The Lucky Dressing room Saga

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blog-lucky-dressing-room2Alan Allman relates the tale of the lucky dressing roomsaga which concerns the 1952 Leeds School’s Cup Final of 1952 between Ellerby Lane School and Victoria School two great East Leeds rivals and the battle for the ‘lucky dressing room’. 

THE LUCKY DRESSING ROOM SAGA

by

Alan Allman

The School’s Cup Final was the pinnacle of the Leeds schools’ football year. In 1951/52 the finalists were: Ellerby Lane and Victoria – two East Leeds rivals The match was to be played at East End Park’s ground at Skelton Road. In those days the dressing rooms consisted of a large wooden hut at one end of the ground and consisted of: a large tea room, a dressing room for the officials and two dressing rooms for the teams; one of which were deemed to be the ‘lucky dressing room’ and was twice the size of the other. Folklore had it that it that the victorious team would be the one that changed in this dressing room.

I was ordered by Brian Monk (our school captain) prior to the match to go sit in the ‘lucky dressing room’ and save it for the Ellerby Lane team. I was only a young lad and in awe of Brian, I did exactly as I was told. It was to be an evening match and I was in position in that ‘lucky dressing room’ an hour before the kick-off but before our team arrived the Victoria team turned up and one of the Victoria team, Terry Renouccie (who in later years became a footballing colleague and good friend) turfed me out and told me in no uncertain matter to go sit in the smaller ‘unlucky dressing room’. When Brian and our team arrived he was furious that I hadn’t managed to keep the Victoria lads out but what chance had I, a thirteen year old, against the whole of the Victoria team?     Folklore held good, Ellerby Lane had been the favourites to lift the trophy but Victoria playing out of the lucky dressing room won the match two-one.

      Although there is more than one version of this tale the lucky dressing room saga is still a bone of contention between Victoria and Ellerby lane former pupils on occasions of reunions for old East Leeds folk even through more that fifty years have passed since that legendary match.

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