Wearside Echoes: You Sporting Lot!

The lads of St Patrick's football team iin the 1920s
The lads of St Patrick's football team iin the 1920s
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WEARSIDE Echoes readers are a sporting lot – as these photos show.

The main picture on today’s page shows the lads of St Patrick’s football team, who were crowned champions of the Non Conformist League in 1921/22.

“The gent with the ball in the front row is team captain Joss McGuinness, who was my father,” said retired shipyard worker Joe McGuiness, 77, who lives in Red House.

“He was born in Newcastle in around 1891 and played for Newcastle Boys in his youth. But he later moved to the East End of Sunderland and worked as a riveter at Short’s shipbuilders.”

Joss went on to marry his sweetheart Ethel Todd and the couple had six daughters and a son. Only Joe, who was the youngest of the seven, and one of his sisters, Ethel Hall, are still alive.

“My father played well into his 30s for St Patrick’s. The team played on the town moor,” recalls Joe, who worked as a foreman plumber at Austin and Pickersgill at Southwick.

“In 1933 he moved to Marley Pots and was a famous figure in and around Southwick, as he worked for over 30 years as a bookmaker’s runner.”

Another sporting picture featured here was provided by John Kerry, of East Herrington, and shows the players of Grange United in October 1959.

“It was taken before a Wearside Combination match held at the Pyrex ground at South Hylton,” he said. “Pyrex weren’t very good in those days and I think we won about 13-0!

“Most of the people on our team were accountants, and the father of one of the chap’s owned the Grange Hotel in Newcastle Road, which is where our team name came from.”

John, who played at inside right for Grange United, was recently sent the photograph by former team-mate Ed Gardener, who now lives in Stockport, Cheshire.

“Ed is keen to organise a get-together for players wishing to meet up after all these years. All the players in this picture would be 70 years of age or older now,” said John.

The final two pictures were provided by Thorney Close reader Bill Hawkins, who came across the shots while digitising images for Sunderland Antiquarian Society and Sunderland Freemasons.

“One shows a football team from Hylton Road Schools circa 1950-51. I have no idea who the lads are, but they certainly seem very cheerful. Perhaps they had just won a competition,” said Bill.

“The other is a women’s athletics event at Hendon sports ground, probably just after World War Two. Crowds of people are cheering the runners on, which makes it a very interesting image.”

l Ex-Grange players interested in a reunion should contact John Kerry on 528 1714 for further details.