The 1961 Charity Match at Loftus Road between a Showbiz side & a Jockeys X1

On Tuesday 21st February 1961, a Showbiz side took on a Jockeys X1 at Loftus Road in aid of charity.

A match report appeared in the Acton Gazette and Post the following week:

‘Tommy Steele struggled to get his muddy boot laces tied and Dave King stretched and pushed trying to slip a rather ill-fitting football shirt over his tousled head. Three or four other notable Showbiz men charged round looking for socks, shirts, shorts and other essential items, which had somehow or other been mislaid.

The place? Dressing rooms at Queen’s Park Rangers football ground at 7.28pm last Tuesday. The reason? The Showbiz X1 met the Jockeys X1 – and won 3-1.

In a small room just off the Showbiz dressing room, Pop singer Tommy Steele lounged nonchalantly back on a couch as the trainer, Bill Parry, slapped and pummelled his legs applying evil- smelling embrocation.

Dave King finally succeeded in pulling on his shirt and looked round grinning at the nine assorted Showbiz men. Nine? Wait a minute we’re one short.

At that moment, 7.29pm precisely, the dressing room door burst open and the rather harassed-looking figure of Ronnie Carroll appeared. “Hello Ron!” shouted Dave with obvious relief. “Come on boy, you’ve only got a minute before the game.”
QPR V JOCKEYSOutside on the floodlit pitch the Jockeys were already under starter’s orders but changing continued slowly and jokingly in the Showbiz room.

“Where’s my flipping shorts?” shouted ex-Arsenal and Scottish footballer Alex Forbes.

Eight minutes after the intended time of kick-off the Showbiz team came trotting on to the pitch. Loud cheers came from the crowd of over two thousand as Dave King, Tommy Steele and Ronnie Carroll marched forward and were immediately mobbed for autographs.

Play was fast, furious, friendly and often side-splittingly funny. Before half-time three goals were scored – all by the Showbiz X1 but the score was 2-1.

In their changing rooms at half-time the Jockeys seemed far from disgruntled about the score.

A rapidly tiring Showbiz team in the second-half buffeted its weight against the tiny jockeys, and Ronnie Carroll, ex-Irish youth soccer international, cracked home the final goal, making the full-time score 3-1.’

The Showbiz team was listed at the end of the article as: Pip Wedge, Peter Thompson, Franklyn Boyd, Siggy Jackson, Jimmy Henney, Alex Forbes, Glen Mason, Dave King, Tommy Steele, Ronnie Carroll and Des O’Connor.

As for their opponents, according to the programme the Jockeys line-up was as follows: Brian Swift, David Nicholson, Dave Dick, Dick Broadway, Mick Dillon, Geoff Lewis, Duncan Keith, John Gilbert, Tom Gosling, Tom Carter and Jock Wilson.

Steve Russell

One thought on “The 1961 Charity Match at Loftus Road between a Showbiz side & a Jockeys X1

  1. Back in those days a lot of those showbiz types were good footballers. Ronnie Carroll as stated above was once an amateur international and could have turned pro. Tommy Steel and Dave King were no mugs either.

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