Memory Match – 24-10-53

Memory Match – 24-10-53

It has been a while since I last wrote a Memory Match column. I spent 2015-2018 writing these articles for the Wrexham AFC matchday programme when we were proud to be a community club.

Unfortunately, the club’s treatment of disabled supporters has been nothing short of a disgrace, while the treatment of the proactive Disabled Supporters Association leaves a lot to be desired. Things got so bad that I was forced to withdraw my support of the club until ALL disabled supporters were given adequate and inclusive facilities from which to enjoy the football served up at the Racecourse.

Over the past few months, I have watched with interest as Hollywood superstars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have taken control of the club from the hapless Wrexham Supporters Trust. I am hopeful that things will improve under the new ownership and I am excited that I may soon be welcomed back to the Racecourse to enjoy a game of football alongside my fellow fans. Indeed, the new era that is slowly unfolding at the Cae Ras has given me the impetus needed to continue writing my Memory Match articles that I hope to put together to create my third book.

It would be great if I could synchronise the release of my book with the reincarnation of the club I love. There is much hard work ahead of myself and the new owners, but there is a new sense of hope and expectation in the air, so maybe now it is time to believe in a brighter tomorrow…



Wrexham v Workington

League Division Three (Northern Section)

Racecourse Ground

Result: 8-0

Wrexham: Egglestone, McGowan, Parker, Jones, Spruce, Tapscott, Hughes, Hewitt, Bannan, Tilston, Betts

Goalscorers: Betts (3), Tilston, Bannan (3), Hewitt

Worthington: Newlands, Cushin, Vitty, McAlone, Aitken, Reid, Bertolini, Talbot, Simmonds, Winters, Hardy

Attendance: 7,408

After pushing for promotion to the Second Division the season previously, Wrexham flattered to deceive during 1953/54. Prior to this home clash with Workington, the Reds had gone a month without a victory – – Bradford City (0-1), Chester (1-2), York City (1-1) and Scunthorpe and Lindsey United (1-3) – and had slumped to 9th in the league table. Crowds were also beginning to dwindle. Indeed, this was to be the smallest attendance of the season so far.

Researching this book has been a largely enjoyable experience. However, a few games such as this one has presented me with headaches, due to inaccessible primary evidence. I use the local archive centre who keep a large collection of old local newspapers on Microfiche – a card made of transparent film used to store printed information in miniaturized form. To read the card, one places it under the lens of a Microfiche Reader machine, which magnifies it.

This usually works well, but unfortunately some of the match reports from certain eras have not been scanned clearly, and are difficult to read as a result. There is not a lot that I can do about this, so I have just had to make the best of the situation. Apologies in advance, for any inaccuracies that occur as a result.

One good way in which we can understand the effectiveness of the Robins that afternoon, is through a letter from a local supporter – Allen Edwards of Hope. His letter was published in the North Wales Guardian under the heading ‘They were big in both senses’:

 Dear Sir,

Through your newspaper, I would like to express the sentiment of a great number of spectators at last Saturday’s match between Wrexham and Workington.

 Almost eclipsing natural delight with Wrexham’s avalanche of goals, was a genuine admiration for a team who took such a defeat so sportingly. They were a big team in both senses of the word.

 Such a team does the game proud, and I for one would like to see their efforts more worthfully rewarded.

Well done Workington, and most importantly, you won the hearts of many ‘Kopites’.

Yours Faithfully

Allen Edwards.

From what I am able to ascertain from the poor-quality match report this is a fair summary of the match in question as even “the Wanderer” writing in the Leader, stopped short of over stating our performance:

‘Certainly, a worthy victory, but one which I hope will not produce a false sense of security that the form of the earlier part of the season is back in every department.’’

Hardly gushing praise following what was then a record victory. There is no pleasing some people, especially aggrieved would have been hat-trick heroes Eric Betts and Tommy Bannan. The other two goals were scored by Ron Hewitt and Tommy Tilston.


Scunthorpe and Lindsey United knocked us out of the FA Cup after a third round replay (3-1). We had negotiated a tricky first round encounter with non-league Horden Colliery Welfare, at their Horden Welfare Park ground. Glyn Hughes was our match winner, with a 1st minute strike in front of almost 7,000 spectators.

At the second round stage, we had a titanic struggle against Brighton and Hove Albion. They visited the Racecourse and forced a replay at the Goldstone Ground, after a 1-1 draw. Extra time could not separate us down South, either, as the game ended up in another 1-1 draw. A neutral ground was found for the second replay, with Selhurst Park being oddly chosen. Gordon Richards, Ron Hewitt and Tommy Bannan all scored as we upset the odds and marched in to the third round with a 3-1 victory.

For the second successive season, we lost to Chester in the Welsh Cup. This time we had reached the sixth round stage, by beating Connah’s Quay at the Racecourse (5-2), but we were halted at Sealand Road when our cross-border rivals beat us with the only goal of the game. *At least I think it was a 1-0 defeat. I am going by the Welsh Football Data Archive, but Pete Jones records this as a 2-0 defeat in his Complete Record book. 

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