Willenhall History Society

The Picks

The story of Willenhall Pickwicks Football Club

1884 – 1916

Researched and written by Horace and Peter Davis

Chapter 6 TIME TO MOVE ON

During the summer of 1907 the Picks committee worked hard both in fund raising and also bringing the ground up to standard. The ground was completely fenced, and alterations were made to the grandstand to increase the seating capacity. The central entrance passage together with space at the far end that was used as a refreshment room were converted to provide seating accommodation for 300 spectators. The front of the grandstand, which was previously of corrugated iron, was removed and replaced with a wooden front and then painted in the club's colours of red and white. In addition new dressing rooms were built at the rear of the stand. On the financial side the treasurer was able to announce that despite the expenditure that had been incurred on the ground they had a credit balance of £77.5s.3d in hand to start the season.

On the playing side Holt and Cartwright had gone to Wolves for what was described as good financial considerations, but in had come H.J. Heath from Southampton and his brother H.G. Heath from Ettingshall Church both forwards. Also moving in was Beddows, a Goal-keeper from Tettenhall and a promising young winger, Billy Wollaston who had also had experience with Wolves.

The Birmingham Junior League now consisted of 16 teams as follows:-

Willenhall Pickwick, Coombs Wood Tube Works, Bilston United, Cradley Heath St.Lukes, Wednesbury Old Athletic, Erdington, Darlaston, Langley St Michaels, Boumbrook, Nuneaton Town, Bournville Athletic, Redditch, Brades Park, Rowley United, Bromsgrove Rovers and Stirchley.

The Picks opened their 1907-08 programme on Monday September 2nd when they travelled to Bournville and came away with a 3-0 win. On the following Saturday they entertained Bournbrook at Portobello and shared six goals in a thrilling draw. Picks line up for the first game is not known, but for the second game they lined up as follows:-

Goal, Beddows; Backs, Archer, Bouckley; Half Backs, Wootton, Robinson, Edge; Forwards, Spencer, H.G. Heath, H.J. Heath, Trow and J. Shingler:

It is likely that as they had won the first game, the line up for that would probably be the same. Spencer 2 and J. Heath scored against Boumbrook. Picks followed this up with a 2-1 win over Bilston on Sept 14th with goals by Heath and Perry who had replaced Trow for this game.

For the first time this season Picks were called upon to enter the Birmingham Senior Cup and on Monday September 16th they travelled to Brierley Hill Alliance with a much weakened team and were defeated by 5-1. It was reported that half the Picks team were not available.

The Picks now had many of the players on their books who were to be successful in the future but as yet they had not found the right formula. However, they continued to permeate their team in an effort to do so and as they did, they slipped down the league after their promising start.

Billy Wollaston, who was to play such a prominent part in the Picks future made his debut on September 21st in the home game with Bromsgrove Rovers which Picks lost 1-0, but after a few games he was left out as it was felt he had not yet revealed his full potential.

Picks continued to slip down the league, reaching 14th place before arresting the slide and beginning to climb back. On January 4th 1908 Picks suffered the humiliation of being knocked out of the Wednesbury Charity Cup. In the first round they were defeated by the Swifts by 6 goals to one at Spring Bank.

The Picks league fortunes changed after this. They finished in a respectable 5th Place in the league. Their playing record for the season was.

P

W

L

D

F

A

Points

30

16

11

3

71

51

35

Darlaston were champions with 48 points and Bilston second one point behind. Wednesbury Old Athletic were sixth, an indication of the strength of the Walsall and District League.

At the end of the season the Birmingham Junior League changed its name to the Birmingham Combination.

This season saw the inauguration of the Willenhall Nursing Cup, started to raise funds for the Willenhall Nursing Association and Picks were its first winners. The Picks, after disposing of Bilston United 2-1 in the Semi-final on April 3rd went on to defeat Willenhall Swifts 4-2 in the final played at Spring Bank on Monday April 27th 1908 .

Picks also reached the final of the Staffordshire Junior Cup for the fifth time and found themselves up against last year’s losing finalists Fegg Hayes from the North Staffordshire League. Last season had seen Fegg Hayes beaten by the only goal of the game by Willenhall Swifts at Stoke and whilst they were very keen to avenge their defeat Picks also were just as keen to see their name on the trophy for the first time.

The game was played on March 28th 1908 at Molineux and a large crowd was expected for the clash. Two excursion trains brought the fans from the Potteries and Picks supporters were out in considerable force too. The Kick Off drew near and it became obvious that many of the fans outside the ground had no chance of getting in before the Kick Off. The fans charged down one of the gates and hundreds got into the game without paying. The number of spectators who paid at the turnstiles was officially given as 5,696 but it was estimated that the real attendance was nearer 8,000.

The game was a disappointment as far as Picks were concerned and they never played to their real form. They abandoned their usual neat passing game for "Kick and Rush" and never really settled against the long ball game of their opponents. Both teams had scored within five minutes, Lawton for Fegg Hayes and Spencer for the Locksmiths but try as they might Picks could never get on top and near the end Rhead scored the winner for the Potters. Before the game and at the interval the crowd were entertained by the Willenhall Temperance Prize Band. Gate receipts amounted to £87 and the teams lined up as follows:-

Picks: Goal, Beddows; Backs, Archer, Bouckley; Half Backs, Wootton, Robinson, Edge; Forwards, Wollaston, Ronchetti, Heath, Perry and Spencer.

Fegg Hayes: Goal, Everill; Backs, Steadman, Cartlidge; Half Backs, Bradbury, Dixon , Perks; Forwards, Bennett, Rhead, Lawton , Rowley and Hawkins.

It seemed as if this was one cup the Picks were never destined to win.

As season 1908-09 approached Picks stood on the threshold of greatness again for this was the season when they would attain their long cherished ambition by bringing the Staffs Junior Cup to Willenhall at the sixth attempt although the Swifts had already beaten them to it two years before. This season Picks would be joined in the newly named Birmingham Combination by the Swifts who had moved up from the Walsall and District League. Off the field Mr F.W. Hartill had taken over the presidency of the club. Mr. Hartill was a tireless worker in the cause of the Picks and in addition to his work behind the scenes, he had on several occasions during the previous season, donned the jersey in an emergency and performed creditably in the half back line.

On the playing side S. Holt had returned to the club after a season with the Wolves and A. Potts had joined the club from Cheslyn Hay. Picks also had former goalkeeper Hale back in harness and he would play a number of games early in the season. This season also Picks would make their debut in the English (Now F.A.) Cup- unfortunately they were drawn to play away at Halesowen in the Preliminary Round on September 19th and were defeated 6-2.

The Picks now had in position what must have been their finest forward line - Wollaston, Potts, Holt, Heath and Spencer and they set off confidently in search of the title. They opened the season at Coombs Wood where they won 4-3 on September 5th and followed this up on the following Saturday by defeating Darlaston 3-2 in a closely fought game at Portobello. 4,000 spectators turned up for this, the first home game of the season and £43 was taken at the gate. Picks then went to St Andrews where they met Birmingham Reserves in the Birmingham Senior cup. Although they managed a creditable draw sharing two goals, they went down heavily 5-2 in the replay a week later.

In the league, however, Picks were going great guns and piling on the goals against all comers. They beat Rowley United 5-2, Langley St Michael's 8-1 and Wednesbury Old Athletic 6-2. There seemed to be no stopping them and by the turn of the year they had established a clear lead at the top of the table, winning 12 and drawing two of the 16 games played. It was reported that "Rollie" Heath, who last season had scored 38 goals in all games had already passed that figure and in the process had set up a new "All Time" record for the League.

Heath was 22 years old and originally hailed from Wolverhampton but was now resident at Blakenall. His work had previously taken him down south and whilst there he had assisted both Andover and Southampton before joining Picks last season on his return home. His prolific scoring feats attracted the attention of the Wolves who made him an offer to join them. Picks said they would leave the matter to the player himself and after asking for a few days to think it over, Heath declined the offer and decided to stay at Portobello.

Early in the season Picks committee had felt that one of their problems was the goal keeping post, where they had tried both Beddows, who had served them well during the previous season and also Hale without being entirely happy with either. Anxious not lose their chance of the title Picks signed Billy Thorpe, a player who was no stranger to Portobello and who had experience with Bloxwich Strollers, Brownhills Albion, Kidderminster Harriers and Brierley Hill Alliance. He was to quickly make the position his own.

The long awaited clash with the Swifts took place at Portobello on December 12th before a large crowd but Picks, now in fine form, won easily by 4-1. They continued to carry all before them in the league breaking records along the way. They broke the record set up by Cradley St Lukes for the most goals in a season and continued to add to it as they went along. They beat Bournbrook 8-1, Bromsgrove Rovers 8-0, Bournville Athletic 9-3 Stirchley 10­-2 and Boumbrook again 7-1 as they swept towards the title in fine style. Their playing record for the season was.

P

W

L

D

F

A

Points

30

20

4

6

127

53

46

Picks also added the Bilston Charity Cup to their trophy cupboard when they defeated the holders Darlaston 1-0 at Prouds Lane , Spencer scoring the goal in the 75th minute.

Honours came the way of Heath when he was selected to play in the Junior International against Scotland in Glasgow on April 3rd 1909 when Scotland were the winners 2-0.

This season Picks not only won the league but also had their sights firmly set on the double by setting out to win the Staffordshire Junior Cup, a trophy they had coveted without success for a long time. In this season's competition they were exempt until the third round, they then proceeded to defeat Hurst Hill Rovers, Walsall Reserves, Sedgley Rovers and Rushall Red Cross, who were crushed by 12-0, with Holt getting five and Heath three before coming up against Ettingshall Church in the Semi-final. The first game, played at Prouds Lane on January 30th ended in a draw 1-1 with Holt scoring for the Picks. 5,000 spectators turned up for the replay on Monday March 22nd at Prouds Lane not realising what high drama lay ahead. With the minutes ticking away the score stood at 1-1 Holt scoring, and extra time looked a distinct possibility when tragedy struck for Ettingshall. One of their defenders attempted to clear the ball, when it flew up and struck him on the hand. The referee immediately pointed to the spot and Joe Edge stepped up to give Picks the lead. The floodgates then opened and further goals came in quick succession from Wollaston, Heath and Robinson to give the Picks a flattering 5-1 win. Picks line up was:

Goal, Thorpe; Backs, Archer, Edge; Half Backs, Downing, Robinson, Wootton; Forwards, Wollaston, Wolverson, Holt, Heath and Spencer:

The gate receipts for the match amounted to £30.8s.

Picks had reached the final for the sixth time and would meet Hanley Swifts on April 10th 1909 at Stoke. The whole town was in a fever pitch of excitement as the big day approached and confidence in their fine team knew no bounds. Huge crowds flocked to Stoke confident of victory and a record crowd given as almost 20,000 with gate receipts of £216 witnessed the struggle. This was an all time record for the competition.

Meanwhile back at Willenhall an excited crowd gathered outside the Post Office in the Market Place to await progress reports of the game by telegraph. When news came through at half time that the favourites were a goal down, spirits flagged a little but shortly after half time news came that Holt had levelled the score for the Picks and hopes ran high once more. Near the end the news came that Billy Wollaston had put Picks ahead and the crowd could hardly contain itself as it waited for the final score. The Picks had won at last and would be bringing the trophy back to Willenhall.

When the result was known, the crowd then set off for the Railway station to await the arrival of the team and the Willenhall Silver Prize Band turned out to play for them. When the team arrived back they were carried in triumph through the Market Place and on to the clubs Headquarters at the Shakespeare Inn where it is understood the celebrations went on well into the night.


Undoubtedly the star of the Picks team that day was their captain Harry Robinson who, it was reported, had done the work of two men in the Picks rearguard. Robinson was described as being sandy haired, 24 years of age 5ft 9.1\2 inches tall weighed 12 stone and was a native of Hill Top although now residing in Oldbury. He had been with the club for 4 years. He commenced playing at the age of 17 with Toll End Juniors in season 1899-1900 and since then had experience with Brittania Vics, Darlaston, West Bromwich Albion and Coventry . The previous season he had been selected for the Rest of the League team and also the Junior International Trials but illness prevented him from taking part.

As the 1909-10 season approached, hopes ran high in the Picks camp that they might well retain the title that they had so deservedly won the previous season. With the exception of the goalkeeper Billy Thorpe, all the first team regulars had been re-signed, but an adequate replacement had been signed in Craddock from Cannock Town . On the financial side too things looked good, for the treasurer had reported that they would start the season with a credit balance that was in excess of £26. Unfortunately things rarely go according to plan and the players who had performed so brilliantly the previous season, although playing well enough, could not quite repeat the magic of the previous year. The situation was not improved by events over the Christmas holiday period that resulted in the majority of the players going on strike and this undoubtedly cost them valuable points in their title chase as well as undermining the morale of the team.

On December 27th 1909 Picks were due to meet the troubled Langley St Michael's team at Portobello but the match was postponed when the visitors turned up with only five players. The Picks management ruled that as the match had not been played, the players were not entitled to their full wages. They offered them full out of pocket expenses plus one shilling but the players thought this unfair.

On the following Saturday January 1st the players raised the matter again when they reported for duty but the Committee was adamant that they would not pay their full wages. At this point nine of the players refused to take part in the game and retired to the stand to watch. The exceptions were Heath and Spencer the left wing pair. This left Picks to face Coombs Wood with a scratch team largely composed of reserves, but despite this they managed a creditable draw two goals each. Picks team that day lined up as follows:-

Goal, Walker ; Backs, Richards, Mason; Half Backs, Bratt, Shone, Haywood; Forwards, Henworth, Carter, Newell, Heath and Spencer:

The Picks goals came from Newell and Carter and when Newell scored just before the interval the cry went up from the crowd, "Good old St Giles".

The dissenting players were ordered to appear before the committee at their weekly meeting on the following Wednesday where it was reported that they had accepted that what they did was wrong and duly apologised. They all declared themselves available to play on the following Saturday, but the Picks committee were determined to have their pound of flesh and it was three weeks before some of the ringleaders were restored to first team action.

During the season the Picks used no fewer than four goalkeepers, Craddock, Walker, Tatem and finally Henworth in an effort to tighten their defence. Henworth, who had previously played for March End Mission in the Willenhall Church and Chapel League before moving to Short Heath made his debut in the last home game of the season against Redditch on April 23rd and quickly made the position his own for several seasons until the war intervened.

Despite all their problems on the field Picks still managed to finish in sixth place. Their playing record for the season was.

P

W

L

D

F

A

Points

30

15

10

5

82

51

35

Langley St Michael's resigned from the league and their record was expunged.

Picks attempt to hang on to the much coveted Staffordshire Junior Cup came to grief on January 15th when they travelled to Hednesford and against all the odds were surprisingly defeated by 3 goals to 2 by West Cannock Athletic.

In the Willenhall Nursing Cup only two teams could be found to contest it, Picks and Swifts and a final was arranged between them on Tuesday April 26th at Portobello but the game ended in a draw with the teams sharing four goals.

The replay was arranged for the following Thursday at Spring Bank and this time a very much weakened Picks side was easily defeated by the Swifts 5-1.

In the Wednesbury Charity Cup Picks beat Cradley St Lukes 3-1 at Portobello before coming up against old rivals Darlaston in the next round. The game was played before a large crowd on Monday February 21st 1910 and with the Picks leading 2-0 at the interval everything seemed to be going well. Darlaston reduced the lead early in the second half when the game took a dramatic turn. The ball bounced harmlessly in front of the Picks goalkeeper Walker, but as he came out to gather it he was bundled into the net very unceremoniously by two Darlaston players who landed on top of him causing an injury. The ball was then tapped over the line and to the crowd's amazement the referee pointed to the centre. Pandemonium broke out and the cry went up from the crowd "In the brook" before they attempted to get at the referee. Fortunately for that gentleman he was rescued and escorted to the safety of the dressing rooms. Picks won the replay by 3-2 before losing to Bilston United 4-1 in the Semi-final.

Picks also made an early exit from the Wolverhampton Charity Cup when they were surprisingly defeated at home by Hurst Hill Rovers by the only goal scored.

In the English Cup the Picks scored a surprising 7-3 victory over the powerful Stafford Rangers side at Portobello in the Preliminary Round on September 18th when they fielded the following side:

Goal, Craddock; Backs, Archer, Edge; Half Backs, Wallett, Robinson, Wootton; Forwards, Wollaston, Potts, Holt, Heath and Spencer:

The following week they went down by 3-1 to Cannock Town in the first Qualifying Round at Cannock .

Picks also competed in the Birmingham Senior Cup, but after defeating Cradley Heath by 4-2 in the first round, they went out to Walsall at Portobello by 2-0 on October 25th 1909 .

As the season drew to a close Picks were considering staging a benefit match for Harry Robinson their Centre Half and captain who had now been with them for 6 years during which time he had been a tower of strength to the team. It was hoped to stage a game on Easter Tuesday but unfortunately they were engaged in the Wolverhampton Charity Cup on that day and it had to be put off.

Plans for further improvements to the ground were also under consideration and a number of options had been put forward for discussion at the end of the season.

During the summer of 1910 the Picks spent between £120 and £150 on ground improvements including work on fencing which they hoped would add considerably to the warmth and comfort of the spectators. On the playing side Holt and Spencer had moved across town to try their luck with Swifts and Billy Wollaston had joined West Bromwich Albion, but the remainder of last year's team stayed loyal to the club.

The season opened with a local derby when Picks and Swifts clashed in the first round of the Walsall Senior Cup before a large crowd at Spring Bank which Picks won by 3-1, but they went out at the Semi-final stage on Monday September 26th when they took a weakened team to Cannock and lost to the Town by 4-2.

The Picks made their last appearance in the Staffordshire Junior Cup in the 1910-11 season. They beat St George 's Victoria 3-1, Wednesbury Town 3-0, and Bradley Weslyan Institute 1-0 after a 1-1 draw at Bradley. They reached the Semi-final where they came up against Wednesfield Patent Axle Box on February 18th 1911 at Darlaston. They won comfortably by 7-2 to give them a place in the final on March 3rd against Leek Town, a team they had played previously in the final of 1896 when they lost by 2-1 in a replay following a drawn game.

The game was to be played at Stoke and on the day of the game a large number of supporters from Willenhall gaily bedecked in the club's colours, travelled to Stoke to cheer their favourites on. It was reported that demand for Saloon accommodation on the special trains greatly exceeded expectations. Alas it was not to be Picks year again and they went down gallantly by the only goal of the game, scored by Farrington eight minutes from the end. Picks line up for the game was:

Goal, Henworth; Backs, Archer, Edge; Half Backs, Mills, Robinson, Wootton; Forwards, Kent, Drake, Philips, Heath, Shingler:

The official gate was given as 9,699 and the receipts were £192.12s.6d.

In the English Cup Picks beat Redditch by 5-0 in the Extra Preliminary Round on September 10th 1910 before losing 3-2 at home to Worcester City the following week in the Preliminary Round.

In the Birmingham Senior Cup Picks had a tough but nevertheless attractive game in the first round that brought Aston Villa Reserves to Portobello on Monday September 12th but Villa proved far too strong for them and their interest ended with a 4-1 defeat before a large crowd. Picks were finding the going harder now they were required to enter the Senior Cup Competitions.

In February 1911 the Walsall F. A. decided to organise a Medal Competition in order to raise funds for the Association. Four teams were chosen to take part and Picks were drawn to visit Walsall on Easter Tuesday, but as they already had a league game on that date and were suffering from fixture congestion, they scratched leaving Swifts to play Walsall in the final after defeating Darlaston.

In the league Picks had a good season, maintaining a position near the top throughout and finished fourth. Their playing record for the season was.

P

W

L

D

F

A

Points

30

18

10

2

85

49

38

The home game with Stirchley on Tuesday April 18th 1911 was set aside as a benefit match for the club’s popular captain Harry Robinson who had served the club for 7 years, and whose part in the club's victory in the Staffs Junior Cup final 2 years ago was still talked about by the fans. Picks won the game by 3-0 but unfortunately Harry was not able to take any part in the game having been injured in the previous day's game with Birmingham Trams that had turned into a very rough game.

Large crowds were still flocking to local Derbys and for the two league games with Darlaston a crowd of 4,000 was recorded for the first game at Darlaston on October 29th which Picks won by 5-3. For the return game at Portobello on December 26th a crowd of between 4 and 5, 000 saw Darlaston turn the tables by 3-1.

In the Nursing Cup only two teams and Swifts could be found to contest it. The two teams met at Spring Bank on Tuesday April 26 th and the result was a draw. As it was not possible to arrange a replay the teams agreed to hold the trophy jointly.

Having spent a large sum of money on ground improvements during the previous summer Picks were anxious to replenish the coffers and bearing in mind the success the Swifts had enjoyed over a number of years with a similar venture, decided to stage their first Annual Sports Day on Saturday May 20th 1911 . Over 3,000 spectators and a large number of competitors turned up for what turned out to be a very successful day following which all the officials retired to the Shakespeare Inn where dinner was enjoyed.

The season 1911-12 saw Picks lose some of their attractive local Derbys . Willenhall Swifts and Darlaston had both left the Combination to seek pastures new in the Birmingham and District League. This also was Picks last season in the Staffordshire Junior Cup for rule changes in the following season would make it impossible for them to enter. Their last match in this competition took place on November 11th 1911 when they went down by 3-1 at Gornal. It was the end of an era that had seen them reach the final on no fewer than seven occasions, although they were successful on only one of these.

In October "Tippy" Holt rejoined the club after a short spell with the Swifts and renewed his partnership with "Hollie" Heath that had been so successful. Later an outstanding young player named Bert Bliss also joined after short spells with New Invention, Bilston United and Willenhall Swifts. Bliss soon proved to be a young player of outstanding talent and began to attract the attention of many league clubs who were anxious to obtain his services, although Picks were not anxious to sell. On March 23rd 1912 he gained his Junior International Cap against Scotland at Coventry where he had an outstanding game. The Express and Star reported that he had scored two of the goals although only credited with one.

There was no way of holding on to him after this and after playing his last game for Picks against Cradley Heath on March 30th Bliss duly signed for Tottenham Hotspur for a fee reported in the press as "half a hundred". Bliss quickly went on to establish himself in the Spurs team and in 1921 he was a member of the team that defeated Wolves 1-0 in the Cup Final at Stamford Bridge . On the opposite side, playing at inside right for Wolves, was "Max" Potts, another former Picks player for whom, at the age of 32 it was to be his last game for he suffered an injury that terminated his career.

The Picks President was still Mr F.W. Hartill, and a more active leader would be hard to find. Not only did he make his presence felt on the administrative side but he was always prepared to don the jersey should the occasion arise. He played regular football for Willenhall Old Edwardian in the Birmingham A.F.A. and when called upon in an emergency by Picks was always capable of giving a good account of himself. In the summer months he was also a regular member of Willenhall Cricket Club.

The Picks reached the final of two cups, The Birmingham Senior Cup and also the Walsall Senior Cup but lost in both to superior opposition.

In the Walsall Senior Cup they defeated Bilston United by 4-0 in the Semi-final at Portobello on Monday September 18th before coming up against Walsall in the final where, after a goal-less draw at Portobello on Monday April 15th they lost in the replay, on the following Monday, also at Portobello by the only goal of the game.

In the Birmingham Senior Cup they disposed of Cannock Town 4-2 and Birmingham Trams 3-1 both away before coming up against Wellington St George's at Portobello, in the Semi-final. The game was played on Monday March 11th 1912 and a large crowd saw Picks triumph by 3-1 to go into the final for the only time in their history. Holt 2 and Robinson scored the goals.

Aston Villa Reserves were their opponents and the match was played at the Hawthorns on Saturday April 6th before a crowd of 1,500 many of whom had travelled from Willenhall to support their favourites. The teams lined up as follows:-

Picks: Goal, Henworth; Backs, Archer, Edge; Half Backs,Langford, Robinson, Wootton; Forwards, Kent, Mason, Holt, Heath and Dobbs.

Villa: Goal, Lindon; Backs, Kimberley , Kearns ; Half Backs, Moss, Edwards, Leach; Forwards, Mann, Goode, Birch, Gerrish, Edgley.

Picks went down by the odd goal of three with Mason scoring their goal and Birch getting both for Villa.

On Wednesday March 20th a Show was organised at "The White City" by the manager Mr Redfearn, the proceeds of which were donated to the Picks funds, and as a result of this effort a sum of £5 was handed over.

Saturday April 13th was set aside by the management as a benefit for Tommy Wootton, Picks long serving wing half, who had been with the club for nine years. The visitors that day were Bournville and in order to maximise the gate tickets had been on sale in the town before the game. It was reported that many tickets had been sold and the attendance was a bumper one but no official figures were given. The Picks won by 3-0.

In the Willenhall Nursing Cup Picks and Swifts were the only two teams in contention but after two drawn games before large crowds it was decided that the cup would be held jointly again.

The English Cup saw Birmingham Trams at Portobello on September 16th 1911 in the Preliminary Round with Picks being successful by the odd goal of three. In the 1st Qualifying Round on September 30th a large crowd saw Darlaston put paid to Picks hopes for that season, winning by the only goal scored.

In the Birmingham Combination the Picks finished fifth. Their playing record for the season was:-

P

W

L

D

F

A

Points

30

18

9

3

66

49

39

Picks were already looking ahead to the future and on May 25th before a large crowd, and in fine weather, they held their second Annual Sports Day that was a great success, especially as at the end of the previous season they had reported a deficit of £83.1.4d. but this was largely as a result of having spent large sums of money on ground improvements in previous years.

Having in mind that the previous season had seen the departure of Swifts and Darlaston to the Birmingham and District League the Picks decided to follow suit and accordingly they applied to that league for membership. However, at the Annual Meeting of the league on June 6th 1912 they secured only three votes and were not elected. Picks were destined to end their days in the Birmingham Combination.

Picks, during the summer completed the banking at the school end of the ground that had been put off the previous year because of dry weather and were now confident that their ground would hold 10,000 although this was never tested.

Up till now admission to Birmingham Combination games had been 3d for adults with juveniles paying Id. In view of the financial position Picks committee decided to experiment with a 4d gate for the coming season 1912-­13.

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Originally published in book form by Willenhall History Society 1994

©Willenhall History Society