Reading the earlier sport in Andover (Andover Advertiser, May 1 and 8), and the letter to the editor headed Memory Lane (Andover Advertiser, May 8), started me to reminisce on the fortunes of Andover Football Club.

As a lad I was a regular supported and visitor to the Walled Meadow on a Saturday afternoon. The excitement of the 1947/48 season when, after winning the Hants Senior Cup at the Dell, Southampton entertained Bournemouth Gas Works in a home fixture to decide the champions of the Hants League Division 1. Nearly 2,500 witnessed a 2-1 win for Andover.

My father bought me photos of the game, one of Muckles scoring the winner. Andover then went on to play Alton Town in the final of the Russell-Cotes Cup. A win would give Andover all three trophies.

Unfortunately, it was a disaster for Andover. Leading 2-1, Charlie McCarthy collided accidentally with their goalkeeper who had to retire injured, leaving Alton with 10 men. Thereafter, Andover went to pieces.

Each time Charlie, because of his colour was affectionately known as 'Darkie', touched the ball boos rang out round the stadium. Being a Second Division side and playing an ex-Pompey player, Dare, at centre forward, the crowd were routing for Alton who went on to win 5-2.

I looked back thinking this was the first racialist action I witnessed. Andover went on to gain the Western League and perhaps played their greatest game again in the Russell-Cotes Cup final, played the Walled Meadow against Portsmouth 'A'.

A buzz went round the ground prior to kick off that Pompey had brought their Combination team, plus two forwards from their First Team. Andover won 3-1.

Perhaps the most exciting game was one played on a Wednesday afternoon when having drawn away at Hendon, the replay followed. Many local firms allowed staff the time off. I believe the score was 5-4 to Andover. It meant Andover playing the first and only time in the first round of the F.A. Cup, losing to Gillingham 1-0.

John Goulding, Shakespeare Avenue, Andover