Football on St. Mary’ s Rec

I love this picture of my old school’s football team appearing on St. Mary’s ‘Rec’ at Redhill. Memories of wearing that red shirt a good few times, Denis Law-style with the cuffs pulled down over my hands and giving the ‘Lawman’s’ single fist salute after scoring and dreaming that I was playing for Scotland. In the background is St. Mary’s Church which has stood on that spot for a mind-boggling thousand years. The church around which the town was built.


I recall one particular sports session at school where we were due to play football and a few of us turned up without kit as there was a foot of snow on the field. The games master who was very much a 1970s stereotype with his nylon track suit and bullying nature threw a pair of gym shorts each at us and made us go out and play bare-chested with no shoes or socks in deep snow and sub-zero temperatures. We survived – thought it was a bit of a laugh actually (except when you caught the rock hard size 3 football on your bare flesh). I’m just imagining what the authorities would make of that now.

The rec was the scene of many. a multiple-hour game of football between me, my pals and basically anybody who passed by. We played in all weathers in much worse conditions even than pictured I remember being engrossed in many-a-side games on the evenings in the late sixties that both Celtic and Manchester won their European Cups, running home hell-for-leather for a place in front of the black and white TV at kick-off time to watch the games with dad. Probably with a bowl of mum’s Scotch broth in front of me. Those were the days.

2 Replies to “Football on St. Mary’ s Rec”

  1. Hello Stuart,
    I used to work with you at the Color Factory, I was there from 1982 to 1986. A printer on the Komori Lithrone 540. I was the one who christened you Ralph. As in Ralph Reeder of the Gang Show. 28 or more years ago but do you remember me. Gordon Murdock (beard and glasses). I am retired now but still in touch with several old Color Factory lads. Tony Cashman, Mick Morley, Gordon Hill, Paul and Lee Smith, Wayne Furness and Peter Clarke. Send me an email !

  2. Well hello, Gordon! Of course I remember you and all the other of our workmates you mention! I was quite partial to that nickname – only fair if you’re a reader! I lasted there a little after you, leaving around 1991/2 if I recall. I went to Heanor Gate for a couple of years afterwards then spent ten years at Howitts. I hope you’re doing well, Gordon and I will certainly drop you a line when I get a moment. Take care.


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