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In 1971 The Staff of Wetherby High School (those who could run, and probably some who couldn't) played a team from Yorkshire TV's Calendar News Programme in a Charity Football Match. Headmaster Harry Fitton's programme notes are reproduced below. The staff caricatures are from the pen of Barry Sellers.

Illustrated below, top row left to right: Messrs Mason ?, Wardle ?, Steel, Sellers, Taylor (Star Player?), Manning and Winterburn. Bottom row: Messrs Frusher, a stray goatee?, Surfleet, Unknown No 7/Tinson? and Farmer Palmer

Barry Sellers Staff Caricatures

YTV Calendar Stars

in the Calendar team were some well-known names, including Graham Ironside, Austin Mitchell, Sid Waddell (one hundred and EIGHTY?) and housewives' favourite Richard Whiteley (described as a "witty, tricky ball-player.") The programme notes that in the past three seasons the Calendar team had notched impressive victories against George Best's All-Stars and Monk Fryston Youth Club (including Terry Cooper, Norman Hunter and Jack Charlton!) amongst others.

Above: Caricatures by Barry Sellers.
  • DAVID PALMER - Daring 'keeper. Quick to recover - he has to be!
  • REX STEEL - As uncompromising in the tackle as his name suggests.
  • JOHN MANNING - Has the ability to play anywhere - and often does!
  • REG TAYLOR- "Two opponents I can handle; three I can screen, but four is too many - come back defence!"
  • JIM FRUSHER - Junior member of a very strong back four - improving with careful schooling.
  • JOHN WARDLE - a latter-day "Slim Jim Baxter" with a little more pace
  • BRIAN MASON - Our regular mid-field dynamo will be missed today.
  • PETER RAILTON - A welcome return to a skilful ball player.
  • CARL TINSON - A newcomer who has added speed and class to the forward line.
  • TERRY BRINDLE - A man of many talents! He can play, organise and report simultaneously.
  • MALCOLM WINTERBURN - "The Ghost" can draw players from the middle without moving. A revelation as striker after a year's exile on the wing.
  • BARRY SELLERS - An artistic player whose profound concepts of the game are not always recognised.
  • DAVID SURFLEET/ROB THOMSON - Substitutes of reliability, resource and renown in the face of fundamental childhood neglect of our national sport.
  • BRIAN HUTCHINSON - referee
WSPANE banner Charity Match; WHS Staff v Calendar All-Stars, 1971?

Programme Cover Austin MitchellThe television set is a focal point of the furniture in most sitting-rooms, and those who appear regularly on the screen are regarded with a certain amount of affection by many householders. There is an aura of mysticism around the T.V. personalities - almost as though they are unreal: I remember seeing Austin Mitchell walking along the Headrow in Leeds, leaving behind him a wake of shoppers nudging each other and nodding in his direction with an animated "You know!" look on their faces. These shoppers were ordinary viewers, and they were surprised but delighted to see someone well-known to them in an entirely different but ordinary situation - in the flesh, and not flat, if you see what I mean... That beaming Mitchell smile under the curly mop of unruly hair seemed so different, so alive in the street. Every viewer could say, that evening, "I saw him today" knowing that their nonchalant announcement would cause a minor sensation in their household.

In a way, teachers lead that same kind of privileged life. Sir in the classroom is a person to beware of, to respect or even fear: in either case he is regarded as representative of authority and his pupils take due note of his habits, his utterances and his dress. Then comes the day of the Annual Staff v. Boys Football match, and the whole school assembles on the field to see battle joined. The cheers that greet the sight of the staff's team are tinged with hilarity, for now those sternly knowledgeable individuals are in a vastly different situation - "Look at his knees!! Aren't his legs hairy?" These and other less complimentary remarks are bandied freely, and thus we are so quickly dislodged from our pedestals! On an occasion like that, it's the miskick and the subsequent howls of laughter that are remembered, rather than the quality of the game.

After our last Staff v. Boys match, the conversation flowed as freely as the refreshment. "Why not," someone suggested, "get a fixture with Tadcaster's staff?". Thus was the idea of an occasional staff game born and swiftly reared, for it was evident that other teachers, actually willing to referee innumberable boys' games, wanted more specific exercise themselves. Standards vary, of course: some miss more balls than they kick; some are extremely capable and would grace many a local side, but the important thing is that everyone plays for fun and gets fun from playing.

YTV Logo, 1960's quality TV pictureAnd so we were delighted to hear that the Calendar T.V. programme members and staff had similar views to ours, and similar experiences to recount, with a team in existence for precisely the same reasons. A suitably dignified challenge was issued and accepted, arrangements made and a referee appointed, while to add further point and purpose to the game it was agreed that any proceeds from the game would be handed over to the Spofforth Cheshire Home with the blessing of all concerned.

So here you are, dear Reader, perusing your five new pence worth of programme as a preliminary donation to the cause, so that in the event of bad weather we will have made something worthwhile at least. On the day, the 28th March,at 3.00 p.m. when the game is on and the cheers of the crowd have begun to echo around the Hallfields area, supplicants will move around the pitch with collection boxes. Do please give all you can, for every penny, new or old, will be received gratefully and put to good use.
Thank you for your support.

submitted by Sue Brissenden March 2009.
from Rob Thomson:
Amazed to see my name taken in vain - the description of my skills is entirely accurate, indeed flattering... though I do remember actually playing in other matches, even tackling would you believe, so it does give some indication of the general skill level of the Staff team in normal matches. Sadly, I have no memory of this particular match - though they do say of that period, "If you remember it you weren't there." Delighted to know that I was at least picked for such an auspicious match. The goatee looks as if it has escaped from Brian Mason - or is the one I used to mimic him in the panto - don't remember him as Zapata, however, but how reliable is my memory?
from Malcolm Winterburn:
The result (amazingly) was a 1-0 triumph for the Staff. Malcolm "the Ghost" Winterburn scored the winning goal from a cross by Barry Sellers who, having vaulted a pram and circumnavigated a couple of drunks who had lost their way on the way home from the New Inn, placed the ball precisely onto the back of the aforementioned striker's head from which it rebounded into the net. It was a hammer blow from which the TV boys never recovered, Austin Mitchell being so gutted that he left Calendar and became MP for Grimsby!
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