Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

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Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

Postby bluedragon » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:37 pm

The SFA organised a Scottish Services team to play two matches in Belgium in January 1945. I have the teams, scores, etc but I am trying to find out if there were any players in the party that did not play in either of the two matches. I have tried the British Newspaper Archive but I imagine there would be little advance publicity and probably due to service commitments, uncertainty over release, etc the composition of the squad may not have been decided until the last minute. If anyone has any suggestions, ideas, etc I would be very pleased to hear them.
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Re: Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

Postby ScottishFA » Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:36 pm

The teams are in the Athletic News annual, and a total of 13 players took part (Harley and Oakes replaced by Cox and Pearson in the second game). With the war still going on, I'd be surprised if the SFA took a party of more than 13, especially given George Graham's comments in the press that players took part in the second game while carrying an injury from the first.

Probably the only way to be sure would be to check the SFA minute books, which usually recorded the squad selections.
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Re: Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

Postby bluedragon » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:32 am

Thanks for the help. I had also thought the 13 players who played in the two games was more than likely the full complement of the touring party.

The player I am trying to trace is Scotsman John (“Jock”) Thomson who was an English First Division player with Leeds United although he had moved to another First Division club (Grimsby Town) just before the outbreak of War. During the War he guested for Manchester City and Hearts before being posted abroad.
I have been given a reference that he played for a combined services team against Belgium (specifically Belgium rather than the Belgian Army XI) while serving abroad. I have looked in Brian McColl’s book on Wartime football. Apart from the FA and SFA Services teams that played Belgium in early 1945, the only other game I can find that meets the criteria is Belgium XI v Army/RAF XI in Brussels on 16 December 1944 although I cannot find any details in the BNA.
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Re: Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

Postby ScottishFA » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:12 pm

Dundee Evening Telegraph of 5 January 1945 confirms that there were 13 players in the party (plus a trainer and SIX officials).

There was another Combined Services team in April 1945 which was due to play in Brussels and Bruges. I can't find any detailed reports but there are brief mentions of a Football Association eleven drawing 0-0 with the Belgian Red Devils in Brussels on Sunday 22 April.

And at the end of September 1944 another team went to Paris and Brussels (squad list in Daily Herald, 26 September 1944).
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Re: Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

Postby bluedragon » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:03 pm

Thanks for the further digging Andy. I think that helps narrows it down to two games.
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Re: Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

Postby bluedragon » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:09 am

Of the five matches that met the criteria I have now narrowed it down to one possible match:

Belgium XI 2 Army/RAF XI 1 on 16 December 1944 in Brussels

Unfortunately I cannot find the line-up for this match to confirm that John Thomson played. However, I do now know that he served in the RAF.
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Re: Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

Postby HibeeJibee » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:48 pm

Other than the result - Belgian Services 2-1 Army-RAF Combination - nothing else appears in the "AFS War Reports" or "Datasport Book of Wartime Football" publications.
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Re: Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

Postby bluedragon » Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:25 pm

HibeeJibee - many thanks for checking those sources for me.
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Re: Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

Postby ScottishFA » Sun May 21, 2017 9:11 pm

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Re: Scottish Services team - tour to Belgium 1945

Postby bluedragon » Wed May 24, 2017 2:52 pm

Thanks Andy. It is indeed amazing that you can across this.
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