Michael ("Mick") Stangroom in 'gritty' mood in the FA Cup defeat by Dagenham in 1987/88
RECEIVED FROM MICHAEL STANGROOM ON 5TH JANUARY 2003
Hello, my name is Michael Stangroom. I live in Perth Western Australia. I played for Yarmouth some time ago during our FA cup run. Say Hello to all the old boys ie Steve Blackett. Regards, Michael
Michael made 11 appearances, scoring 1 goal, in season 1987-88
RECEIVED FROM BOB PRICE ON 23RD NOVEMBER 2002
I am abroad at the moment and as always like to find out how the Bloaters are going on. They certainly have a tough game today at Wroxham in the Senior Cup.
As you probably know I watch games at the Wellesley when I get the chance but unfortunately not often enough. The last one I saw was the 3-1 defeat by Sudbury AFC a few weeks ago.
I first became involved with Great Yarmouth Town FC through my father, Bert Price, who was for a long time Chairman of the Supporters Club. My introduction was as a programme seller and with a lad called Barclay Smith, must have sold over 500 match day programmes each game. Time plays tricks but there always seemed big crowds to watch stars such as Sid Plunkett, Fred Howell, John Duffy, Trevor Rowlands, Eric Kirk and of course Derrick Rackham. I remember Jimmy Baldwin being signed as Player/Manager from Leicester City, who had recently won promotion from the old 2nd Division to the First.
The Club then had financial trouble and went non-professional. I became a Ball Boy and remember the struggle to keep afloat both with players and finances. As a ball boy I watched Brian Wadsworth in goal who inspired me to be a goalkeeper and along with players such as Brian Roberts, Brian Basted, John Noble and numerous others they gave me and others some wonderful Saturdays.
That takes me back to when I was a player for The Bloaters and the years 1961, 1963, 64 and 65 when I was fortunate to be on the books of Great Yarmouth Town.
I first played for the Town in 1960/61 seaon when the "A" team was re-formed and played in the Borough League. That was an experience, being 14 years old and playing against men in a rough and tough competition. A move to Gorleston followed to play for their Minors and Reserves which was a good experience as I was helped a great deal by Don Edwards a Gorleston Legend who returned to coach the Greens.
Tom Savage was the Manager who signed me from Gorleston in 1963 where I was playing in the reserves in the old Norfolk and Suffolk League. He put me straight into the first team to play Norwich A at the end of the season and although we lost, had a debut to remember, saving a penalty and making a few good saves. Tom left to go to take over at Thetford and offered me the chance to go with him (and to Ely later) but it was not easy to get about then and really my heart was with the Bloaters.
Derrick Rackham was appointed Manager and reformed his teams giving me the reserve berth. The Reserves had a good season and as I recall played in the formation of the Anglian Combination which was the amalgamation of the Norfolk and Suffolk and East Anglian Leagues. We played Gorleston twice and beat them both times in highly charged competitive matches which gave me an insight to Bloater v Greens Derbies. The team had players such as Derek Woodcock, Keith Snowling, Mick Kirk, Ron Hansell, Vic Hatchett, Mick Broughton and Jimmy Nutman.
That year fate threw Yarmouth against Thetford in the final of the Senior Cup which Yarmouth won after a replay.
The fine performances of Robin Myhill limited my appearances in the first team that year and after about 3 months of the next season I hurt my knee badly playing in Sunday football and was out for a long time. I signed for Gothic in Norwich but never played and a couple of times for Wisbech before having a couple of seasons playing in goal in the Borough League which I hated and then playing as an outfield player for Town Hall Reserves under Derek "Dutchy' Holland - a true gentleman. This helped my fitness and knee and when Gorleston player/coach Roger Carter was in need of a goalkeeper for a midweek game at Sudbury I was able to help out. This prompted my second spell at Gorleston but after a full season the knee was big trouble again.
From there, in 1971, I took up refereeing and had a great time being poacher turned gamekeeper. But that's another tale.
Congratulations on your website, it is first class and I hope this will prompt others to contribute it.
Bob made 9 appearances between the years 1963 and 1966
The above picture was printed in the Great Yarmouth Mercury in November 2003. It shows the captains of FC Muttenz (of Basle in Switzerland) and Great Yarmouth shaking hands before the Easter friendly match in 1955. Yarmouth were led by legendary player-manager Jack Bradley (right). The picture was submitted by the referee Charles Lymes. Yarmouth won 6-0 in front of a 3888 gate. Were you one of them? If so write in and tell us about it!