Skip to page contents


Jack Mawdsley

(Royal School of Mines, 1957-60)
shares his memories of his 21st birthday at Imperial

I was a miner at the Royal School of Mines (RSM) during the period 1957-1960, which means that I started at Imperial exactly half way through its century.  Incidentally I recall that during that same period Imperial had, for the first time, 100 female current students–what an exceptional talent market for them with more than 3000 chaps to check over!

Hyde ParkI had my 21st birthday on the 29th November 1959 and what a day that turned out to be.  A large group of 2nd and 3rd year miners met at the local ‘Gloucester’ pub, on that day for what turned out to be a largely liquid lunch.  At some point in the afternoon we moved over to the playing fields in Hyde Park, where a football match commenced between two select teams from the two years.  A report of the match appeared shortly afterwards in the Imperial student newspaper.  I believe that the report gives you a true flavour of the event and I have little to add except that a great and memorable time was had by all involved, which is why I have held on to the report for all these years. 
Photo above right: Hyde Park

The match report as given in the Imperial College student paper in November 1959 is as follows:

A Soccer Match

At 2.30 p.m. on Sunday the 29th November a football match took place between the second and third year Miners in Hyde Park. Many spectators gathered during the course of the game, and were treated to a display of soccer that kept them in fits of laughter for over an hour. Contributory factors were several. First of all there was the fact that the larger part of both teams was made up of rugger, and not soccer players, then to help matters the pitch was about two inches deep in mud, and finally there had been a small birthday celebration for Jack Mawdsley before the match.

The following is an unbiased account of the match offered by M.J. Matthews, I. Hill, E. Spursht, H. Howell and B. Hindley.

As the team tottered on to the lush mud of Hyde Park Stadium it was obvious that they were going to give a never-to-be forgotten display of soccer skills and sartorial styles. The teams, staggering a little under the weight of their lunchtime refreshment, lined up with roughly eleven on each side, a whistle was blown, and play commenced…

For twenty minutes chaos reigned and Muddy Matthews raced from end to end exhorting his men to score in either goal and at the same time trying to avoid Mopper Mawdsley, then ten minutes before half time it happened.

Swivel-Hips Howard collected the ball near the halfway line, beat five men with one body-swerve, causing Creasem Creasey and Blotto Otto to collide with a crash that shook the surrounding buildings. Meanwhile a thirty yard trot took Swivel-Hips to the outside right position from where he slipped a pass to Suave Harv., who, after a moment of indecision, accidentally got rid of the ball. The ball rebounded from defender to defender and finally a Charlton-like shot from ace inside forward Deadly Headly screamed inside the post to come to rest some two feet over the line. At this point the goalie, Leave-it-to-me Longden, emerged from the mud and appealed for offside. The referee, Gorgeous Garnett (dressed in Paris suede shoes and Portobello road trousers) made his one correct decision of the afternoon and allowed the goal.

With the halftime score at 1-0, both teams having had a quick drag and a pep talk from their many supporters whose comments were as follows “???*!!! you shower”, Mines 2 continued the slaughter. They put two more goals in the net but both were disallowed by the ref. who, finding himself unable to keep up with the play, and being an honest man, could not allow goals he did not see.

However, the play was not all with Mines 2; after a scintillating run, Bookie Banks cracked in a shot which the impregnable T. Caddy palmed round the post for a corner. Creasem Creasy curved the ball into the goalmouth from the resulting corner and T. Caddy made his one mistake of the match in fending off the goalpost as well as the ball. Whilst Mines 2 were appealing for a foul and Mines 3 for a goal, Bookie banks found the ball at his feet and sent it rocketing towards the goal. At this moment the dazed goalie realising that he was not permanently damaged, struggled to his feet, and summing up the situation in an instant, grabbed the ball and grovelled with it in his usual inimitable manner in the mud.

For a further ten minutes the two forward lines struggled manfully with the conditions, and suddenly Gorgeous Garnett, finding play within range of his whistle, blew full time; the better team had won.

Note: Allegations that the referee was bribed are completely unfounded.

The Teams: (points awarded for individual skills in parentheses.)

Mines 2: T. Caddy (10), Dumpy Davenport (10), Plotter Potter (10), Swivel-Hips, Muddy Matthews (10), Knuts Forrestall (10), Suave Harv. (10), Howard (10), Ripper Robertson (10), Flatten ‘em Flather (10), Deadly Hedley (10), Tin Kearns (10).

Mines 3: Leave-it-to-me Longden (10), Creasem Creasy (10), Bookie Banks (10), West Brougham (10), Blotto Otto (10), Crusher Collins (10), Twinkle Starr (10), Mopper Mawdsley (10), Juggler Jefferies (10), laird Baird (10) Head ‘em Steadman (10).

Referee: (0)

I could not have enjoyed a better 21st, the companionship, friendship and fun were exceptional.

I did manage to meet up with my girlfriend, later that evening, she being a student at Bedford College.  We married a couple of years afterwards and Gill and I remain so now after 46 years.

  © 2007 Imperial College London

Past projects
The Centenary Campaign

Through the first decade of the twenty-first century the campaign seeks to philanthropically raise £207 million from Imperial’s alumni, staff and friends, and donations from charitable foundations and industry.

Where your support can make a difference
Give now
Staff & student portraits
Staff and student portraits

Imperial’s Centenary Year provides an opportunity to recognise and celebrate members of the Imperial community.

View staff and student portraits