Playing football with the Scuttlers and Bert Trautman

As a young boy from The Rock at Tullylish, I worked for the firm of William Logan and Sons from Belfast, and helped build many of the pillboxes and Nissan huts in the area. We worked a six day week and even the more experienced men earned only £2.10.0d.a week. (£2.50).

I remember many of the troops who were in Gilford and also at Lenaderg. There were many First Division English footballers amongst the troops. While they were here they played with many local teams. There were mixed army and civilian teams too. I played on one of these called the “Scuttlers.” We played in the Civilian Summer League. Another civilian team was called the “Minesweepers.” We played for the “Sinton” Cup. I remember on one occasion the Scuttlers even dropped the famous England International Goalkeeper – Bert Trautman, and replaced him with a local lad.

I remember too the Americans in Gilford. They had a hospital in the Castle grounds. On one occasion I remember my sister Maura, who was only about 14 years old, was knocked down by a lorry near our house at Banford. She had just got off the bus, and had stepped out into the path of the passing vehicle. Fortunately for her, the American Medical Corps were on their way to Banbridge, and came on the scene of the accident. They stopped and rendered medical care at the accident and transported her by stretcher to Banbridge Hospital. We always believed that only for their immediate attention she may not have pulled through. The Americans continued to regularly visit her while she was in hospital.