HITHERTO rather short of memories of the golden age, Bishop Auckland FC’s handsome new stadium will soon be adorned with 17 large photographs of the Two Blues unparalleled purple patch.

None is more magnificent than that of a full length Seamus O’Connell taken by Ernie Johnson – dead 50 years but still remembered in Bishop – which appeared in the Auckland Chronicle of January 30, 1958.

It was from the FA Amateur Cup second round tie against Tooting and Mitcham five days earlier, a 5,257 Kingsway crowd braving (as now we would suppose) the wintry elements.

O’Connell, once described hereabouts as arguably the country’s finest amateur footballer and sexiest cattle dealer, scored after 12 minutes – said by Ranger in The Northern Echo to have “neatly headed home a right wing cross.”

Was Ranger devaluing the effort, or was the pictured header itself wide of the mark? Warren Bradley added a second in a 2-0 win.

Ranger supposed Derek Lewin, still with us, to have been the best forward but the man of the match to have been centre half Laurie Brown – “the 20-year-old Shildon youth” – who went on to play for both Arsenal and Spurs.

O’Connell’s career is still well remembered, particularly the hat-trick on his Chelsea debut against Manchester United in 1955 – Chelsea still lost 6-5, Dennis Violett hitting three for United.

He’d arrive at Stanford Bridge in his Jaguar while team mates came by London Transport,, scored 11 in 16 first division games but decided (shall we say) that the amateur game had its compensations.

After 25 years living in Spain he died there, aged 83, in February 2013.

For the mighty Bishops, that win against Tooting and Mitcham was something of a last hurrah. In the next round they lost 2-1 at Stockton, the first Amateur Cup defeat since the 1954-55 final against Crook Town 25 ties earlier, and were never really close again.

JANUARY 25, 1958 was also FA Cup fourth round day, Newcastle United on the wrong end of the day’s biggest shock by losing 3-1 at home to Scunthorpe. Boro lost 3-1 at Stoke.

The day’s immortal memory, however, was at Stamford Bridge where Darlington from the Third Division (North) led Chelsea 3-0 after 50 minutes – goals from Harbertson, Carr and Morton – and forced a 2 15pm replay four days later.

Ground admission was two bob, west stand five bob, kiddie catchers on overtime. Quakers won 4-1 – Tom Moran 2, Dave Carr and Ron Harbertson – and none of the 15,150 who was there will ever, ever forget it.

LAST Wednesday to Northallerton Town v Jarrow, where the shivering 102 crowd included Russell Wynn, a peripatetic fan defending a remarkable record – it was 344 games since he’d seen a goalless draw.

The previous evening he’d been at the Sunderland v Newcastle match, 0-0 after 45 minutes, with his father. “Everyone’s on my case now,” said Russ. “Even me dad was winding me up at half-time that that was the end of the run.”

Northallerton was goalless at half-time, too, deadlock broken by a spectacular shot from Damon Reaks in the 65th minute. Town celebrated, Russ exulted.

None knows the record for such things – Winn some, lose some, but never nought-nought for his discomfort.

RESURGENT this season, our friends at Darlington Travellers Rest FC scored in the fourth, eighth and twelfth minutes against Heighington – symmetry to the Travs, sympathy to their opponents. “I set the class the question of how many fours there were in 90,” says long serving secretary (and former goalie) Alan Smith. Before they’d had time to work it out, the team delayed their fourth until the 17th minute. It ended 7-0.

LAST week’s Railroad to Wembley piece on Hebburn Town talked of a no-questions pre-match pint in the welcoming Protestant Conservative Club, adjoining the Orange Hall.

It prompted an email from former Shields Gazette photographer Peter Berry, despatched soon after joining the paper in 1988 to cover the Remembrance Day ceremony in Hebburn.

After the usual dignitaries had placed their wreaths, another was laid by the Loyal Orange Order. “Enquiries in the newsroom the next day quickly brought me up to speed on the Little Ireland that is South Tyneside.”

HEBBURN had played Shepshed Dynamo from the Midland League, prompting David Walsh to wonder what would have been written had they drawn Coventry Sphinx, from the same competition. Would the headline, he asks, have been Coventry Sphinx to High Hebburn?

...and finally, the Hebburn lad who was Hebburn Town’s president before the comedian Jason Cook (Backtrack, January 12) was Brendan Foster.

Several, including George Cram – “ a distant relation” – supposed it to have been Steve Cram. He was the Jarrer Arrer.

Graham Phelps in Billingham today seeks the identity of the only cricketer twice to have taken 40 or more wickets in a test series.

Testing? The column returns next week.