Northgate Lions roared in tournament of 1963

The Northgate Lions, picture courtesy of Bob Rashbrook
The Northgate Lions, picture courtesy of Bob Rashbrook

A few years ago, a gentleman named Bob Rashbrook shared this photo of the lads of the Northgate Lions football team.

With the football season over, and the World Cup galloping towards us, now’s as good a time as any to revisit the snapshot.

Mr Rashbrook said the photo was taken around 1963/64.

He added: “Prior to the Crawley Playleaders Football League being formed I believe it was Vic Anderson who organised a football tournament for the youth of the town.

“There were various ages with the finals played at Langley Green. The winning teams received their awards from Gordon Pirie, a useful middle distance runner in his time.

“Vic picked up on the idea when he used to do his rounds as a parks inspector and see kids playing organised football matches that they arranged themselves.

“He was not keen on the idea that council pitches were being used for this purpose so he did something about it.

“Games were played on a knock-out basis with, as I say, the finals at Langley Green.

“Northgate Lions were beaten in their semi-final but the victors were removed and the Lions reinstated as the winners had played a player that played for another team.

“The Lions were predominantly St Wilfrid’s School pupils and run by ‘Paddy’ Maglinchey.

“I myself am the tallest in the back row. Others I remember are John and Barry Butler, David Gibson and Eddie McDermont and Ray Downing.”