BRIERLEY HILL ASSOCIATION
Although inter-schools football has taken place in the area since 1885 the Brierley Hill Association was not formed until 1921 and the first General Secretary was Mr T.R. Shotton of Moor Street School. The 12 elementary schools that competed in the first league were Bent Street, Hill Street C. of E., St Marys R.C. Brockmoor, Mount Pleasant, Quarry Bank, Kingswinford C of E, Wall Heath C. of E, Wordsley, Bromley and Pensnett. In 1922 the Association affiliated to the English Schools F.A. and a team was entered in the English Schools Shield for the first time and the memories of the three-game tie against Aberdare still linger on! In the 1925/26 season the Association made its first impact in the English Schools Trophy reaching the Semi-Finals only to loose to the eventual winners Grimsby. The side included three boys who were later to go on to make their name in professional football Ray Westwood (England & Bolton Wanderers), Pat Beasley (England & Arsenal) and Billy Guest (Birmingham City and Blackburn). In 1934 the Association became defunct.
SEDGLEY SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION
The Sedgley Schools Association was formed in the 1920s and won the Staffordshire Leckie Shield in 1929 and reached the 1st round proper of the English Schools Shield in 1931 but like the Brierley Hill Association it also disappeared in the mid 1930s
Following the formation of a football section of the Brierley Hill Schools Athletics Association in 1948 the Sedgley Schools joined the newly formed Schools Football Association and the Brierley Hill, Sedgley and District Schools F.A. was formed. Two leagues operated; there was the Alliance Cup for senior teams and the Campbell Cup for Junior Teams, presented by Dr. G.C. Campbell. Mr W.F. Knott was so impressed with the performance of the junior teams that he presented a Cup for the losing finalists the Knott Cup
1951 was a landmark year in the history of the Association - The Association reached the Final of the English Schools Trophy but lost 3- 5 on aggregate to Liverpool. The teams drew 2-2 at The Molineux and Liverpool won the 2nd leg 3-1 at Goodison Park. This side won both the Staffordshire Leckie Shield and the Birmingham & District Shield and only lost one game in the whole season the 2nd leg of the Trophy final. The teams captain was Trevor Smith who later went on to play for Birmingham City.
In the following season Park Lane School affiliated to the Association and the name of the Association was changed to Brierley Hill, Sedgley and Tipton Schools F.A. It was in this season that Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. presented the Association with the Wolverhampton Wanderers Trophy a cup that is still competed for.
In Season 1952/53 Bob Gregg of Audnam School played for England Schoolboys versus Wales at Cardiff and scored two goals. Bob had a phenomenal record of scoring a hat trick in each of the first seven games he played for the Association. During that season he scored a total of 39 goals, including 9 hat tricks in 17 games, failing to score in only two of the games.
The internal programme of leagues and cup competitions continued to expand. The comparison between 1948 and 1958 highlights this expansion...
|1 Senior League||2 Senior Leagues
2 Under 14 Leagues
|1 Cup Competition (Under 15s)||1 Cup Competition (Under 15s)
1 Cup Competition (Under 14s)
1 Cup Competition (Under 13s)
|1 Junior League
1 Junior Cup Competition
|3 Junior Leagues
1 Junior Cup Competition
1 American Tournament (Junior)
|1 Senior (Under 15s) team||1 Senior (Under 15s) team
1 Under 14s Team
1 Under 13s Team
2 Junior Area Teams
Season 1958/59 saw the Association achieve the ultimate goal in schoolboy football when it shared the English Schools Trophy with Doncaster. The road to the Final began on the Round Oak Steel Works Ground when Saltley were the visitors in Round 2 and were given a lesson in finer arts of football (5-1) Wrekin were the next visitors suffering a 12-0 defeat. In Round 4 old rivals Coventry held the team to a 1-1 draw (in front of a crowd of 3000) but BHS&T won the replay 3-0. The Competition then took the team to Gosport (5-0) before another home game in Round 6 against Bristol (1-0), again watch by a large crowd of over 6000. In the Quarter Finals the team travelled to Brighton and won a close game 3-2, with a goal in the last minute from Kendrick. A crowd of over 12,000 watched the semi-final match against Barnsley at Oakwell and again the boys from the Black Country won the game 3-2 to take then into the Final against Doncaster.
The first leg of the Final was played at Molineux and Brierley Hill ran out 2-0 winners but lost the 2nd leg by the same score line in front of 17,000 spectators the Trophy being shared by both Associations.
The association continued to provide sporting opportunities throughout the 1960s and in the early 1970s, Dudley Schools F.A. part of Worcestershire County Schools F.A. joined with the Brierley Hill, Sedgley & Tipton Schools F.A. to become the Brierley Hill & Dudley Schools F.A. a change brought about by local government re-organisation.
In the early part of the 1970s the Association regularly undertook tours to the Middle Rhine area of Germany and a member of one of the early teams was Sam Allardyce, now Manager of Premiership Bolton Wanderers, a team he played for on leaving school.
The big success of these years came in 1971 when the Associations Under 15 side reached the semi-finals of the English Schools Trophy losing in extra time to local rivals Stoke on Trent in a replay at the Victoria Ground.
Much has been written about the Associations greatest player Duncan Edwards. Duncan was born in 1936 and attended the old Wolverhampton Street School. Duncan and was soon selected for the Worcestershire County Side and the Birmingham and District side. Duncan was selected for the England Schoolboys Team in 1950 an achievement that was repeated in both 1951 and 1952 making him the only schoolboy player to be selected to play for England Schoolboys for three consecutive years a record that still exists today. Tragically Duncan lost his life in the Munich air disaster in 1958 still a role model for all the young players within the Association whether they play for their school, one of the Associations representative sides, the West Midlands County side or whether they have the talent to progress to the ranks of the professional game.
The Association continues to make its presence felt in local county and ESFA Divisional Competitions and also provides a full programme of league, cup and small-sided competitions for its 15 affiliated secondary schools and 57 primary schools. Many of the early trophies are still competed for and the opportunity to play in the Final of the Under 16 Duncan Edwards Cup and to win the trophy is one that all players strive to achieve.
The Association is now in the early years of its second centenary and still provides the same opportunities for inter-school football as was first provided in the area in 1885 although the programme of activities now covers all year groups from Under 10 to Under 16.
Martin Duffield - Aug 2003