If we look at the team photograph above, what happened to the players after they left the club?
Below is Part 2 of a series to provide some information of what happened as the players moved on.
Today we look at Jimmy Thompson, Mel Slack, Peter Leggett, Keith Barker
James ‘Jimmy’ Thompson began his Cambridge United career when he was signed on loan by Bill Leivers following a period of time spent playing for South African club Port Elizabeth City on the Algoa Bay in Eastern Cape Province. Previous to moving to South Africa Jimmy had played for Grimsby.
He made his United debut at right back in a goalless draw against Chelmsford replacing full back Keith Lindsey who had moved to Southend.
Jimmy became an almost ever present in Bill Leivers side during the remainder of the 1968/69 and 1969/70 Southern League championship winning sides.
He was always a regular choice in any Bill Leivers side and along with Terry Eades would be the only remaining players from the final Southern Leagues league match that played against Margate to then play against Mansfield when Cambridge United club won promotion to the Third Division. Sadly, he would never play another competitive League match for the club.
During pre-season James had a cartilage operation that sadly did not go as well as hoped and he was advised to retire.
On the 2nd May 1975 a testimonial was organised for him against Norwich. An excellent crowd of 7257 watched an All Stars side play against Norwich City.
All Stars -- Walker P Worthington D Worthington B Smith Mancini Waldron Collins, Shinton Hutchinson Carr Armstrong Watson G, Tully
Goalscorers -- Watson G 70, Hutchinson 80
Norwich - Keelan, Stringer, Sullivan, Morris, Forbes, Powell, McGuir,e MacDougall, Boyer, Suggett, Peters, Steele,
In 2019 Jimmy attended the match between Grimsby and Cambridge United at Blundell Park. Sadly for Jimmy he is now sadly suffering from Dementia. It was reported he could still remember some details of his time at the Abbey Stadium
Jimmy Thompson was a player who was always reliable and was one of those players whose name is included first on the team sheet. Sadly his career was cut short before its time.
Mel Slack was a born in Bishops Auckland and started his league career at Sunderland. He arrived in Cambridge during January 1969 after Southend paid £5,000 plus Mel in return for full back Keith Lindsey.
He made his debut for the club on January 15 in the game against Chelmsford. It was in the same match as Jimmy Thompson had made his debut.
Mel helped the club to win the Southern League in both 1968/69 and 1969/70 seasons. In total for Sunderland, Southend and Cambrisge United he played 148 Football League matches scoring just 6 times. He was a hard tackling midfield player who was able to man mark players out the game.
Mel was a member of the Cambridge United side that played against Lincoln in the clubs first match in the Football League. Although playing in many of matches during the clubs first season in the league, Bill Leivers released him at the end of the season.
After leaving the U's he joined Cambridge City where he played in the same side as Cliff Jones the former Tottenham and Wales player. Mel was a regular for City in both of his two seasons there.
Mel died 6th August 2016 aged 72 years
Peter Leggett -joined the U's in March 1969, following the recruitment of ex-Chelmsford teammates Terry Butcher, Bill Cassidy and Terry Eades to the United cause
He made his debut against Hillingdon Borough but didn't become a regular in the side.
Peter was a player that supporters loved and mangers sometimes found frustrating. He was a winger of immense skill, excitement and was a joy to watch on his day. He was even called the George Best of the Southern League. Bill Leivers never sensed that the player could not understand just how much ability and potential he had.
Peter scored in United's first League win against Oldham on the 29th August 1970.
His last match was away against Workington in a 3-1 loss in February 1971.
Peter later worked as a manager for the Britvic soft drinks company in Chelmsford.
Peter died on November 2nd, at the age of 72
Keith Barker - started the club's first league season as deputy to goalkeeper Trevor Roberts. When Trevor became sick, Bill Leivers was not willing to play the 20 year old in the first team. Peter Vasper arrived from Norwich and became first choice until Trevor's return in January 1971
Upon becoming third choice goalkeeper Keith had his contract cancelled by mutual consent. The young goalkeeper who had so much potential left the club without playing a single match in the Football League.
His final match for the U's was in the Cambs Professional Cup against Cambridge City at the beginning of December.
Keith had made his Southern League debut against Hastings in November 1967 when Rodney Slack was injured. He was a still a teenager training with the youth team. Keith did so well the no 1 Rodney Slack was loaned out to Corby. Throughout the the next seasons he had to battle with fans favourite Rodney Slack for the goalkeepers jersey. Starting to establish himself in the first team he attracted the attention of Chelsea.
After leaving the Abbey the Stoke born goalkeeper signed for Barnsley and during the 1971/72 season made 9 appearances for them before moving onto Cambridge City.
Keith died in January 2008