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The Day World Football Came To The Memorial

By Charlie Bright

An U19 European Youth Championship game was once held at our old home.

“Thanks to David Barber for the article”

The UEFA Under-19 Championship, an annual competition for national teams, has had other names in its 70-year history. In the 1960s and '70s it was often referred to as the European Youth Championship but the English media loved to call it the "Little World Cup" - especially when England won it!

In The FA's centenary year of 1963 England hosted the Championship and matches were played all over the South-East. On 13 April, a Saturday, Scotland played Switzerland in the opening Group A fixture at a packed Memorial Sports Ground, home of Redhill FC of the Athenian League!

The Scots won 3-1 and their team included a young George Graham, who had signed for Aston Villa at 17 and went on to have a brilliant career at the top level with 12 Scottish senior caps and winning the Double with Arsenal. "Stroller", as he was known, was equally as successful as a manager.

On the day the World Cup came to Redhill, albeit its smaller version, Greece beat West Germany 7-2 at Slough in the other Group A match. In the next week there was more Championship action at places like Aldershot, Brighton, Tooting and Walton. Scotland topped the group but lost to England in the semis.

The Final was played at Wembley on 23 April and a crowd of 34,582 saw an England side that featured future "hard men" in Liverpool's Tommy Smith and Chelsea's Ron Harris triumph 4-0 over Northern Ireland. Pat Jennings was in goal for the Irish.

Updated 07:37 - 25 Aug 2018 by Charlie Bright

Where next?

Four For Kedze In Derby Delight Clinical Reds take revenge for FA Cup Defeat.
Work Is Never Done Work on the Kiln Brow pitch continues.


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