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ALBERT BALL


BORN: LANGWITH

POSITION: LEFT BACK

PREVIOUS CLUBS: LANGWITH BOYS, BREASTON JUNIORS, STANTON IRONWORKS

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 23RD AUGUST 1947 v GRANTHAM RESEVES (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 26TH SEPTEMBER 1953 v GRESLEY ROVERS (AWAY)

FIRST GOAL: 13TH MARCH 1948 v DERBY COUNTY ‘A’ (HOME)

100TH APPEARANCE: 25TH MARCH 1950 v GRESLEY ROVERS (HOME)

150TH APPEARANCE: 21ST APRIL 1951 v PARKHOUSE COLLIERY (HOME)

HONOURS:

CAPTAIN: 1948/49, 1949/50

DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP WINNER: 1948/49

DERBYSHIRE DIVISIONAL CUP WINNER: 1950/51

FA CUP FIRST ROUND: 1951/52

Like many footballers of his generation Albert Ball’s best years were lost to the Second World War. He joined Ilkeston Town during the summer of 1947 and was already familiar to many local football followers because of his stint at Stanton Ironworks. Ball played with a calm authority on the pitch and his leadership qualities made him an ideal captain. He captained the team in the 1948/49 and 1949/50 seasons before relinquishing the responsibility and handing the role to Les Smith who he graciously declared as being "the best person for the job." By this time he had become the first Ilkeston Town player to reach 100 first team appearances

The 1950/51 season was his last one as a first team regular but he showed great loyalty to the club and played frequently for the reserves until 1954 before retiring from football for health reasons. His experience was hugely beneficial to some of the younger players at Ilkeston.

During this time he still made the occasional first team appearance. One of these was at Bentinck Welfare in April 1953 where Town clinched the Central Alliance title for the second time. He did not receive a medal as this was his first competitive appearance of the season but a week earlier Sheffield Wednesday visited Ilkeston Town to play a benefit match for Ball, Alwyn Booth, Syd Burrows and Arthur Grant. This went a long way to making up for any disappointment he may have felt for missing out on a medal.

Ball, an occasional penalty taker, could strike the ball cleanly and was a good tackler. However, his positional play and tactical awareness were arguably his strongest points.

 

 

ALWYN BOOTH


BORN: 1918

POSITION: INSIDE LEFT

PREVIOUS CLUBS: SMALLEY ENDOWED BOYS, QUALCAST WORKS, DERBY ST PAULS, HOLBROOK MINERS WELFARE, HOLBROOK ST MICHAELS, CHESTERFIELD, BUXTON, ATHERSTONE TOWN

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 6TH DECEMBER 1947 v MATLOCK TOWN (AWAY)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 4TH MAY 1957 v KETTERING TOWN RESERVES (HOME)

FIRST GOAL: 6TH DECEMBER 1947 v MATLOCK TOWN (AWAY)

100TH GOAL: 19TH APRIL 1952 v MATLOCK TOWN (AWAY)

100TH APPEARANCE: 20TH JANUARY 1951 v RANSOME & MARLES (HOME)

150TH APPEARANCE: 19TH APRIL 1952 v MATLOCK TOWN (AWAY)

200TH APPEARANCE: 3RD OCTOBER 1953 v BRUSH SPORTS RESERVES (HOME)

HONOURS:

LEADING SCORER: 1948/49 (33 GOALS), 1949/50 (15 GOALS)

CENTRAL ALLIANCE CHAMPION: 1951/52, 1952/53, 1953/54

DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP WINNER: 1948/49, 1952/53

DERBYSHIRE DIVISIONAL CUP WINNER: 1950/51, 1951/52

GOAL SCORING FEATS:

5 v RANSOME & MARLES RESERVES (AWAY) 24TH JANUARY 1948

5 v WARSOP WORKING MENS CLUB (HOME) 21ST AUGUST 1948

4 v MATLOCK TOWN (HOME) 3RD JANUARY 1948

4 v RANSOME & MARLES (HOME) 20TH DECEMBER 1952

3 v BRUSH SPORTS (HOME) 20TH DECEMBER 1947

3 v MATLOCK TOWN (HOME) 6TH MARCH 1948

3 v SHERWOOD COLLIERY (HOME) 18TH SEPTEMBER 1948

3 v MANSFIELD TOWN ‘A’ (AWAY) 9TH APRIL 1949

3 v SHIREBROOK SUPPORTERS (HOME) 22ND OCTOBER 1949

3 v RETFORD TOWN (HOME) 1ST MARCH 1952

Only Jackie Ward has scored more goals for Ilkeston Town than Alwyn Booth. Booth’s tally of 125 goals, in 217 appearances, is truly a record to be proud of. He was heading towards his 30th birthday when he arrived at the Manor Ground from Atherstone Town in 1947, having spent most of his footballing life playing non League football in Derby and the surrounding area. Yet despite already being vastly experienced he was to stay at Ilkeston for almost ten years before he retired.

When he joined the club he was immediately put straight into the first team at centre forward in place of Horace Chaplin. Booth was an immediate success in the role and he proved to be a natural goalscorer. Nevertheless he had many other qualities that set him aside from being a player who could simply put away chances. A keen football brain, the ability to draw defenders out of position, and excellent distribution skills made him an ideal inside left. It was in this position that he excelled and he first appeared in the role early in the 1948/49 season. Booth thus turned from being primarily a goalscorer to being a goal creator although he never lost the striker’s instinct. His powerful left foot and strong aerial ability meant that he continued to add to his goals tally on a regular basis. In April 1952 he became the first Ilkeston Town player to reach 100 goals. He also became the first Town player to reach 200 appearances, in October 1953.

Although Booth did not appear in either of Town’s FA Cup First Round ties in the 1950s he did score twice in the 1950/51 Derbyshire Divisional Cup Final when Town beat Gresley Rovers 3-1.

Booth played only occasionally for the first team from November 1953 but, like Albert Ball and Syd Burrows, he chose to remain at the club and played for the reserves for several years. Such loyalty meant that he truly deserved the benefit match awarded to himself, Ball, Burrows and Arthur Grant. He did, in fact, leave Ilkeston very briefly during the summer of 1951 to join the newly formed Belper Town club but he was back in an Ilkeston Town shirt before August had passed.

A special day for the Booth household was April 9th, 1949. This was the day when his wife gave birth to their son Dennis. Mrs Booth was a fanatical supporter of her husband and Ilkeston and would often remonstrate with opposing players who dared foul Alwyn. Dennis went on to become an excellent player in his own right and made a total of 536 League appearances with the likes of Charlton Athletic, Blackpool, Southend United, Lincoln City, Watford and Hull City. Later he went on to become a highly respected coach and has also scouted for England Under 21s. On the same day Dennis was born his father was helping himself to a hat-trick for Ilkeston at Mansfield Town ‘A’.

Alwyn Booth continued to live in Stanley Common, a village just outside Ilkeston, until he passed away early this century.

 

 

 

SYD BURROWS


BORN: BRIDGEND, WALES 1919

POSITION: RIGHT BACK

PREVIOUS CLUBS: GILFACH GOCH, CARDIFF CITY, KIMBERLEY TOWN, NOTTS COUNTY, MANSFIELD TOWN

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 1ST FEBRUARY 1947 v OLLERTON COLLIERY RESERVES (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 6TH APRIL 1953 v LONG EATON TOWN (HOME)

FIRST GOAL: 16TH OCTOBER 1948 v STANTON IRONWORKS (HOME)

100TH APPEARANCE: 25TH MARCH 1950 v TEVERSAL & SILVERHILL COLLIERY (AWAY)

150TH APPEARANCE: 20TH OCTOBER 1951 v LINBY COLLIERY (HOME)

HONOURS:

CENTRAL ALLIANCE CHAMPION: 1951/52

DERBYSHIRE SENIOR CUP WINNER: 1948/49

DERBYSHIRE DIVISIONAL CUP WINNER: 1946/47, 1950/51, 1951/52

FA CUP 1ST ROUND: 1951/52

Syd Burrows is the longest serving individual Ilkeston Town has ever had. He joined the club in January 1947 and remained at the Manor Ground for over 20 years, firstly as a first team player, then captain of the reserves, next reserve team trainer and finally first team trainer. His role as first team trainer began when the club entered the Midland Counties League in 1961 and he was still in that capacity when the team clinched the league title in 1967/68. Burrows was rewarded with a benefit match against Sheffield Wednesday in April 1953 alongside colleagues Albert Ball, Alwyn Booth and Arthur Grant.

As a player Burrows was a robust, uncompromising, hard tackling right back who had been raised in South Wales. Once on Cardiff City’s books he moved up to this area and spent time with Notts County and Mansfield Town before joining Ilkeston. What he lacked in pace he made up for in awareness and sound positional play. He was also something of a penalty expert and was renowned for his powerful shooting. This led to him frequently taking free kicks in attacking positions although he never managed to score from one. However, he did manage to blast one through a window of a neighbouring house at Gresley and succeeded in knocking its resident off the toilet.

Burrows’ tough tackling and competitiveness occasionally got him into trouble with referees and as a result he holds a couple of unwanted ‘records’. He was the first Ilkeston player ever to receive a booking and also the first ever to be sent off. His sending off came in the final minutes of the famous, epic FA Cup tie with Rochdale in November 1951. Rochdale’s Alan Middlebrough was also sent off during the same incident.

Burrows continued to live in Cotmanhay, Ilkeston until his death in 1996.

 

 

 

HORACE CHAPLIN


BORN: 1918

POSITION: CENTRE FORWARD

PREVIOUS CLUBS: LOCAL FOOTBALL, LINFIELD, BELFAST CELTIC

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 31ST AUGUST 1946 v GRANTHAM RESERVES (HOME)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 27TH NOVEMBER 1948 v SHIREBROOK SUPPORTERS (HOME)

FIRST GOAL: 7TH SEPTEMBER 1946 v HEANOR ATHLETIC (HOME)

HONOURS:

LEADING SCORER: 1946/47 (55 GOALS)

EVER PRESENT: 1946/47

DERBYSHIRE DIVISIONAL CUP WINNER: 1946/47

GOAL SCORING FEATS:

6 v SWANWICK OLD BOYS (HOME) 12TH OCTOBER 1946

6 v CODNOR MINERS WELFARE (AWAY) 3RD MAY 1947

5 v CODNOR MINERS WELFARE (HOME) 16TH NOVEMBER 1946

4 v CODNOR MINERS WELFARE (HOME) 2ND NOVEMBER 1946

4 v STANTON IRONWORKS (HOME) 4TH JANUARY 1947

4 v GRESLEY ROVERS (HOME) 17TH MAY 1947

3 v NOTTINGHAM FOREST ‘A’ (HOME) 28TH SEPTEMBER 1946

3 v RANSOME & MARLES RESERVES (AWAY) 28TH DECEMBER 1946

3 v GRANTHAM RESERVES (AWAY) 27TH SEPTEMBER 1947

3 v RANSOME & MARLES RESERVES (HOME) 11TH OCTOBER 1947

3 v BOLSOVER COLLIERY (HOME) 25TH OCTOBER 1947

Horace Chaplin was a natural goal scorer who found the net at a prolific rate whilst at Ilkeston. A local man, he played football in Northern Ireland during the Second World War and once appeared alongside Sir Matt Busby. He also had the opportunity to turn professional with Tranmere Rovers but he declined their offer.

Chaplin joined Ilkeston in the summer of 1946 and quickly proved himself to be too hot for most Notts & Derbys Senior League defences to cope with. He scored 55 goals in his first season, a total beaten only once since, and he managed it in just 29 games. One of them was the final goal in Town’s 3-0 victory over Derby Corinthians which saw them lift the Derbyshire Divisional Cup, their first trophy.

When Ilkeston moved into the newly formed Central Alliance in 1947 he found goals a little harder to come by. Nevertheless he was still managing to average 3 goals every 2 games by the end of November. It was therefore something of a surprise to most when Ilkeston signed Alwyn Booth and dropped Chaplin from the team. Chaplin was angered to put it mildly and made no secret of the fact. When local rivals Heanor Athletic came in for him a few weeks later he joined immediately and made it clear that he was happier playing for a club that wanted him. Fortunately for the Ilkeston committee Chaplin’s replacement was a success and Arr ’Orris was not missed as much as anticipated by supporters.

The following season saw Booth move to inside forward and Ilkeston struggled to find a centre forward capable of scoring consistently. This state of affairs led to the return of Chaplin as, thankfully, both parties swallowed their pride. But what should have been a glorious homecoming swiftly ended in sad circumstances. In his third game back Chaplin picked up a bad leg injury and never played for the club again.

It was a shame that Ilkeston followers were deprived of seeing him in full flow again. With a powerful upper body and great strength, he brushed defenders aside with ease. Capable of finishing in all manner of ways he was most remembered for his bursts forward which finished with a powerful shot at goal, commonly known as ’Orris Specials. He totalled 78 goals in 45 games but he should have scored another Heanor. With a typical burst past a couple of defenders he looked certain to score but he did not reckon on the stray dog that raced across the pitch to dispossess him in the nick of time.

Chaplin spent the rest of his days living in Ilkeston on Station Road until he passed away a few years ago.

 

FRANK HEMBURY


BORN: LANGLEY MILL, 1913

POSITION: INSIDE RIGHT

PREVIOUS CLUBS: LANGLEY MILL WESLEY, EASTWOOD COLLIERY, ILKESTON FC, BLACKPOOL, CHESTERFIELD, SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY, RIPLEY TOWN, ILKESTON FC, STANTON IRONWORKS

MILESTONES:

ILKESTON DEBUT: 25TH AUGUST 1945 v CHILWELL GARRISON (AWAY)

FINAL APPEARANCE: 19TH APRIL 1949 v SOUTH NORMANTON MINERS WELFARE (AWAY)

FIRST GOAL: 25TH AUGUST 1945 v CHILWELL GARRISON (AWAY)

HONOURS:

CAPTAIN: 1945/46

LEADING SCORER: 1945/46 (25 GOALS), 1947/48 (37 GOALS)

DERBYSHIRE DIVISIONAL CUP WINNER: 1946/47

GOAL SCORING FEATS:

4 v SWANWICK OLD BOYS (HOME) 12TH OCTOBER 1946

3 v SHELTON UNITED (HOME) 5TH APRIL 1946

3 v CODNOR MINERS WELFARE (AWAY) 3RD MAY 1947

3 v BRUSH SPORTS (HOME) 20TH DECEMBER 1947

3 v MATLOCK TOWN (HOME) 3RD JANUARY 1948

3 v NEW HOUGHTON VILLA (AWAY) 26TH MARCH 1948

3 v OLLERTON COLLIERY RESERVES (HOME) 10TH APRIL 1948

3 v WHITWICK COLLIERY (HOME) 24TH APRIL 1948

It is hard to overstate the influence Frank Hembury had on establishing Ilkeston Town during the club’s earliest years. With almost all of the players coming from the local area and with little experience because of the Second World War Hembury was the one player with a wealth of knowledge at his disposal. Approaching his mid thirties he had played senior football with the now defunct Ilkeston FC but more importantly had been on the books of several League clubs. Although he never played in the Football League he had been able to receive great advice from the likes of Alf Strange, the England and Sheffield Wednesday player, with whom he travelled to Hillsborough on an almost daily basis when he was with The Owls.

Hembury helped nurture his younger colleagues and led by example. Captain of Ilkeston Town during the club’s earliest matches he not only scored their first ever goal in the match at Chilwell but he also scored their first goal on the Manor Ground the following week. Hembury was top scorer in two of his three full seasons with the club and also scored the winning goal when Town beat Derby Corinthians to win their first ever trophy, the Derbyshire Divisional Cup, in April 1947.

Although he played as a centre forward for the first few weeks it was not long before he switched to inside right where he could have more influence without losing the chance to score plenty of goals. Powerfully built, he also was strong in the air, had excellent vision and had great tactical awareness. A common feature of his game was to trap the ball on his chest before hooking the ball over his shoulder to bring the wingers into play.

He richly deserved the benefit match staged on his behalf against Derby County in September 1949. Although Town lost 7-2 he naturally scored one of the goals. By this stage he had already made his final first team appearance and had been captain of the reserves since the start of the 1948/49 season, thus providing another set of players with the benefit of his experience.

Hembury left the club shortly after but even though he was approaching his 37th birthday he continued to play local football. Marlpool and New Langley Colliery were his final two clubs before he finally hung up his boots.