by Paddy Semple
I got my shin-pads back!

Hi Dickie,

Just a little story which you may like to publish on your excellent Web Site.

In the late 60s I was stationed at HMS Raleigh and during this time we had an excellent RM Band football team. We played in the Devon Wednesday League and the team did very well. Have to say it was very nice to hear recently that the tradition has been carried on by the band at HMS Raleigh and even better to learn they had won Division One of this league. Well done to the lads! Around this time the band had also won and successfully defended on many occasions the Montagu Cup. Not sure if this is still played for but it provided fierce competition between the various bands who as I remember had some really good players.

When I attended the recent Adelaide reunion they started talking about football in the band service. You can imagine my surprise when Ray (Ginge) Watts said "Paddy I still have your shin pads". I could not remember the occasion but Ginge explained how we had both decided to swap shin pads. Apparently we had both taken a fancy to the others pads and decided to swap. Well would you believe it on my return home my old shin pads duly arrived in the post. Please see the attached photo. We have been reunited after 40 plus years and I am amazed. You will notice from the cracks that football was just a bit different in those days.

Ginge was a very good player and could kick a ball harder than anyone I had seen play. We also had others who were fine players. John Bushell, Roger Atkins, Bob Chown, Charlie White and Roger Waterfield to name a few.

I just thought this was another little episode from the past that brought back many pleasant memories of life in the band service and hopefully it will do the same for others who read it.

Best regards,

Paddy Semple.

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