Shrewsbury School

Football: Shrewsbury welcomes back Liverpool Ramblers AFC, friends and rivals since 1883

Thursday 12 September 2013

Founded by Liverpool public public schoolboys in 1882, the Liverpool Ramblers are the third oldest amateur football club in England. They played their first match against Shrewsbury in March 1883. One hundred and thirty years later, on 7th September 2013 – and for the fiftieth consecutive year – we welcomed the Ramblers back to Shrewsbury for their annual fixture against the School’s senior teams.

Ramblers President Nick Kennedy and author Jo Russell present 'Liverpool Ramblers AFC: A Complete History' to Steve Biggins and Giles Bell of Shrewsbury School

Nick Kennedy (Ramblers President) and author Jo Russell present copies of 'Liverpool Ramblers AFC: A Complete History' to Master-in-Charge of Football Steve Biggins and Giles Bell (5th XI Coach and Ref)

It is always a delight to welcome the Ramblers to the School, as they are old friends and their teams are often permeated with Old Salopians.  This year there were two young men returning to their alma mater, and it was good to see that both Jamie Bradshaw (M 2007-12) and Sam Bryan (R 2007-09) had lost none of their  pace, skill, guile and charm! The School Second XI went down 3-1 but it is early in the season and coach Clarke was up beat about the performance stating that there were plenty of positives to be gleaned from the match.

The 3rd XI game was also a win for the Ramblers, but the game was rather overshadowed by a nasty injury to Rambler Phil Morley, who had just returned to the club. Everyone at Shrewsbury would like to wish him well and we all hope he is back here next year.

The 4th XI was the only game won by the school and manager Colm Kealy was delighted with his team’s performance. Indeed he was talking of entering the 4th XI for the FA cup, such was his optimism for the forthcoming season after the game!

The 5th XI always entertain the veterans and the games have been generally close for a few years now. A competitive match ended with a last minute equalizer for the Ramblers and a 1-1 score line. It was probably a fair reflection of the game as shrewdness, experience and know how was matched by youthful enthusiasm, fitness and energy.

After the match we were delighted to be presented with two copies of Jo Russell’s “Liverpool Ramblers AFC, the Complete History”.  Giles Bell has refereed Ramblers matches for 22 of the last 23 years at various levels and was more than complimentary about the fixture. “I always look forward to the Ramblers fixtures. The games are played in a good spirit and the boys generally learn the right type of lessons. I have been lucky enough to go to a couple of Ramblers Dinners in Liverpool and I have always enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and the chance to talk football into the small hours in one of the world’s great footballing cities. Jo’s book is a fascinating work of football history and has already been much admired by keen enthusiasts of the game here.”


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