Ask anybody from my neck of the woods about 1966, and the first thing that they will think about is football. Me, I can take it or leave it really, but it’s not hard to see why that year captured everyone’s imagination. Two blokes who formed a bond on the field that resulted in goals that thrilled everyone who saw them, and goals that earned their team the ultimate achievement. Hull City were champions of the English Third Division!
Ken Wagstaffe and Chris Chilton weighed in with 52 goals between them, and Ken Houghton got another 20. When they finally clinched the champions spot with a 1-0 victory over Southend United, grown men were reduced to tears, the pubs ran out of beer, and they had to print twice as many green sports mails to meet the demand. If you didn’t go to the match in them days, you had to read about it in the paper, there was no sky television or anything like it, and local radio didn’t come to East Yorkshire for another five years.
I never went to any of the games. But my Raymond used to go with little Cyril now and again. Cyril had two kiddies now. My nephew Michael, and my niece Pam, I used to go around and help April May keep an eye on them whilst the men were out.
Cyril actually used to take a rattle an’all. A big wooden thing that twirled around and made a noise. Raymond wouldn’t be doing with anything like that, but he had a scarf and a rosette with the black and orange colours on them. “It’s not black and ruddy orange Doris” Raymond used to say “it’s black and AMBER!” I just used to smile at him and carry on saying black and orange, just to see him take the bait. They used to call them the tigers, but you look up “tiger” in any dictionary you like and show me one that says that they are black and amber. Orange, browny yellow, reddish brown, whatever. Amber is the colour of traffic lights and pittle in my book, but there you go. There’s no telling blokes when it comes to their teams.
‘Course, these days Hull City are in the top league and the FA Cup final, and the bloke who owns them wants to change their name to the ruddy Hull Tigers. That sounds alright for a basketball or ice hockey team, but not for an English football team. Even I can see that. Still. I wouldn’t like to see my local side go completely out of fashion and fail to keep up with modern trends. So when Liverpool become the Liverpool Redsox, I might entertain the idea.
Speaking about football, that summer, England won the World Cup. It was almost as exciting as Hull City winning division three, but not quite. I did write a piece about the England Captain, Bobby Moore, once though. You can find it here… http://buff.ly/1mixYer
Auntie Doris’s top pop pick of 1966: “The Elusive Butterfly of Love” by Val Doonican. Our Cyril’s friend Herbert used to catch butterflies, suffocate them in a jam jar, and pin their dried little corpses to sheets of cardboard. He never married.
I don’t know if Val Doonican ever married, but his kids are still making music today. You can find them here… http://buff.ly/1miy1am