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News > CGS > Football Finalists 1972-73

Football Finalists 1972-73

Football fever hit Cheltenham at the weekend as Cheltenham Town took on Manchester City at Whaddon Road. Inspired, we dug around the Archives and found Mike Orr's fabulous football story from 1973.
20 Jan 2021
Written by Mike Orr (-)
The 1972-73 team with CGS Headmaster Bernard Wilkinson
The 1972-73 team with CGS Headmaster Bernard Wilkinson

The friendships established throughout my schooling days in Cheltenham are the strongest by a wide margin and the fondest memories are those relating to the success of the football team in their first year of entry into the local and then national competition when we were narrowly beaten in the final.

The school was very much rugby-oriented until around 1971. This was a frustration for a cohort of football loving pupils who had grown up in Cheltenham primary schools competing against each other in local competitions. A number of us had represented Cheltenham schools in competitions against other towns and played for local youth teams.

Football gained a foothold when Julian Lailey, an Economics teacher, joined the teaching staff in the early 70's.  Julian had played for Wycombe Wanderers and recognised within a short space of time that there was a strong desire amongst the students to have football introduced.  A team was first put together in the season of 72/73 and we won the county competition between local Gloucestershire schools.  We went on to play in the national English Schools' Football Association competition –- where we beat a Leicester School in the quarter finals at Leicester City's old ground at Filbert Street.  Unfortunately we narrowly lost 1-0 to Fareham Grammar School from Nottingham in a 2-legged final.  Our home leg was played at Whaddon Road and generated a lot of interest and support through reporting by Derek Goddard from the Gloucestershire Echo. 

Please post a comment if you were part of the team!  Do you still have your shield? Why is the strip blue rather than black and white? If you were part of a Pate’s sports team that went all the way to a final please share your experience and your photos.  


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