"The Freeze - soccer gets no special favours" is something out of the political history books relating to the Wilson government's "pay freeze" which endured throughout the second half of 1966. I never understood what it was about at the time but knew it was something big and important. Significant enough, it appears, to even warrant an article in the Football League Review.
No doubt the workers at South Wales Switchgear were affected and they were probably well pissed off with the government of the day by the time their works team played host to Swansea Town's Welsh League side on the very day we visited the Vetch back in December 1966. I bet there were a few references to "that bloody Wilson" in the sports and social after the match.
Take a look at the Swans' professional staff for 1966/67 and count up the South Walians. Somewhat different now I would imagine.
If it was Gas Fired Central Heating which set Britain off on the road to ruin, then it was the Trade Union leaders of the 1970's who almost finished the job. As history records, Maggie turned up in the nick of time to save us, but it was a close run thing.
While it may be no surprise to see 'ASSET - Britain's fastest growing trade union' advertising in the Swansea programme, due to their leaders close connections with the town, you'll also have noted their earlier advertisement in the 1963 Tranmere programme as well.
'Moving almost immediately to the head office he received rapid promotion as national officer in 1954, deputy general secretary in 1957 and was appointed general secretary in 1961.
At that time ASSET had 23,000 members, a number which had increased to 50,000 by 1969 when ASSET merged with AScW (the Association of Scientific Workers) to form ASTMS (the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs); ASSET, and Jenkins, were the senior partner. In the new union he was joint general secretary with John Dutton of AScW; but by 1970 he was sole general secretary with a vision of what "his" union could become. By the use of advertising (billboard posters were previously unheard of in the movement) he brought trades unionism to the middle classes. Within 15 years ASTMS grew from an initial membership of 65,000 to a figure approaching 500,000'.
Yes indeed, it was the less than fondly remembered Clive Jenkins who was the general Secretary of 'Asset' back in 1966, and quite possibly this policy of publicizing themselves via the football programmes of the day, helped them more than double their membership during the 1960's, and make further giant leaps in recruitment later on as ASTMS.
If instead of laughing, the British public had taken heed of Reginald Perrin's brother in law Jimmy's ((Maj. James Anderson, ret.) warning about Clive Jenkins and the numerous other undesirables dragging Britain downwards at the time, a great number of the subsequent problems we've had to face could have been entirely avoided.
Well Alpine, we could have done with the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staff (Sportsturf Section) working on the pitch at Hillsborough tonight. For the surface was totally engulfed by a torrential rainstorm shortly after half-time leading to a wholly correct abandonment on the hour mark. That, given the score at the time, caused the proverbial biggest cheer of the evening.
But it's to be hoped that the Wise Old Owls - a group of over-50s Wednesday fans as featured in tonight's programme - enjoyed drier conditions for their recent break in Torquay. Maybe Alpine joined them for the group photo on Plymouth Hoe. As one of them may have said in my hearing tonight, a soaked pitch wouldn't have stopped Albert Quixall.
Given the conditions, but more importantly given the score at the time, it was clearly the right thing to abandon the game. What a pity that more of the Wigan players couldn't graciously accept this wise decision.