Only Torquay United's twelveth game since the resumption of league football following the Second World War.
This really is a programme that shows the austerity of these post-war years. The paper it is printed on is not much better than that used for modern tissue paper.
Good to see our friend Dudley Kernick in the line-up and scoring one of the goals as he continued his rich vein of form being his third goal in four games.
United ran out 4-2 winners in front of a County Ground attendance of 16,151 with goals from Ralph Calland, a penalty, two from Jack Conley and the one from Kernick.
And how interesting are those club notes with mention of a reserve team attendance and the money it brought less Entertainment Tax, and over 3,000 watching the Swindon Boys team. And the fact that Swindon had a nursery club, Wootton Bassett, rather like United had with Dawlish in later years.
The team lined up as the programme except Bert Head was replaced at no.5 by Bill Coley, who himself was replaced at no.6 by Colin Markham. At no.7 John Hillard was replaced by Charlie Smith.
I'm calling up this gem from Budleigh because it's such a rarity - one of our first Football League games after the war - and that none of us commented upon it at the time.
That's mainly due to Budleigh penning a nice little summary of his own. But one thing that caught my eye is the observation about Torquay United's "habit of putting up strenuous opposition here". Is this a reference to the special fixtures during 1945/46 or a reflection back to pre-1939 encounters? Just imagine. After six years of total war - and all that entailed - it's not been forgotten how Torquay United were frequently tricky opponents at the County Ground.
When you look at the difficulties TUFC laboured under in that first post-war season, what a brilliant effort it was from the management team of former Arsenal superstars Jack Butler and Bob John to finish in the top half. No wonder Crystal Palace wanted to nick them. At least we ended up getting Bob back and he and John McNeil would lead us to unprecedented heights.
Amazingly, Bob set the Arsenal appearance record at the time when Arsenal was the biggest club in the world and it stood until the 1970s when George Armstrong finally beat it.
What do all these clubs have in common?
Newport County, Aldershot, Chester, Halifax, Hereford, Darlington, Maidstone, Wimbledon
That's a good point from Jon about how well Torquay United did in that first full season after the war. More so than many clubs it would have been a case of gradually picking up the pieces during 1945 and through into 1946. Mind you, the game as a whole performed remarkably with no clubs going under. But in our division it's interesting to see some of the clubs which struggled during 1946/47: Brighton, Crystal Palace and Norwich amongst them.
It would have been a difficult season with all manner of post-war restrictions. Then, of course, there was the weather. Our season was due to finish on 3 May but we carried on to 31 May. In fact they were still playing in Div 3(N) on 14 June. But, on the other hand, it needs to be remembered that crowds were starting to rise and money was coming into the game.
Otherwise as interesting as ever to see the names of Jack Butler and Bob John being mentioned. Perhaps, in more recent Arsenal terms, it was rather like Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn teaming up at Plainmoor. Not that either of those later luminaries had coached a team at the World Cup finals as had Butler with Belgium in 1938.
I still wonder how much of a declaration of intent it had been when Torquay signed Jack Butler as a player in 1930. Considering he arrived direct from Arsenal it must have caused a stir. I guess we've discussed that previously and how Frank Womack, the manager of the time, was something of an O'Farrell figure: arrived from non-league; later managed Leicester. I've just checked Womack's details: he was born in Stannington, Sheffield which I can see from the top of the road.
[Ah yes, the programme room. Does anybody know why some of the 1950s threads are locked?]
My guess is that Budleigh locked rather than pinned when trying to sort into date order.
Oh dear. Yes, I see. Locking the threads to keep them in date order makes an awful lot of sense. The last thing you then want is some arse coming along a few years later and moving them all over the place. Do I take it that pinning would have the same effect and allow replies to be added?