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A voice on the internet for the residents of Aldridge


Famous Aldridge People

Posted by Dusan Popratnjak, 6/12/08 at 1:29:18 PM.

Famous Aldridge People.


Charles George Bonner V.C


A World War 1 hero who was awarded the Victoria Cross .The late Captain Charles George Bonner,who spent his childhood in Aldridge and was educated at Sutton Coldfield.On August 8th 1917 Captain Bonner known as Gus to friends- was First Lieutenant on a Q ship,HMS Dunraven,which was shelled and set on fire by German U boat in the Bay of Biscay.He remained at his post in charge of his gun's crew until the ship exploded.Captain Bonner survived the explosion.




John Bullock (Professional Jockey)

John Bullock rode the Grand National Winner in 1951,on a 7 year old mare -horse called Nickel Coin and was trained by Jack O'Donoghue at odds of 40-1.




Charles Ward (Professional Golfer)

Charles Harold "Charlie" Ward (16 September 1911 – August 2001) was a prominent English golfer of the 1940s, winner of the British Order of Merit in both 1948 and 1949, and twice finishing third in The Open Championship, in 1948 and 1951. He would add his name, at some stage, to the roll of honour of almost every leading event in British professional golf, with the exception of the Open.

Ward was born in Birmingham, England. Like many players his age, Ward's best years were denied to him by World War II, so it was fitting that he should win the very first professional event played after VE Day, the Daily Mail Victory Tournament at St Andrew. Legend has it that after his victory he returned late to his posting at an RAF base and was confined to barracks as a punishment! Ward would win four events in 1948 (one of them in a tie), and gained more recognition for his 1949 season, his three wins that year including the rich Spalding and North British-Harrogate Tournaments and then the British Masters, also played that year at St Andrews.

Further victories followed in 1950 (the Daily Mail Tournament at Walton Heath, which Ward won in a playoff against Bobby Locke and Australian Ossie Pickworth) and 1951 (the Dunlop Tournament and the Lotus Tournament) before Ward's final victory on the British circuit in 1956, the British PGA Championship at Maesdu.

Ward represented Great Britain on three occasions in the Ryder Cup, in 1947, 1949 and 1951, although he only enjoyed one victory in his six matches, losing twice to Sam Snead and once to Ben Hogan.

Ward died after a short illness in August 2001, a month short of his 90th birthday.[1]


Information was provided by

Dr V.E. Milne (Professional footballer and played cricket for Scotland.

Name: Milne, Victor Edward Dr. (Vic)

Birthdate: 1897-06-22 in Aberdeen, Scotland (Died: 1971-09-06 in Little Aston, Sutton Coldfield)

Position: Defender

Playing for Villa: Aug. 1923 (as amateur) - May 1929

Previous clubs: Boys' Brigade football, Aberdeen City Boys, Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen University, Royal Engineers, Aberdeen

Signed: - From Aberdeen

Sold: Retired

League: 157 matches - 1 goal

Cup: 18 matches - 0 goals


More info:
He was Villa's club doctor 1930-1933.

He played in the 1924 cup final when Villa lost to Newcastle 2-0.He also played cricket for Aldridge cricket club.

Johnny Lewis.(footballer)

Johnny Lewis played football for West Bromwich Albion and later in his career for Mansfield town.



Charlie Holland (Cyclist for Great Britain )

Charles Holland was born on September 20th 1908 and passed away in December 1989.Holland was one of four brothers from Aldridge,Alf ,Jack and Walter. He was a keen local cricketer and played in the same Aldridge team as Dr V.E. Milne who also played football for Aston Villa.


Charlie won a bronze medal at the Olympics,in Los Angeles in 1932 in the team pursuit event.



From information we have found on the web site,we believe a book was published that is called "Dancing uphill" on paper back

(ISBN 978-0-09555676-0-5)

Published in June 2007.

Priced at £12.99p







Charles Holland (cyclist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles Holland
Personal information
Full name Charles Holland
Date of birth September 20, 1908(1908-09-20)
Date of death December 1989
Country  United Kingdom
Team information
Discipline Road and track
Role Rider
Amateur team(s)1
1928–1937 Midland Cycling and Athletic Club
Professional team(s)1
1937–1939 Raleigh-Sturmey Archer
Major wins
1936 - British Best All-Rounder (BBAR) time-trial


Charles Holland (20 September 1908 – December 1989) was a British road bicycle racer. He was one of the first two Britons to ride the Tour de France.


The early years

Holland was one of four brothers from Aldridge, in the English Midlands, a brown-eyed, black-haired man who excelled at sport from his youth. He played cricket for a local side which included V. E. Milne (sportsmen often used only their initials in those days), who also played cricket for Scotland and soccer for Aston Villa. Holland hoped to play cricket for Warwickshire and he had a soccer trial for Aston Villa.

His father belonged to Walsall Polytechnic Cycling Club, and held the Walsall–Matlock record. Holland's first bike was a 24in-wheel bicycle his father bought for his eldest brother, Walter, and which was handed down the family when it became too small. At 12 he went on his first cycle tour, to the Liverpool area, with his father. In 1927 he rode his first race, the Wyndham Novices 25-mile individual time trial. Using his brother Walter's bike, he came second in 1h 10min. His first victory was on 1 April 1928 in the Walsall Roads Club 10-mile event

That year, Holland joined the Midland Cycling and Athletic Club. He tried track racing, but with less success than on the road. Riding a bicycle with a fixed wheel and no brakes is difficult but to do it shoulder-to-shoulder with other riders and on a curved grass track proved defying. He rode a sports day run by Metropolitan Carriage Works of Birmingham around a cricket ground in Washwood Heath. Everyone passed him in his first event, a handicap, and then again in the half-mile as those he passed in the straight raced by on the bends, where Holland couldn't control his bike sufficiently.

Olympic Games: Los Angeles 1932

The road race at Los Angeles was the last to be held as a time trial, a lone race against the watch over 100 km. For Britain, which since the 19th century had had nothing but timed races on the road, that made selection simpler. On the other hand, the British Olympic Committee decided, because of the cost of getting to Los Angeles that "no competitor who is unlikely to reach the semi-final or final of his event shall be taken... and that only the absolutely necessary officials shall be taken".

Holland was picked to ride with Frank Southall, Bill Harvell, Stan Butler and Ernie Johnson. They sailed from Southampton aboard the Empress of Britain.

Amid scenes of wild enthusiasm the team of seven cyclists left Waterloo for the first stage of their epic journey. The crowds, the mountains of luggage, the three big crates containing the machines, the hissing steam and the shrieking whistles, the bubbling joviality, all blended into one big picture that will be for ever memorable.

The winner of the road race was Attilo Pavesi of Italy. Southall finished sixth, Holland 15th, Butler 16th, Harvell 19th. The Great Britain team came fourth overall. Butler did not ride because he had fallen on tram lines during a stop in Toronto and been hit by a car.

Holland was also picked to ride on the track, in the team pursuit with Southall, Harvell, Johnson and Holland. The Italians - Marco Cimatti, Paolo Pedretti, Alberto Ghilardi and Nino Borsari - won again, with 4min 53sec, having set an Olympic record of 4min 52.9sec in the heats. France was second in 4min 55.7sec. and Britain third in 4min 56sec.

World championship

Holland was selected to ride the world championship road race at Leipzig in 1934, to ride with Percy Stallard and Fred Ghilks. Their accompanying official from the National Cyclists' Union was from Herne Hill velodrome in south London and knew little of road-racing.

The circuit was nearly six miles round, to be covered 12 times. The marshalling was by Brownshirts. The race averaged 26mph with one lap at nearly 30. Holland rode 60 of the 70 miles with three broken spokes. The rim of his wheel touched the forks on both sides. He could not stop and ask for help because "in those far-off days - no service vehicle. If you punctured, you changed it yourself. If you crashed or copped fourpenny one [another expression for a crash], then you got on with it!" said the cycling historian Chas Messenger.[3] Despite that, he got into the winning break on lap six. They approached the finish two minutes ahead, with Holland in fourth place behind Kees Pellenaars of Holland, the Frenchman André Deforge and the Belgian Paul André.

The others had derailleur gears for a higher ratio for the sprint. Holland had a single 81-inch freewheel, meaning he had no variable gears and that he had to pedal faster than he could manage to stay with the others. He eased back 20 metres before the line and came fourth. Stallard and Ghilks didn't finish for another two minutes, Stallard seventh and Ghilks 26th.Cycling said of Holland's ride:

Class told, and this country's face was saved, to an extent by the fact that the England selectors had in one case out of the four selections, ignored the Brooklands' [selection race] results and chosen a man whom, all the country had known for two years, had the class necessary to remain with the leaders.

Olympic Games: Berlin 1936

Holland rode the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, selected for the 100km road race and as reserve for the 4,000m team pursuit. Cycling was unimpressed by the team: "If these are our best men then they are unlikely to bring back any Olympic titles from Germany."

Holland did not win a medal but he believed it would have been different had his younger brothers, Alf and Jack, been chosen to ride with him. Alf was a reserve; Jack was the 25-mile national champion.

The 1936 Games were the so-called Hitler Olympics. Politics were inevitable even from the opening ceremony. While the English football team - including Stanley Matthews - gave the Nazi salute, the cycling team simply turned their faces towards Hitler as they passed his box.

The road race on the morning of August 8 began at the Avus car course, a circuit laid out on public roads to test cars. It then used a straight dual-carriageway through Berlin, a little over 12 miles long. From there the course crossed the narrow roads of the Forest of Grunewald before returning to the car track to finish. It was the first Olympic road race to be run with all the competitors starting together, rather than individually and at intervals against the watch. Sixty riders led at 81km and fewer than 30 at 91km, not because of hills or the speed - which was low - but because of narrow roads, punctures and crashes. Holland reached the finish and started the sprint for the finish 100m from the line. He finished less than a second behind the winner, Robert Charpentier of France, but outside the first three.

Guy Lapébie of France came second - discovering months later from the film of the finish that Charpentier had grabbed his jersey and tugged him back - and then Ernst Nievergelt from Switzerland. Holland finished fifth. His club magazine reported:

It must have been a nightmare kind of event and one in which only the strongest combinations could have kept a rider in the front bunch. Charlie could not gather his compatriots round him and from what we can understand he had to fight his way, elbowing, jostling and pushing to occupy a front position in that fierce affair. Very many riders came to grief, a happening that overtook most of the other British representatives; but Charles sailed through barging and bucking into the excited crowd and actually leading the field a few hundred yards from the finishing tape.

From a story recounted in the magazine of the Fellowship of Cycling Old-Timers:

During one of our long conversations while Phil, his lovely wife, prepared tea, Charlie (she always called him Charles) recalled an incident while training for the Berlin Olympics. He was out in the countryside and stopped for a rest, to look around, on a bridge that passed over a newly constructed autobahn. Below him in the distance he could see a mass of vehicles coming down the new super highway, constructed of concrete, with the swastika flags fluttering from the wings of the massive Mercedes as they convoyed towards the stadium. Seated in one of the open Mercs was the well-known figure of one Adolf Hitler. As Charlie said, he could have prevented world war two by simply dropping a bomb in Hitler's lap.

Holland regarded 1936 as the peak of his career. As well as the Olympics, he travelled to the Isle of Man to win the first massed-start road-race over the island's 37-mile Snaefell mountain course, on 18 June 1936. In a sprint finish to what was effectively the first Manx International road race, Holland beat Bill Messer (Marlboro AC) by a length with the Scot Jackie Bone third, the lap covered in 1 hour 42 minutes and 59 seconds, a speed of 22mph.

The British Best All-Rounder

1936 culminated in Holland winning the British Best All-Rounder (BBAR) time-trial competition. The contest is based on speeds over 50 and 100 miles and for 12 hours. Holland was the first to average more than 22mph. He had been third in 1933 and second in 1934 and 1935.

Bill Mills, editor of The Bicycle, described him as:

The best all-rounder, not in its narrow sense of best average in certain particular road events, but in its real sense of best at all types of cycling. Holland's record for the year includes successes at almost every possible type of racing: time trials, massed-starts, track racing, in fact the full programme in which every clubman likes to indulge. The specialist 'pot hunter' may confine himself to his little round of events at distances that he finds brings in the rewards, but the real clubman runs through the gamut of events, taking pleasure, if not prizes, in all and sundry. Of such a type is the dusky Midlander, taking all the sport can offer in his stride.

Six-day track race and Tour de France

Holland turned professional in April 1937, 10 years after his first race. His first event was an 'Empire versus Foreigners' meeting at Herne Hill in south London. There should have been numerous races but Holland rode only two, a sprint which he lost and a team pursuit in which so many riders punctured that both teams had only one rider left in the race. Rain then ended the day.

Holland's objective was to ride the six-day race to be held on a velodrome constructed inside the Empire Pool, Wembley, in north London. He went to Belgium to train on the track at Liège. He was paired in the six-day with the Belgian, Roger Deneef, and what Holland described as a misunderstanding on how each should relay the other into the race led to Holland crashing several times in the first hours. On the second day, he crashed again, broke a collar bone and dropped out. A curiosity of the race was that the leading German rider, Toni Merkens, competed in a jersey bearing a large swastika, a hint at the future that went unnoticed at the time."

Holland broke the same collar bone in June when he tripped on a rabbit hole and had to miss riding with Continental stars on the motor-racing circuit at Crystal Palace, south London. That same year he entered the Tour de France, although the bone breaks had limited his training. In those days it was still possible to enter as an individual, although most places were saved for teams invited by the organiser, Henri Desgrange or his successor, Jacques Goddet, for whom 1937 was his first complete Tour de France as organiser. Holland said:

“ My interest came from the number of riders I'd met who'd ridden it, and I felt that if they could do it then so could I. I had the best massed-start experience of any rider in the country because I'd won races such as the one in the Isle of Man, which was pretty tough because of its mountainous nature. They seemed very pleased to get my entry, the Tour de France. They thought I wouldn't stand it, that only a real professional could do it. I sent off my entry and I got a very good reply and they offered me this and that so I agreed. The costs were all met by the French people, the organisers of the Tour de France. ”

Two weeks before the race Holland read in Desgrange's newspaper, L'Auto that he and another British entrant, Bill Burl, would not after all compete. With the help of staff at Cycling's office in Birmingham, he sent a telegram to Desgrange for clarification. Next day Desgrange replied: "Following your wire dated yesterday agree engagement if you agree yours - L'Auto." The condition was that Holland, Burl and a French-Canadian called Pierre Gachon should combine in a British Empire team.

Holland, Burl, Gachon and the other competitors were greeted at the start by the Franco-American dancer Josephine Baker and they left Paris wearing a Union Jack on their jerseys. Neither Holland nor Burl had met Gachon before the start and Holland was not impressed. "I think I'd have to think twice about [his] riding a second-class British event", he said. Gachon dropped out during the first day and Burl got so far behind on the second that the organisers sent him home.Holland rode 2,000 miles until a broken pump stranded him on the day to Luchon. He punctured behind the leaders on the Col de Port, fitted a new tyre and found the heat had warped the washer of his pump. He got the tyre to half-pressure but punctured twice more and ran out of tyres.

“ A crowd of peasants had gathered around me but they couldn't help me. A priest brought me a bottle of beer, and although it quenched my thirst it got me no further. After I had given up hope, a tourist came along and gave me a tubular touring tyre. I put it on, and in the excitement of the moment the rod of the pump broke. We blew the tyre hard with another pump but the tyre fitted so loosely on the rim that it came off with the fingers and so was unsafe. Another tyre was found that fitted a little better, and again I set off, but I had by then given up hope. ”

Holland didn't take the experience lightly.

“ My riding in the Tour de France was a big disappointment to me because I felt I'd never been extended. I had a lot left in reserve. I didn't expect to win because we didn't have a team and I didn't have a manager. It seemed that they wanted me out of the race. They didn't give me a fair deal. You need a manager for a race like that, someone who can hand up your rations and your drinks, which you get through a lot of. But to have an organisation for one man wasn't in their thinking. They thought that nobody could ride without a manager. So they got all the publicity they could out of me but they wanted me out because what would people think if an individual rider with no support finished their race? ”

Of the 98 starters, 46 reached Paris. Among other riders to abandon were the race leader Sylvère Maes of Belgium and all his team, in protest against a judging decision.

Public reaction

Holland and Burl had become the first British competitors in the Tour and Gachon the first Canadian. Since he was in the race far longer, it was who Holland attracted much affection among French fans, one of whom wrote from Lacelle in the Corrèze region:

My dear Holland, I am a French girl who likes very much her bicycle and who is very fond of « Tour de France ». So, I read « L'Auto » and I listen to « Radio-Luxembourg ». I have been very pleased to learn we would have an English « équipe » this year. First, I congratulate you for this: to run the « Tour de France » because I know it is not very important in England, your people prefers tennis, golf and so on, and however not one other competition permits as well as this, to measure courage. I think you have come with your own will and I say it is very well indeed. Unhappily, your friends have no had luck, and it is very bad for you too, because it must be so hard to stay alone, in a so hard performance. So I admire your « war » and all my best thoughts on the « Tour de France » are for you. Don't be sorry if you are not the first, it is impossible when one is alone.

Cycling wrote:

So far as this country is concerned the race this year has had one outstanding justification; it has shown us the courage and the splendid riding ability of one of our own men, Charles Holland, and we can take pride in his glorious failure knowing that alone as he was, a complete stranger in his surroundings, the victor's laurels could never have been his had he been the greatest stayer, the fastest sprinter and the finest roadmen in the race. Holland is the product of his own determination to be the best Englishman at that class of riding. That he kept in the Tour for three-quarters of the distance, and was only them forced to abandon through ill luck demonstrates that no matter what the sphere of competitive cycling we have ambitions to contest, men can be developed, if we have the will, who can again rank with the world's best.

The rival paper, The Bicycle wrote:

"Goodbye, Holland. Do not be discouraged by your bad luck. You are the man of the Tour."

In the organising paper, L'Auto, Robert Perrier wrote:

Charles Holland did not arrive on the avenues of Etigny. We will no longer see his fine youthful silhouette on the road. We will no longer see his modest smile and his mischievous glances. We will no longer hear his reflections drawn from the source of the best humour of his country. Tomorrow we will give him the pyjamas he threw in our car after Lille along with his toothbrush and toothpaste which he never reclaimed. Charles Holland has abandoned the Tour without a fuss, with pride.

Outside specialist cycling interests, however, interest in the Tour and its first two British riders was minimal. The academics Hugh Dauncey and Geoff Hare wrote in their analysis of the absence of both British interest and marked success in the Tour de France since its start:

Coverage of the Tour by The Times, the newspaper of reference, teaches us much about English attitudes. In 1937, for instance, when Holland and Burl abandoned without The Times deigning to mention their suffering, two brief comments on the race were 'Discordant cycle race: pepper thrown at Belgian team' and a half-hearted announcement, as though only the people concerned might be interested: 'France wins Tour de France'.Dauncey and Hare write:

Nobody (in France at least) remembers the amateurs Charles Holland and Bill Burl, who both had to drop out, physically exhausted, certainly, but above all stunned by the misery to which they had so innocently [ imprudemment] committed themselves. For Holland, the apparent variability with which the rules were applied was more discouraging than the mountain passes and the distances.

Road records

1938 was the year Holland attempted professional place-to-place records on the road, at that time the only way that a professional rider could publicise his sponsor, there still being no massed racing on the road and professionals not being allowed to ride amateur time-trials. In June, riding for Raleigh/Sturmey-Archer, Holland broke his first Road Records Association (RRA) record, knocking 12 minutes off the time of his rival, Frank Southall, for Liverpool to Edinburgh, completing the 210 miles in 10 hours.

In August he narrowly beat the record for Land's End to London but it was not accepted as a new RRA record because it did not improve on the old one by more than a minute. Two months later, he completed the 287 miles from Land's End to London again, racing at 21mph through hours of rain and suffering four punctures but, knocking 25 minutes off the record.

Holland's professional career ended when Britain declared war on Germany in 1939. He was called up to join the Royal Corps of Signals.


In 1936, Holland was examined by Adolphe Abrahams, the medical officer of the British Olympic athletic team, for the magazine Cycling. Abrahams observed:

Charles Holland's... thigh is relatively long... In all great cyclists we confidently expect a muscular thigh, not, perhaps, to the extent of the short-distance runner, in whom violent explosive efforts are demanded, but still a conspicuous development. In Holland's case, the maximum circumference falls below that of the others, but the character of the development is particularly fine, the prominence of the muscle bellies demarcating the components of the great mass on the front of the thigh, affording a picture with which we are all familiar as the athletic ideal.

And when we examine Holland's calf muscles, the appearance is still more striking. These muscles have a better development than any of his predecessors, with the exception of Frank Southall... A curious anomaly was a considerable difference in [Holland's] two calves; the left is fully half an inch larger in circumference. This, I presume, is due to some peculiarity of action; a tiny asymmetry in movements of the ankles would eventually account for this difference.

He measured Holland's chest expansion as 3½ inches - "the average we expect in a racing cyclist" - and his heart rate at 52 to 54.

Post-war life

Holland was too old to race again as a professional when the war ended and rules at the time did not allow him to race as an amateur again. He took up golf and occasionally played in pro-am tournaments. He moved to Carter Road at Great Barr, a suburb of Birmingham and opened a newsagent's shop in Newton Road, Perry Bar which he ran, and another at Sheldon, on the other side of the city, which was managed by his brother Alf. He set up the shops with money saved in his years as a professional.

He never lost interest in cycling and occasionally watched racing in Sutton Park, Birmingham, where he was rarely recognised as one of Britain's first two starters in the Tour de France. In the 1960s cycling began allowing former professionals to ride in amateur races and Holland made a comeback despite being overweight and a heavy smoker. He won the Veterans Time Trial Association best all-rounder title in 1974. In 1975, aged 67, he returned to the Isle of Man to win the veterans' road race, riding roads he first raced over 39 years earlier. He repeated his veterans all-rounder victory, breaking age records at 25, 50 and 100 miles and for 12 hours. His 100-mile time beat the age standard by one-and-a-half hours.

He died in December 1989 and is buried in the family grave at Aldridge.

Discovery of records

Holland's daughters, Nina and Frances, say they grew up seeing their father's cups around the houses but had little idea of their significance. Frances said:

How famous our dad had been was brought home to us in 1962; I was 11 years old when we went with him to the Royal Albert Hall (British Best All-Rounder dinner and awards) where he was invited to tell the Story of the Yellow Jersey.

She and her sister sat in the royal box and watched a show starring the comedian Tommy Trinder, Tour de France winner Louison Bobet, Tour organiser Jacques Goddet and Brian Robinson, in 1958 the first British rider to win a stage of the Tour. Not for nearly half a century did they know that in the loft of their house they had a suitcase in which their father had kept his medals, photographs, and newspaper articles. There too were his Olympic and Tour de France jerseys, his racing caps, notes and correspondence from fans. Frances, a teacher, began writing a biography, Dancing Uphill, and Nina, a book publisher, published it.


Cover of the book Dancing Uphill about Holland's career

Holland's significance is that he and Bill Burl were the first Britons to ride the Tour de France. Holland's contribution was the greater because Burl lasted only two days. Holland and Burl are also the only Britons to have ridden as private entrants, something that was possible until the outbreak of the second world war but not afterwards.

It is impossible to say whether Holland would have finished the Tour or, if he had, in what position. He was considered a novelty by organisers and the spectators, who knew nothing of cycling in Britain, and that led to his being adopted by the French team. The French called him Sir Holland and helped with advice, accommodation and food. But the first interests of French officials was always going to be with their own riders, which explains Holland's isolation when his pump broke and he ran out of tyres.

No British rider competed in or finished the Tour de France until 1955. In that year, Brian Robinson came 29th and Tony Hoar last, the only two of the team to reach Paris. Robinson described their experience as "racing cars competing against Concorde.

There is little direct link between Holland and Robinson, although Holland's private entry is the more remarkable because it went against the fashion of the day. The National Cyclists' Union, which ran the sport in Britain, had opposed racing on the road since the 19th century, afraid that the police would intervene and that all cycling could be banned as a result. The position of cyclists on the road had not been established. The NCU had no interest in road racing and still less in the Tour de France. The magazine, Cycling, which had an influence stronger than at any time since, followed the NCU's line and barely covered the Tour.

The link between Holland and Robinson is further broken by the war, when the Tour de France was suspended, and by an administrative civil war that broke out in Britain at the same time. Frustrated by the NCU's ban on road racing, a group of enthusiasts led by Percy Stallard, formed the British League of Racing Cyclists (BLRC). The BLRC wanted nothing more than to put a team in the Tour de France but couldn't because only the NCU was recognised internationally. The battle between NCU and BLRC exhausted both bodies and only in their last years did both allow racing on the roads. It was that that led to a team being selected in 1955 and Robinson's becoming the first Briton to finish.



Lee Sinnott (Professional Footballer)

Lee started his professional career playing for local club Walsall and later played for Watford,Bradford.


Port Vale have lost their last four games under Sinnott


Lee Sinnott

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lee Sinnott
Personal information
Full name Lee Sinnott
Date of birth 12 July 1965 (1965-07-12) (age 44)
Place of birth    Aldridge, Walsall, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current club Bradford Park Avenue (Manager)
Youth career
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Bradford City
Crystal Palace
Bradford City
Huddersfield Town
Oldham Athletic
Bradford City (loan)
040 (2)
078 (2)
173 (6)
055 (0)
034 (1)
087 (1)
031 (0)
007 (0)
022 (0)   
Teams managed
Farsley Celtic
Port Vale
Bradford Park Avenue

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Lee Sinnott (born 12 July 1965) is an English former professional footballer and current manager of Northern Premier League side Bradford Park Avenue. He achieved enormous success as manager of Farsley Celtic, most notably winning promotion three times in four seasons, which was followed by a spell at Port Vale.


Playing career

Born in Aldridge, Walsall, Staffordshire, He began his career at Walsall as an apprentice, signing professional in 1982. He made 40 first-team appearances in his first season at Fellows Park before joining First Division Watford. At the end of his first season, when still only 18 years old, he played in the 1984 FA Cup Final against Everton at Wembley Stadium, collecting a runners-up medal. He helped Watford reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup three seasons later.

In 1987, Sinnott moved down a division to Bradford City and in his first season he helped the Bantams qualify for the Second Division playoffs, but their promotion bid failed and two years later they were relegated. Sinnott spent one season in the Third Division before moving to First Division side Crystal Palace. He was unable to establish a regular place in the first team and after two years he returned to Bradford.

When Sinnott returned to Valley Parade over the summer of 1993, Bradford were still in the third tier of the English league (now Division Two following the creation of the Premier League); he played in most of their first-team games that season. But the Bantams missed out on the playoffs and manager Frank Stapleton was sacked, with Sinnott following his manager out of the exit door and signing for local rivals Huddersfield Town. He was made captain of Neil Warnock's team, and guided them to Division Two playoff victory in his first season. He spent two more seasons in West Yorkshire before crossing the Pennines and signing for Oldham Athletic, who had just been relegated to Division Two.

Sinnott played 31 games over two seasons at Boundary Park, but Oldham struggled in a division that they had been expected to win promotion from, and in Sinnott's second season they narrowly avoided relegation to Division Three. A year earlier, he had been loaned back to Bradford, but the move was not made permanent.

1998–99 proved to be Lee Sinnott's final season as a Football League player. He moved to Scarborough, who had just been relegated to the Football Conference, and played 22 games in one season for a side who finished fourth in the country's highest non-league division. He then retired from playing after a career spanning almost 20 years.


Managerial career

Farsley Celtic

Sinnott was not out of football for long, moving into management with non-league Farsley Celtic on 20 June 2003.[1] His first success with the club was a third-place finish in the Northern Premier League Division One in 2004 which earned the club promotion to the Northern Premier League. Sinnott would have achieved another promotion in his 2nd season at Throstle Nest as Farsley topped the Northern Premier League at the end of the season. However this was only on the FA's decision that Spennymoor United's records were expunged after they folded. The other clubs in the promotion mix appealed and won so Farsley finished 3rd and had to compete in the playoffs. Despite a 1-0 semi final win over Whitby Town they lost in the final to Workington on penalties. Another promotion was achieved in 2006 however as Sinnott and Farsley bounced back. This time Farsley finished 4th in the regulation season before defeating Marine 1-0 and then North Ferriby United 2-1 in the final. Sinnott also added the West Riding County Cup to Farsley's trophy cabinet for the 10th time in the clubs history as they made it a double winning campaign in 2005-06. Remarkably in 2007 Sinnott steared the club to a third promotion in four seasons when Farsley finished 5th in the Conference North and won promotion to the Conference National again via the playoffs. Farsley beat favourites Kettering in the semi final and then Hinckley in the final at Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium. In the final Farsley Celtic had been 3-2 down with just over 10 minutes remaining before 2 late goals saw a remarkable comeback and a 4-3 victory.

Farsley's three promotions under Sinnott and the declines of Bradford City and their local rivals Leeds United mean that just one and two divisions separate his club from its neighbours, when seven years ago six divisions separated them.

Port Vale

In October 2007, Sinnott was linked with the vacant job at League One team Port Vale, and on November 1, 2007 Farsley Celtic's chairman Andrew Firbank told fans that Sinnott would soon be leaving the club.[2] However, hours later, confusion arose when Sinnott denied resigning.[3] On November 5, 2007 he was named the new Port Vale manager ending the speculation about his future.[4] On his first game in charge Sinnott lost to local rivals Crewe Alexandra.

Sinnott achieved his first win in charge of Port Vale at Morecambe in the FA Cup first round, with Port Vale winning 2–0. His first win in the league came on 8 December, winning 2–1 away at Gillingham. He was unable to keep Port Vale up, however, and they were relegated on 12 April 2008. Now it was the summer transfer season and Sinnott was now able to sign players to make the team that would take them back where they belong so he offloaded players such as Jason Talbot and Joe Cardle to bring in young talented players. He brought in defenders John McCombe who went up with Hereford United last season and wanted to make a point. Others included Steve Thompson from Middlesbrough and Louis Dodds from Leicester City. This along with a few other players would be the team to face the League Two big hitters. Vale defeated Luton Town for the first time since 1897, but a run of home defeats to Accrington Stanley and Macclesfield Town saw Sinnott sacked in September, with the team lying in 16th position in League Two.[5] Three months on from his sacking, the club were yet to reach a compensation settlement with Sinnott,[6] before an agreement was reached in February 2009.[7]

Bradford Park Avenue

Sinnott was linked with a vacant position at Bradford Park Avenue at the end fo 2008, but the club were unwilling to pursue the interest because of Sinnott's unresolved contract with Port Vale,[8] and instead appointed his former Farsley assistant and successor John Deacey.[9] However, despite Sinnott still taking legal action against Port Vale, Park Avenue appointed Sinnott as their new manager just one month later; Avenue were 11th in the Northern Premier League Premier Division at the time of his appointment,[10] with Deacey standing aside to become Sinnott's assistant once again.[11]

Sinnott's first game ended in a 2–0 defeat to Eastwood Town, who went top of the league, with Avenue dropping to ninth even though a victory could have lifted them to third.[12]

Managerial statistics

As of 9 April 2009.[13]
Team Nat From To Record[14]
G W L D Win %[15]
Farsley Celtic Flag of England 20 June 2003 5 November 2007 187 91 48 48 [citation needed]
Port Vale Flag of England 5 November 2007 22 September 2008 44 9 24 11 20.45
Bradford Park Avenue Flag of England 17 January 2009 15 9 2 4 [citation needed]








Personal life

His brother is the actor, writer and director Richard Sinnott.


Richard Sinnott

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Richard Sinnott
Born Richard Sinnott
June 5, 1963 (1963-06-05) (age 46)
Aldridge, West Midlands

Richard Sinnott (born 5 June 1963, Aldridge, West Midlands) is a professional actor, writer and director based in Manchester.

He has played over forty credited roles in British television series such as Life on Mars and The Street, and in films such as The Parole Officer. He teaches Beginners' acting classes in Manchester and is a freelance Performing Arts lecturer at Salford University. He is the author of the theatre play 'Laid Upon A Pebble-Bed'.

His brother is the Bradford Park Avenue football club manager Lee Sinnott, who was Watford's centre-half in the 1984 FA Cup final.


Bingo Bob Whitehouse


A stalwart of the West Midlands  bingo scene has died aged 61 after a long battle with cancer.

Walsall-born Bob Whitehouse, known as Bingo Bob, was well known for his role as manager at Aldridge’s main bingo hall, where he worked for more than 30 years.

Along with brother Harry and sister Margaret, Mr Whitehouse owned the former Avion Bingo Hall, in Anchor Road.

When the business was sold to Jarglen and then Gala, he continued to manage the hall until he was too poorly to continue.

Mr Whitehouse’s sister Margaret Bryan, aged 73, today described her younger brother as a “colourful character.”

“He was very well-known in Walsall,” said Mrs Bryan, of Erdington Road, Aldridge. He loved golf and was a member of Great Barr Golf Club. He was also a big Wolverhampton Wanderers fan who never missed a game.


“He went to Wolves games since he was young and had a season ticket every year. He was quite well-known on the terraces because he could get a bit carried away about some decisions.”

She added: “He was a very colourful character and a very good brother and we have some very fond memories of him.”

Mr Whitehouse was born in Walsall, where he spent his early years, before being educated at Denstone College, in Uttoxeter.

He went on to join the family business set up by his late father Harry, who at one stage owned bingo halls in Birmingham, Stafford and Wolverhampton.

Bingo Bob, who lived in Weston Crescent, passed away on Monday.

He leaves behind a widow Lesley and two daughters from a previous marriage, Julie and Sarah.

A funeral service for Mr Whitehouse will be held at 11am on March 2, at Streetly Crematorium.

Mr Whitehouse was also a member of Aldridge Conservative Club Golf Society.

Friend Paul Marston, who used to play golf with Mr Whitehouse, said he would be be missed.

“I have played golf with Bob every Wednesday for 25 years,” he said.

“He was a wonderful guy and was very brave throughout his illness.”

“He was a wonderful guy and was very brave throughout his illness.”


Eleanor Simmonds

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ellie Simmonds
Personal information
Full name: Eleanor Simmonds
Nationality: British
Stroke(s): Freestyle
Date of birth: 11 November 1994 (1994-11-11) (age 14)
Place of birth: Walsall, England

Eleanor Simmonds MBE (born 11 November 1994 in Walsall, West Midlands[) is a British Paralympian swimmer who has achondroplasia.

Simmonds competed at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing,China in the 50 m, 100 m and 400 m freestyle, 50 m butterfly, and 200 m individual medley She swims in the S6 disability category. At the age of 13, she was the youngest British athlete in China. She came 5th in the 200 m individual medleyand won gold medals in the 100 m and 400 m freestyle events.



She also won the 2008 BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year  award.




Simmonds was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.At 14 she is the youngest person to have ever received this honour. She received the honour from Queen Elizabeth II on 18 February 2009.


Eleanor Simmonds

Eleanor with her M.B.E.

She currently lives part time in Swansea and trains for two hours at a time in nine training sessions per week at the Wales National Pool. Before moving to Swansea, she swam for Boldmere Orcas Swimming Club in Sutton Coldfield, with the help of coach Ashley Cox.








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