A line-up of local personalities from Laxey in 1970

Thursday 7th July 2022 6:00 am
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Laxey AFC 1970 Division Two champions ()

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This picture of Laxey AFC contains a number of local characters of the past and the present, not least Trevor Cowin who will be making his way to the Tynwald ceremony today (Tuesday) to present his annual petitions for redress of grievance.

It was taken in the spring of 1970 when Laxey were awarded with the Division Two winner’s shield. We think it is a young Brian Gordon holding the shield as team mascot.

(Back row, left to right) larger-than-life referee Peter Lewis, who is still officiating well into his mid-70s, Brian Colquitt, George Lawson, the aforementioned Trevor Cowin, Malcolm Corlett, David Kneale and goalkeeper Brian Davies.

(Front) Alan Palmer, John Leece, Davy Quayle, John Gilmore, Roy Christian and Charlie Gordon.

The latter man, quite a legendary figure, was arguably Laxey’s greatest player of all-time. He scored a hat-trick in the 1956 Hospital Cup Final when the Miners defeated Gymns 7-1, and here he is 14 years on, no doubt in his 40s, still playing in the first team.

Current Laxey manager John Palmer remembers being mascot for the side that lost to Peel in the Hospital Cup final in 1973 when Keith McQuillan hit a hat-trick for the westerners, with another goal from Robert Teare, while Gerry Hicks and Davy Quayle scored for Laxey.

Alan Palmer died on May 26 at the age of 72, just a few weeks after McQuillan. Arguably it was Mac who kept Palmer out of the island side as both were fine strikers, but the Peel star was the more prolific.

Alan was actually born in Scotland and moved to the island in 1967 at the age of 17 with his grandparents, settling in Laxey.

After a good while with Laxey, he moved to DHSOB, then Ramsey and back to Old Boys before eventually returning to Laxey around 1984 for his final three years, at which point young Johnny was not only in the junior ranks but playing for the first team at the age of 14 (permitted then).

Alan’s funeral service and cremation took place on June 15. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to Laxey Football Club, Glen Road, Laxey.

l Football statistician Eric Clague has delved through his records and come up with the following information on Alan Palmer’s international appearances for the island.

‘Alan appeared for the island senior side from the bench on the March 31, 1972. It was against RAF London at the Bowl on a very wet afternoon - the island winning 9-1 with Keith McQuillan netting five times.

‘Brian Shooter [whose tribute appeared in this column last week] ironically also appeared as a substitute during that game.

‘Alan made a second appearance against Old Holts of Liverpool in a 1-1 draw in the Easter International on April 20, 1973 at No.6.’

Eric is also quite sure that Alan played in goal for the island junior side.

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