Some memories from the Lockheed days, sent by Kevin R
Cox via email:
nostalgia takes me far back. I can remember watching the Brakes in the old
Birmingham League in the 'fifties. There were some very, very good players
in the latter team, including one Bill Draper, a centre forward with a
ferocious shot. It was good quality football.
Football was very different then. The centre half rarely went into the
other team's half and neither did the fullbacks. Likewise, a center or
wing forward found loitering in his own goal area would risk a reprimand
from the team manager. It was actually a more open game then, though not
as fast as today.
I can't remember the first names of either Latham (Bill?) or Keeble
(Jack?). I do know that Latham was player manager and had played for
Coventry City, though not a first team regular. The 1951-52 season had
started out pretty inauspiciously with the Brakes near the bottom of the
table. But in the New Year they picked themselves up quite remarkably and
finished at least halfway up in the Table. By the time of the Senior Cup
Final (played at the Windmill Ground against Hereford Utd Reserves) they
had a lot of momentum. The regular right winger was a guy called Kirkaldie,
but he was cup-tied and couldn't play in the Senior Cup.
In the 'fifties the Brakes regularly played to crowds of about 1,300 -
1,500. By the mid-'fifties some of the regulars included Bill Branston in
goal, Reg Allen (RB), Mick Lane (LB), Hawker had moved to center half and
Morrow to the right wing. Mick French moved to inside left to make way for
George Burrows on the left wing. This was a good move since French was
quite a crafty ball player. French's brother played wing half. I cannot
recall who the other wing half was. Inside right was someone called
Robertson but the big goal scorer was Bill Draper. He later left and went
to play with Kettering in the Southern League.
As for the layout of the ground: There was a seated stand on the Tachbrook
Road side of the ground (5-6 rows of seats perhaps). On the Leamington end
there was a covered standing-only stand; I can't remember whether it
included terracing. I think there must have been some means of giving
people some elevation in order to see over the heads of the people in
front of them. On the other side of the field there were piles of
compacted dirt that people stood on to get some elevation to watch the
game. Also on that side was a tea lady's stand and a (very) small stand to
Birmingham Senior Cup Team (1952): Barry Spencer (G); Eric Dobbs (RB),
Cedric Bennett (LB) ; Ken Hawker (RH); Latham (CH), Keeble (LH), Fred
Gardner (RW), Frank Grimwood (IR), Wally Soden (CF), Hughie Morrow (IL),
Mickey French (LW).