'Scottie Road' has always been a 'hot bed' of football, with youngsters kicking a ball about almost as soon as they could walk. Learning to shoot and dribble in the cobbled streets with a tennis ball, they lived for football and spent hours kicking and heading a ball against a wall at every opportunity. Years ago it was the practice for the lads to play their football in the cobbled streets because there were no football pitches in the locality - the nearest grassed areas being at Stanley Park, Long Lane or Walton Hall Avenue, which was a tram-ride away from where the boys lived. Playing on the uneven cobbled surface, the lads soon mastered the basic skills of football - passing, trapping and heading the ball. Also when taking a shot at goal, the 'striker' couldn't afford any 'off target' shots for fear of smashing a neighbours window! Following the heavy bombing which the neighbourhood suffered during the war years there were many 'bombed sites' throughout the area, and it was here during the 1940's and 1950's, that the young footballers played their matches. Every night after school and throughout the week-end, there were football matches played on the coarse black cinder sites with as many as sixteen players on each side! The games went on until darkness fell and occasionally continued by the light of the street gas-lamps. In the 1960's, some of the most famous names in professional football were products of Scotland Road's 'soccer academy'. Players like, Tansey, Melia, Carberry, Campbell, Gannon, Morrissey and many others to a lesser degree, distinguished themselves in the game. Some won international honours, F.A Cup and League Championship Medals, and several of them went on to become successful managers with some of the top professional soccer clubs.
Each year many of the Catholic Schools in the city played in the Catholic Schools Football Competition. By tradition the Catholic Cup was a much-coveted trophy and from the year of its inception (1900) many schools from the Scotland/Vauxhall locality were successful in the competition. There was always great friendly rivalry between local schools football teams, each team enjoying the fanatical support of the residents of the parish. The Cup Finals were played at either Anfield or Goodison Park, and almost every season there was a school from the Scotland/Vauxhall locality playing in the final tie. The climax to the event was when members of the winning team were carried shoulder high from the football ground back to Scotland Road, with the fanatical supporters dancing and singing their way around the cobbled streets of the parish as the team captain proudly held the cup aloft.
Over the years the schools from the Scotland/Vauxhall locality supplied many young footballers to the Liverpool Boys team, and when the Liverpool Schools Football team won the English Schools Trophy in season 1953-54, the team included six players from local schools. The most memorable Catholic Schools Cup Final in the history of the competition was the one that generations of 'Scottie Roaders' had waited years for - St.Anthony's versus St.Sylvesters. The game was played at Anfield in May 1951, before a crowd of 9,000, which was believed to be a record attendance for an inter-schools match.
The Catholic Schools Cup was withdrawn in 1975, but during the preceding years the trophy was 'brought back' to Scotland Road on many occasions. The following list gives details of the schools from the Scotland/Vauxhall locality who were Catholic Schools Cup Winners between 1902 and 1972.
|1913-14||St.Mary's (Highfield Street)|
|1929-30||Our Lady Immaculate's|
We feature on this page photographs of some of the local school football teams. We are trying to get a comprehensive photographic record of the teams who are listed above and welcome hearing from readers who may have photographs. We also welcome hearing from readers who may have memories of the teams. Former St Sylvester's School Football Team member, Billy Woods, recalls some of his memories on our website webpage.
'No Trees On Scotland Road'
St Sylvester's 1947
Our Lady Immaculate 1949
St Anthony's Junior Cup Winners 1952-53
St Sylvesters 1953
Holy Cross 1956