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Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:44 pm
by bluedragon
I wonder if I can get some help with three questions on Leith Athletic?

1. As far as I can see Leith Athletic only played in one season of war-time football and that was in the 1941/42 season in the North East Football League. I also understand that a major reason for not being able to compete during the War was the requisitioning of their Meadowbank ground by the Army. Is that correct and, if so, how did they manage to play in 1941/42?

2. John (“Jack”) Thomson Love DFC played for the club in that 1941/42 season and according to John Litster’s disk made 2 appearances (0 goals). I am interested to find details of his debut game.

3. Jack Love returned to play for the club after the War. John Litster’s disk shows him signing for the club on 24 August 1946 but there are no appearances details for the 1946/47 season in the C Division. Did he play any games in that season?

As always, any help will be very much appreciated.

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:23 pm
by Boabthe warrior
Question 3 Love played inside left for Leith Athletic in both league games v East Stirling in 1946-47 (Nov 23 & Apr 26). Line up's from "The Falkirk Herald"

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:46 pm
For question 1 I believe they played at The Gymnasium ground.

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:24 pm
by ScottishFA
Edinburgh Evening News articles:

Wednesday, 6 May 1942
The Heart of Midlothian and Leith Athletic have arranged to play their East of Scotland Shield tie at Tynecastle on Saturday. The Athletic, who have signed on three strapping young players from Craig-Mer, will have two of their recruits on view in the match. Their three newcomers are James A. Robertson (half-back). John Tennant (half-back or inside forward), and J. T. Love (Inside forward). Robertson is 20, stands 5ft. 101n., and weighs 12st 3lb., and the respective figures for the others are Tennant (18), 5ft. 9lb., 11st. 7lb; Love (18), 5ft. 11 in., 12st 6lb. The team to oppose Hearts is: McNair; Baird and Cairns: A.N. Other, M'Kenzie and Pryde; Hamilton, Love, Wilson, Tennant and T. Allan.

6 May 1942 (same page)
J. T. Love, of Craig-Mer, who is to appear at inside right for Leith against the Hearts in a Shield tie at Tynecastle on Saturday, played successful trials for the Port club against East Fife and Rangers.

Hence from the latter snippet, he played league matches as a trialist v East Fife on 18 April (lost 2-5) and Rangers on 25 April (lost 3-4).

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:53 pm
by bluedragon
Boab, Brian and Andy - many thanks for your help. It is very much appreciated.

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:49 pm
by Boris57
In addition to what the other lads have already posted I can advise as follows:

1) 1941/42 was Leith's only playing year during WW2. Old Meadowbank was requisitioned by the Military & used as a Transport Depot. After the war ended Leith had to fight for compensation as the ground was totally destroyed. In the first post-war season (46/47) they played at New Meadowbank next door which was little more than a roped off pitch inside a running track & the turnstile consisted of a table & chair! When the compensation eventually came through the club was able to rebuild Old Meadowbank with much of the work done by Directors & supporters & it included buying the old stand from the Gymmie & moving it to Old Meadowbank where it was rebuilt. Most of the club's home league games in 41/42 were played at the Royal Gymnasium (the "Gymmie") in Stockbridge but not all - e.g 4 Oct Dundee United at Easter Road; 11 Oct Aberdeen at Tynecastle.

2) Johnny Love was signed on 6 May 1942. He played 2 games under the name "Newman" as a trialist - East Fife (18 Apr) & Rangers (25 Apr) plus 2 games under his own name - Dundee Utd (30 May) & Dunfermline Athletic (6 June). Thast Dunfermline game finished in a 7-7 draw!

3) Johnny did play during 46/47 in Div.C. He was still in the forces (in Oxfordshire) but would get the overnight train up every Friday & then back overnight every Saturday - stamina! I have the line-ups for 17 of the 18 Div C fixtures that season - missing one. Of the 17 I have, he played in 15.
Hope that helps.

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:01 pm
by bluedragon
Many thanks Boris. That's all my questions now answered! Thanks to you and the others.

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:35 pm
by Boris57
Happy to help. Curious as to what your interest in Johnny Love is? Just asking because he was one of the players featured in a series of articles on "They Wore the Black & White" in last season's Leith Athletic match programme.

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:43 pm
by bluedragon
A friend and I are compiling profiles of League footballers who were decorated for bravery in war- or peacetime. As you will know, Johnny Love was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for safely landing a glider with its load undamaged in the crossing of the Rhine while injured, flaps that been hit by ground fire and brakes that did not work.

I would be very interested to see the feature in last season's Leith Athletic programme. I would be very happy to pass you a copy of what we have compiled if you send me a PM with an e-mail address.

I wonder if you have the number of league goals scored by Johnny in the 1946/47 season?

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:44 pm
by Boris57
Didn't know the full details of the DFC - I had him as wounded by shrapnel over Arnhem in 1944 so guessing he was part of the ill-fated Operation Market Garden involving the Paras. If you DM me a name & address I'd be happy to send you a copy of the programme that had the article on Johnny (v Civil Service Strollers - 8 March 2016) with my compliments. I'll also enclose a copy of the original article as unfortunately the printer cut off the last couple of lines on the final production (not guilty - I'm not the editor!).

Right, re goals scored by Johnny in Div. C in 46/47. I can provide a figure from my research with a couple of caveats. Div.C that season consisted of just 10 clubs so 18 games each in total. I have the line-ups for 17 & the scorers for 17 but "missing" stats don't relate to same game. For Stirling Albion (home) 14 Sep (2-2) I have the line-up but not the scorers. For Brechin City (away) 28 Dec (2-2) I have the scorers but not the line-up. So, I have Johnny playing in 15 league games (but total could be 16) & I have him scoring 12 goals (but could be higher if he scored either or both v Stirling). Hope all that makes some sort of sense!

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:09 pm
by ScottishFA
Perhaps one way to work out who scored against Stirling Albion is from the goalscoring totals. The Courier of 7 January 1947 lists the top scorers in the Second Division, including three Leith players: Love on 13, Brydon and Broadley on 7 each.

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:35 pm
by Boris57
Good detective work there!

I have Brydon on 7 but Broadley on 9 (at that date - just one Lge game to go).

Also. I had miscounted on first check when I posted - I said 12 for Love, should be 13 which ties in with figure you refer to. I don't have him as scoring in final game so seems likely that 13 was his total in Div C for the season.

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:44 pm
by bluedragon
Thanks for the further help Boris and Andy. From what I have found out Johnny was one of around 1,500 pilots (Johnny was originally in Bomber Command) who were urgently retrained to fly gliders following the tragic loss of pilots at Arnhem. The new pilots were able to support Operation Varsity (the crossing of the Rhine) in March 1945.

Boris thanks for the kind offer of the Leith Athletic programme and the original article. I have sent you a PM.

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:10 pm
by Boris57
Posted to you this morning Blue Dragon. Hope they prove of some help/interest.

Re: Leith Athletic - help please

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:20 pm
by MontyPython
Stirling Journal report

Leith 2 SAFC 2

McCormack, Harrower, Peat, Cairns, Rennie, Kerr,
Brydon, Robertson, Watson, Love, Skinner

Stirling Albion
Giannandrea, Cowan, Muir, McKeown, Whiteford, Moffat,
Dick, Ventre, Black, Elms, Morrison

4 mins 0-1 Elms
26 mins 1-1 Brydon
29 mins 1-2 Black
63 mins 2-2 Cairns

Attendance 6,000