Alf Ramsey and Peter Shilton

Links With The Past: Shilton & Blockley's LCFC Youth Careers

Club Historian John Hutchinson's 'Links With The Past' series continues this week by uncovering an item of memorabilia in Leicester City's archive concerning former goalkeepers Peter Shilton and Jeff Blockley.
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Shilton and Blockley both emerged through City's youth set-up to star for the Club, as well as representing England, during their decorated careers.

Fifty-five years ago, though, Leicester Boys and Swansea Boys met in the English Schools Trophy Final.

The Leicester Boys side contained two 15-year-olds destined to become Leicester City and England stars. They were King Richard III School goalkeeper, Shilton, and New Parks School centre-half, Blockley.

The programme recorded that Shilton had played at centre-forward for his school and that he had gained distinction that season as the England Schoolboys goalkeeper.

Blockley was described as the team’s tallest member who had been a dominating figure in the run to the final.

Another member of the Leicester side who went on to make a name for himself was the future Showaddywaddy drummer, 14-year-old winger Romeo Challenger, ‘who can turn a match with his runs’.

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Shilton & Blockley's LCFC Youth Careers
Shilton & Blockley's LCFC Youth Careers

The programmes for both legs of the final, played at Vetch Field and at Filbert Street, are in the Club’s archives.

A total of 325 associations entered the competition and the Leicester and Swansea Boys’ teams had played nine games each in reaching the final.

The Swansea side contained four Welsh schoolboy internationals. These followed in the tradition of their Swansea predecessors such as John and Mel Charles, Len Allchurch, Terry Medwin and Cliff Jones, who all became famous footballers.

Both legs ended in 1-1 draws and the trophy was shared.

Nineteen months later, on 9 November, 1966, Leicester and Swansea Boys met again at Filbert Street in a benefit match following a disaster.

Three weeks earlier, a colliery slag heap had slipped down a mountain above a primary school in the south Wales mining village of Aberfan, killing 116 schoolchildren and 28 adults.

The match raised £515 (over £10,000 in today’s values). The framed cheque presented to the Disaster Fund is now part of the Club’s memorabilia collection.  

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