Nottingham University had a strong football club in the early 1960s and reached the final of the AFA Senior Cup in consecutive years. The Amateur Football Alliance had teams from many parts of the country including the Midlands, South and South West with the majority coming from London and the South East.
In 1961/2, the club played Commercial Union (CUACO) in the final and despite having at least an equal share of the play were beaten 3-0 with all the goals coming in the last 15 minutes after Nottingham had come close to scoring first. The team was as earlier noted in the copy of the match programme and the photo above shows the 1st XI squad. The names are as follows: Back row, left to right – John Durham, Bill Swan, Tony Armor, Derek Owen, Ron Moss, Jim Clark, Geoff Causey. Front Row – Alan Williams, George Shipley, Trevor Lightbown (captain), Pat Morrissey, Peter Skellern. (Eric Turner played in the final but is not in the photo).
1962/3 was the time of the big freeze and we did not play after Christmas for several weeks. We still trained at Highfields in the snow but matches were either cancelled or in the case of the AFA Cup, postponed. This led to a memorable semi final as it took place over the period around Easter when students had returned to their homes.
We were drawn to play against Ilminster Town on a neutral ground in London. Communications and travelling were problems and arranging for 11 players from all over the country to be at the same place was not the simplest of tasks – email alone would have certainly helped.