Spurs rejection was the winning result for Tom
Schoolboy goalkeeper Tom Fearn shares the memories brought back by this 1950s photograph taken in Tunstall. He talks to Jenny Amphlett
T om Fearn came across this photograph from his schoolboy football days while rummaging in his loft.
Now aged 74 and living in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, he was the goalkeeper for the football team at St Mary's School, in Tunstall, until his family left the area when he was 13 years old.
"It was a very good school and I can remember that I got on with the staff," says the retired site accountant.
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This particular photo was taken to mark the 1951 to 1952 season, when Tom says he remembers the school facing opponents including Biddulph and Hanley High.
"I was born in Tunstall and went to Forster Street Junior School before St Mary's," he says.
"In those days each of the Potteries towns had their own football team, and I played for Tunstall. I think we played against Stoke.
"Two of the people in the photo, myself and Graham Hanky, also used to train with the Stoke-on-Trent Boys at the old Port Vale ground in Hanley."
Tom is the boy in the centre of the back row on the picture, wearing a black top.
He remembers the names of the others as: back row, from left to right: headmaster Mr Hedges, John Weatherall, name unknown, Tom himself and sports teacher Mr Bailey.
The boys on the middle row are John Bailey, George Atkins, John Hall, name unknown and Brian Gallimore.
Sitting on the front row were Jimmy Purcil, Graham Hankey, name unknown, Albert Webb and Albert Evans.
"I must apologise to those whose name I do not recall," says Tom. "But it was a long time ago."
He continued to play football after his family moved from the Potteries to London when he was aged 13.
"I am very sports biased," he says. "I was a county badminton player and played tennis for Norfolk Veterans. I now play bowls after shattering my knee.
"I played football for Enfield Schoolboys and a team in Hertfordshire after I left St Mary's. I also had a trial for Spurs, but I was completely hopeless.
"That worked out well for me actually because I was already in an apprenticeship in electronics and I was better off completing that because I never would have made it as a professional footballer."
Tom adds: "If any of my old school friends would like to make contact with me I would be pleased to hear from them."
Do you recognise any of the faces, or would you like to share your memories of schoolboy football? Write to Jenny Amphlett, including your name, address and telephone number, at Features Desk, The Sentinel, Etruria, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.