1959: Young Cuckfield footballer 'signed up' by Queens Park Rangers

Evening Argus November 7th 1959


Brian Duly gets chance with QPR.


Monday could be the first chapter of a local-boy-made-good story when 16-year-old Brian Duly, of Cuckfield, boards the train for London to join the ground staff of Queens Park Rangers – on the high recommendation of Stan Perry, the Q.P.R. Chief scout.


It was Mr Berry who discovered Phil Woosnam, the West Ham and Wales star (writes John Vinicombe). Now he declares that Duly is the best young prospect he has seen.


Brian at work in Bolney (image courtesy of Evening Argus)


Wisely, manager Alec Stock has signed the boy who has already known disappointment in the world of professional soccer. Brian had a trial for Chelsea last season, but instead of being invited to join Drake’s Ducklings, he was advised to stay with his village team.


It is often said, particularly in amateur circles, that the Village Green type of soccer talent is missing in Sussex. That may be generally so, but Q.P.R. were quick to check on Duly when a whisper of his prowess reached their Shepherds Bush headquarters.


Young Duly does not know who tipped the Rangers off. When Mr Berry made his approach after twice seeing him play it was a surprise.


Sussex selectors heard about Duly sometime ago, and chose him for the county intermediate team and the youth eleven.


Swapping a building labourers job in Buncton Lane Bolney, to sit at the feet of maestro Alex Stock of Ellerslie Road Shepherd's Bush, is all that Duly could desire. "I want to succeed as a professional. I've always played football, right from a kid at Sackville school, East Grinstead”, said Brian.


Athletics, basketball and cricket are other favourite sports, but all stand second to soccer.


Cuckfield selected Brian at 15 to lead their Division II attack in the County League. In six Mid Sussex league games this season he has hit 10 goals.


When the 8.28 from Brighton pulls into Haywards Heath on Monday morning, Ken Whitfield will be looking out for Brian. The former Wolves Manchester City and Albion player, now with Q.P.R. will prove an ideal travelling companion, and if Duly listens and learns there is no reason why another success story should not begin.


After three years with Q.P.R. Brian returned to local football, transferring his considerable skills to great effect in a golden period for Cuckfield and Cuckfield Town FC; below please see the Cuckfield Town FC North Division One Sussex Sunday Football League Champions 1967


Standing from the left: Brian Warner, Jack Swain, Tony Hillman, Tony Wells, Barry Galbraith, Graham Feaver, Ray Holman, Martin Galbraith, Michael Bowring, Ron Knight snr, Alan Page. Front row left: Colin Sayers, Dave Edwards, Brian Duly, Richard Hazeldene, Graham Pateman and Michael Duly.


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