« Applied Imagination - 3 | Main | A Right Royal Celebration »

A Geordie All-Rounder: 24 - Marking Brian Clough

...The RAF also provided me with the privilege of playing my first game at Lords. We met the Navy and dismissed the Senior Service for 65 and 178 to win by nine wickets. I didn't even get a bowl. Our RAF team consisted mostly of junior rank National Servicemen. The team spirit was good and we enjoyed ourselves. With few National Servicemen in the Navy, their
team consisted mostly of officers and the different culture was very apparent...

All-round sportsman Malcolm Scott played representative cricket and football during his National Service in the RAF.

After opting to stay at Bridgenorth, I started to get involved with the world of sport in the RAF. By now, it was mid-summer and after several successful games with the Station and Command cricket teams, the breakthrough came when I was selected for an RAF XI to play Col. L.C Leven's XI at Eastbourne. Both sides were full of county players including
Barry Knight and Subba Row who went on to play for England. In the first innings we skittled the opposition for 94 and I took 3 for 23 in 15 overs.

Not a bad start I thought.

Playing sport in the RAF certainly had advantages - that's not to say I didn't do my share of guard and picket duty when in camp.

As the year progressed and the football season started, I again
represented the Station and Command in various games. Being based in Shropshire it was impossible to get to St. James' Park for training, as a result, I only played one game for the Magpies during the 1957/8 season.

That game was against Aston Villa at Villa Park, Birmingham.
Aston Villa had a very good team that year and went on to win the FA Cup. Included in their team that afternoon was John Dixon - a lad from Hebburn-on-Tyne. I will always remember the game because in trying to clear the ball near the goal line, I had the misfortune to put it through my own goal. We lost by that goal and my bad luck didn't stop there. Villa's centre forward back-headed me in the face and gave me a 'RomanNose'.

I didn'tgo out that night! Many of the lads in the billet came from the Midlands, and most seemed to be Villa supporters. So when they returned on Monday morning I took much verbal stick and derisory comments about Saturday's game.

I also managed to get selected for the RAF football team, when we played the other armed services. The team consisted of many first division footballers completing their National Service including Tony Macedo from Fulham, Peter Brabrook and Tony Nicholas from Chelsea and Tony Kay from Sheffield Wednesday. When we played the Army their team consisted
of several Manchester United Busby babes.

How often in competitive football does the centre-half of team 'A' brief the centre half of team 'B' on how best to play the centre forward of team 'A' ? That happened when a strong F.A.XI played the R.A.F at Nottingham in 1957.1 was playing centre-half for the R.A.F and before the game started Bob Stokoe, whom I knew fairly well, and who was playing centre-half for the F.A. XI had a discreet word with me advising me to "never take my eyes off the goal scoring centre-forward of the F.A XI named Brian Clough." You were dead right Bob. I thought I played him well but he still managed to score two goals to win the game.

We got our own back the following year when for the first time in history, the R.A.F beat the F.A XI 4-1 before a 14,000 crowd at Bristol.

Writing in the local paper after the Nottingham game, Newcastle's skipper Jimmy Scoular wrote "Scott had a great game against Brian Clough." A week later Bill Curry the Magpies centre-forward was chosen for the England under 23 team. Scoular asked "Could it be Scott played Clough out of the representative side?"

The second year of National Service started more favourably. By then I knew the RAF and perhaps more importantly, they knew me. The active 1958 summer began with an RAF v Worcestershire game, when we beat a strong county XI by 168 runs. The locals were not pleased when Graham Atkinson (Somerset) and I thrashed the county bowlers for 86 in less than an hour. The local paper read "RAF Youngsters Flog Worcester".

There was an RAF game every other week when we played the Army, Navy, Civil Service, Hampshire, Lancashire and Sussex. This was in addition to normal Station and Command games. If this hierarchy wasn't enough I discovered another when I was detailed to play for the Combined Services against Warwickshire and Lancashire's full county sides. The Combined Services XI was full of county players doing National Service.
Peter Parfitt was from Middlesex, Barry Knight of Essex, Graham Atkinson (Somerset) and Rodney Pratt from Leicestershire to state but a few. Tony Lewis of Glamorgan, who went on to captain England, was also in the Combined Services XI. In his book "Taking Fresh Guard" he suggests
some members of our team fabricated excuses rather than face
Lancashire's young fast bowler, Colin Hilton, who had an accidental, but regular habit of bowling 90 mph beamers.

The RAF also provided me with the privilege of playing my first game at Lords. We met the Navy and dismissed the Senior Service for 65 and 178 to win by nine wickets. I didn't even get a bowl. Our RAF team consisted mostly of junior rank National Servicemen. The team spirit was good and we enjoyed ourselves. With few National Servicemen in the Navy, their
team consisted mostly of officers and the different culture was very apparent.

Not satisfied with playing numerous games in England, the RAF cricket team also played abroad. We flew to Munchen Gladbach in Germany to play a Combined XI on a matting wicket. I remember nothing of the game but have a detailed memory of the flight. The aircraft was a huge old Beverley transporter and we were all detailed to sit at the back. It was
freezing in spite of our thick grey coats. This was the first time many of us had flown and as the old aircraft rumbled down the runway the faces of some of my team mates had to be seen to be believed. I was terrified.

Categories

Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.