Letter: Facts from the Foljambe

SINCE my last letter regarding the Foljambe Hotel I have had another talk with Frank Price and he gave me a few names of some local professional footballers, whom he remembers coming into the hotel whilst he was living there.

Len Hainsworth played for the Millers between 1937-1947 and played 32 times. He then moved to Doncaster Rovers in 1948 until 1951. He played as a left back and also on the left wing and scored seven goals for the Millers.

Frank also told me that Len lived in East Herringthorpe where I live, does anyone know exactly? He died in 1990 aged 72.

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Another player who called in at the Foljambe was Jack Grainger, who Frank says they entertained one night. He wasn’t local, I think he lived t’other side of t’river. Jack played 352 times and scored 110 goals between signing in November 1945 from Frickley Colliery and last played in 1956.

The other player who came in often was Jackie Stamps whom Frank recalls came in with his father; they were both living in Thrybergh. Jack was born on December 2 1918 and died on November 19 1991 and was blind for the last 20 years of his life. Although he did not play as a signed player it is thought he did play as a guest player during the war for the Millers. His first club was Mansfield Town with one appearance in 1937. In 1938/9 he signed for New Brighton with 12 appearances and five goals. During 1939-1953 he played for Derby County 233 times scoring 100 goals. The two most famous of them were during the 1945/46 FA Cup final against Charlton Athletic. Just before the 90th minute with the score at 1-1 Jack shot for goal and the ball burst. In the previous game between the same two sides the ball also burst (this was a few weeks before the final). In extra time Jack scored two goals in the 97th and 106th minutes.

Both sides were presented with bronze medals because of the shortage of gold following the war. They later received the proper gold ones. In the 1953/54 season he signed for Shrewsbury Town scoring four goals in 22 appearances. During the war he made 14 guest appearances for Southampton. He was a cult figure at Derby and the Derby Player of the Year was named after him.

Another fact that Frank told me was that on the sports field at the back of the bowling green the Rotherham Show was held and that the Foljambe did the catering. To quote Michael Caine: “Not many people know that.”

Ray Hill, Greenfield Road, East Herringthorpe