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Cyril Hammond (CAFC 1950-58) - recent chat

edited April 2012 in General Charlton
Other than what I can find out on Wiki; that he was a left half who played 201 times for Charlton, between 1950 and 1958, scoring twice (he also played for Colchester). Can anyone tell me anything about Cyril Hammond’s career at Charlton?
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  • edited March 2012
    Local lad born in Woolwich 1927. He played 296 matches (midfielder) and scored 7 goals. Signed for us in the 50/51 season played until 57/58 season. I think I saw him play...though I can't be certain.
    His brother Billy also played for us during the war and he later went on to become head groundsman at The Valley.
  • Nickname Squib
  • Apologies, I should have looked in The Valiant 500 before posting!
  • Funnily enough, my partner met him in Bucks earlier this year. Will see if I can find out more.
  • Funnily enough, my partner met him in Bucks earlier this year. Will see if I can find out more.
    Wow, he would be in his mid 80's...good for you Squib.

  • I'm meeting him next week. He lives in a retirement flat in Princes Risborough that my firm built. Any questions for him?
  • I'm meeting him next week. He lives in a retirement flat in Princes Risborough that my firm built. Any questions for him?
    You spent a good few years in the top tier of the game but didn't make the money they get today.

    Do you resent or envy the present lot at all?
  • Who did he prefer....Leary or Firmani?

    If he says Firmani............. edit it!!!
  • Who did he prefer....Leary or Firmani?

    If he says Firmani............. edit it!!!
    Doh!

    Both good players.
  • Who did he prefer....Leary or Firmani?

    If he says Firmani............. edit it!!!
    Doh!

    Both good players.
    Yes of course SF, Eddie was absolutely fantastic.................but Stuart was (and likely always will be) my all time favourite!!

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  • edited March 2012
    My brother and I travelled home on the bus with "Squib" and Sid O'Lynn after a match at The Valley in the 1957/58 season. We were aged about 11 or 12. I remember he lived near Bexleyheath railway station (Woodlands Road I think). It was a big thrill for us as young fans and he was happy to chat to us the whole journey. Footballers' wages were not much in those days and he probably did not own a car? Bit different today. He was a regular in the first team and always put in a solid performance. Although he was famous, being a professional footballer with Charlton, he came across as a gentleman, modest and unassuming. Some experiences in life you never forget. When you see him Redmonster, please wish him "all the best" from my brother and myself (now well into our sixties) and thank him for the memories of his days at The Valley when he played in those great teams and we shouted our support from packed terraces.
  • edited March 2012
    .
  • edited March 2012
    Local lad born in Woolwich 1927. He played 296 matches (midfielder) and scored 7 goals. Signed for us in the 50/51 season played until 57/58 season. I think I saw him play...though I can't be certain.
    His brother Billy also played for us during the war and he later went on to become head groundsman at The Valley.
    Would that be the same Bill Hammond that was groundsman at Shooters Hill GS in the 60's? Johnny Summers just edged it in hero status over Leary for me SoundAsa£ but then again I'm a couple of years younger than you.
  • Any more questions for Cyril, I'm meeting him tomorrow.
  • I spent a pleasant hour with Cyril “Squib” Hammond this morning, chatting about football in general and his time at Charlton in particular.

    Squib certainly has very fond memories of his time at Charlton and he definitely didn’t consider his professional career as work, indeed he said “I didn’t start work until I was 34” when he worked as a maintenance man at Colchester Hospital. In his later years at The Valley, he was earning £17/week during the season and £15/week during the off season. The team were on a bonus of £2 for a win and £1 for a draw, the bonus was paid in a lump sum at the end of the season. He also received a one off “benefit” payment off £500 net of tax, once he had spent five years at the club. Squib enjoys watching football today on tv, but @LenGlover, he does not begrudge the money being earned by the top players today, he says “they deserve it, as they are under great pressure”, “we just used to play for fun”!

    To answer @Tunwellsaddick, Squib certainly recalled travelling back to Bexleyheath on the bus with Sid O’Lynn, but he later became one of the few players to own a car and he talked fondly of the times he gave Stuart Leary a lift home from training. Squib felt that Stuart was the best player in the team and he was devastated when Leary committed suicide in South Africa.

    I was hoping to gain some insight into the genius of the management of Jimmy Seed, unfortunately I was disappointed. Squib said that Seed was “not a great tactician” I suggested that he was a great motivator but apparently not! I did push Squib on what made Seed a good manager and he replied that they were “a good team” who all “knew what they had to do”. His best mate in the team in the 50’s was Jock Campbell who played at right back. He mentioned that when room sharing on away trips, Jock liked a smoke but was one of the fittest players in the team. He described Sam Bartram as “a legend”, “totally unflappable”.

    Although Squib asked me to keep his comments on Jimmy Trotter private, it’s fair to say that he was not impressed, when Trotter became manager of Charlton! He was very grateful, to Benny Fenton who took him to Colchester where he had become manager, when Charlton released him in 1958. He was though disappointed with the manner of his release from Charlton. All of the playing staff was gathered in a room at the end of the season and then one by one were called into another room to sign. Those that were left at the end were released.

    Whilst Squib talked with great affection of his time at Charlton, he said that his proudest moment was when he represented the London FA XI v Frankfurt at Wembley in 1955.

    Squib did confirm that his brother Bill became Head Groundsman at The Valley, and yes @Deadred, Bill did go on to become groundsman at Shooters Hill GS. Squib last visited The Valley for the unveiling of the Bartram statue in 2005.

    Today at 84 years old, Cyril is enjoying his retirement along with his wife at a retirement complex in Buckinghamshire. I did pass on the “best wishes” of Lifers and he was truly amazed at the fondness and affection with which he is remembered at the club.

  • Excellent stuff Mr Monster. If there was any chance of a sequel with other legends of this time, go for it
  • Thanks for that, really interesting stuff.

    Great to hear he's doing so well.
  • edited April 2012
    Thanks for the feedback RedMonster must have been a most enjoyable meeting. I never saw Cyril play and unfortunately my old Dad is no longer around to ask. So it was his brother Bill who was groundsman at my old school, a gentile man who always had a smile on his face and kept a look out for the prefects when the 'hard nuts' went for a fag behind the bike sheds..........not me I would hasten to add I was a good boy!
  • Many Thanks Red M. It is really interesting to hear what former players think of ex managers and fellow players.
  • Lovely stuff Red....what a privelege to talk with the old timer.
    So glad he had some great things to say about Stuart Leary, that always makes my day.
    God bless you Squib...................sounds like you've had a great life.
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  • Great stuff - love it.
  • cheers @RedMonster really enjoyed reading that.

  • @redmonster Has he been to the Valley recently?
  • He was last at The Valley for the unveiling of The Sam Bartram Statue in 2005.
  • You read that well then BDL?!

    Lovely read Red Monster. Thank you.
  • It must be every supporters dream to represent the mighty Addicks. I'm sure that guys like Cyril have absolutely no idea of the esteem in which they are held. He should be extremely proud of his accomplishment in life in representing our great club. He was before my time, but I'm sure my dad saw him play on many occasions.
  • edited April 2012
    Thanks for the feedback RedMonster. Glad you found Cyril happy and still enjoying life at his respectable age. Good to hear how surprised he was to discover how many of us still hold fond memories of him at the Valley. A Gentleman who played for fun. How refreshing is that.
  • Thanks for the feedback RedMonster must have been a most enjoyable meeting. I never saw Cyril play and unfortunately my old Dad is no longer around to ask. So it was his brother Bill who was groundsman at my old school, a gentile man who always had a smile on his face and kept a look out for the prefects when the 'hard nuts' went for a fag behind the bike sheds..........not me I would hasten to add I was a good boy!
    When was Bill at Shooters Hill GS. Would it have been after !956 ?
  • He was last at The Valley for the unveiling of The Sam Bartram Statue in 2005.
    Actually it was written on the train and I hadn't read it properly, so nah nah nee nah nah
  • edited April 2012
    Lovely stuff, thank you for sharing.
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