Thursday, 28 July 2016

A QUICK WORD WITH.....MICKY WORSWICK


Micky Worswick was just twenty years old in 1967 when he helped Skelmersdale United shock the Amateur game by winning through to the final as a Lancashire Combination League Premier Division side. He went on to become a club legend at Wigan Athletic where he helped them become football league members. That famous season the average age of the Skem side was just twenty years of age with outside-right Norman Whitehead just eighteen years of age. 

With Enfield Town travelling North to play Skelmersdale United on Saturday in a special match to celebrate and mark fifty years since the famous games TheColdEnd was very pleased to speak to winger/inside-right Micky about his memories of that famous cup run. He was described in the pen-pictures of the cup final programme as a 'strong player with limitless energy' with a 'clever style'.

WHAT WERE THE EXPECTATIONS FOR THE TEAM THAT SEASON? 
I joined 'Skem' in the Summer of 1966 from their near neighbours Burscough FC. Being drawn against the mighty Bishop Auckland in the first round was really a boost for players and fans alike to be playing them on our tight little ground with the crowd very close to the pitch. After beating them 3-0 we really thought that we were capable of putting a little cup run together but could never have imagined what it would eventually lead to! 

WHAT ARE YOUR MEMORIES OF THE FAMOUS CUP RUN?
Leyton and then Wealdstone came to us and went without us conceding a goal and then we beat Slough Town in Round Four after a replay at White Moss Park. Then came the epic semi final against Hendon - First drawing 0-0 at Derby County then 2-2 at Birmingham City before finally winning 3-1 at The Hawthorns, West Brom to win through to Wembley. Oh what joy, and the celebrations were epic. Who would have thought little old Skem were going to Wembley! 
* Hendon were giants of the Amateur game at the time having been runner's up to Wealdstone in the 1966 final and winners of the 1965 final v Whitby Town.



WHAT WAS THE AMATEUR CUP FINAL DAY LIKE?

We travelled down to London on the day before the match and visited the stadium that afternoon to get a feel for it. We shall never forget coming down Wembley Way the following day with our magnificent fans lining the route (it was estimated that 30,000 people travelled down from Lancashire to support us on that balmy afternoon). We were very pleased to have been allocated the changing room that England used when winning the World Cup twelve months before. Then came the tunnel experience when we were summoned out of the changing room by the referee at approximately 2.45pm and lining up for the first time ever alongside the mighty Enfield Football Club. You never forget that feeling as you enter the arena with the sun beating down and the sound of 75,000 fans clapping and singing themselves hoarse. We really loved the whole experience but we all felt for our full back Alan Bermingham who saw his penalty saved by Ian Wolstenholme in the last minute of extra time. No doubting that Enfield deserved to win the replay at Maine Road the week after which ended a wonderful season for us.
* Note - Had it not been of Bermingham's goal in the quarter-final replay victory versus Slough Town Skem may never have even got to Wembley in 1967. 


WHAT IS THE MOST CHERISHED MEMORY OF YOUR PLAYING CAREER, THE BEST GROUND AND TOUGHEST PLAYER YOU EVER PLAYED AGAINST? 
Shortly after the 1967 final I was proud to have been selected to play for England Amateurs against Italy at Enfield and the day before lined up on the same pitch to play a warm up match against the full England team, Bobby Moore and all. A fabulous experience. The best ground that I have played on (after Wembley of course) would be Anfield when I played for Blackburn Rovers youth team against Liverpool, whose team included a certain Tommy Smith which leads me nicely on to your question about my toughest opponent (yes you guessed it).
* Note - Defender Tommy Smith played 467 games for Liverpool between 1962 and 1978.
 
The final at Wembley was drawn 0-0 with Ian Wolstenholme saving the last minute penalty from Alan Bermingham in the final minute (a little known piece of football trivia is that they were both Physical Education teachers). The E's travelled North a week later with history not on their side as the two previous occasions when Southern based teams had travelled North for a replay each time the Northern side had won the replay. Bishop Auckland won 4-1 against Corinthian Casuals in 1956 and Crook Town best Houndslow Town 4-0 in 1962 - Both games were played at Middlesborugh's Ayresome Park ground. 

Enfield famously won 3-0 at Maine Road on Saturday 29th April 1967 through goals from John Connell and Raymond Hill (2) in front of 55.388 people. It was the first time they lifted the famous trophy after finishing runner's up to Crook Town in 1964. It was a busy day for football in Manchester as United played Aston Villa in a Division One game across town at Old Trafford in front of 55,782. 

The first game at Wembley was described by The Observer "A brilliant save by Wolstenholme as he dived across to reach Bermingham's low hard penalty prevented a disastarous ending to this enthralling game in which both teams fought with boundless enthusiasm and spirit, without quarter or advantage. It would of been outrageous for Skelmersdale to have won this way (from the penalty). At least they had already made a host of friends by the verve of their soccer and helped to make a goalless draw as exciting as any other Amateur Cup Final I have ever seen..."

THE PATH TO THE 1967 FINAL
ENFIELD FC 
ROUND ONE - SUTTON UNITED (Home) 3-0 
ROUND TWO - WEMBLEY (Away) 2-1 
ROUND THREE - LEYTONSTONE (Away) 1-1
REPLAY - LEYTONSTONE (Home) 1-0 
ROUND FOUR - HIGHGATE UNITED (Away) abandoned after 28 minutes 
details here
ROUND FOUR - HIGHGATE UNITED (Villa Park) 6-0 
SEMI FINAL - WALTHAMSTOW AVENUE (Selhurst Park) 1-0 

SKELMERSDALE UNITED 
QUALIFYING ROUND - GUINNESS EXPORTS (Home) 2-0 
ROUND ONE - BISHOP AUCKLAND (Home) 3-0 
ROUND TWO - LEYTON (Home) 3-0 
ROUND THREE - WEALDSTONE (Home) 1-0
ROUND FOUR - SLOUGH TOWN (Away) 2-2
REPLAY - SLOUGH TOWN (Home) 1-0 
SEMI-FINAL - HENDON (Baseball Ground) 0-0 
REPLAY - HENDON (St Andrews) 2-2 
2nd REPLAY - HENDON (The Hawthorns) 3-1  

Skem got through to the Semi-Final in 1969 losing to North Shields (at Southport in a replay) before facing losing to The E's in 1970 at the same stage at The Baseball Ground. They finally lifted the famous trophy in 1971 comfortably beating Dagenham 4-1 under The Twin Towers of Wembley Stadium. 

If you are travelling to the game on Saturday Micky will be there so you'll get a chance to meet a real footballing legend and gentleman. Many thanks for talking to TheColdEnd.



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