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Alfie Boyd part 5

31 Aug 2013 23:22:56

Alfie Boyd part 5

following on

How often would "one of the best Cup finals" be the description involving Alfie Boyd in some capacity? This was very similar to the descriptions of the Scottish League Cup final of Dundee against Rangers in 1951.

Durban City, were regularly attracting crowds of 30,000 and Tottenham Hotspur were touring in 1963. Danny Blanchflower was convinced to stay and play a few guest matches before returning to England, this gave Durban City plenty of publicity to allow Alfie to encourage more British talent to South Africa. Durban went onto win the ‘Castle Cup’ for a 3rd time in 1964.

Alfie returned to Johannesburg in 1965 to take over at Germiston Caledonian Society AFC, or Callies as they were better known. They were in their lowest ever position of 12th in the league when he took over. Alfie signed only one player from Highlands Park, Neville Scott for a nominal fee, it was basically the same team with this one addition that had struggled the previous year. At one point Alfie got the team up to 2nd place only two points behind Highland Park. They eventually finished 4th in the league and obviously as always he wanted to improve on this. It was their tradition to try and only play local footballers, their directors even tried to put a ban on imports into the South African league. Alfie must have been aware of the futility of this well meaning intention, as he had already booked his passage home to try recruit more imports from Britain.

Sir Stanley Mathews was a regular visitor to South Africa in the 50’s and 60’s and played in many exhibition matches against local teams with his select "Sir Stanley Mathews XI". In one of these matches in 1966, Alfie was actually the Manager of the Sir Stanley Mathews XI.

 

Alfie back row10th from the left

Alfie was a regular back to these shores throughout the 1980’s, returning for Dundee’s Centenary celebrations and meeting up with his old colleagues and friends from that era. In fact Alfie had kept in contact with most of his team mates regularly as he had remained great friends with George Hill, Ernie Ewan, Tommy Gallagher and Reggie Smith. Reggie even moved to South Africa for a period, as manager of Western Province, Addington and Cape Town City, before returning to England.

The 2nd July 1998 was a sad day for not only British Football but Football everywhere, when Alfred Boyd died at the age of 78. He was cremated at the Braamfontein Crematorium in Johannesburg and his ashes scattered in the Garden of Remembrance.

He was a much admired figure in the sport and was always happy to talk about his career. His friends spread into many sports he was close friends with many of the great sporting stars of the day, Sir Stanley Mathews, Tom Finney from Football and Bobby Locke and Gary Player from the world of Golf, everyone who knew him were unanimous in the fact a better gentleman you could never find.

Acknowledgements

Writing this article was a pleasure and honour. Many thanks go to Denis and Brian Hawken, for starting the whole venture off with their wartime picture of their father Johnny Hawken and Alfie. If it wasn’t for them introducing Heather to me, then the Story would still be waiting to be told. Special thanks go to Heather for having the faith in me and allowing me to read through her cherished family history. Without the Boyd family scrapbook the tale would never have come about.

My last honour will be the handing over of the scrapbook to Dundee FC, for them to put the scrapbook on permanent display with all the other historical memorabilia that our great Football club has gathered over the past 100 plus years.

 

 the boabs little piece of scotland is well worth a visit feel free to google tthen visit

Source: Dundee Mad


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