This piece was inspired by the large number of postponed games that Prescot Cables and other teams had suffered during the latter half the season. It appeared in the programme for the Mossley game on 14th April 2018.
The recent weather related postponements of games has meant that Cables, along with many other teams in the Evo-Stik League will be playing at least twice a week between now and the end of the season.
However, today we turn the clock back 70 years to Easter 1948, when the Cables team was faced with a punishing schedule of games but, which, ultimately, was rewarded with silverware.
In the early part of 1948, Cables had suffered a slump in form, having been handily placed in third spot in the Lancashire Combination table before Christmas. However, the spring saw an uplift in fortunes and winning ways had returned in time for the Easter games.
This diary details how the end of the 1947/48 season played out:
Good Friday, March 26th, 1948: Cables cruise to a comfortable 4 nil home victory over Bangor City in the Lancashire Combination, although Jimmy Veacock suffers an injury.
Saturday March 27th: Cables travel to Barrow Reserves in good spirits, but come away with a 2-1 reverse.
Easter Monday, March 29th: Cables travel to Farrar Road for the reverse fixture with Bangor City. Prescot are unlucky to go down by the only goal, after Jack Grainger suffers a season ending injury in just the 4th minute of the game. With substitutes not allowed, the 10 men of Cables battled on for most of the game.
Thursday April 1st; After receiving a bye in the first round of the Lancashire Combination Cup, Cables begin their campaign with a second round tie, at home to Southport Reserves. Cables run out easy 6 – 1 winners, with Terry Garner scoring a hat trick. Unfortunately, Tommy McMahon suffers an injury in this game, which will cause him to miss the next match.
Saturday April 3rd: Veacock returns as Cables resume league action at Hope Street, where they defeat Accrington Stanley, 4-2, despite an injury to Harry Boydell.
Tuesday April 6th: McMahon and Boydell return to help Cables overcome Leyland Motors, by 2 goals to 1 in the Lancashire Combination.
Saturday April 10th: Cables travel to the Giant Axe ground at Lancaster, to play out an exciting 3 – 3 draw in the league.
Monday April 12th: Cables travel to Springfield Park to meet Wigan Athletic in the 3rd round of the Lancashire Combination Cup. A tight game results in a one all draw.
Friday April 16th: A Hope Street crowd of 4,112 see one of Cables’ finest displays as they overcome Wigan Athletic by 4 goals to 1 in the replayed third round tie.
Saturday April 17th: Prescot defeat Southport Reserves, 2-1 at Hope Street in the Lancashire Combination.
Monday April 19th: Cables send a much weakened side to Shaw Bridge, Clitheroe, including 5 amateur players in their ranks. Unsurprisingly, they suffer a heavy 6 – 2 league defeat.
Wednesday April 21st: Cables meet Rossendale United at Hope Street in the semi-final of the Lancashire Combination Cup. The game ends in a 2-2 draw, after Cables are controversially denied a third goal when Terry Garner’s shot appears to bounce down off the crossbar and behind the goal line. After the referee signals the goal the Rossendale players protest vigorously and the official changes his mind and awards the visitors a goal kick.
Saturday April 24th: Cables defeat New Brighton Reserves by 2 goals to 1 in a league encounter at The Tower Grounds.
Monday April 26th: Cables travel to Rossendale for the semi-final replay. The game ends in a one all draw, after the home side equalise in the last minute. Extra time of 10 minutes each way is played without any further score. Rossendale win the toss of a coin to determine the venue for the second replay.
Tuesday April 27th: Cables send a scratch team, featuring none of the regular eleven, to Bacup Borough for the Lancashire Combination game. They come home with a 3-0 defeat.
Wednesday April 28th: For the third night running Prescot travel to East Lancashire. This time they overcome Rossendale United by 2 goals to nil, in the second replay of the Lancashire Combination Cup Semi Final.
Friday April 30th: Prescot meet Lancaster City in the Lancashire Combination Cup Final at Giant Axe, Lancaster. The cup final had been scheduled by the league management committee for the day before, but Prescot had objected to this, as it would have meant the team playing 5 games in 6 days. The Committee relented and, generously, pushed back the final to the following day!
A large crowd of more than 6,000 are kept waiting for more than half an hour, after the coach carrying the Prescot team had to make an unscheduled detour to Wigan to collect Bert Jelly and then suffered a breakdown at Garstang.
In a very tight game, Lancaster City hit the woodwork 3 times, but Cables emerge victorious, as man-of-the-match, Jimmy Veacock scores the all-important goal, 15 minutes from time, to bring the cup back to Prescot for the first time..
The victorious Cables team on the night was:
Alf Hobson, Sam Webster, Bill Rainford (Capt.), Bill Rogers, Bert Jelly, Tommy McMahon, Terry Garner, Freddie Kilshaw, Jimmy Veacock, Sandy Lyon and Harry Boydell.
Saturday May 1st: Cables complete their league campaign by sending a makeshift side to Rochdale reserves. Only Bill Rainford of the cup winning side features. Rochdale field six of their Third Division North side, resulting a very one sided 7 – 0 victory for the homesters.
Wednesday May 5th; Cables round off their season with another cup final. This time against South Liverpool in the Liverpool Senior Medal, at Goodison Park. Cables led 1-0 and look likely to lift another piece of silverware, when South equalise in the 87th minute, forcing extra time of 10 minutes each way. With the light failing quickly, the Cheshire League side notch a second goal late into the second period to send Prescot and their the 2,500 supporters home defeated.
And so ended a marathon season for Prescot Cables, after a remarkable 19 games in 41 days.
Special mention must be made for the players who represented the Cables during this busy schedule. Remarkably, the core of the side remained unchanged throughout this busy period, with Alf Hobson, Bill Rainford, Bill Rogers, Bert Jelly, Tommy McMahon, Terry Garner, Freddie Kilshaw, Sandy Lyon and Harry Boydell being virtually ever-present. Bill Rogers even found time to represent the Liverpool County FA on two occasions during this period!
No doubt our very own club host, Harry Boydell has many more stories to tell about this remarkable season?