50 YEARS AGO: Whitby Town seal place at Wembley

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All Whitby Town supporters jumped from their seats, or flung their arms into the air at Sunderland’s Roker Park, as Peter McHale soared high above his colleagues and Enfield defenders to score a magnificent goal.

It gave Whitby Town entry to the final of premier amateur competition in England.

It was a thrilling moment and, while the players showed their exuberance by a tremendous outburst of cheering thoughts of many of the old Whitby enthusiasts must have wondered if a dream which had existed since 1926 was to become a reality.

It was in 1926 that Whitby’s two premier football teams of that era, Whitby Town and Whitby Whitehall Swifts, amalgamated and, in an effort to raise the standard of play, applied with far more hope than expectation for membership of the Northern League then, as now, the north’s premier amateur football league.

In June came the wonderful news that the application had been successful and from that day until today, one of the chief hopes of Whitby officials has been for a good run in the FA Amateur Cup.

When it became known that Whitby were to meet Enfield in the semi-finals of the competition at Sunderland in season 1964-65, the players were determined on one thing – they would not abandon their normal game. Yet in the opening stages of the match, few dared to hope that Whitby would weather the intricate passing game of the southerners and fight back and win.

When Enfield went ahead with a goal by Broomfield after 26 minutes, many considered the writing was on the wall.

But a pep talk at half-time from coach Bill Jeffs had Whitby rejuvenated.

It was from the penalty spot that Whitby gained equality and it was the non-stop passing which paved the way for the award. He flung a long ball through to Jimmy Mulvaney who was fouled and ice-cool penalty King Kevin Moody side-stepped a fierce shot well out of reach of the keeper.

Seven minutes after the goal, a corner soared into the goal area, a wall of blue shirts raced goalwards and there was Peter McHale, injured but full of fight, and his mighty header crashed into the net, with Peter following on and becoming entangled in the netting.

Enfield protested but referee R Smith of Nottingham promptly awarded a goal.

There were anxious moments in the final stages but come full-time, Whitby were Wembley-bound.