Manchester

Memory Match – 09-11-46

Throughout the 2016/17 football season I will be contributing to the Wrexham AFC matchday programme. I will be penning a feature called Memory Match, a look back at classic Wrexham games from the past that I will share in this blog over the coming months.

09-11-46

Wrexham v Darlington

League Division Three (Northern Section)

Racecourse Ground

Result: 7-1

Wrexham: McNee, Jones, Jackson, Lloyd, Roberts, Tudor, Gardner, McLarty, Boothway, Sharp, Brown

Goalscorers: Boothway (3, 1 pen), McLarty (2), Sharp, Brown

Darlington: Barron, Kelly, Hutchinson, Parsley, Saunder, Towers, Simpson, Allison, Harrison, Varty, Sinclair

Goalscorer: Varty

Attendance: 9,033

Jack Boothway had his football career severally disrupted by World War Two. The Manchester–born centre forward made his first team debut for Manchester City in April 1941 and played for the Maine Road club up until 1944. During this period Boothway netted 57 goals in only 76 games.

Jack – he was actually named John on his birth certificate – made a guest appearance for Crewe Alexandra in 1944 and stayed at Gresty Road until the Football League resumed in 1946. His war-time career with the Cheshire club saw him net 67 goals in just 68 matches.

In October 1946, Boothway joined Wrexham for a record fee and part-exchange deal with Peter Baines moving in the opposite direction. The 6ft 2in striker played part-time for the Reds while continuing to work as a Draughtsman for a Manchester firm. Although he failed to find the net on his debut at Tranmere – a goalless draw – he certainly made up for it on his home debut against Darlington.

The score line suggests a one-sided contest, but this was far from the case as the home defence found themselves under pressure at times. Nevertheless, Wrexham took the lead in the first few minutes when Boothway headed a cross from Tommy Gardner, only for a Darlington defender to prevent a goal using his hand. The new signing converted the resulting penalty. Within a couple of minutes, Jesse McLarty snapped up a pass from Boothway to make it 2-0.

It was at this point that Darlington goalkeeper Jim Barron raced out to stem a run by Boothway and picked up an injury. Norman Parsley took his place in goal for a short while and when Barron was fit enough to return, the score remained unchanged. The shot stopper’s reappearance boosted the confidence of his team mates and the lively Tommy Varty pulled a goal back for the visitors.

Wrexham struck back before the break when Boothway scored a third goal with a shot on the run after more combination play with Gardner. Both these players were also involved in the fourth goal, which came when Barron fisted out a Gardner cross only to see Boothway return the ball into the net for his hat-trick.

Darlington began the second half strongly, but it was Wrexham who got on the scoresheet when Roy Brown provided McLarty with a cross which he promptly converted.

Wrexham were then reduced to ten men through injury as outside right Cyril Jones had to hobble off. Darlington continued to try to make a game of it, but despite their best efforts they failed to score. Terry McNee saved cleverly from Varty and before the end Wrexham scored through Norman Sharp and Brown to make the final score 7-1.

Writing in the Leader, X.Y.Z said: “On this form the Wrexham men should score much more freely than has been the case, in the first two months of the season. Boothway added so much strength to the attack that all the other members of the line – Gardner, McLarty, Sharp and Brown gave improved displays with Sharp catching the eye with his scintillating runs, and Gardner getting nearer to the ball he revealed at the opening of the season.”

***

Tom Williams was the man in charge as Wrexham resumed league football in 1946/47. The club finished in a respectable seventh place. This was quite an achievement when you consider that there were only four players left in the squad from 1979 – Albert Brown, Eddie Tunney, Gib Bellis and Walter Roberts.

***

Jack Boothway finished the season with 17 goals in 22 league appearances. The big striker also achieved a four-goal haul against Marine in the first round of the FA Cup. Wrexham won the match 5-0.

Memory Match – 10-09-05

Throughout the 2015/16 football season I will be contributing to the Wrexham AFC matchday programme. I will be penning a feature called Memory Match, a look back at classic Wrexham games from the past that I will share in this blog over the coming months.

10-09-05

Wrexham v Cheltenham Town

Coca-Cola League Two

Racecourse Ground

Result: 2-0

Wrexham: Ingham, Linwood (Spender), Smith, Ferguson, Bennett, Warhurst, Jones (Mackin), Williams, Walters, Foy (McEvilly), Holt

Goalscorers: Holt 8, Walters 69

Cheltenham Town: Higgs, Gill, Victory, Taylor, Townsend (Caines), Wilson, Melligan, Finnigan (Bird), Spencer (Vincent), Odejayi, McCann

Attendance: 3,671

Wrexham actually had to postpone the previous match against Lincoln City as they had three players on international duty. Michael Ingham (Northern Ireland) and Simon Spender (Wales) both reported back for duty in time for the Cheltenham game, but Dennis Lawrence (Trinidad and Tobago) was not so lucky.

The club captain had been playing for his country in Costa Rica, but his flight home had to be diverted after smoke was smelt in the cabin. This meant that our defensive lynchpin missed his connecting flight and did not return to Manchester until shortly before kick-off.

This was another headache for Wrexham manager Denis Smith as the start of the 2005/06 season had already been ravaged by injury and suspension. Lee Roche, Shaun Pejic, Dean Bennett and Lee McEvilly had all crowded the treatment room while Simon Spender and Dave Bayliss had both seen red in the opening matches.

Smith had subsequently been forced to bleed a number of youngsters and make some emergency loan signings such as Paul Linwood from Tranmere Rovers who replaced the absent Lawrence for the visit of unbeaten Cheltenham Town. Despite being promoted from the Conference in 1999, this was actually the first League meeting between the clubs.

Our patched up team certainly proved their worth with a magnificent performance full of slick passing and attacking intent to record their third home win of the season. The Red Dragons were fiery from the first whistle with Paul Warhurst and Jon Walters – whatever happened to him? – both having shots blocked inside the box.

After only eight minutes Andy Holt scored the goal we’d been threatening from the outset when he met Darren Ferguson’s corner with a bullet header that went in off the underside of the crossbar.

It was all one-way traffic as the midfield trio of Ferguson, Danny Williams and Mark Jones dictated play. In a hectic four minute period we had four chances to double our lead. Walters headed over from Holt’s cross, Robbie Foy – on-loan from Liverpool – had a shot saved by Town goalkeeper Shane Higgs, Walters was then denied by Jamie Victory’s block and his next attempt was well-dealt with by Higgs.

Wrexham’s passing and movement was exceptional, but on the stroke of half-time they were almost made to pay for not extending their lead when Kayode Odejayi saw his shot turned around the post by Ingham. The fleet-footed Odejayi also threatened early in the second-half when he raced past Linwood only to see his shot hit the side netting.

At the other end of the pitch, Walters had a penalty appeal turned down following a challenge by JJ Melligan. He was promptly booked for diving.

Warhurst, Dean Bennett and Foy all had opportunities to increase our advantage, but it was left to Walters to do the damage on 69 minutes with his first competitive goal for the club. Smith found Jones who played a superb ball through for Walter’s to dispatch beyond Higgs.

Reflecting on the game, Smith said: “I think it was a performance which deserved a better crowd than we had and people who didn’t come today missed an absolute treat. That’s as good a football game as you’ll see at most levels, never mind this level. I thought some of the football was outstanding.”

Cheltenham manager John Ward said: “I said before the game that Wrexham shouldn’t be in this League, but because of administration they are. This is a good side and anyone who gets a point or three here will have to be very lucky or play very well.”

 

Spotting and Jotting in Birmingham by Matt Sewell

On September the 21st, I was dashing around north Birmingham searching for the fibreglass owls that make up The Big Hoot trail. One I found was number 63: Spotting and Jotting in Birmingham by Matt Sewell.

Visit my Virgin Money Giving page and please give generously in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital

P1360968

Globally acclaimed artist, author and illustrator, Matt Sewell, from Shrewsbury, has been described as the ‘Banksy of the bird world’!  Matt has always experimented with different canvases, including T-shirts, posters, interiors and walls, and he now adds owl sculptures to his repertoire!

He has illustrated for the Guardian newspaper and Barbour (amongst many others), painted underpasses for the RSPB, and exhibited in London, Manchester, New York, Tokyo and Paris – as well as being an avid ornithologist and regular contributor to the Caught by The River website (he also designed their logo).  He was formerly an artist in residence on BBC Two’s hit show, Spring Watch.

Matt has illustrated and written a series of bird-themed books, including Our Garden Birds, Our Woodland Birds and his latest book, Owls – our most enchanting bird, which is all about his fabulous, eagle-eyed friends.  It sold 7,000 copies in its first week!

Website: www.mattsewell.co.uk

Visit my Virgin Money Giving page and please give generously in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Beorma by Jodie Silverman

On September the 19th, I was rolling around Birmingham City Centre searching for the fibreglass owls that make up The Big Hoot trail. One I found was number 26: Beorma by Jodie Silverman.

Visit my Virgin Money Giving page and please give generously in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

P1360821

Jodie Silverman is a Manchester based figurative artist. She gained a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting and Printmaking from Leeds University in 2003. Following her degree, she went on to work as a freelance prop maker and set dresser for the acclaimed animation company, Cosgrove Hall Films, working on many productions, including ‘Fifi and the Flower Tots’ and ‘Postman Pat’.

Jodie has continued to develop her own creative practice. She embraces the study of the human figure, yet is an extremely versatile artist. Her influences are many and varied, with the most prominent being Frida Khalo, Paula Rego, Lucien Freud and Egon Shiele. Jodie incorporates surreal and symbolic elements into her figurative work, allowing emotions to be articulated and enabling the construction of a narrative around the subject.

Website: www.jodiesilverman.com

Visit my Virgin Money Giving page and please give generously in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

 

The Oozells Owl by Jodie Silverman

On September the 5th, I was traipsing around Birmingham City Centre searching for fibreglass owls. One I found was number 43: The Oozells Owl by Jodie Silverman.

Visit my Virgin Money Giving page and please give generously in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

P1360717

Jodie Silverman is a Manchester based figurative artist.  She gained a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting and Printmaking from Leeds University in 2003.  Following her degree, she went on to work as a freelance prop maker and set dresser for the acclaimed animation company, Cosgrove Hall Films, working on many productions, including ‘Fifi and the Flower Tots’ and ‘Postman Pat’.

Jodie has continued to develop her own creative practice.  She embraces the study of the human figure, yet is an extremely versatile artist. Her influences are many and varied, with the most prominent being Frida Khalo, Paula Rego, Lucien Freud and Egon Shiele.  Jodie incorporates surreal and symbolic elements into her figurative work, allowing emotions to be articulated and enabling the construction of a narrative around the subject.

Website: www.jodiesilverman.com

Visit my Virgin Money Giving page and please give generously in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.