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Official News

RIP Brian Holmes
Posted by Webmaster
Sep 7, 2017, 21:36

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The club were saddened to learn of the death of Brian Holmes last month aged 91.

Brian made his first team debut for Cambridge Town in a friendly against DOS Utrecht from Holland in April 1949, and that season he was a regular member of the reserve team that won the South Midlands League, AFA Junior Cup and the Cambridgeshire Challenge Cup. His first team opportunities were limited to four matches in the 1949-50 season whilst he remained a regular member of the reserve team which again won the AFA Junior Cup.

Cambridge Town stepped up to the Athenian League in 1950 and Brian got his first run as a regular in the first team, coming into the team after the 6-0 home thumping to Bromley in the first Athenian match. Townís form picked up during Brianís spell in the first team, but following an appearance in the clubís first ever floodlit game at St Neots, Brian was back as a regular in the stiffs. Brian returned to the first team in March 1951 and scored his first goal for the club in the 2-2 draw with Walton & Hersham the following month. This was in fact the first league goal ever scored by the newly named Cambridge City FC! Brian was in the team that won the very first Cambs Invitation Cup Final in May 1951 and played against more Dutch opposition when Sparta Rotterdam visited Cambridge as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations later that month.

Brian finally established himself as a first team regular in the 1951-52 season, making 33 appearances and scoring two goals. Brian picked up a winners medal via the held-over 1950-51 final of the AFA Senior Cup win over Pegasus in October 1951.

He was a virtual ever-present in the 1952-53 season, playing in all but two Athenian League games and making 44 appearances in total, his solitary goal that season being the winner at Top Field on Boxing Day 1952 as City beat Hitchin Town.

The 1953-54 season proved to be Brianís last at Milton Road. The team, under the tutorship of new trainer Roddie Munro, had an excellent start to the season and were joint top when Brianís football career was cut short by a knee injury, with his final game being at home to Barnet on 5th December 1953. One of the few defeats at the beginning of the 53-54 season was the 3-1 defeat to Cambridge United in the FA Cup in front of a huge crowd of 11,908 at Milton Road. Overall Brian played 117 times for the club, scoring 5 goals.

Brianís football career commenced at Bottisham Village College and then with the Air Training Corps. A spell in India with the RAF saw Brian win station cups at Calcutta, Bangalore and Madras. Upon demobilisation Brian played for Fen Ditton and then joined Abbey United. Brian played against Town for Abbey in the FA Amateur Cup in January 1948, making a total of 46 appearances for the Uís before joining Town during the 1948-49 season.

Finally, a personal tribute to Brian from Neil Harvey, the Club Historian: Some of you may remember Brian as an Education Welfare Officer working in Cambridge, and it was in the early 1980ís that I worked with him in the long-gone Gloucester Street offices of the County Council. His stories of playing for, and watching Cambridge Town/City helped to spark my interest in the history of the club that continues to this day. My favourite of Brianís recollections was the day that he saw the legendary Dixie Dean, allegedly under the influence, score eight goals in one game at Milton Road during the War. Coming up to date Brian was a guest of honour at the final game at Milton Road in 2013 and I had the pleasure of chatting with Brian on a number of times over the years long after his retirement from work. Farewell Brian ó a true City Gent

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