‘Boys of 66’ enjoy night of nostalgia

Wilf Riley (left) looks at the  report of Preston's 9-0 thrashing of Cardiff with  Brian Greenhalgh, who scored two goals for PNE in that match
Wilf Riley (left) looks at the report of Preston's 9-0 thrashing of Cardiff with Brian Greenhalgh, who scored two goals for PNE in that match
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Some of Preston’s finest amateur footballers from the past enjoyed a night of nostalgia at Bamber Bridge’s Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

The “Boys of ’66” gathered for a special reunion to remember the special occasion when they were crowned County Youth Cup champions half-a-century ago.

Representing the Preston and District Amateur League, the youngsters – who were all aged around 17 or 18 back then – overcame Wigan in the final.

Although looking ‘slightly’ older and wiser five decades on, many of the team’s memories of that success were still clear as they shared stories and anecdotes with each other.

The event – organised by well known former local footballer and official Wilf Riley – also attracted other former players from that era and beyond.

“It was a really good evening”, said Riley. “There were about 100 there on the night.”

To continue with the 1966 theme of the evening, the event also commemorated Preston North End’s remarkable 9-0 victory over Cardiff City at Deepdale.

That scoreline is the club’s second biggest ever league win behind the 10-0 victory over Stoke City in 1889.

And former PNE striker Brian Greenhalgh, who scored two goals in that match, was one of the reunion’s special guests.

“Brian came along and told us a few tales from that match,” said Riley. “It was good because many of the lads went on that game.”

Of course, England’s glorious World Cup victory in the summer of 1966 also cropped up in the conversation at various points during the evening.

A special tribute, from LFA schools’ representative Mike Duff, was also paid to the late Dick Clegg, who died in 2014.

The former teacher had been responsible for organising numerous nostalgia evenings in the past.

Poet Michael Neary provided entertainment by reciting poems he had 
written about Sir Tom Finney and the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

South Ribble Mayor Linda Woollard and her husband Alistair attended the evening and were keen to congratulate Alan Tordoff – the winner of a penalty shootout Subbuteo competition.

More than £500 was raised to be split equally between St Catherine’s Hospice and Preston Schools FA.

A prize of afternoon tea at the Royal Kensington Garden Hotel – the venue for England’s World Cup-winning reception – is 
still open to the highest bidder.

Contact Wilf Riley on 01772 336257.