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DAVE AGNEW

BORN: KILWINNING, SCOTLAND, 4TH AUGUST 1939

POSITION: LEFT BACK

PREVIOUS CLUBS: SAXONE, LEICESTER CITY, SCUNTHORPE UNITED, NOTTS COUNTY

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 19TH AUGUST 1967 v ARNOLD (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 17TH APRIL 1971 v STAMFORD (HOME)

100TH APPEARANCE: 5TH OCTOBER 1969 v LONG EATON UNITED (AWAY)

150TH APPEARANCE: 26TH DECEMBER 1970 v LOCKHEED LEAMINGTON (HOME)

HONOURS:

CAPTAIN: 1967/68, 1968/69, 1969/70, 1970/71

EVER PRESENT: 1967/68

MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CHAMPION: 1967/68

Dave Agnew did not always enjoy the easiest of relationships with Ilkeston Town supporters but no one can take anything away from what he achieved at the club. A Scotsman, he entered English professional football in his late teens at Leicester City having been with their juniors but he failed to break into their first team, thus missing out on a Wembley appearance when The Foxes reached the 1961 FA Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur.

A few weeks later he signed for Scunthorpe United where he made 1 appearance and it was only when he moved to Notts County in the summer of 1962 that he sampled first team football on a regular basis. A left back who enjoyed prompting from the back and making forward runs when appropriate he made 85 League appearances for The Magpies and scored 1 goal in his five season stay.

When Ilkeston decided that they needed a player coach because their talented but inconsistent mid sixties team lacked leadership since the departure of manager Jimmy Rayner in 1965, they turned to Agnew. He immediately set about making the squad fitter and more disciplined whilst adding tactical nous. Results were not instant but the team became much harder to beat and were much tighter at the back, his own presence in the team having a positive effect. Although he was instated as a player coach he was carrying out all the duties expected of a manager and it was not long before the club changed his job title to reflect what he was doing. Results gradually improved and an exceptional second half of the 1967/68 season, his first season in charge, saw Ilkeston snatch the Midland Counties League Championship in a thrilling climax.

Over the next three seasons Ilkeston failed to repeat the triumph but they remained one of the better sides in the league. Much of this was down to Agnew’s astute management. Ilkeston began to suffer from acute financial problems from late 1968 that often affected team morale and the club was often unable to keep on to its better players. Agnew’s own form on the pitch sometimes suffered accordingly, the pressures of trying to manage a club with diminishing resources whilst maintaining a standard that he had set himself proving difficult. Supporters were quick to criticise him when he was off form and at times his safety first approach to matches encouraged them further. Nevertheless, the team won far more games than it lost and a few years down the line those same supporters would probably have given anything to have a repeat performance.

Agnew’s own playing days came to a premature end through an ankle injury sustained in an FA Trophy tie against South Shields in January 1971 although he was to make one final appearance towards the end of the season. His own contract was due to expire in June but the club, appreciative of his work, gave him a renewed 12 month non playing contract so that he could focus on managing the team during its first ever season of Southern League football. The 1971/72 season began well but after a few morale sapping defeats and a negative style of play that played into the hands of his critics. Agnew left the club by mutual consent in November 1971 and after a brief period out of football he returned to management with Long Eaton Grange.

Agnew’s achievements at Ilkeston are probably far more appreciated now than at the time. As a player he was a steadying influence and would probably have been even better without the distractions he faced. As a manager he produced teams that were difficult to beat and, in 1967/68, he led the club to one of its greatest ever successes.

 

RALPH BROWN

BORN: ILKESTON, 26TH FEBRUARY 1944

POSITION: FORWARD/MIDFIELD

PREVIOUS CLUBS: EASTWOOD TOWN, ASTON VILLA, NOTTS COUNTY, NUNEATON BOROUGH

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 21ST AUGUST 1965 v LOCKHEED LEAMINGTON (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 14TH APRIL 1973 v RUGBY TOWN (HOME)

FIRST GOAL: 1ST SEPTEMBER 1965 v ARNOLD (HOME)

100TH APPEARANCE: 11TH NOVEMBER 1967 v ALFRETON TOWN (AWAY)

150TH APPEARANCE: 18TH JANUARY 1969 v STAMFORD (HOME)

200TH APPEARANCE: 4TH SEPTEMBER 1971 v STOURBRIDGE (AWAY)

250TH APPEARANCE: 4TH SEPTEMBER 1972 v GRANTHAM (AWAY)

HONOURS:

MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CHAMPION: 1967/68

GOALSCORING FEATS:

3 v GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY (HOME) 16TH APRIL 1966

3 v BELPER TOWN (AWAY) 19TH OCTOBER 1968

3 v KINGS LYNN (HOME) 26TH DECEMBER 1971

3 v NEWHALL UNITED (HOME) 16TH AUGUST 1972

Ralph ‘Bomber’ Brown, without question, is one of the finest talents ever to have emerged from Ilkeston. Quite how he never managed to have a long and successful career in professional football is difficult to fathom. Naturally gifted it was apparent when he was young that he had the ability to go on and play at the top level.

A pupil at Gladstone Street School he starred in the Ilkeston Boys team and scouts regularly watched his progress. It was no surprise when Aston Villa took the plunge after watching him play for Eastwood Town and captured his signature and a bright future seemed assured when, on August 22nd 1961, he appeared for them against Rotherham United aged just 17 to become the youngest player ever to play in a League Cup Final. Despite such a promising start things didn’t work out for him at Villa Park and he never got the chance to play a League game there. Instead it was with his next club, Notts County, that he made his League debut. His fortunes improved there for a while with some impressive performances early on but after 18 appearances and 3 goals he found himself on the sidelines again. Without appearing for The Magpies’ first team again he was allowed to leave and drop into non League football with Nuneaton Borough. By this time he had become disenchanted with the game and by 1964 he had stopped playing altogether.

It took George Brown, Ilkeston’s secretary, to bring him out of his premature ‘retirement’ and rekindle his love of the game. Town supporters of the era should have been eternally grateful because over the next few years Ralph Brown lit up the Manor Ground with some magical displays.

Initially playing as an out and out forward he hit 22 goals during the 1965/66 season where he forged a terrific partnership with John Froggatt. He was never able hit such a high total again but this was not due to any loss of form; rather a change in the style and tactics in which the game was played. When he first joined Ilkeston the team frequently adopted the old 2-3-5 formation but times were a-changing and before long 4-2-4 or 4-4-2 formations were the preferred tactic. For Brown this meant a lesser emphasis on scoring but a lot more on creating. He was the perfect man for the job. Hard running and enthusiastic he may have been but his significant other attributes were the key: tremendous close control and dribbling skills, wonderful vision and passing ability, a deadly accurate cross, and a powerful shot. He made an ideal schemer and although he continued to score goals on a regular basis, not least from the penalty spot where he scored ten at a respectable if not overwhelming 66% success rate, he created an awful lot more. Brown also proved to be a more than useful standby goalkeeper, twice going in goal to replace injured colleagues, and he didn't concede a single goal in well over 90 minutes action between the posts.

One of the key players in Ilkeston’s 1967/68 Midland Counties League Championship winning side it was hoped that that success was the beginning of something big. Alas, within months, it was clear that all was not well. The club’s financial problems began to worsen and this had an unsettling effect on the players. He became affected too and requested a transfer but played on despite all the players, himself included, having to take a wage cut early in 1969. When the unsettled Froggatt was allowed to leave to save costs it was not much of a surprise when Brown left as well, a couple of months later in March 1969.

Brown moved upwards to Gainsborough Trinity, of the Northern Premier League. He did well but the travelling didn’t suit him and, 17 months later, he rejoined Ilkeston. One of the problems Ilkeston faced when Brown was in the team was that he was so gifted that he was missed in certain departments whenever he played. Frequently for the next couple of seasons he operated in a deeper midfield role where his creativity could be utilised to the full but the team usually lacked sharpness, the prolific Roger Rann apart, up front as a result. When he was asked to play a more attacking role the midfield often lacked spark, imagination and flair. It was a catch 22 situation but Brown continued to deliver the goods on a regular basis regardless of how well the team performed.

When The Robins entered the Southern League in 1971, a massive gamble aimed at attracting bigger gates but one that in time backfired spectacularly, he remained a creative force. However, the 1972/73 season was a disastrous one for the club. The departure of striker Bill Naylor prompted new manager Phil Waller to play him up front for most of the campaign but the team suffered a collective loss of confidence as it propped up the table, in front of painfully small crowds. Without a striking partner capable of scoring frequently the responsibility on Brown to score regularly became almost an unbearable burden and his own form suffered. When the club announced early in 1973 that it was being forced to return to the Midland Counties League later in the year because Southern League football was no longer viable for them, Waller resigned and it was clear that the club would lose many of its better players during the summer. Ironically results began to improve but the season was to finish a few weeks early for Brown. He fractured his cheekbone in the home game with Rugby Town and his days at Ilkeston came to an end.

He remained in non League football for some time, playing for the likes of Long Eaton United and Belper Town as well as having spells as manager of Brinsley and Stanton. But Ralph Brown’s name will always be synonymous with Ilkeston. Perhaps he should have made his name at a bigger club but, perhaps in Ralph’s case, his love of life outside of the game was greater than his love of football itself.


CLIVE BURTON

POSITION: CENTRE FORWARD

PREVIOUS CLUBS: MELBOURNE DYNAMOES, ROTHERHAM UNITED, HEANOR TOWN

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 22ND AUGUST 1959 v NOTTINGHAM FOREST ‘A’ (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 28TH APRIL 1962 v SKEGNESS TOWN (AWAY)

FIRST GOAL: 29TH AUGUST 1959 v SUTTON TOWN RESERVES (AWAY)

100TH APPEARANCE: 18TH NOVEMBER 1961 v GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY (HOME)

100TH GOAL: 9TH APRIL 1962 v LONG EATON UNITED (AWAY)

HONOURS:

LEADING SCORER: 1959/60 (43 GOALS), 1960/61 (38 GOALS), 1961/62 (21 GOALS)

GOALSCORING FEATS:

4 v WORKSOP TOWN (HOME) 26TH NOVEMBER 1960

4 v CLAY CROSS MINERS WELFARE (HOME) 1ST APRIL 1961

3 v LANGWITH MINERS WELFARE (AWAY) 21ST NOVEMBER 1959

3 v WILMORTON & ALVASTON (HOME) 13TH FEBRUARY 1960

3 v OLLERTON COLLIERY (HOME) 16TH APRIL 1960

3 v SHIREBROOK (HOME) 17TH DECEMBER 1960

3 v KIMBERLEY TOWN (AWAY) 31ST DECEMBER 1960

3 v GOOLE TOWN (HOME) 21ST JANUARY 1961

Ilkeston Town had been lacking a prolific goalscorer for several seasons when they turned to Clive Burton in 1959. Burton, who had first come to prominence in the Derby area with Melbourne Dynamoes, began playing at a higher level with Heanor Town and was held in such high regard that when manager Tom Johnston left The Lions to become boss at Rotherham United he took Burton with him. It was a step too far for the forward and within months he was back at Heanor for a short spell before his move to the Manor Ground.

Burton was an opportunist with a good right foot and he had good heading ability despite not being the tallest of centre forwards. His biggest attribute, however, was his persistence. Not necessarily the deadliest of finishers he wouldn’t let missed chances affect him and would keep getting himself into positions where he sooner or later goals would come. This mental strength helped him score over a century of goals in just three seasons at Ilkeston. His total of 102 goals means that he is Ilkeston’s seventh highest scorer of all time and no player has scored more goals for the club since.

 

81 of these goals came during this first two seasons, Ilkeston’s final ones as members of the Central Alliance. The club then entered the Midland Counties League in 1961/62 and Burton no longer was able to score at the same rate. This was not, as may first seem, because he struggled at the higher level. While it was true that he was coming up against better, more organised defences it is also true that Ken Rawson, appointed as Ilkeston manager in the summer of 1961, adopted a style of play that didn’t suit Burton’s game. The short passing game with more measured build ups was at odds with Burton’s preferred scenario where he thrived upon the ball coming quickly and early into the box.

 

He still managed to end the 1961/62 season comfortably as Town’s top scorer and was the only player to reach double figures in league games. However, Rawson was keen to sign an experienced forward with a proven scoring record at a higher level and Burton was released when Andy Graver, Lincoln’s all-time top scorer, joined Town in 1962.

It was with great irony when Burton, with his new club Bourne Town, returned to the Manor Ground towards the end of the 1962/63 season and promptly scored a hat-trick in their 5-1 demolition of Ilkeston. Age and injuries had meant that Graver had not been as successful as hoped and it was not until the mid 1960s that The Robins found a forward capable of emulating Burton’s scoring feats.

Burton remained a dangerous forward for several more seasons and his threat was witnessed first hand by Ilkeston supporters whenever he visited, playing for the likes of Long Eaton United and Loughborough United.



DEREK CHAMBERLAIN

BORN: NOTTINGHAM, 6TH JANUARY 1933

POSITION: LEFT BACK

PREVIOUS CLUBS: PARLIAMENT STREET METHODISTS, ASTON VILLA, MANSFIELD TOWN, YORK CITY, PETERBOROUGH UNITED

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 20TH AUGUST 1960 v NOTTINGHAM FOREST ‘A’ (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 1ST MAY 1964 v RETFORD TOWN (HOME)

FIRST GOAL: 25TH NOVEMBER 1961 v GOOLE TOWN (AWAY)

100TH APPEARANCE: 16TH MARCH 1963 v NEW MILLS (HOME)

150TH APPEARANCE: 21ST MARCH 1964 v GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY (AWAY)

HONOURS:

DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP WINNER: 1962/63

Derek Chamberlain represented Nottingham Boys as a youngster and played locally with Parliament Street Methodists before he was given a dream opportunity to sign for Aston Villa at twenty years of age. Despite three years of knocking on the first team door he failed to make a League appearance at Villa Park and his career was rescued by Mansfield Town for whom he played 43 times. In 1958 he was transferred to York City and then he had a spell at the leading non League team of the day, Peterborough United.

Chamberlain signed for Ilkeston before the start of the 1960/61 season and over the next four seasons established himself at left back where his consistency earmarked him as one of the top players in his position in the Midland Counties League. Town’s defence in the early 1960s was without equal at this level and his reliability, strong tackling, and positional sense were qualities that he brought to an already effective unit.

During the 1963/64 season Chamberlain struggled at times, as did the defence collectively and when the club was forced to release some of the more experienced players due to financial constraints in 1964 he was one of the players to go.

Chamberlain returned to Peterborough United, by now a League club, but his stay was only brief and he soon returned to this area where he signed for Heanor Town. Then came a move to Stamford, where he later became player manager, his first management role. Although he only scored one goal for Ilkeston in his 163 appearances he scored for them again in a Stamford shirt courtesy of an own goal in March 1967.

Chamberlain’s experiences in management at Stamford held him in good stead when he returned to the Manor Ground to take over as manager in February 1975. The Ilkeston manager’s job was particularly difficult during this period with the club having one of the lowest wage budgets in the Midland Counties League and a struggling team that spent most of the 1970s avoiding having to apply for re-election at the end of each season. Chamberlain, who occasionally included his sons Roger and Collin in the first team, was unable to bring about any improvement, let alone success, and was sacked at the end of the 1977/78 season. For this reason it is as a player that Derek Chamberlain should be best remembered.

 

JOHN FROGGATT

BORN: SUTTON-IN-ASHFIELD, 13TH DECEMBER 1945

POSITION: CENTRE FORWARD

PREVIOUS CLUBS: EAST KIRKBY COLLIERY, NOTTS COUNTY

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 21ST AUGUST 1965 v LOCKHEED LEAMINGTON (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 11TH JANUARY 1969 v LITTLEOVER OLD BOYS (HOME)

FIRST GOAL: 21ST AUGUST 1965 v LOCKHEED LEAMINGTON (HOME)

100TH APPEARANCE: 4TH NOVEMBER 1967 v SCARBOROUGH (HOME)

150TH APPEARANCE: 14TH DECEMBER 1968 v MATLOCK TOWN (HOME)

(HOME)

100TH GOAL: 11TH JANUARY 1969 v LITTLEOVER OLD BOYS (HOME)

HONOURS:

EVER PRESENT: 1967/68

LEADING SCORER: 1965/66 (30 GOALS), 1966/67 (32 GOALS), 1967/68 (24 GOALS)

ILKESTON ADVERTISER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: 1967/68

MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CHAMPION: 1967/68

GOALSCORING FEATS:

4 v GRANTHAM (HOME) 10TH DECEMBER 1966

3 v SCUNTHORPE UNITED RESERVES (HOME) 25TH SEPTEMBER 1965

3 v LONG EATON UNITED (HOME) 26TH MARCH 1966

3 v SCUNTHORPE UNITED RESERVES (AWAY) 24TH SEPTEMBER 1966

3 v LITTLEOVER OLD BOYS (HOME) 11TH JANUARY 1969

 

With someone of such ability playing for Ilkeston there was always the threat that he could move on to bigger things and this duly happened early in 1969, a process that was speeded up dramatically by the club’s sudden financial woes. Yet Froggatt had already sampled League football prior to signing for The Robins.

He was snapped up from East Kirkby Colliery by Notts County in 1963 and turned professional a year later. But opportunities were limited at Meadow Lane and he was released in 1965 after making just 4 League appearances.

New Ilkeston player manager Jimmy Rayner, who had seen Froggatt at first hand having spent the 1964/65 season at Notts County himself, obviously had positive feelings towards him and was quick to sign him. Froggatt soon justified his manager’s faith and he top scored with 30 goals in his first season. By now he was being described as the best centre forward in the Midland Counties League and nothing he did over the next couple of seasons did anything to suggest those claims were misplaced. His return of 24 goals in 1967/68 was his lowest in his three full seasons at the club but the team, under Dave Agnew, had adopted a more cautious approach. Nevertheless the tactics worked because Ilkeston won the Midland Counties League title and the season was a personal triumph for Froggatt too as he was he became the first recipient of the Ilkeston Advertiser player of the year trophy.

Few would argue that John Froggatt was one of the finest centre forwards in Ilkeston Town’s history. Strong and powerfully built, he had pace, presence, a fierce shot and an ability to sniff out goalscoring opportunities. In full flow, bursting through a defence before shooting for goal, Froggatt was majestic and in the air he could outwit most defenders.

By 1968 League clubs were taking notice of Froggatt again and a regular visitor to the Manor Ground was Sir Stanley Matthews, then general manager of Port Vale. No firm offer was ever made and it looked at one time as if he may join Worcester City who were also interested in team mate John Parry. The worsening financial situation at the club also had an unsettling effect on him and, in January 1969, with the club needing to save costs and Froggatt wishing to leave the inevitable happened when he was transferred to Buxton. It may not have been the return to League football that he may have wished for but they were higher up the non League ladder in the Cheshire County League and it was another step nearer closer to that goal. Froggatt scored a hat-trick in his final match for Ilkeston, scoring his 100th club goal as he did so to become the last Ilkeston player to reach a century of goals, and so left the club on a high note.

Froggatt left Buxton for Boston United in 1970 and for the next few seasons he was one of the most prolific strikers in the Northern Premier League. He was finally rewarded in 1974 by being finally given a second stab at League football, nine years after being released by Notts County. Five years as a professional followed and although he may not have scored quite as many goals as anticipated he still enjoyed a decent career. Spells at Colchester United (155 appearances, 29 goals), Port Vale (14 appearances, 3 goals) and Northampton Town (42 appearances, 13 goals) proved he was a useful lower division striker.

Froggatt returned to Boston United in the twilight of his career and went on to manage them. Yet his association with Ilkeston Town was not yet complete. In 1986 he rejoined Ilkeston as manager and was in charge for 16 months during which time The Robins won the Central Midlands League Cup. Details of John Froggatt’s time as Ilkeston manager can be found on the Managers page.



MICK JONES

BORN: SUTTON-IN-ASHFIELD, 4TH DECEMBER 1942

POSITION: RIGHT BACK

PREVIOUS CLUBS: PARKHALL UNITED, MANSFIELD CO-OP, MANSFIELD TOWN, LOCKHEED LEAMINGTON

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 19TH AUGUST 1967 v ARNOLD (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 9TH MAY 1970 v WARLEY (AWAY)

FIRST GOAL: 10TH SEPTEMBER 1969 v STAMFORD (AWAY)

100TH APPEARANCE: 18TH OCTOBER 1969 v RETFORD TOWN (AWAY)

HONOURS:

MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CHAMPION: 1967/68


Mick Jones’ strong tackling added steel to Ilkeston Town’s back line and his arrival at the club solved what had been a problem position ever since the departure of right back John Thornhill in 1963.

Jones, despite being only 24, had already accumulated plenty of experience having made 91 League appearances with Mansfield Town. Just as important he had also tasted Midland Counties League football with Lockheed Leamington so he knew what to expect.

With manager Dave Agnew on the opposite flank Jones formed one half of a partnership that was to hold the club in good stead for three seasons. Jones was one of a number of new signings Agnew made during the summer of 1967, each of whom played a huge part in Ilkeston Town’s magnificent Midland Counties League title winning campaign of 1967/68. He was a solid and dependable performer rather than a spectacular one and he wasn’t one for making great forward bursts. Instead he held back to ensure that his flank wasn’t exposed by a surprise counter attack.

His effective tackling was hard but usually fair and it was rare for him to get on the wrong side of the referee although he did get sent off in the home match with Goole Town in February 1968. This cost him a two match ban but he was otherwise rarely absent from the team. Physically fit and free from injury he only missed three other games in his three seasons.

 

It was something of a surprise when Agnew chose to release him at the end of the 1969/70 season and Jones went on to prove that he could still do a job at that level when he joined Midland League rivals Arnold.




BOB MACANDREW

BORN: DERBY, 6TH APRIL 1943

POSITION: CENTRE HALF/WING HALF

PREVIOUS CLUBS: ROE FARM, DERBY COUNTY, LOCKHEED LEAMINGTON

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 1ST SEPTEMBER 1965 v ARNOLD (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 2ND MAY 1970 v LOUGHBOROUGH UNITED (HOME)

FIRST GOAL: 6TH NOVEMBER 1965 v WORKSOP TOWN (HOME)

100TH APPEARANCE: 25TH NOVEMBER 1967 v SCUNTHORPE UNITED RESERVES (AWAY)

150TH APPEARANCE: 24TH MARCH 1969 v GRANTHAM (AWAY)

HONOURS:

CAPTAIN: 1965/66, 1966/67

ILKESTON ADVERTISER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: 1968/69

MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CHAMPION: 1967/68


Derby born Bob MacAndrew’s hopes of a long career with his home town club were shattered when The Rams released him after making just one League appearance. Nevertheless, his performances in an Ilkeston Town shirt suggested that he was a little unlucky not to have been given further opportunities in League football.

Signed by Ilkeston in August 1965 after a brief period at Lockheed Leamington left half MacAndrew was appointed as captain five months later. For the next couple of seasons he proved himself to be a highly dependable performer. Rarely outstanding he was to be a model of consistency throughout his time at the club. Defensively sound and a good reader of situations he also liked to break forward from midfield to support the attack and it is surprising that his hard shooting did not reward him with more goals.

Sadly his two seasons as captain did not bring the club any success. Without a manager following the departure of Jim Rayner in January 1966 the team was extremely talented but too frequently lacked direction. MacAndrew attempted to lead by example but not every player responded positively when things didn’t go right on the pitch. Success did come, however, when Dave Agnew became manager in 1967.

Agnew gave the team a more professional outlook and one of his earliest moves was to put MacAndrew in the centre back position. MacAndrew thus became probably the shortest central defender in the Midland Counties League but his remarkable anticipation and timing of his jumps meant that he more than compensated for his lack of inches. Months later Ilkeston won the Midland Counties League although they lost in the final of the Derbyshire Senior Cup against Heanor Town, MacAndrew being sent off in the dying minutes of the second leg.

His consistency earned him the Ilkeston Advertiser Player of the Year award in 1968/69 although by now he had shown that he was as versatile as he was dependable, having played a few games at outside left.

MacAndrew was awarded a testimonial match in 1969/70 and an All Stars XI took on The Robins but he was released by the club during the summer of 1970. He had little difficulty in finding a new club, Loughborough United coming to his aid in a move that was mutually beneficial. He later became player manager of Littleover British Legion.

 

TERRY SWINSCOE

BORN: SHIREBROOK, 31ST AUGUST 1934

POSITION: CENTRE HALF

PREVIOUS CLUBS: MANSFIELD TOWN, SPALDING UNITED, CHESTERFIELD, STOCKPORT COUNTY, MANSFIELD TOWN

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 22ND AUGUST 1959 v NOTTINGHAM FOREST ‘A’ (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 6TH JANUARY 1968

FIRST GOAL: 5TH SEPTEMBER 1959 v BURTON ALBION RESERVES (HOME)

100TH APPEARANCE: 28TH OCTOBER 1961 v BELPER TOWN (AWAY)

150TH APPEARANCE: 26TH DECEMBER 1962 v LONG EATON UNITED (AWAY)

200TH APPEARANCE: 29TH FEBRUARY 1964 v BOURNE TOWN (HOME)

250TH APPEARANCE: 6TH MARCH 1965 v WORKSOP TOWN (AWAY)

300TH APPEARANCE: 20TH APRIL 1966 v SCUNTHORPE UNITED RESERVES (AWAY)

350TH APPEARANCE: 26TH APRIL 1967 v ALFRETON TOWN (HOME)

HONOURS:

CAPTAIN: 1959/60

EVER PRESENT: 1959/60, 1961/62, 1962/63, 1964/65, 1965/66, 1966/67

DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP WINNER: 1962/63

Terry Swinscoe was one of the most loyal servants in Ilkeston Town’s history and his total of 377 appearances is a club record that will probably never be beaten. A tough, uncompromising centre half with excellent heading ability that made him effective in both penalty areas he had a virtually injury free career and despite the nature of his game he seldom got on the wrong side of referees which meant that he never served a suspension during his time at the club. His intimidating presence never prevented him from playing in anything other than a fair fashion.

His early football days saw him as a much admired centre forward, a role he carried out on occasions at Ilkeston when Town were chasing a game or when there was a shortage of forwards in form. Snapped up by Mansfield Town as a youngster spells at Chesterfield and Stockport County followed, clubs that elder brother Tom had played for, before he moved into non League football with Spalding United where his prowess as a forward was obvious. A return to Mansfield in late 1956 led to him making his debut in the Football League, but it was at Field Mill where they realised that his true worth was at centre half. His 14 appearances for The Stags were all made in the heart of the defence.

Ilkeston had been looking for a long term replacement for their legendary centre half Les Smith who had retired in 1958 but it wasn’t until a year later that they got their man. The signing of Swinscoe in the summer of 1959 must rank as one of the best captures in Town’s history.

Swinscoe immediately established himself and quickly ironed out a tendency to make inexplicable errors with the result making him a totally reliable as well as an impressive defender. Apart from his defensive abilities he was also able to strike a ball with awesome power that led him to become Town’s regular penalty taker for several years. Choosing brute force over accuracy he sometimes missed spectacularly from the spot but his total of 31 successful penalties, at an impressive success rate of 76%, made him Town’s record penalty taker until his tally was overtaken by the legendary John Knapper more than thirty years later.

Over the next eight and a half years he missed just three league and cup games for Ilkeston and one of those was because the team bus driver was unable to locate his pick up point for an away game! By the early sixties and through until the time of England’s World Cup triumph in 1966 (Swinscoe had played alongside World Cup hero Ray Wilson at school) he was widely regarded as the best centre half in the Midland Counties League bar none. Even in the desperate 1964/65 season, when the team conceded well over a century of goals, he stood out like a colossus, seemingly preventing the opposition from running up a cricket score almost single handed, surrounded as he was by a series of inexperienced defenders who couldn’t step up to the mark.

 

Yet his Ilkeston career was to end swiftly and left him so bitter and disillusioned that he packed up football altogether. Early in the 1967/68 season, with the team struggling to score goals, new manager Dave Agnew moved him up front to support the impressive but overworked John Froggatt. Sadly, his pace was now diminishing and at times his lack of speed was cruelly exposed. Meanwhile Bob MacAndrew had been moved to centre half and produced a series of sterling displays. A poor game early in 1968 led to Swinscoe being dropped for the only time in his Ilkeston career and Agnew made it clear that he no longer featured in his plans. Thus, after 377 games, and an unbroken run of 186 consecutive appearances, another club record, his days were at an end. To add to the misery Swinscoe missed out on Ilkeston winning the Midland Counties League title four months later. Agnew may well have been proved right but in hindsight it was an unsatisfactory end to a career for a wholehearted and loyal servant.

 

COLIN TREHARNE

BORN: BRIDGEND, 30TH JULY 1937

POSITION: GOALKEEPER

PREVIOUS CLUBS: FERRYBRIDGE AMATEURS, HUDDERSFIELD TOWN, METHLEY, MANSFIELD TOWN, LINCOLN CITY

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 19TH AUGUST 1967 v ARNOLD (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 6TH MAY 1970 v STAMFORD (HOME)

FIRST CLEAN SHEET: 19TH AUGUST 1967 v SUTTON TOWN (HOME)

100TH APPEARANCE: 21ST SEPTEMBER 1969 v LONG EATON UNITED (HOME)

HONOURS:

EVER PRESENT: 1967/68, 1968/69

MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CHAMPION: 1967/68


Colin Treharne may not have been the tallest of goalkeepers but he more than compensated for that with his bravery, agility and decisiveness. Of a stocky build he had great strength and was a dependable, consistent goalkeeper for Ilkeston, particularly noted for his bravery at diving at forwards’ feet. During his three seasons at the club he only once briefly suffered from a loss of form, early in the 1969/70 season, but Ilkeston should be commended with persisting with him so that he was able to play his way back into form.

Welsh born, he spent most of his childhood in Yorkshire and as a youngster turned out for Ferrybridge Amateurs. He came to the attention of Huddersfield Town and played for their juniors team before playing senior football in the Yorkshire League with Methley. Once again a League club showed interest and late in 1960 he signed professionally with Mansfield Town. Between 1961 and the end of the 1965/66 season he was The Stags’ first choice goalkeeper and during that time Treharne made 191 League appearances.

Treharne was transferred to Lincoln City during the summer of 1966 and was to spend a season at Sincil Bank. However, he was unable to cement a first team place, appearing in 19 out of a possible 46 games. Indeed, he frequently played in their reserves side and on one occasion played against Ilkeston on the Manor Ground in a Midland Counties League fixture.

Released by The Imps at the end of the 1966/67 season Treharne was snapped up by Ilkeston. His signing proved to be an astute one. Within twelve months Ilkeston clinched the Midland Counties League title with their new goalkeeper keeping 18 clean sheets in 47 league and cup games. Although the team was strong defensively the inclusion of Treharne gave the back line added confidence. His alertness and speed off his line thwarted many dangerous attacks and his agility produced breathtaking saves. His shot stopping ability extended to saving penalties; his total of three during his time at Ilkeston had only been bettered by Dick Pickering and Dennis Knibbs.

The team failed to reach the same heights for the remainder of his time at the Manor Ground but, due in no small part to him, they remained a tough nut to crack.

 

Treharne left the club in 1970 with the reputation of being one of the best goalkeepers in the Midland Counties League. He joined local rivals Heanor Town for a spell and went on to play for Boston and Worksop Town. His final club in senior non League football was another Midland Counties League side, Ashby Institute, and it was there where he tasted life as a football manager.

 

BARRY WALKER

BORN: CIRCA 1943

POSITION: MIDFIELD

PREVIOUS CLUBS: DERBY COUNTY

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 22ND AUGUST 1964 v MATLOCK TOWN (AWAY)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 4TH MAY 1969 v BOSTON (AWAY)

FIRST GOAL: 21ST NOVEMBER 1964 v MATLOCK TOWN (HOME)

100TH APPEARANCE: 22ND OCTOBER 1966 v SUTTON TOWN (AWAY)

150TH APPEARANCE: 16TH DECEMBER 1967 v ARNOLD (AWAY)

200TH APPEARANCE: 15TH FEBRUARY 1969 v HEANOR TOWN (HOME)

HONOURS:

EVER PRESENT: 1964/65, 1968/69

MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CHAMPION: 1967/68


Barry Walker was recommended to the club by Derby County legend and Ilkestonian Geoff Barrowcliffe. When it became clear that Walker, who had been with Derby since his teens, was not going to be offered a contract Barrowcliffe contacted his old club to tell them that it was worth taking a chance on this young talent. Ilkeston heeded his wise advice and Walker went on to become one of the best midfield players in their history.

Quite why Walker, who never broke into Derby’s first team, never made it as a professional isn’t easy to fathom for he appeared to have ability in abundance and was a joy to watch. Whether he was making surging runs forward, playing a killer pass, or delivering deadly accurate centres, Walker seemed to have it all. If one was to be critical it could be said that his goals return was a disappointment but few complained because his creativity led to so many goals scored by his grateful colleagues.

Walker was signed prior to the start of the 1964/65 season, a season that proved to be a tortuous one for the club and supporters. Town placed an emphasis on youth with a couple of experienced heads but most of the younger players were not up to the mark and Ilkeston struggled near the bottom, the only slight improvement taking place when a few older heads were signed. Walker, however, was definitely more than capable of lighting up the Midland Counties League and his performances at least gave the fans something to cheer about. From then onwards he no longer stood out but that was not because of any stagnation on his part but because in 1965 Town signed some much better players to play around him.

To begin with Ilkeston weren’t too sure where best to play him. He frequently played on the right wing during his first season, no doubt because of his ability to cross accurately both from open play and dead ball situations. At times he became isolated, however, and a player of his class needed to become more involved for their potential to be realised. Ilkeston wisely moved him inside into a more central position where his accurate passing could be fully utilised but even then his best position wasn’t certain because of his adaptability. Sometimes he would play in a deeper midfield role in the half back line where he could initiate forward moves. At other times he played further forward where he could cause damage with his forward bursts, defence splitting passes and crosses. Whichever role he played in Walker proved his worth throughout his five seasons at the club, and he was a key player when The Robins clinched the Midland Counties League title in 1967/68.

Walker’s final season, 1968/69, was a difficult one for the club, primarily because of financial pressures. Midway through the campaign Town were forced to impose a wage cut on the players and towards the end, and after the season had finished, several of the players who brought success to Ilkeston a year earlier left. Some sought higher wages elsewhere whilst others were released to reduce the wage bill. Walker was one of them and left the club during the summer but not before the club staged a couple of benefit games on his behalf, against Nottingham Forest and an Ilkeston Past XI.

Ilkeston’s loss was very much the gain of Walker’s future clubs. These included Sutton Town, Arnold, Alfreton Town and Worksop Town.

 


MICK WYLD

BORN: CIRCA 1944

POSITION: WING HALF/CENTRE HALF

PREVIOUS CLUBS: NOTTINGHAM FOREST, SOUTHEND UNITED, SUNDERLAND, KETTERING TOWN, ALFRETON TOWN, SUTTON TOWN

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 31ST DECEMBER 1966 v LONG EATON UNITED (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 21ST APRIL 1973 v STOURBRIDGE (AWAY)

FIRST GOAL: 28TH JANUARY 1967 v MATLOCK TOWN (HOME)

100TH APPEARANCE: 19TH APRIL 1969 v BARTON TOWN (AWAY)

150TH APPEARANCE: 2ND DECEMBER 1972 v BRADFORD PARK AVENUE (AWAY)

HONOURS:

EVER PRESENT: 1967/68

MIDLAND COUNTIES LEAGUE CHAMPION: 1967/68

 


Wyld by name, wild by nature is possibly a lazy statement and although he was a fearless, sometimes ferocious competitor, Mick Wyld had more to his game than simply being a clogger. One reporter described him disingenuously as crude but effective but he played a crucial part in bringing success to Ilkeston.

Mick Wyld had been at a number of clubs before joining The Robins, most notably Nottingham Forest, Southend United and Sunderland but had failed to make the grade. When he signed late in 1966 Ilkeston soon played him as an inside forward rather than his more suited half back role. Quite why The Robins chose this option, other than to give added aggression to the forward line, is not easy to understand for they failed to use him in a position that played to his strengths. Soon he was brought back into the defensive midfield position by manager Dave Agnew who understood Wyld’s best qualities, although it took time for him to win over the supporters who had been critical of his performances up front.

It is said that all successful teams need a hard man and this was certainly the case when football was a much more physical game than it is today. Wyld, most definitely a hard man, would not survive in the current climate but back in the 1960s his tackling was generally considered to be hard but fair. Tackling from behind had not yet been outlawed and he was quite happy in challenging for the ball in this way. Occasionally he overstepped the mark and by the time he had played his last game for the club in 1973 he was the only player in their history to have been sent off three times. It should be noted, however, that two of his dismissals were for dissent rather than dangerous play.

Controversy was never far away. In October 1968 and just recovered from a facial injury Wyld's comeback game was to be as a substitute and on hearing the news from Agnew he left the ground and went home. Agnew's response was to suspend him for a month but the committee were so incensed that they planned to terminate Wyld's contract. They backtracked when Agnew complained that they were getting involved in team matters that, as manager, he was responsible for.

A simplified description of Wyld’s role in the team would be to state that he was there to stop the opposition from playing and scoring but there was more to his game than that. His ability to win the ball and give it to a more technically gifted colleague in midfield was often the prelude to an Ilkeston goal. And between 1967 and 1969 he carried out his duties to a consistently high standard. By the end of the 1967/68 season Town had been crowned as Midland Counties League champions and their ability to keep out the opposition was as much down to Wyld as anyone else in the team.

By 1969, however, Wyld’s role changed somewhat when he frequently played in central defence. He was not a natural centre back and it was when he played in this role, where timely clearances are more important than trying to win the ball in midfield, that he became unfairly tagged as a clogger and crude. Yet, for the most part, Wyld remained an effective member of the team and did so until January 1970. By this time he had grown unsettled at the club, especially as he had taken a reduction in wages like the rest of his colleagues. Unfortunately for him any move became out of the question when he picked up a long term injury and it was not until the summer that he departed for Arnold.

Ilkeston supporters had not seen the last of him in an Ilkeston shirt, however. Early in the 1972/73 season he returned to the club for one last season. Unfortunately the team struggled collectively and he struggled to recreate the performances of seasons gone by. He was unlucky again with injuries, a gashed shin sustained at Corby keeping him out of the team for several weeks. At the end of the season, Town’s last one in their first stint of Southern League football, he was one of a number of players released as the club was forced to lower their wage bill in preparation for their return to the Midland Counties League. Wyld thus departed but memories of him linger on in the minds of older supporters who wince when describing his almost demonic tackling, to this day.