Established 1973

The Recreation Ground, Pirton, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG5 3PX

Tour Matches - Paris 1990 - Dűsseldorf 1991 - Paris 1992 - Cologne 1994 - Weymouth 1997 - Holland 1999 (U/13)













Paris 1990

Our first foreign tour was to Paris in May 1990. When we arrived to play our first match it was in a 2,000-seater stadium against a team who had reached the Third Round of the French Cup the year before, USM Gagny. Needless to say, we just about came second, with Alan Dawson scoring the first Lea Sports goal on foreign soil. Steve Close scored the second as we lost 2-10. The post-match party was great, however, with Hugh Byrne leading the singing which went on long into the night. The second game was just as tough, with a 0-6 defeat vs.Rosny-sous-Bois.

Adults - May 1990, Paris   

  27.05.90         U.S.M. Gagny.    2-10   Marsh, Lee, Bradley, Bownes, Thompson, Dawson1 , Mayman, Gathern, Turner, Hebron, Pearson,N. Subs: Bignell, Byrne, Close1, Jenkins, Moorhouse

   28.05.90        Rosny-sous-Bois    0-6    Sheppard, Blake, Jenkins, Bownes, Thompson, Bignell, Mayman, Byrne, Moorhouse, Connolly, Close  Subs: Bradley, Dawson, Gathern, Hebron, Lee, Marsh, Turner


The team before the Gagny match.

Tour guide Rima Nouri.

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Dűsseldorf 1991

The 1991 tour to Dusseldorf was a great success - not only did everyone have a great time, but we were unbeaten in our two matches. The first of these was a 4-3 victory vs. SV Hilden-Ost, with Phil Thompson scoring twice, Russell Sheppard and Neil Wilkinson one each on a gravel pitch. The second match was a hung-over 0-0 draw vs. Sparta Bilk.


The team before the Hilden-Ost match.



Adults - May 1991, Dusseldorf 

 26.05.91         S.V. Hilden-Ost       4-3      Hebron, Goldsmith, Callow, Byrne, Blake, Bownes, Mayman, Connolly, Sheppard1 , Thompson , Close    Subs: Lee, Wilkinson1

   27.05.91        Sparta Bilk              0-0      Hebron, Goldsmith, Callow, Byrne, Wilkinson, Bownes, Mayman, Connolly, Sheppard, Thompson, Lee   Subs:  Blake, Close                     Back to top

Paris 1992

Everyone enjoyed the 1990 trip to Paris so much that we decided to return in 1992 - and we weren't disappointed. We left from the Teachers' Centre in Stopsley around midnight - and some people came dressed for the trip. The two matches both produced 6 goals; firstly a 1-5 defeat to UJA Alfortville in a very enjoyable, sporting match - Trevor Taylor scoring our consolation goal; followed by a 3-3 draw against Neuilly-sur-Marne in a match we should have won - goals from Russell Sheppard (2) and Steve Bingham. The post-match entertainment was again unforgettable.



Adults - May 1992, Paris 

   24.05.92        U.J.A.Alfortville        1-5      Goldsmith, Shiers, Lee, Taylor1  , Gathern, Byrne, Wilkinson, Lowrie, Boxall, Sheridan, Bownes   Subs: Grimes, Mayman

   25.05.92        Neuilly sur Marne       3-3      Sheridan, Hebron, Blake, Campbell, Justin, Bingham1 , Sheppard2  , Close, Boxall, Mayman, Jenkins   Sub: Talling                            Back to top


The team before the Neuilly-sur-Marne match.


Cologne 1994

1994 brought a trip to Cologne - although the matches were played across the border against Dutch opposition. This is significant, since Andy Sheridan - or 'Strawman' as he is more affectionately known - had forgotten his passport. On the way back from the second match he was convinced we were being pursued by enthusiastic German border guards and spent half an hour in a very much over-used coach toilet. Many players were convinced that the second match was the 'Billy Kellock Testimonial' and was to receive mass coverage in the local media (Billy Kellock, of course, being a local hero). In the end, one man and his dog turned up to watch and a large number of teetotal players were left feeling a bit daft!


Adults - May 1994, Cologne

  29.05.94         V.V.Stadbroek       4-2      Carter, Hebron, Blake, Shiers, Hughes,S.1 , Robson, Sheridan1  , Justin, Mayman, Bingham, Warner1   Subs:  Bownes, Byrne, Close, Temple1

   30.05.94        V.V.Achilles            2-4      Carter, Jenkins, Close, Shiers, Hughes,S., Temple2 , Sheridan, Burgess, Brown, Byrne, Tebbutt  Subs: Bingham, Bownes, Hebron, Mayman, Robson, Warner

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Weymouth 1997

In May 1997 the two Under 11 teams, under Godfrey Knock and Peter Skingley, took part in a junior Tournament hosted by Weymouth Cougars. The adults decided that this was a good excuse for a wekend away, so they organised a friendly in Weymouth on the same weekend.

Needless to say, the juniors did not quite get up to the same antics as the adults...

(The details - for those interested...31st May 1997 vs. Chickerell United lost 1-4. Team: Steve Baggett, Andy Shiers, Neil Addison, Mark Kempton, Nick Kane, Gavin Campbell, Barry Leek, Steve Close, John Temple (1), Micky Justin, Alex Houghton  Subs: John Harvey, James Tebbutt)



Note: Lewis Smith and Richard Knock in this picture!


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Under Thirteens - Harderwijk, Holland 1999

In May 1999 the Under Thirteens embarked on a tour to a junior tournament in Harderwijk, Holland.

The accommodation was in a small holiday camp, which appeared to cater usually for hospital patients - my bed was equipped with levers to raise it and a hoist!!

The Under Thirteen Reds, under Godfrey Knock, were to play in the Tournament, while the Blues, under Peter Skingley, played a friendly match on the final day.

Godfrey's team started well with a 4-0 win over DOSC, with goals from Wayne Mullooly, Danny Duggan and Ben L'Honoré (2), followed by a 0-0 draw with SV Zeist. The third match brought a 1-0 defeat to Mizst SZ25, which left the team having to play-off against SV Zeist 'A' (while the Blues were playiong the Zeist 'B' team). Godfrey became increasingly annoyed at the lack of protection given to his team (and to Ben L'Honoré in particular) by the Dutch referee and after one particularly bad tackle, with the Reds at 2-3 down, Godfrey brought the lads off the pitch and the tour was over!

Meanwhile the Blues enjoyed a rare 4-2 victory over the Zeist 'B' team, with goals from Ian Skingley, Ryan Hadden, Liam Dwyer and Aurelian McNaughton.

The highlight of the trip was a tour around the impressive Ajax Stadium in Amsterdam.

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This site was last updated 27th May 2011