attraction in Warrington at the time.

Another similar team not far out of Warrington, although nearer to St Helens, were Haydock C and B.

They sported many fine players, including Jack Jaundrill and Eric Bond, who both later joined Earlestown in the Lancashire Combination, and Eric Frodsham and Eric Fraser, who both became better known for their Rugby League exploits as full backs and successive captains of Warrington.

Fraser was seen as being so good at soccer for the Haydock side he got a trial with Manchester United, but on assessment manager Matt Busby (later Sir Matt) thought he was too slow for the round-ball game.

Talking of Haydock and Manchester United, mention must be made of Cliff Birkett, a Haydock Secondary School pupil who was capped by England Boys and had a spell with the Old Trafford club.

Hopefully, I will reminisce about other stars of yesteryear in subsequent articles.