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Immediate Post World War II Era PDF Print E-mail

SEASON 1946-47 WAS HALESOWEN’S FINEST HOUR (from the Sports Argus November 1949)

Not the least remarkable feature about the history of North Worcestershire (these definitely were good days!!) club Halesowen Town lies in the fact that although one of the oldest Midlands clubs, they have only managed one major trophy, the Birmingham League championship in season 1946-47.

Formed in 1873, many of their early doings are shrouded in the misty past for few records can be traced. The club first played in the Hasbury district in 2 places before moving to The Grove, which they have occupied for over 60 years. Halesowen were one of the Birmingham League founder clubs, taking part in the first competition in 1892_93. It is a matter for some wonderment that they succeeded in carrying on at all for the town’s surroundings were then far from rural than they are today.

The club had many ups-and-downs, more hard than good. Gate receipts as low as £7 yet the players must have been a loyal band for the next Saturday morning would find them at the railway station – there was no road transport – before 9am to travel to Ruabon (Druids), Wrexham, Crewe or Bristol.

Halesowen are believed to be the first team to play at Cradley Heath – a friendly played with The Lukes about 1902 at the corner of Corngreaves, where now stands a large factory.

Among the club’s early presidents was William Jackson, a first class referee who lived a few yards from the ground. Outstanding secretaries have included George Rudge (father of the present mayor Coun. A G Rudge), Amos Partirdge, Will Adams & Percy Rose, that great stalwart who held the record for the longest service with one club in England.

Early trainers included Richard Hackett, grandfather of the present secretary Harry Rudge, George Rrankle & Joe Tye, who concocted a secret preparation for the players to drink, and Henry Edmunds.

Halesowen’s greatest glory was in 1946-47 when the club was reformed after wartime inactivity and with only 3s 4d in the kitty. Mayor Ald. H Parkes, Philip Harris and willing workers got the club going again and a fine team led by ex-Luton player Albert Cook won the Birmingham League championship.

This season things have not gone well but recently there have been wins of 3-1 over Gloucester & 6-1 at bogey team Wellington. In Harry Rudge the club has a young go-ahead sectary with a hard working committee. Tommy Hackett is trainer and Coun G A Southall is chairman.

Here are a few players who graduated from Halesowen to first class clubs:

J Jones (Spurs), W H Jones J Higgins and Beresford (Small Heath) Windmill, Leake,harris, Cyril Spiers, Tommy Smart & Proudler (Villa), Harry Hadley & Nock (Albion), Gill (Swindon), Bishop Gorman & Morris (Wolves), Page & Weston ( Burnley) and Hackett (Derby County). Villa’s Eddie Lowe comes from Halesowen but although a schoolboy there never appeared for the Town.

Halesowen's story is one of many hard struggles but their supporters feel they are on the brink of a more prosperous era.

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