DAVE MARSHALL, who played in five FA Amateur Cup finals for Bishop Auckland – and who turned down Manchester City to stay in the Northern League – had died at the age of 92. He was the last survivor of the great Bishop Auckland cup final teams of 1951, 1954 and 1955.

As a teacher in Gateshead he also taught the young Paul Gascoigne and at once spotted his potential on the football field. “Dad recognised Gazza could see things which no one else could,” recalls John Marshall, Dave’s son.

Dave, a right back, joined Bishops after Army service in 1949-50, recommended by Benny Potts – the Two Blues’ goalkeeper in the all-Northern League FA Amateur Cup final against South Bank in 1922.

His first Wembley appearance was in the defeat to Pegasus, then in the twice-replayed classic against Crook Town, which Bishops also lost. He collected a winner’s medal in each of the following three legendary seasons but won just two England amateur caps.

Alan Adamthwaite, whose book Glory Days chronicles those fabled times, has no doubt Dave deserved much greater international recognition. “He was a classic full back, over six feet tall but fast and a player who thought about everything he did.

“He wasn’t just a bulwark, not a Tommy Smith, a class act on the field and a lovely man off it.”

Dave always reckoned that his most formidable opponent was Crook Town left winger Jimmy McMillan, the only man to play in four Amateur Cup winning sides. Alan Adamthwaite recalls schoolboy days watching them at close quarters, sitting on a beer crate near the Kingsway players’ entrance.

“I remember one sliding tackle by Derek on Jimmy which happened right in front of me,” he wrote in Glory Days. “I heard the thwack of crunching legs as the defender stormed in and the winger fell to the ground. It was a perfectly fair tackle.”

Durham Amateur Football Trust secretary Dick Longstaff recalls the late Bob Hardisty’s claim that he didn’t have to tackle much because Dave did it all for him – “always with a smile on his face and the poor recipient wondering what had hit him.”

How he would have fared today is debatable, adds Dick – “but he was a lovely man who gave great service to Bishop Auckland and was a very popular player throughout the North-East.”

He trained as a teacher at Bede College, Durham and later gained a PE qualification at Carnegie College, Leeds. He was also a greatly skilled cabinet maker, though his son recalls a man who could turn his hand to almost anything.

“He wasn’t obsessed with football. If there was something better to do he’d do it. He made wonderful furniture, a very practical man.”

Manchester City were among several professional clubs who sought his signature – like several other members of the 50s side. “Teaching offered more security and in those days possibly more money,” says John. “He probably wouldn’t have turned down Manchester City today.”

Dave lived in the same Gateshead care home as his wife, Jane, and had dementia. “In lucid moments he’d wonder if he’d headed too many footballs. There might have been something in it,” says John.

Dave’s funeral will be private because of the coronavirus crisis. His son and daughter hope to organise a memorial event later.

News of Dave’s death was first published on the online grassroots sport blog published by former Northern Echo journalist Mike Amos, which can be found at www.mikeamosblog.wordpress.com.