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The Non-League Football Paper

Billericay Town – FA Vase Winners 1979

Billericay Town 1979

IT IS not often that you find yourself the subject of a quiz question, but that’s exactly what happened to Doug Young as soon as he joined the elite band of Wembley Cup Final hat-trick heroes.

He is still the only player to net a treble in the final of the FA Vase at the old Wembley, joining the likes of Stan Mortensen, Eddie Reynolds, Geoff Hurst and Ted Dickin in an illustrious club.

Young wrote himself into the history books against Almondsbury Greenway as Billericay completed a hat-trick of victories in four seasons.

And the memories are still as vivid as the day when he lobbed Greenway keeper Roy Hamilton four minutes from time, to put the seal on an emphatic victory.

“It is something you never forget,” he explained. “The first goal was a header. The ball was won on the left and knocked into the far post, Freddie Clayden headed it back and I just headed it in. I remember running up to Billy Bingham in delight, shouting that I’d scored at Wembley.

“The second one was a ball headed on by Jamie Reeves. I just chucked myself at it and caught it on the volley with an overhead kick.

“But with my sights set on the hat-trick, luck eluded me it seemed. I had a goal disallowed, missed a sitter, hit the crossbar, then had one ruled out for handball when it wasn’t.

“But just when I thought that was how it would end, Freddie knocked the ball on to me from their corner and I ran from the half-way line before chipping the goalkeeper from about 30 yards out. I ran to the corner and just did a little skip. I didn’t know what else to do by the time my team-mates got to me. I felt a bit embarrassed.”

Young admits that it wasn’t until much later in the evening, once the drinks started to flow, that it hit him what he had actually done.

“I didn’t think it was anything special at the time, it was only a few hours and some beers later with everyone talking about it that it sort of hit me,” he added.

“There aren’t many of us, I’m proud of it. My son’s girlfriend was in a pub in Tamworth doing a quiz and the question came up: ‘Who scored a hat-trick in the final of the Vase’?

“It was also on a Question of Sport and I think it was Emlyn Hughes said ‘Who?’ after he failed to get the answer. Apart from my children being born it was the proudest moment of my life.”

Young was given the match ball at the end of the game but handed it to the club as memorabilia. Unfortunately, however, it has since gone missing, sparking an on-going search.

Billericay Town 1979

Back row, left to right:

1. Brian King: The honorary secretary has been an agricultural machinery salesman for the last 30 years, and is still heavily involved with local football in the Essex area.

2. Harry Leslie: General manager Harry was production manager for an engineering company, lives in Great Warley, Brentwood. His son Steve played for Colchester United.

3. Charlie Knott: Lived in Holland and worked for chemical companies. Now chairman of the Flint Group.

4. Alan Russ: Now lives in Brentwood,and has worked for a shipping company and as a messenger for a City bank.

5. Billy Bingham: The full-back worked as a precision engineer, and is now running his own engineering company.

6. Paul Norris: He was a landscape gardener before becoming a lorry driver for 15 years. He is now a Chelmsford based driving instructor.

7. Mal Downing: The goalkeeper is now living in Upminster and has spent 35 years in the financial services industry. He has also coached goalkeepers at Billericay Town.

8. Mark Carrigan: The midfielder has been living in Sydney, Australia since 1989, where he works in the building trade.

9. John Pullin: Defender John was a systems engineer. Now retired after working as a project manager in the City of London.

10. Arthur Coughlan: The captain of 10 years and assistant manager spent 40 years as a stockbroker in the City before retiring in 2001.

11. John Clark: Assistant manager Clark lives in Chelmsford and has retired after working as an electrician for over 40 years.

Front row, left to right:

12. Ken Howell: Physio Ken was assistant superintendent physiotherapist at Basildon Hospital. Now runs a practice with his wife.

13. Doug Young: The hat-trick hero was a sales rep for a sports equipment company and then a messenger for a Japanese Bank before taking early retirement.

14. Jamie Reeves: The striker is now living in Singapore and still teaching economics, He is currently Head of Humanities at the Raffles Institution and a pundit for ESPN Star.

15. Dave Groom: The defender is now a director of a vehicle leasing business in Rayleigh, Essex and still plays for England Vets.

16. Phil Whettell: The midfielder retired in 2009 after spending 36 years as a PE teacher in Ingatestone, Essex.

17. Colin Searle: Manager Searle is now living in Dundee and has worked in the marine engineering industry. Director of his own business.

18. Steve Bone: The defender and captain worked as an Insurance Actuary, but sadly lost a two-year battle with cancer in December 2011, aged 64.

19. Freddie Clayden: The striker lives in Billericay and is still working in the Petrochemical Industry as a Senior Buyer.

20. Paul Scott: Midfielder Scott worked as a stockbroker before spending 23 years with the Woolwich Building Society. He is now a management accountant.

21. Terry Fearey: The former Arsenal junior worked in the City as Managing Director of Deutsche Bank. He is now a partner at a private Swiss Bank.

22. Dicky Haynes: Reserve team manager Dicky worked in publishing and now lives in Suffolk.

Not pictured:

Paul Blackaller: Paul worked in the Stock Exchange and for banks in the City of London.

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