This week’s picture from the past is a somewhat faded almost a half-a-century old newspaper clipping.
However, its importance lies in the fact it is probably the very first photo published of the now legendary and all-conquering Colne Dynamoes football team from their very first season of 1963-64.
Title winners from Year 1, that season saw 24 matches played, 20 matches won, three drawn, one lost (to a very strong Nelson Grammar School Old Boys’ Team), goals for 102, goals against 26. What a tremendous inaugural season for a side still fondly remembered to this very day.
So who are the Colne Dynamoes of yesteryear as seen on our rare 1963 team photograph? First up on the back row left to right is speedy left winge, David Heaton. Dave is one of 10 ex-Primet Secondary Modern School boys on our picture and had superb skill on the ball, racing down the wing Brian Pilkington-style.
Next along is mighty midfielder Keith Carradice. Keith, known to everyone as “Carrots”, is today sadly no longer with us, but his name lives on as one of the enduring giants of the Dynamoes.
Now we see top full-back Peter Gibbons. Pete, always in the thick of the action, was one of the three most talented “Gibbons Brothers” who played for the club.
Next we see Herculean goalkeeper Brian Clark. “Big Brian” is today sadly passed on and was, without doubt, one of the greatest goalies (and characters) to grace our local leagues.
Now it’s central strongman Rodney Booth. Rodney, a Nelsoner, played a defining role in midfield and was also a very reputable cricketer.
Next up is the renowned left full back Gordon Ellis. Gordon, a commanding and fearless footballer, was one of the finest defenders of the 1960s.
Now we see wizard winger Trevor Riddiough. Trevor, a founder of Colne Dynamoes, had a majestic skill on the field and scored some notable goals over the years.
Last, far right, is the club’s very first coach, the affable Clifford Skelton. Clifford’s son Peter is remembered as one of our area’s most talented, all-round sportsmen.
Front row now. Left to right and first here is brilliant forward, Peter Skelton. Peter, like his dad Clifford, now sadly passed on, was a truly magnificent footballer remembered by all who saw him play.
Next along is “Mr Dynamoes”, none other than star striker Graham White. Graham, the club’s visionary from day one, was a scorer of many glorious goals for his team, many of them sheer skill on the ball.
Now to the club’s very first captain, Barrie Gibbons. Barrie also scored the Dynamoes’ first goal in their initial game against Pendle Forest in 1963 and whenever on the field of play, his commitment was always 100 per cent.
Next we see phenomenal striker Trevor Lonsdale. Trevor was a smooth as silk footballer and every inch as classy as opening batsman for Colne Cricket Club.
On the far right is 16-year-old prodigious Peter Bourne. Peter, an astounding player, had amazing skills on the pitch and like team-mate, the splendid centre-half Keith Gibbons, would leave Bonnie Colne and emigrate to Australia.
These, then, are the players of great renown, still fondly recalled locally after almost 50 years on, the Colne Dynamoes Football Club was destined to thrill its followers for just 25 years, but the players’ names live on.
Barrie Gibbons, the likeable and formidable captain of the team of 1963/4 and a great friend of mine, will celebrate his 70th birthday this Sunday. Congratulations, Barrie, and here’s to many more, old pal.
Other good friends of mine who reach the three score years and 10 this year include the distinguished cameraman and model maker, Colin Bean, the masterly Golden Arrow winner, Dave Allen, and the long-serving local politician, Smith Benson. My felicitations to you all.