Edwin remembered as ‘tenacious forward’

Bolsover Cadets 1951/52
Bolsover Cadets 1951/52

The North Derbyshire Sporting Hall of Fame has produced a brilliant response from readers since its launch a year ago.

Numerous immortals from yesteryear have been inaugurated into the Hall, most after being suggested by yourselves.

One of the most popular was cricketer Edwin Smith, a Derbyshire bowler of note from 1951 until 1971.

At the age of 78, Edwin is still going strong and is playing regularly in the Chesterfield and District Snooker League.

However, Philip Utridge, from Glapwell, remembers Edwin being a goal-grabbing footballer in his youth.

Philip said: “I remember him as a tenacious centre forward for Grassmoor CA and his hat-trick pipped my team, Bolsover Cadets, to the post for the U18 league title in 1951/52.’’

Philip also included a fascinating clipping from the Derbyshire Times when a correspondent called Wanderer filed a report on the game.

It noted that Grassmoor led 2-0 at half-time and that ‘both goals came from 17-year-old Edwin Smith, the lad who distinguished himself with the small red ball playing cricket for Derbyshire last summer.’’

Philip scored one of the goals in the game which ended 4-4 and he was listed in the Players’ Progress section as netting 17 times that season and as having a trial with Notts County. He said: “I had a trial with them and played with Notts County Colts until I joined the RAF on National Service.’’

In addition, Philip included a great photograph of Bolsover Cadets from the early 1950s. He is pictured on the far left of the front row.

Meanwhile, past players of Chesterfield FC who have been accepted into the Hall of Fame, sparked memories for Larry Needham, 91, from Bolsover.

He said: “One of my favourite players was Billy Linacre. He was a brilliant winger, very unorthodox. He was a clever dribbler and he could score.’’

Linacre played for Chesterfield during the war years before moving to Manchester City in 1947 for £8,000 with Tommy Capel coming the other way as part of the deal.

Larry was also a big fan of legendary keeper Ray Middleton, who was also with the Spireites during the war years, before a £10,000 move to Derby County in 1951. Middleton played four games for England B and Larry said: “I have not seen a keeper better than him.’’

The feature on Dave Blakey, who has made more appearances for Chesterfield FC than anybody else, served as an illustration of how times have changed.

Cyril Leason, who organises the Historic Hardwick Hall Road Race, said: “I remember Dave well. He lived near where I did and I remember him catching the bus to town for the game along with supporters.’’ That’s something you just couldn’t imagine happening today, could you?

Who would you like to see added to the Hall of Fame? Send your nominations for post-war sporting greats to andrew.jarvis@derbyshiretimes.co.uk or telephone (01246) 504528.