Ted Postin Royal Marines Footballer 1950’s & 1960’s
1960 Far East Shield Final Singapore Ted Postin (left)
Ted Postin RM12949 joined the Corps on July 14th 1953 in Squad 616. He had been a keen soccer player since leaving his Rugby playing school. His father had been a professional with West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City, Bristol Rovers and Wrexham Town. Just before joining the Corps, Ted had trials with West Bromwich Albion & Aston Villa but to no avail.
As the soccer season loomed he was selected to play for the camp team in the Devon Senior League and he enjoyed his football against the likes of Beer, Lympstone & Sidmouth to mention just a few. As the only recruit in the team he was treated to a few pints of scrumpy after the matches. This made up for the usual washing facilities which were normally a bucket of warm water and a bar of pussers hard. On returning to the barracks room he then had the task of getting his kit ready for the next parade, not an enviable task.
Playing with the barracks team gave him a terrific boost to his confidence as he was then a recruit playing with trained soldiers, NCO’s & even Officers. He didn’t get much chance playing soccer after leaving Lympstone as it was off to the Commando School at Bickleigh where he needed all his energy.
After passing out he was sent on a Gunnery course & then onto HMS Newfoundland where he mainly played Rugby. Here though he sat & passed a soccer referee’s course so he had another insight into the beautiful game. Other Royal Marines on the course were Jock Mitchell, Charlie Myers & Joe Fairclough. They cut their teeth on Inter-Departmental matches, typically to stop the sailors from eating each other. His rugby career on HMS Newfoundland was summed up in the commission book which described him as a fast determined runner on the wing, this was because he didn’t like to be tackled & if he saw a tackle coming in he would use his soccer skills and boot the ball ahead & run like the clappers.
After HMS Newfoundland there was a Gunnery course & eventually a Junior NCO’s course at Stonehouse Barracks. During that time he was selected for the barracks soccer team & they progressed into the semi-final of the Tunney Cup where they beat a strong 42Cdo team 2-0. Unfortunately he got injured in that semi-final (a burst blood vessel in his right ankle) and was ruled out of the final. Another memory from that semi-final was of the late great RSM Franks who was their greatest supporter on the line. The next day on the NCO’s course Ted had to report to the RSM on parade, full of the previous days glory & expecting a heroes worship, he confidently reported to him. Five minutes later Ted felt five inches high as the RSM berated him about a piece of cotton thread protruding from his denims. Lesson learned.
HMS St Vincient Football Team
HMS St Vincent Cpl Ted Postin 5th from the left back row Cpl Jan Passmore 3rd from right back row
He travelled to Portsmouth for the final against Eastney Barracks & despite treatment at Portsmouth FC he was declared unfit on the morning of the game and had to sit out a 4-0 drubbing.
Following further Gunnery & Junior NCO’s courses he was transferred to the adult staff at HMS St Vincent, which was a training establishment for boy seamen at Gosport. St Vincent had some of the most beautiful football pitches he had ever played on & it wasn’t long before he had linked up again with Jan Passmore, his goal keeper at Plymouth Barracks. They formed part of a very formidable team which won the United Services Portsmouth Football League Division 3 in 1957-58. One of their faithful supporters was the ships Commander who was to play a significant part in Ted’s next team.
Ted was then drafted to HMS Centaur, an aircraft carrier, which was due to tour Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, the Far East & Australia. Ted thinks the Commander used his influence with the sports officer and he was made captain of the ships soccer team. It was a very good team chosen from 1700 ships crew. They played matches in Denmark, Portugal, Malta, India, Japan, China & Australia. One of the games Ted remembers best was in Hong Kong when they played a curtain opener against an old Hong Kong team prior to the current Hong Kong team playing a Swedish touring team. That game finished 0-0 whilst Ted’s HMS Centaur team won 5-2 before a 30’000 crowd. Another game he remembers well was beating a Japanese University team 5-0. He was then invited to speak to the students on how to play football, not an easy task. He was also selected to play for the Royal Navy (Hong Kong) against the Hong Kong Division 2 team where they won a credible draw against the locals.
1960 Ted Postin chaired off on a Centaur after collecting the Far East Shield
In Australia they played against several sides that he had seen named on the Littlewoods Pools, and one of those teams did him the honour of offering him a paid job if he would emigrate their after he left the service. Unfortunately his fiancé wasn’t keen on the idea and he never did go. Ted recalls one of the biggest highlights of his time on the Centaur was winning the Far East Shield in Terror Barracks. His Commander told them that if they win the semi-final they would stop in Terror Barracks for ten training in readiness for the final. They won that semi-final easily and settled down to some good hard training. Sadly on the night before the final, the ships boxing team won the fleet championships and they couldn’t resist the celebrations. There were quite a few legless footballers around that night but thankfully they all played like heroes the next day and they won 2-0.
1960 Centaur team & Supporters celebrate in HMS Terror after 2-0 victory