14th May 2024

Gordon Taylor and Keith White

School Memory

The 1957-8 double-winning team was captained by Mick Leach, later to lead Queen’s Park Rangers; and the inside forward was Chris Street, our vice-captain, later to become Deputy Head at Woodbridge.


Next to Mr Williams is Keith White, then Gordon Taylor and then Clive Smith, the goalkeeper. Gordon Taylor and Keith White, left and right back in the team, have recently published major biographies (800 plus pages) on William Booth, and Pandita Ramabai, respectively.


This team photograph must have been taken after we had been presented with the trophy and medals shown in the photo. On the right, as we look at it, was Mr Williams, our headmaster, and on the left was Mr Baker, our football coach, who seems to have served the school for a long time in that capacity.


In 1965 Keith White played in goal for Leyton County High School against a West Ham side captained by Bobby Moore (just a year before he lifted the World Cup), so is truly thankful for the coaching and encouragement of Mr Baker, our coach at Churchfields. Gordon Taylor went on to a rugby playing school and ended his school soccer career at Churchfields, but is deeply grateful for the lessons in organization, discipline and teamwork learnt on the playing fields in the Forest Schools district.


We are not sure where the photo was taken. It was an away match, and Gordon thought it might have been at Oakdale School, but the semi-detached houses in the background don’t seem right. We played at a number of schools in the area, and it was a long time ago.


We were a large school, with around 200 in our year, but the expert tactical training we had in the classroom, as well as on the pitch, was remarkable for its time, and was the key to our success.


Gordon Taylor and Keith White (1954-58)