THE very first man to lift a trophy for Vauxhall Motors has come forward to share his memories of captaining the works team in the 1960s.
Len Amos contacted the Pioneer after spotting himself on a team picture we printed in the paper a fortnight ago. It was of the first ever Vauxhall team from 1963, and Len is third from right on the back row.
Len skippered Vauxhall’s B team in 1962/63, but this was not a second string of also-rans – the B team ended up as the most successful of the early Vauxhall squads.
Managed by former West Brom player Fred Ward, they won the league in their first season and in the second won a double, defending their title and lifting the Dunham Cup.
“They were great days,” said Len. “Roy Glover used to flit between the A and B teams. We needed two teams because so many people wanted to play.
“It was very different then. We had to do overtime to get Saturday afternoons off, and even then we needed a letter from Fred saying we had been selected. We never got paid, despite the fact we were representing the company.
“Getting changed in the old aircraft hangar at Hooton was an experience as well because in the winter it was freezing, but I was all right because I had to ride my bike to the ground from Ellesmere Port and it was quite a way.”
Centre-half Len recalls once being thrown up front after the regular centre forward cried off, and, as the Pioneer of the time reported, he bagged all Motors’ goals in a 5-2 win over Victoria United.
“I was still sent back to defence the following week,” said Len. “I had good memories but lost touch with some of the players.”
Another press clipping tells of how Motors knocked Odex out of the Benevolent Bowl in round one. Despite getting a first-half thigh injury and being reported as a “passenger” for the rest of the game, Len scored Motors’ fourth in a 5-2 win.
Len said goodbye to the factory after 10 years as industrial action became the norm at the plant. He worked for GL Scotts before becoming a publican all over Cheshire and North Wales.
“That was a great Motors team,” said Len, who lives in Elton. “But I’ve never been back. I went back to the factory twice on open days but I have never been to see the current team, although I understand they are doing quite well. Perhaps I will go down and see them some time.”
The Motors picture we printed two weeks ago has unlocked plenty of memories for readers and we now know more about some of the players in the line-up. Only last week, Judith Glover – the widow of Roy Glover – shared her memories of her late husband’s 17-year career with the Motormen.