George Edginton of Eshald Place, in Woodlesford, was taken with my mention of a soccer team known as the Stormcocks.

Says George: "The Stormcocks were known as the Outwood Stormcocks and were a Leeds United nursery team, or teams.
"There were two teams – a junior and senior. I played centre half for the junior team in 1943/44 with two of my mates from Castleford. Players in both Stormcock sides came from all over the West Riding.

The ground was at the top of Ardsley Falls at the back of the White Horse pub.
"We got changed in a loft over some stables at the back of the pub.
The teams were run by Joss Pickersgill. I can see him now, a scruffy sort of a guy in a long black top coat; no collar, his shirt was just fastened by a stud and he always had a stub of a dead cigarette in his mouth.


I remember we were even selected for trails with Leeds City boys and at the same time we were also selected to play for Castleford.
Being pupils at Three Lane Ends School in Whitwood we opted for our home town team, Castleford. We were then 'frozen out' by Joss Pickersgill who never forgave us and he wouldn't select us any more.
The Spedding brothers were 'stars' of the Stormcocks at the time with the senior team."

George tells me he went on to play for Whitwood Old Boys in the Castleford League before joining Allerton Bywater in the Leeds League.
He recalls it was amateur international John Willie Firth, a master at his school, who directed youngsters to the Outwood Stormcocks.

Harry Smith of Rooks Nest Road, Outwood, Wakefield, played for the Outwood Stormcocks AFC from 1941 until 1944 first with the under 16s then under 18s. Harry tells me Joss Pickersgill worked at Lofthouse Colliery and, like George, can't forget their changing facilities and washing up after the match from a bucket of cold water!

"For away matches we used to meet under the clock of Dyson's jewellers on Briggate," says Harry.

Tommy Ward from Carlton (centre forward] scored over 100 goals for us in one season. And I do know the great Yorkshire and England cricketer Brian Close played for the Stormcocks."

Leeds United continue to hit the headlines, like it or lump it. Dark clouds continue, it seems, to hang over Elland Road's fortunes and the future of some of the key personalities look to be far from secure. How many others will be shown the exit sign and follow director David Spencer, I wonder?

And was there ever any chance of the club moving to a new purpose-built stadium? It looks to have been little more than a pipe-dream considering what we now know about the club's parlous finances.
Still the club and the squad have a world-wide following and I remember meeting some long-distance supporters on a visit to the west Texas town of El Paso 25 years ago.

In Ottawa, Canada, lives a chap by the name of Dennis Staff. He used to reside in Leeds and indeed played for a team called the Leeds United Stormcocks!
Well, that's what his chum David Brook tells me.
Says David: "The Stormcocks were, I think, a youth team who were around in the late 1940s and Dennis is wondering if any Yorkshire Diary readers have any information on them?

Dennis is writing a book about his playing days. He left the Stormcocks and went on to play for Raich Carter at Hull, Louis Page at Swindon and Jack Bradley at Great Yarmouth.
Dennis is wondering if there are others who like him were in the Stormcocks squad. He also seem to think the team may have been called the Outwood Stormcocks."

Roy Ambler Career:  Outwood Stormcocks; Leeds United, pro 10 Dec. 1954; Shrewsbury Town, 8 Jan. 1959; Wrexham, 28 April 1961; York City, 7 Nov. 1962; Southport, 18 July 1963; Matlock Town, cs 1964; Buxton, 1966; Stalybridge Celtic, 1968; Bradford Park Avenue, 1970    

Gerry Henry
Henry played for Yorkshire Schools in 1934 and joined Leeds United as a seventeen year old from local junior side Outwood Stormcocks. Appointed Mgr. of Halifax Town (1952-54)
He was born in 1919 and as a goalkeeper with Blackledge's team won the prestigious Lord Allandale Cup in 1939, beating Outwood Stormcocks who were Leeds United's nursery team at the time.

Origination and Author Unknown

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