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Football

Chewton Football Team 1The picture on the leftis one of the earliest football team photographs the people in the team are listed below. The picture was supplied by Gilbert Prior
who also identifed some of the layers. Jeff Ford also suplied some of the information.
Back Row Gilbert
Prior
Wilf
Randall
 Sonny
Carter
 Roy St John Joe
Keen?
Middle  ?  Les
Fisher
 ?
Front  Jo
Killen
 Bill Stokes  ?
Most sports pursued by the inhabitants of Chewton Mendip were  the  country sports such as horse racing and various forms of hunting.  Cricket was mentioned  in newspaper article in 1866 but first known recorded instance of a football match  was when the Mendip Motors workers staged a football match to raise funds for the victims of the Titantic in 1912.

George Gollege, who farmed at West End Farm started a Football team just after the war. He was allocated two tickets for the cup final in 1948 and Gilbert Prior went to Wembley with him. They were lucky to see the famous match between Manchester United and Blackpool with Stanley Mathews and Stan Mortensen.

This may have inspired them to start a football team. Gilbert Prior, Wilf Randall and Roy St John were involved in setting up the team. Most of the players lived in the village but there were not enough players who lived in Chewton Mendip to make a team so some people from outside the village had to be bought in.

Jo Killen lived in Ston Easton and there may have been a player called George George, someone who worked for him. One member of the team worked for George Gollege but at a water cress farm in Chilcompton. His name has been forgotton but it is known he married Jo Sperring, daughter of Florence Payne and Thomas Sperring

The team’s colour was royal blue and they initially played on a pitch created on the field above the former quarry in Coles Lane which was called Burges in 1839. The team later moved to a field above Kings Hill that was part of Barrow Farm which was then held by the Baber family. They eventually ended up playing in the same field as the cricket pitch off Puppy Lane.

Chewton Football Team 2
This picture was taken at a slightly later date. Les Fisher appears to have moved into a managerial role!

The picture was provided by Brenda Memory whose’ mother used to be a keen supporter and Brenda still has the rattle her mother took to the matches. It still makes a deafening row!

Back  ? Wilf Randall Sonny Carter Charlie Oldland Les Fisher
Middle Bill Stokes Snowy Shearn Ticker Rogers  Dennis Hobbs  ?
Front  Harold ?  Gilbert Prior  ?

Les Fisher, who had taken over the garage from Maurice Payne, had played in a higher level of football so he tried to improve the standard of the team by encouraging players from the wider area to play. Gilbert Prior was still playing, Charlie Oldland lived next to the shop, Sonny Carter came from Midsomer Norton which is not that far away. Ticker Rogers came from Farrington Gurney as did a number of other players. Snowy Shearn was a better class of player bought in for the important games.

The team prospered for a while in a league above most village teams and coaches were laid on to take supporters to away matches but the good times did not last and the team was eventually disbanded.

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