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Official News

Looking back sixty years
Posted by Andrew Dunn
May 11, 2018, 09:19

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Sixty years ago yesterday Cambridge City played its last ever game as an amateur team. A decision had been made in January 1958 to end 50 years of amateur status and turn professional for the 1958-59 season. At the time that decision was made entry to the Eastern Counties League seemed the most likely outcome but by the time the last game as an amateur team was played the club knew it would be joining the Southern League for the 1958-1959 season, the top league outside of The Football League.

The usual game to mark the end of the season saw a top amateur club invited to play at Milton Road for The Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cup. To mark City’s departure from the Athenian League an Athenian League XI were the opponents. An above average crowd of 1,986 assembled at Milton Road on Saturday 10th May 1958 to see the end of an era match. City’s last amateur XI was:
Gerald Biggadike, Gerry Spaxman, Stewart Rowney, Tony Brown, Peter Matthews, Mike Johnson, John Race, George Scanlan, Albie Ellis, Bob English and Reg Voisey. The majority of these players were regulars for City that season with the exception of English and Scanlan who were University men who made a handful of appearances each. The Athenian team was made up of representatives from Maidstone United, Hounslow Town, Southall, Barnet and Hendon.

The honour of scoring the last amateur goal for Cambridge City fell to John Race who scored just before the hour. His goal was described by the local press as having a “sense of anti-climax about it” as the defenders all stopped expecting Race to be given offside but he wasn’t and the goal stood.

This goal signalled an increase in the tempo of the game as City looked to extend their lead and the Athenians trying to draw level. With just three minutes to go MacDonald of Hounslow Town placed the ball beyond Biggadike to equalise. An additional 10 minutes each way of extra time was played to try and find a winner but no more goals were scored. City’s skipper Tony Brown won the toss of the referee’s coin and as a result City ended the amateur era as holder of the Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cup, presented to the captain by the Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Smith.
City being presented with the Addenbrookes Hospital Cup after their last game as an amateur team

Article courtesy of Neil Harvey, Club Historian

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