"We Beat Palace, and West Ham too"


The Stockport County Appearance Number (SCAN) scheme guardians are reuniting the players that inspired the terrace song, "We Beat Palace, and West Ham too," 43 years ago. I should add, they inspired the parts about the on-pitch performances, mind you, as you will read if you get a copy of the commemorative brochure being prepared for the event, one FA Cup tie that season was reported as an on-pitch-battle.

The programme covers from County's League Cup wins in 1972-73
Over the last few months County Historian Marcus Heap has been working on making contact with the players who took County on their best run in the League Cup in their history. A run that was never matched until the 1996-97 glory season. The 1972 run saw a three game tussle against Bradford City, a famous win at Crystal Place, and an EP victory over a star studded West Ham United side, led by England's World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore. Those lucky enough to watch those games still talk about many incidents, with performances on a par with 96-97.

A number of the players have already confirmed they plan to attend the reunion, which will be held on Saturday 14th November 2015, the day of the Tamworth National League North game. The celebrations will follow similar lines to that for the 1964-65 FA Cup heroes last season. The players, with their friends and relatives, will be the guests of the club for the Tamworth game. After re-assembling in an Edgeley Park function room, they will be escorted along Hardcastle Road, to be welcomed into a packed Bungalow Club. Marcus will then outline their exploits during that memorable season, introducing the men who turned out for our team. Not forgetting of course, those who have not already received their SCAN certificates will take to the stage, to receive this tribute to their days in a County shirt.

The names of the first group of attendees are outlined below. More men have already confirmed attendance, and we are still getting in touch with a few of the men who featured that season, and, in the case of the younger players, took County to reserve team success with the Lancashire League title. Details of the other attendees will follow in a couple of weeks.

Two of the guests at the Bung on 14 November
One of the men from 72-73, Ray Charter, is going beyond the call of duty, as he will be flying to the UK from his home in Australia especially to be at Edgeley Park on 14 November.

This was the season when Paul Hart came to the notice of the top flight clubs, eventually sealing a move to Blackpool the following summer. Paul was recently re-installed as the head of Leeds United's Academy. Having settled back in at Elland Road, he has confirmed plans to return to EP to meet his old colleagues, and the County fans.

Johnny Griffiths was always a popular figure amongst the County fans for his wholehearted efforts for the County cause. It took a batch of letters to different John Griffiths's around the country to find John. Once the correct address was found the blond-haired striker quickly rang Marcus, and said he would be delighted to be there.

Manager Brian Doyle has sadly passed on in the intervening years, but his assistant Steve Fleet will be at the Bungalow. Steve was heavily involved in the progress of several players from the youth ranks to the first team over the years. Being a County 'keeper from a few years earlier, his visit will give us the opportunity to present another SCAN certificate. If you would like to be the supporter presenting the SCAN certificate to one of these men, in return for a donation towards the cost of preparing the awards, please get in touch by emailing us at scan@gogogocounty.org.

How the press reported the victory at 1st Division Palace
Alan Ogley receives his SCAN certificate
from Peter Cormack
Also in attendance, although they have already received heir SCAN certificates, are legendary goalkeeper Alan Ogley, and the man who scored the goal that beat Palace, Hugh Ryden.

We believe it's going to be as memorable as last season's 64-65 event, and look forward to seeing you in the Bung to pay tribute.

Ian Watts


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