Back to season 1981-82 and a club that battled away with two teams that had no luck the previous year with both teams going the whole campaign without a league victory between them.
The club was Vokes Sports. However, their luck turned on the 12th September 1981 when the second team broke their duck after beating Old Portmuthians 6-2. Chris Atwell notched a hat-trick, Dave Beard scored twice and Tony Wilkins making up the total.
The first team took even longer, having to wait until the 14th November before recording a 2-1 victory over Marconi, thanks to goals from Paul Connor and Vic Powell. On March 20th 1982 of that same season Vokes created another first by having both their teams recording victories on the same day.
Vokes Sports were a side that enjoyed their football, win lose or draw and were always sporting opponents to play against. Proof of their standing was shown by their determination the previous season to carry on when other clubs may have folded faced with not winning a game.
I make no apologies referring to good club secretaries again but Vokes had a good one in Kier Cheetham. Secretaries were so important in those days, besides notifying players of Saturdays venue and kick off time, arranging fixtures with opponents, sorting out referees, booking the pitches, attending monthly meetings of the league – you could see it was a job that demanded a lot of ones time.
Maybe that’s one reason clubs have folded over the years, plus there was no internet or mobile phones back then so everything was done by the house phone and no doubt upsetting the rest of the household with it being constantly engaged.
Hilsea Old Boys were a club that had scaled the heights of the Premier Division led by manager Ray Boyes – he had celebrated 25 years at the helm in season 1980-81.
Along the way he had assembled a group of players many of whom went on to play at a higher level, names such as Goalkeepers Brian Hitchcock and Colin Arnold, Lennie Phillips, Micky Gee, Tony Cleveland, Kenny Critchett, Dave Corbin and Benny Smallbones who went on to run the Leigh Park Working Mens Club team.
The list of names from the past too many to list here but my apologies to those I have forgotten. Joey Stewart was assisting Ray at this time in the eighties. Ray Boyes was a man respected by everyone who came into contact with him.