Help needed with team dream
A PASSIONATE local football historian is appealing for help to put together a book about the history of the Bristol Boys team.
Steve Sutor is looking for photos, memorabilia and stories as he tries to preserve the glory years of the side that used to be filled with the best young players in the city.
The idea came while he was working on his book A Schoolboy's Dream – The History of the Woodcock Shield 1907/2012, which will be printed later this year.
Mr Sutor, from Kingswood, received so many pictures from former players during that 10-year quest, it gave him a rolling start for his next project 100 Years of Bristol Boys FA.
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The 62-year-old said: "As you can imagine, I have collected so many other pictures from former players I am now putting another book together. I would be delighted to hear from anyone who had the honour of representing Bristol Boys and also England schoolboys, and has pictures of the teams they played in.
"Bristol Boys used to be a great honour for any young footballer in the city.
"In those days, if you were a promising talent your school teacher would write off and request a trial.
"Once you got into Bristol Boys or were good enough for England schoolboys you would have Bristol City and Bristol Rovers looking at you and you might end up getting an apprenticeship.
"It's not like that these days – a lot of kids don't get that chance and the clubs get lads in from elsewhere.
"That might be why City and Rovers are where they are at the moment – they don't look at bringing the boys in Bristol on.
"There's a lot of fantastic history out there and people don't even know it – it might be locked away in their attic or wherever. But, when I talk to people about their memories with Bristol Boys or the Woodcock Shield, their eyes always light up."
The new book will focus on Bristol Boys teams that ranged from under-11s to under-15s, from 1900 to the present day.
Mr Sutor became fascinated with local football history after his dad Des used to recount the story about his proudest moment – playing for Wells Road school and winning the Woodcock Shield – the trophy for primary schools in the city – in 1939 at Ashton Gate.
When Steve, who is a carpenter and joiner, was asked to clean and repair the shield one year, he decided to write down all the names of the players who had ever won it.
In all, there were more than 1,000 of them and he started wondering if it would be possible to find photographs of all the winning sides dating all the way back to 1907.
The book, which is being printed by Bristol firm ER & B Print, will be sold to raise funds for schoolboy football in the city.
Mr Sutor was also responsible in getting the Woodcock Shield final played at Ashton Gate and the Memorial Stadium again, on alternate years, after year's at Cadbury's Keynsham sports fields.
If you can help Mr Sutor with his new book, call him on 01179 616875, 07872532492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.