We all spend some time reminiscing but you do a bit more when you get older and for some reason I had this memory of my father taking me and a bunch of other males relatives from Connah’s Quay and Shotton to a football match in Bolton when I was about nine.
The occasion was an FA cup tie between Bolton Wanderers and Millwall (Bolton won 3-1) and we went because Millwall was managed by Charlie Hewitt who must have been married to one of my paternal grandparents’ sisters because by father always referred to Charlie’s daughter, Joan, as his cousin.
I wasn’t sure how accurate my memory is but Wikipedia has quite an article about Charlie (click here to read it). He had been a pro footballer before becoming a manager. During the 1920s he managed Connah’s Quay & Shotton United with some success as they won the Welsh Cup in 1929 beating Cardiff, who had won the FA cup in 1927, in the final. He then moved to Chester and on to Millwall in 1936. He was sacked in 1940 (plus ça change) but rejoined them and managed them again from 1948 to 1956.
The match in question took place in 1955 and I remember little of it but I do remember being taken into the boardroom after the game. I have a faint recollection of dark panelling, a cabinet full of silverware and lots of men.
I have stronger memories of Joan who married Dudley Hodson (Hudson?). They lived in Beckenham and had three children one of whom was Peter whom I remember meeting in Hong Kong in the late 1970s.
Connah’s Quay & Shotton United went through a number of rebirths and name changes and I remember them as Connah’s Quay Nomads whom I watched in the 1960s. The club is still going strong and I note from wikipedia that in recent seasons it’s qualified to play in Europe and that in 2015/16 it played the Norwegian side, Stabæk Fotbal, and became the first Welsh side to keep two clean sheets across the two legs of a European tie!
Click here for the Wikipedia Connah’s Quay Nomads page.