THE arrival of a photograph from San Francisco - just before Christmas - evoked many fond memories for a former player of White Chapel Rovers, a local team which represented the Nelson Street and Blutcher Street areas of the Bogside.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
Johnny McFadden, a long time resident of Eglinton Terrace - the only complete street remaining in what was the old Bogside - was a proud member of that team, which was founded by the late Edmund McDevitt and Willie White.
The photograph received was of a youth team based in San Francisco - also named White Chapel - in memory of the former Bogside team which played regularly in the Parish League and occasional Summer Cup competitions during the 1950s.
The photograph was sent to Johnny by George White, a brother of Willie, who managed White Chapel’s 1950/51 team and included his son, Sean as the American team’s coach,
And while Johnny had kept an old photograph of the 1950/51 team, he was surprised, yet delighted, to learn that the White Chapel name lived on.
London Serial Killings!
“The name White Chapel was decided in the club’s ‘Shed’ in Blutcher Street following the serial killings which took place in London away back in the 1930’s,” recalled Johnny.
“It was made up mostly of players who were from the Nelson Street and Blutcher Streets areas.
“George, a brother of the team manager, Willie, sent me the photograph and, I must admit, it certainly brought back quite a few great memories.
“George returned to America about three years ago following the sad passing of his wife, Margaret, who was a native of Sion Mills.
“They had emigrated to America and lived there for about 20 years before returning home where Margaret passed away.
“George then decided to return to his family in the States but keeps in touch and I thought it was a nice gesture to name the youth team after the team I played with in the company of so many friends, so many years ago.
“I thought it would be nice for the families of the former players and, indeed, those of us ‘still above the ground,’ to see the old photograph and reflect on what were some great times all those years ago,” he concluded.