1960-61 Metropolitan League 'A'

Manager: Harry Butler


1960-61 Metropolitan

West Ham United

1960-61


The Metropolitan League is now in its twelfth season. Two new clubs joined the league prior to the start of the season Metropolitan Police from the Spartan League and St Neots Town from the Central Alliance. Chelsea 'A' and Fulham 'A' both resigned, Canterbury City joined the Southern League with Windsor & Eton joining the Delphan League. The only other notable change is that Headington United Reserves have changed their name to Oxford United Reserves, the league now has a membership of eighteen clubs for this campaign.


No programmes issued for West Ham's Home League games at Spotted Dog Ground


OXFORD UNITED RESERVES : Metropolitan League


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Manor Ground

1 - 1 (Beesley)

27 August 1960

Dickie

Cripps

Burkett

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Patten

Boyce

Bleanch

Beesley

Hugo


A very good game largely predominated by the defences (David Bickles was outstanding in ours). Against the wind we survived heavy pressure in the opening quarter-of-an-hour but had an equal share of the first haif. Oxford scored five minutes after the interval following a corner, but five minutes later Mike Beesiey took a through pass to make the final score 1-1.


HAYWARDS HEATH : Metropolitan League


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Lingfield

6 - 1 (Bleanch 2, Barrett, Beesley, Boyce, Hugo)

3 September 1960

Dickie Cripps Burkett Peters Bickles Charles Bleanch Boyce Beesley Barrett Hugo


This was Jim Barrett's first game since returning to the Hammers, and he celebrated by scoring our fourth goal 14 minutes from time. A slippery ground at the start made conditions rather difficult, but our good midfield play eventually paid dividends, the second half display being positively brilliant.

Norman Bleanch made us one up at the interval from Roger Hugo's pass and these two again combined for Hugo to make it 2-0. Ron Bovce picked up the ball in our opponents' half and beat three men for the third, and after Barrett's goal Mike Beesley and Bleanch made the final score 6-0.


METROPOLITAN POLICE : Metropolitan League


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Imber Court

6 - 2 (Beesley 3, Hugo 2, Barrett)

8 September 1960

Dickie

Cripps

Burkett

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Bleanch

Starkey

Beesley

Barrett

Hugo


Michael Beesley netted a hat-trick in a 6-2 victory, with Roger Hugo (2) and Jimmy Barrett as the other scorers against a Police team which was hardly ever able to cope with our strong attacks.


BRIGHTON & HOVE "A" : Metropolitan League


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Hove Stadium

3 - 0 (Barrett, Bleanch, Hugo)

10 September 1960

Dickie

Cripps

Burkett

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Patten

Starkey

Bleanch

Barrett

Hugo


A pitch that needed the considerable attentions of the mower was the cause of several passes going astray and until the Hammers got used to these conditions the play tended to be rather scrappy. However, we were two up at half-time and won comfortably by 3-0. Roger Hugo opened the score after 28 minutes after Norman Bleanch's shot had rebounded from the post; Jimmy Barrett got the second five minutes before the interval from a low cross from John Patten ; and Bleanch ended the scoring in the 76th minute from close in.


CRAWLEY TOWN : Metropolitan League


60_09_17 Crawley Town v. WHU Metro

Town meadow

3 - 1 (Bleanch, Hugo, Le Surf)

17 September 1960

Dickie

Le Surf

Burkett

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Starkey

Boyce

Bleanch

Barrett

Hugo


With Harry Cripps playing for the Reserves we made our first-of-the-season change in the third-string defence, including apprentice professional Reg Le Surf in our line-up. Reg soon got into the picture by scoring with a 25-yard drive after play had been in progress for a quarter-of-an-hour, but we should have been better placed by then if missed opportunities were taken into consideration. Nevertheless, we went further ahead before the interval through Norman Bleanch and the same player was later unfortunate when he hit the bar after moving well with the ball from Jim Barrett's pass. Maintaining their superiority the Hammers made it 3-0 after 72 minutes (Roger Hugo being the scorer) and it was not until right on time that Crawley scored their only goal.


HASTINGS UNITED RESERVES : Metropolitan League


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Pilots Field

2 - 1 (Bleanch 2)

24 September 1960

Dickie

Cripps

Le Surf

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Starkey

Boyce

Bleanch

Barrett

Patten


This was the Hammers' hardest game to date in the competition, and our whole side is to be commended upon a performance in a game when the scales were balanced against them through an injury to John Charles which left us with ten men for the whole of the second half. To retain an unbeaten record was most praiseworthy.

We survived heavy pressure in the first ten minutes through sterling defensive work and after 28 minutes took the lead when John Starkey rounded the full-back to cross the ball to the far post where Norman Bleanch did the conversion.

The same player scored again four minutes later from Ron Boyce's pass; Boyce had a fine same, providing first-rate passes throughout. Hastings got one goal five minutes after half-time, but we held on to gain a 2-1 victory.


DARTFORD : Metropolitan League Professional Cup (First Round)


60_10_01 Dartford v. WHU MPC

Watling Street

3 - 5 (Cripps, Scott, Starkey)

1 October 1960

Reader

Cripps

Le Surf

Presland

Bickles

Barrett

Scott

Boyce

Bleanch

Starkey

Hugo


Against a rather more experienced side our third-string sustained its first defeat of the season. Nevertheless our youthful XI contributed its full share to the soccer skill displayed, and maintained a steady stream of shots which we put in despite some robust tackling by the opposition. Further satisfaction for us was that Peter Reader and Tony Scott each came through their tests in a satisfactory manner in their first appearances of the season following close-season mishaps.

A 25-yard drive by Harry Cripps enabled us to take a 14th-minute lead, but a penalty goal four minutes later and another tally in the 24th minute put Dartford ahead; we levelled the scores ten minutes before the interval through Scott. In the 69th minute John Starkey got a good goal to give us the lead once more, but three in the last 18 minutes for the homesters made the final score 5-3 in their favour; our biggest stroke of misfortune came when the score was 3-4 against us, the referee making yet another poor decision when he ignored a penalty appeal as Norman Bleanch was brought down well inside the area.


ARSENAL "A" : Metropolitan League


Spotted Dog Ground 2 - 1 (Robinson 2) 10 October 1960


Reader, Presland, Burkett, Peters, Bickles, Charles, Woodley, Robertson, Bleanch, Hugo, Dear


Two goals by new signing Archie Robertson and a useful display between the sticks by Peter Reader helped us to lead by 2-0 at half-time. The very strong Gunners' side reduced their arrears after the interval, but we ran out winners by 2-1, thus becoming the only unbeaten team in the Metropolitan League.


EASTBOURNE UNITED : Metropolitan League


60_10_22 Eastbourne United v. WHU Metro

Princes Park

0 - 3

22 October 1960

Reader

Presland

Cripps

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Starkey

Robertson

Bleanch

Beesley

Hugo


Our first Metropolitan League defeat of the season was heralded by a bad start to this game, the Seasiders being one up in the first five minutes. The greater experience of the home forwards enabled them to interchange positions frequently and this led to a second goal after 20 minutes. At the other end the Eastbourne defence was having an easy time, and they had the opportunity to help their own attack to score again to make the final count 3-0.


GUILDFORD CITY : Metropolitan League Challenge Cup (Second Round)


60_10_29 Guildford City v. WHU Metro Cup

Joseph's Road Ground

2 - 1 (Beesley 2)

29 October 1960

Reader

Presland

Burkett

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Starkey

Robertson

Bleanch

Beesley

Scott


A greasy ground and rain throughout made conditions very heavy, but we settled down after a quarter-of-an-hour to accurate passing which brought good results. John Starkey laid back a good ball for Mick Beesley to put us ahead after 20 minutes and our inside-left netted his second goal at the end of an hour's play; Guildford scored from a penalty right on time, so we won by 2-1. The Surrey side brought out the best in our defence and Peter Reader made several fine saves, but our wing-halves still managed to keep the forwards supplied and John Charles in particular went up to put in a fine shot that was stopped by the "save of the match." Norman Bleanch kept his line moving well.


METROPOLITAN POLICE : Metropolitan League


60_10_29 Guildford City v. WHU Metro Cup

Imber Court

8 - 1 (Scott 4, Bleanch 2, Robertson 2)

3 November 1960

Reader

Cripps

Cantwell

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Barrett

Robertson

Bleanch

Beesley

Scott


In a very one-sided game we led by 7-1 at half-time. The Police kept us at bay a little after the interval, but the final score was 8-1. Tony Scott netted four goals and Norman Bleanch and Archie Robertson two apiece.


ARSENAL "A" : Metropolitan League


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London Colney

0 - 1

5 November 1960

Reader

Cripps

Burkett

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Scott

Robertson

Bleanch

Beesley

Dear


The forwards had few scoring chances in this game and a solitary goal gave the top-of-the-League Gunners a victory. We should have been awarded a penalty in the second half when Brian Dear was brought down, and a conversion of that could have earned a deserved point.


LUTON TOWN "A" : Metropolitan League


Spotted Dog Ground 0 - 2 7 November 1960


Dickie, Cripps, Burkett, Peters, Bickles, Charles, Bleanch, Robertson, Beesley, Barrett, Dear


The visitors were generally the better side and earned their 2-0 victory both goals being scored in the second half. However, their XI was virtually of Combination standard, and our youngsters (particularly Martin Peters') were by no means disgraced.


GUILDFORD CITY RESERVES : Metropolitan League


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Joseph's Road Ground

4 - 2 (Bessley, Bleanch, Charles, Dear)

12 November 1960

Reader

Presland

Cripps

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Bleanch

Cartwright

Beesley

Hugo

Dear


We had beaten Guildford in a League Cup match a fortnight earlier by 2-1, and doubled the score on this occasion to complete the "double" with a 4-2 win. Adapting themselves better to the heavy ground the Hammers were always on top and gave one of their finest displays this season. John Charles opened the scoring with a 30-yard drive from Martin Peters' square pass and Bryan Dear got a brilliant second goal; Dear made an opening for Norman Bleanch to score the third goal from close in and also provided the pass for Mike Beesley to net the fourth on the volley.


BEDFORD TOWN RESERVES : Metropolitan League


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The Eyrie

0 - 3

19 November 1960

Reader

Presland

Cripps

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Bleanch

Cartwright

Beesley

Hugo

Dear


Although we completely outplayed Bedford for the first 40 minutes we could net no goals. Then came a complete change; in the 41st minute the homesters broke away to score and they continued from thence onwards to have much the better of the exchanges. Further goals in the 70th and 85th minutes ended in our losing by 0-3.


DUNSTABLE TOWN : Metropolitan League


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Kingsway

2 - 1 Beesley, Mangan

3 December 1960

Reader

Presland

Cripps

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Bleanch

Cartwright

Beesley

Hugo

Mangan


DARTFORD RESERVES : Metropolitan League


60_12_24 Dartford v. WHU Metro

Watling Street

3 - 1 (Beesley, Brett, Robertson)

24 December 1960

Reader

Presland

Cripps

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Bleanch

Robertson

Brett

Beesley

Dear


Goals by Mike Beesley, Ron Brett and Archie Robertson helped us to a 3-1 victory that avenged a 3-5 defeat at the hands of the same opponents in the Metropolitan League Professional Cup


ST NEOTS TOWN : Metropolitan League


60_12_31 St Neots Town v. WHU Metro

Image courtesy of Simon Lord


Shortlands

3 - 5 (Dear 2, Presland)

31 Decemeber 1960

Reader

Presland

Cripps

Cannon

Bickles

Charles

Starkey

Cartwright

Bleanch

Hugo


Our defence underwent such heavy pressure in the first half-hour that we could well have been four down; instead, we were one up through Eddie Presland converting a well-taken free-kick by Harry Cripps! However the home side were not to be denied, and they went into a 4-1 lead before Brian Dear got our second from John Starkey's lay-back pass. Each side scored once again before the end, Dear getting ours right on time for a 5-3 score-line in St. Neots' favour.


CRAWLEY TOWN : Metropolitan League


61_01_07 Crawley Town v. WHU Metro

Town Meadow

7 - 1 (Dear 4, Beesley 2, Robertson)

7 January 1961

Reader

Cripps

Burkett

Presland

Bickles

Peters

Bleanch

Robertson

Beesley

Hugo

Dear


The Star of this victory was Hammers' young outside-left, Brian Dear, who netted four goals in the second half. Three of these came in a five-minute spell, starting ten minutes after the interval when he beat the full-back in a tackle, cut inside, and slammed the ball wide of the keeper; two minutes later he got his second and three minutes afterwards he completed his hat-trick from the centre-forward position. Crawley got their only goal in the 80th minute ... but Dear was there again two minutes afterwards for the finale.

The Town had been under heavy pressure straight from the opening whistle, and it was no surprise when Mick Beesley (who had been forestalled twice previously by fine saves) took a through ball to score our first goal after eleven minutes. Norman Bleanch crossed the ball for Beesley to run in and head it home (33 mins) and Archie Robertson got one three minutes later to make it 3—0 at half-time.


HASTINGS UNITED : Metropolitan League


61_01_14 Hastings United v. WHU Metro

Pilot Field

1 - 2 (Bleanch)

14 January 1961

Reader

Presland

Le Surf

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Starkey

Robertson

Bleanch

Cartwright

Hyde


An entertaining first half with both sides attacking in turn ended with the home side a goal ahead thanks to a 38th minute goal which came when their outside-right hit a cross ball for an inside-forward to score.

After the interval we had onlv ourselves to blame for not securing at least one point. We were unfortunate when John Cartwnght hit the crossbar but chance after chance went begging before an own goal put Hastings two up in the 69th minute. Our half-back line had been playing extremely well throughout and their pressure eventualy led us to net four minutes from time : Cartwright squared the ball to John Starkev who beat his full-back and sent across a high centre for Norman Bleanch to score. However, on the day. Archie Robertson was our best player


BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION "A" : Metropolitan League


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Hove Stadium

3 - 1 (Blench, Cartwright, Woodley)

21 January 1961

Reader

Cripps

Le Surf

Robertson

Bickles

Charles

Woodley

Cartwright

Bleanch

Hugo

Dear


The first half was generally even with most of the play in midfield, although Peter Reader made one very good save by tipping a long drive over the bar and John Cartwright came close a couple of times against a defence adopting offside tactics.

The game warmed up after the interval, but the goal which gave Brighton the lead in the 50th minute was a lucky one; a free-kick into our goalmouth hit the centre-forward's foot and was diverted into the: net. However, the Hammers were undaunted by this reverse, and with Cartwright continuing to play well they ran out good 3-1 winners. For the first goal Harry Cripps put Brian Dear away down the wing, and the centre to the far post was headed back by Derek Woodley for Cartwripht to score. Cartwright gave a through ball to Woodley for our right-winger to get the second, and a minute later Woodley again had a hand in the scoring when he passed for Norman Bleanch to finish it off.


TONBRIDGE RESERVES : Metropolitan League


61_02_04 Tonbridge v. WHU Metro

Angel Ground

2 - 3 (Dear, Starkey)

4 February 1961

Reader

Presland

Cripps

Robertson

Bickles

Charles

Woodley

Starkey

Bleanch

Hugo

Dear


With a strong wind against them the Hammers were defending for long periods in the first half, but succeeded in holding the score-sheet blank at the interval. After resuming we made better progress and Brian Dear quickly put us ahead from close range, after which a good shot by John Starkey would have increased our margin but for a brilliant save. However, the home side overcame the weather conditions to fight back and gam a 3-1 lead with three minutes to go. Then Starkey scored the st goal of the match after beating two men "on a sixpence," and we looked like having a chance to save a point when Harry Cripps was grassed in the penalty-area whilst going through; unfortunately the expected penalty was not awarded, so we went under by 2-3


ARSENAL "A" : Metropolitan League Challenge Cup (Third Round)


61_02_13 WHU v. Arsenal Metro Cup3

Upton Park

0 - 2

13 February 1961

Reader

Presland

Cripps

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Woodley

Cartwright

Bleanch

Hugo

Dear


The Gunners put on a lot of pressure in the opening stages and eventually went ahead in the 14th minute when their outside-left accepted a chance following a miskick. They scored again eight minutes later, following up to net at the second attempt after Peter Reader had brilliantly saved a "cert." After this we came more into the game, but poor finishing (and a missed penalty) kept us scoreless and we went under by 0-2.


LUTON TOWN "A" : Metropolitan League


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Luton

3 - 3 (Robertson 2, Cartwright)

18 February 1961

Reader

Presland

Cripps

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Woodley

Robertson

Bleanch

Cartwright

Dear


In the first 20 minutes our side made good progress, moving the ball accurately and having several shots. John Cartwright got our first goal during this period (after seven minutes) beating two men before netting from 20 yards. However Luton equalised with an angled shot in the 23rd minute and got another just before half-time. They increased their advantage to 3-1 after the resumption and the Hatters' 'keeper brilliantly saved a penalty to make their chances very bright. However, two goals in the last quarter-of-an-hour earned us a deserved point; both were scored by Archie Robertson ; he ran in to net after a move by Norman Bleanch and Cartwright, and afterwards beat two men before firing wide of the goalkeeper for the equaliser


TONBRIDGE RESERVES : Metropolitan League


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Angel Ground

5 - 3 (Dear 2, Beesley, Hugo, Woodley)

25 February 1961

Reader

Presland

Cripps

Peters

Bickles

Charles

Woodley

Robertson

Beesley

Hugo

Dear


Although we had plenty of scoring opportunities earlier on it took 43 minutes before we got our first goal; then two came before half-time. Derek Woodley notching the first after Martin Peters had split the defence with a through pass and Brian Dear netting the second after Woodley had done all the spade work. Defensive errors allowed Tonbridge to equalise within 13 minutes of the restart, and although Mike Beesley took a good pass from John Charles to beat the centre-half and put us in front once more, the homesters drew level at 3-3 to keep the game full of interest. However, quick goals by Dear and Roger Hugo brought a merited 5-3 victory for the Hammers.


DARTFORD RESERVES : Metropolitan League


61_03_04 Dartford v. WHU Metro

Watling Street

1 - 1 Beesley [pen])

4 March 1961

Reader

Presland

Le Surf

Barrett

Bickles

Charles

Woodley

Robertson

Beesley

Cartwright

Dear


This game signalled the return of Jimmy Barrett to our line-up after an absence since 7th November when injury forced him to undergo a leg operation; we are pleased to say he came through successfully and played a useful part in the gaining of a point. Although both teams showed good approach work the finishing was not so effective largely due to quick-tack ling defences who kept on top for long periods. Mick Beesley converted a penalty in the 19th minute to put us in front, but Dartford equalised after half-an-hour's play when their inside-forward connected with a high cross-pass from the wing. The second half proved much the same as the first, and with no further goals a 1-1 draw resulted.


ST NEOTS TOWN : Metropolitan League


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Shortlands

0 - 3

18 March 1961

Griffin

Presland

Peters

Barrett

Bickles

Charles

Hugo

Boyce

Bleanch

Robertson

Dear


The whole team played very well for the first 20 minutes, but faded after St. Neots scored their first goal and from then on hardly looked like scoring. It was unfortunate, however, that a couple of harsh decisions should lead to further tallies for the home team, resulting in them gaining a 3-0 margin at the final whistle. In his first "A" Team game young Dick Griffin did quite well between the sticks here ...


GUILDFORD CITY RESERVES : Metropolitan League


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Joesph's Road Ground

1 - 1 (Hugo)

25 March 1961

Jonscher

Presland

Burkett

Robertson

Bickles

Charles

Starkey

Barrett

Bleanch

Hugo

Dear


This Metropolitan League game produced a 1-1 draw, the Hammers' tally being netted by Roger Hugo. Playing in goal for the first time in our line-up was Erik Jonscher, a German student who is in England at the present time and who plays for V.F.L. Osnabruck when at home; he did quite well, and we hope to give him a further trial at a later date.


DUNSTABLE TOWN : Metropolitan League


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Brewers Hill Ground 1 - 0 (Bleanch) 31 March 1961

Dickie Waddington Le Surf Gray Presland Charles Starkey Robertson Bleanch Hugo Dear


BEDFORD TOWN RESERVES : Metropolitan League


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The Eyrie 0 - 1 1 April 1961

Dickie Presland Le Surf Gray Waddington Charles Starkey Robertson Beesley Hugo Dear


NEWBURY TOWN : Metropolitan League


61_04_03 Newbury Town v. WHU Metro

Town Ground 3 - 5 (Beesley, Dear, Hugo) 3 April 1961

Dickie Presland Le Surf Gray Waddington Charles Starkey Robertson Beesley Hugo Dear


EASTBOURNE UNITED : Metropolitan League


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Princes Park 0 - 1 8 April 1961

Dickie Le Surf Lyall Peters Waddington Charles Woodley Robertson Bleanch Hugo Dear


OXFORD UNITED : Metropolitan League


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Manor Ground 2 - 5 (Cartwright, Robertson) 15 April 1961

Dickie Presland Burkett Bovington Lansdowne Peters Woodley Robertson Bleanch Cartwright Dear


Oxford United were rather lucky to end with a 5-2 advantage, for in general we had just as much of the play but were unfortunate near goal. John Cartwright and Archie Robertson got our goals.


DIDCOT TOWN : Metropolitan League


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Station Road 3 - 2 (Bleanch, Harris, Hugo) 19 April 1961

Dickie Presland Wadham Robertson Bickles Charles Woodley Harris Bleanch Hugo Dear


We included a couple of our Colts' side in the line-up, and were pleased with the efforts of Graham Wadham and Alan Harris. Harris got one goal, and others by Norman Bleanch and Roger Hugo sufficed to earn a 3-2 win.


HAYWARDS HEATH : Metropolitan League


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Hanbury Park 2 - 1 (Bleanch, Dear) 22 April 1961

Dickie Presland Busby Robertson Bickles Charles Woodley Starkey Bleanch Hugo Dear


Against foot-of-the-table opposition we had a poor game, but nevertheless had little difficulty in winning 2-1, Brian Dear and Norman Bleanch being our scorers.


NEWBURY TOWN : Metropolitan League


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Town Ground 2 - 2 (Cartwright, Dear) 26 April 1961

Dickie Presland Burkett Peters Bickles Charles Woodley Starkey Bleanch Cartwright Dear


DIDCOT TOWN : Metropolitan League


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Station Road Ground 4 - 0 (Cartwright 2, Hugo, Peters) 29 April 1961

Shearing Cripps Burkett Peters Bickles Charles Woodley Cartwright Beesley Robertson Hugo




1959-60 Metro Season 1960-61 1961-62 Metro