THE young football stars of Washington Grammar School proved a force to be reckoned with – on and off the pitch.
Pictured here are the lads of the Under 13 team during the 1957/58 season, who stormed their way to victory in numerous tournaments and cup competitions.
Included in the line-up are Bryan Ferry, who later found fame with art rock band Roxy Music, as well as Howard Kendall, who managed Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Sheffield United and Everton.
Also featured in the shot is Wearside lad George Bruntlett, who is believed to have joined Sunderland AFC as an apprentice after leaving school, as well as retired Army man Bill Lumsden.
“I was an old-fashioned inside-forward for the team, while Bryan was the goalie and Howard was a wing half. It was a good team and quite successful,” recalls Bill, who now lives in Heworth.
“Our school took in pupils from a wide area, including Boldon, Shiney Row and the outskirts of Sunderland, so there was a big choice of boys for the teams. A lot of them were very talented.”
Bill, who hails from a Washington mining family, recalls occasionally walking to school with Bryan – whose father, Fred, was a farmer who also looked after the local pit ponies.
“We used to live fairly close by, so sometimes walked together. I was much more sports-orientated, while he was more interested in the arts – which obviously came through for him,” said Bill.
“Both Bryan and Howard stayed on to take their O Levels, I think, but I left school a year early to take up an apprenticeship as a vehicle mechanic with the Army. I would have been too old otherwise.
“After Howard left school, he went to play football for Preston North End and became the youngest player at the time to play in an FA Cup Final in 1964, against West Ham.”
Bill went on to spend more than 40 years in the Army, eventually retiring in 2005 as a staff sergeant, but remembers his childhood footballing years with fondness.
“All the lads in the photo would be 64 or 65 by now. I didn’t keep in touch with any of them, being with the Army, but it would be nice to know if any are still about,” he said.
Another picture with a football theme has been provided by Peterlee man George Cowie, who is keen to trace his team mates.
“The photo shows Washington Glebe Secondary Modern School’s team in 1949. I’m second from left in the middle row,” said George. “Any players who want to get in touch can contact me on 586 2066.”
The final image featured was provided by Mick Pickering and dates from the late 1920s or early 1930s.
“I thought people might be interested in this photograph of Green Terrace Primary School visiting the original Winter Gardens,” said Mick, of Roker “Although it looks as if they may have found it difficult to get past the ‘Jobsworth’ on the door!”
- Do you have any school photographs you would like to see in the Echo? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can contact Bill Lumsden c/o Sarah Stoner at: Sunderland Echo, Pennywell, Sunderland, SR4 9ER.