Double click to insert body text here ...


© Chris Byrne 2010


There seemed to be a positive feeling about the club as the build-up to the new season began, to the extent that there were more than 3000 watching the last friendly of the summer against Winchester City. Ralph Walker took over as captain of the 1st XI from Percy James, who had left to play for Luton Town while teaching P.T. at Bedford School, and the seemingly ageless Alec Wanless took on the leadership of the Reserves.
Unfortunately the high expectations that everyone had for the new campaign evaporated rather quickly. In the FA Cup a good crowd saw a comfortable win over NAC 5-2 in the Preliminary Round, but Slough, as on several other occasions in this era, were to prove City’s undoing in the next round winning 4-2 after a 1-1 draw at the White House Ground. In the league, with James, Hagar and Martin all departed, City were finding it hard to score and an increasingly edgy crowd had to wait until the last day of 1949 for the first league victory – an exciting 4-3 triumph against St Albans. They started the New Year in better heart with back-to-back wins against Tufnell Park and Romford but this was a false dawn and the season ended with only six league wins and a slip to twelfth. This was the first of five very dismal league seasons in which City never finished out of the bottom three.
Their performance the previous season in the Amateur Cup meant that they didn’t have to take part in the Qualifying Rounds and would wait to enter in January when City were drawn away to Dulwich Hamlet. In a close match at Champion Hill, still probably the largest non-league stadium at that time, over 10500 people saw the home side edge to a 2-1 win.
In local competitions City fared little better. In the Senior Cup they disposed of Pressed Steel 4-0 but came unstuck, 1-2, against the amateurs of Headington United, and, although they did reach the final of the Benevolent Cup, Bicester Town took the honours 3-2.
Locally the fortunes of Pegasus were rising, and while improvements were being carried out on the Iffley Road ground they were using the Christ Church pitch but investigated ‘groundsharing’, long before this became a common feature of the non-league scene, the White House. City, however, were accused of trying to charge exorbitant fees for the use of the ground and Pegasus stayed put.


This was the year though of their first Senior Cup Final victory, a “comprehensive rout” of Chipping Norton Town, 5-0. Visitors to their match at Osberton Radiators had been advised, because of the nature of the ground, “... to take stools and, if possible, small duckboards”: some things never change!
Some changes were afoot, though, and from December 1st. George Johnson, an ex-captain of Reading, had been City’s first full-time professional coach on the princely wage of £10 per week. City were also experimenting with floodlights for training.
Another petition asking the committee to take the club into the professional ranks was discussed at the end of the season: it was seen that staying amateur wasn’t sufficiently “progressive” evidenced by “...twelve or thirteen players turning professional in the past four seasons” (full-back Keith Savin had just signed for Derby County). Again the motion was roundly defeated, 200-64, with the Chairman maintaining that the club “...were progressive”: having just signed a new 21 year lease on the ground; bought a £2500 house for the new coach; and being in the process of planning the building of the new “J R Benson” Stand.
At the FA’s annual meeting there was an interesting suggestion that there should be an “FA Junior Cup” for the non-amateur sides, who had no other national competition other than the FA Cup itself. It was felt that this would be sanctioned. Whatever happened to it?

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player