Fans, friends, family and former players from the Huyton Schoolboys football team gathered together on Wednesday 20 July to commemorate more than 50 years since the team famously won the English School’s FA Cup in 1971 – the first non-city team to do so.
A special celebration event was held at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park which reflected on the monumental achievement of the team through a series of nostalgic speeches from those involved in the club and a specially commissioned film about the team.
The project, which was a key event in Knowsley’s year as Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture was made possible – thanks to National Lottery players – with support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
There were more than a few famous faces at the event with Everton legend and former Huyton Schoolboys player Peter Reid in attendance alongside the Team of ‘71’s manager, award-winning playwright and screen writer, Alan Bleasdale who gave a moving speech reflecting on the team’s success and their time together, referring to them as “glory days”.
The celebration event also marked the official launch of a brand-new book about Huyton’s footballing pedigree; ‘Huyton’s Titans’ by local author Mark Campbell. The book documents the huge number of successful footballers and football teams who have originated in and around Huyton, with 140 player biographies and a raft of archive photos and memorabilia.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council said: “I was 11 years old when I saw the Huyton Boys team defeat the Stoke Boys at Goodison Park on the 19 April 1971. To see so many of those faces back in the same room again felt quite magical. We cannot underestimate the significance the Huyton Boys success has had on our borough’s sporting history. Their victories laid the foundations to inspire so many other young men and women to excel and make a name for themselves in the field of football.
Mark Campbell, author of ‘Huyton’s Titans’ said “It has been a joy to be involved in this project and for ‘Huyton’s Titans’ to be an important part of it. I started off with just a handful of photos and a headful of memories. Without the enthusiastic support of the local football community, Knowsley Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund none of this would have been possible.”
To accompany the event, Knowsley Council’s Culture Team created a special display – inspired by ‘Huyton’s Titans – detailing the borough’s rich footballing history; examining Junior and Amateur football, the legacy of Prescot Cables, the growth of women’s football in the area and some of the many professional footballers who have hailed from the borough. This display is on public view at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park until 17 August.
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Huyton Boys Team of ’71 Celebration