So far former players Alan Biley, Terry Eades, Steve Fallon, Tom Finney, Sam Harris, Peter Hobbs, Keith Lockhart, Rodney Slack and John Taylor have confirmed their presence on the night.
Three players, one manager and two ‘off-pitch’ personalities will be inducted to the Hall of Fame, where they will join other heroes from United’s history. Visit cuhalloffame.org.uk to read their stories.
Tickets, priced at £25 for a two-course dinner and the chance to rub shoulders with the stars, are available from the CFU online shop.
Organisers are gathering an enviable collection of prizes to be won in the event’s popular raffle, and guests will have the chance to chat with U’s legends over a drink before and after the ceremony.
Go to the CFU online store to order your tickets, but you are advised to do it quickly – the Hall of Fame dinner always sells out quickly.
Look out for updates here and on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The Cambridge United Hall of Fame is managed by 100 Years of Coconuts, the heritage arm of Cambridge United supporters' trust CFU.
Vic is a poet, wouldn’t you know it, as well as a decent bowls player. He describes the shorts-lowering incident and his careful retaliation in the verse at the top of this post.
‘The Cambs side went on to play London Youth at Stamford Bridge, where another star played – one Terry Venables.
‘It’s such a long time ago now, and sometimes when my knees give me gyp I wish I had never seen a football. Hey-ho, but it was a great time for us and Cambs County.’
Pages from the Cambs v West Ham programme, reproduced above, show that the United Five were Vic, Tony, Brian, Roger Tailby and Dave Stocker.
The West Ham side is bristling with future pros like Harry Cripps, Jack Burkett, Bobby Keetch, Eddie Bovington, Derek Woodley, Andy Smillie, John Cartwright and Tony Scott.
Oh, and shorts-puller Bobby Moore.
It’s a daunting task but a hugely rewarding one: since Andrew Bennett died last February, Coconutters have been wading through the vast amount of stuff he left us.
Words are not adequate to convey the size of our beloved club historian’s archive of writings, stats, reports, photographs … you name it, Andrew saved it.
It will take many a year to explore, sort, catalogue and communicate the contents of the entire hoard of treasure. The best we can do at the moment is to nibble away at the edges of the digital pile.
As we do so, we regularly unearth priceless examples of Bennettiana, and we’re happy to bring one to your attention today.
Around 2010, Andrew described his favourite U’s players from the 40-odd years that he’d been making his regular pilgrimages to the Abbey. He wrote:
My name is Andrew Bennett, I am 51 years of age and for the last 35 of those years I have been a resident of the village of Histon. I first nagged my Dad into taking me to the Abbey Stadium on 13 April 1970, for a 3-0 win over Gloucester City. It is well-nigh impossible to pick out just five players who have sported the black and amber over the last 40-plus years, but here goes …
winner at Aldershot, and to discover that he was a humble, well-spoken, thoroughly nice guy as well made it all the more bittersweet that he had to leave us so soon. But then, don’t they all …
Honourable mentions: Dion Dublin, David Crown, Ian Measham, Wayne Hatswell, Martin Butler, Lionel Perez, Tom Finney, Alan Biley, Willie Watson.
In January 1980, the Cambridge Evening News reported that the club was a client of C and G Intersport, which had been set up in 1968 by Carson and Alan Gowling, at the time a striker at Manchester United. The pair had met while studying economics in Manchester but by 1980 Gowling had not been involved for many years.
C and G, based in Newmarket, organised package tours abroad for clubs, staged international youth tournaments and ran 'soccer colleges’.
United was one of the clubs for which the company organised tours. Others included Newmarket Valley, Soham Tigers, Girton Eagles, Sawston Village College and Cambridge Crusaders.
Carson, whose website (now offline) noted that he was a soccer school pioneer, surfaced in another capacity at the Abbey in the mid-1980s.
In the mid-1970s he had set up PGL Soccer Schools, which took over the running and finance of United’s youth system in the 1985/86 season, saving the club £15,000 a year.
‘We could have gone in with some very big First Division clubs, but Cambridge United are just what we have been looking for,’ Carson told the press at the time.
Carson, who was Irish but had lived in the UK for many years, was arrested in January 2017 and originally accused of 12 indecent assaults and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. He denied the offences, which were alleged to have taken place between 1978 and 2009. The alleged victims were all under 16 at the time.
The Guardian newspaper, which first exposed the scandal of abuse in youth football in late 2016, reported that the first alleged indecent assault took place at a hotel in the north of England. Most of the others took place in and around Peterborough.
The incitement offence allegedly took place between February 2008 and February 2009 in Cambridge.
Happy Harry's blog
I'm the living embodiment of the spirit of the U's, and I'll be blogging whenever I've got news for you, as long as I don't miss my tea.