DERES' TOP 100 GAMES - No 80

Posted by Mickey Cooper on 5 January 2020

Erith & Belvedere   8          Gee 3, Cook 2, Scott, Young, Horne      

Royal Marines         1          Turner 

Kent League, 8 September 1932


Continuing the series counting down the 100 most memorable games in our history.  Today, in honour of Bradley Ryan who may have become our youngest ever goalscorer in the Lordswood game the other week, another star youngster.  1932-33 began with a couple of defeats, at Ashford and home to Chatham, with a certain H Evans at centre-forward.  It wasn’t working out, so for a Thursday evening game Deres rang the changes.  It went well, as the local paper reported:



Gee Celebrates 17th Birthday Hat-Trick


The Royal Marines were hopelessly outclassed by an experimental forward line fielded by Erith and Belvedere at Park View last Thursday.  Harold Gee, who last year was playing for the Erith Schools, celebrated his seventeenth birthday by scoring three delightful goals and throughout the match was a thorn in the side of the Marines defence.  Playing at centre-forward he employed both his wings to advantage and was ever ready to snap up passes and shoot, thinking and acting at the same time.


Cook, at outside-right, and Carr on the left wing were also fast and accurate in their passing and shooting, the former scoring twice.  Scott, at inside-right, had a nice understanding with the man on each side of him, and scored once.  Veteran “Dave” Young completed a tricky forward line, and also scored, as did Horne.  “Dave” was ineffective during the first half, finding difficulty in standing, but during the interval changed his boots and thereafter did good work.  Cornish at centre-half bewildered his opponents by the uncanny way he twisted his long legs around them and secured the ball.  Poole in goal had little to do until the closing stages, when in the fading light the Marines broke away and he saved twice at point blank range from Turner.


The first half was practically one continuous attack by the Deres.  Only twice did the Marines reach the home penalty area, Turner on one of these visits scoring after taking a clearance from his own backs.  This goal, however, was extremely doubtful, both linesmen signalling for offside, but the referee pointed to the centre.  At half-time the Deres led by 4-1.


The second half was almost a repetition of the first, the Deres scoring four more goals.  In this half Keay, in the Marine goal, made up for several lapses in the first half by saving brilliantly from each of the home forwards in turn.  Had the Deres reached double figures in this half it would have been no more than they deserved, the Marines goal bearing a charmed existence.  The home team’s display must have given the selection committee much food for thought.


Deres: Les Poole; George Morris and Billy Bowles; Bob Horne, Jack Cornish and Eddie Poplett; Alf Cook, Len Scott, Harold Gee, Dave Young and Jack Carr.

Royal Marines: Keay; Burden and Priest; Beckham, Chawner and Derbyshire; Scott, Davies, Turner, Killian and Boughan.


More on Harold Gee: his first appearance at Park View dates back to 18 January 1930, when he scored in a 2-0 win for Erith Schoolboys against Gillingham Schoolboys.  He ended the 1932-33 season as top scorer with 22.  At Christmas 1933 he signed professional forms for Charlton at 4s. a week, and continued to play for Bexleyheath and Welling, at the time Charlton’s nursery club – he scored 73 goals in 136 appearances for Bexleyheath.  Harold played alongside another ex-Dere, Charlie Saunders, against us at PVR in 1935-36, and they scored twice each in a 7-2 win.


Harold later went on loan with the Addicks’ Welsh international (and future Dartford manager) George Green to Español in Barcelona.  At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War he returned to Charlton and was there until World War II, except for loan spells at Bexleyheath and Welling.  He made four wartime appearances for Bolton Wanderers and one for Charlton Athletic.  Joining the First Airborne Division, he made 153 parachute descents and took part in the Arnhem operation. After the war he finished his playing days at Dartford.  There, in 1952-53, by now a veteran, he had a benefit match featuring Charlton’s Sam Bartram, Bert Johnson and Riley Cullum, and ended the season playing in the Kent Senior Cup Final alongside a youngster named Peter Peters – who later managed the Deres for 17 seasons.  Harold died in May 1993.

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