Mick Fox with some memories of past Sussex Senior Cup games
To mark this final tonight a few memories from past Senior Cup matches seem the order of the day.
We first reached the final 61 years ago with a match against Worthing on 9th May 1959 at the Goldstone Ground in Brighton. Not a happy day, though as we lost 3-2 although Worthing were the favourites having won the trophy many times before.
Worthing had also beaten us 3-2 in the third round the previous season after a replay at Town Meadow (see the cuttings - we had been leading in both matches that year!). In fact, Worthing were to beat us in the competition four seasons in a row starting in 1957, and I can also remember later visits to Worthing in the Senior Cup in the 1970s and 80s. I wonder if my blue and white away scarf is still in that garden behind the goal after another cup exit in the 1976-77 season!
A link between then and now I have mentioned before is that Nobby Davis from our 1959 team is related to Glenn “The Cat” Morris, so some historical continuity there.
We also have another Senior Cup link, but this time between us and Brighton. I have included a photo of our team taking the field in the 1978 first round tie away to Crowborough Athletic. As can be seen, for some reason Malcolm Elliott is leading out the team which includes Vic Bragg - who will, for his sins, be in the opposition camp on Cup final day this season. However, Vic played many hundreds of games for us between 1967-83, so I guess we can forgive him.
We were finally victorious on 7th May 1990 when, after coming from behind to beat Eastbourne United 2-1 at a very sunny Goldstone Ground. Tony Vessey was able to lift the trophy at last, and we went on to repeat the feat 12 months later, beating Littlehampton in the final.
In those days the trophy had slightly more importance to us, but also as the match always seemed to be on Bank Holiday Monday it was much more of a day out than it is these days and seemed more of an occasion.
I have included some fans’ photos from the 1990 final, including one with yours truly next to Stan Markham, while club stalwart Len Coleman, who passed away last month, proudly holds the trophy alongside Stan’s daughter Sarah.
In the background in the directors’ box I can see the sadly recently deceased Fred Pitts, and to the far left of the picture in the red jumper holding his young son, another faithful fan of many years, John Barden, who passed away some years ago.