Arthur Blackley's memories


Arthur had spells with Chelsea, Carlisle and Ramsgate before joining Margate. He made over 100 appearances for the club during the 1964/65 and 1965/66 seasons...

Arthur (right) with Terry Venables during his Chelsea days

Arthur with Jimmy Greaves during the late 1990's

What is your full name and date and place of birth ?
Arthur Blackley - 31st January 1939 - Carlisle.

What is your marital Status?
Divorced but have a long-term partner.

Do you have children ?
One daughter living in Germany.

Did / do any of your family play football ?

Where do you live now ?
Homes in Ramsgate and Carlisle.

What is your occupation now ?
Retired Managing Director of a shipping company.

What was your occupation during your time with Margate ?
Worked as a docker, coffee bar owner, in a betting office and also ran the jockey scales on Ramsgate beach.

How did you come to join Margate ?
I was playing for Ramsgate and had a few good games against Margate. They poached me through a couple of good pals who were playing for Margate at the time. That's the way it was in those days but they'd never admit it !

What do you remember about your Margate debut ?
It was against Bath City and their manager was Ivor Powell, my ex-boss when I played for Carlisle United who I didn't see eye-to-eye with. It was very pleasing to beat them 2-0 and to notch one of the goals to make Ivor's journey home that little bit longer !

What were the highlights of your Margate career ?
Probably playing against Guildford away. Their manager was Albert Tennant, my ex-coach at Chelsea, also playing were two of my ex-Chelsea team-mates, Peter Sillet and Davey Cliss - who was being marked by me. I played inside forward at Chelsea but was now playing wing half and managed to score both our goals in a 2-2 draw. Davey told me over drinks after the game he got a right bollocking from his boss because they all knew I had been a forward before !

What were the highlights of your entire career ?
Captaining Carlisle Boys and playing for Cumberland Schoolboys, Youth and Seniors before I was 16. Also playing for the side that got promotion from the 4th Division to the 3rd Division whilst at Carlisle and scoring a couple of goals for Chelsea Reserves in the Football Combination on my debut against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

Who was the best player you played with at Margate ?
No-one comes to mind but I must mention Bob Harrop for his reliability and professionalism, Bryan Clifton for his rocket shot, Tommy Marshall for his tackling and Laurie Thomson - for passing to me once ! Laurie needed a ball to himself but he was a good player.

Who was the best player you played against whilst with Margate ?
Ron Flowers, ex-Wolves - I think it was for Cheltenham Town.

Who was the best player you played with during your whole career ?
Jimmy Greaves at Chelsea.

Who was the best player you played against during your whole career ?
Bobby Moore of West Ham.

Who were your best friends during your time with Margate ?
Bryan Clifton, Tommy Marshall (died a few years ago, bless him) and Laurie Thomson.

Do you still keep in contact with any of your old Margate team-mates ?
No. See some of them now and again in the town but don't socialise with them.

What was the best stadium you played in during your entire career ?
Highbury for their dressing rooms and impressive entrance, but Charlton Athletic (the old Valley ground) for playing. The terraces were so high you felt like a gladiator at the Colloseum.

What ground(s) did you most enjoy playing at during your time at Margate ?
Ramsgate because I had good memories.

And which ground(s) did you least like ?
Dover - it's a long, lonely walk over that bridge to the dressing rooms after being sent off !

Who was the best manager you played under (and at which club) ?
Walter Ricketts at Ramsgate.

Who was the biggest influence on your football career ?
My dad who always bought me football boots when he couldn't afford them at the time. Those early years were very hard-up days.

What was your favourite / best Margate goal ?
Against Canterbury at Hartsdown - a 25 yard lob over the keeper to complete a hat-trick from midfield.

What was the best goal you saw another Margate player score ?
John Ballagher scored some fine goals in 64/65 - everything he hit seemed to find the net.

Do you keep an eye on Margate's progress / results and if so what do you think ?
Yes, just through the local press. They've done very well to keep going as I know what hard work it is running a football club as I was chairman of Ramsgate FC for a couple of years.

Did you have a nickname during your career / time at Margate?

What honours did you win during your career ?
Didn't achieve much apart from schoolboy / youth honours but won Kent Senior Cup whilst with Ramsgate in a game played at Priestfield.

Do you ever watch Margate now or if not, when was the last time you saw them ?
No, not for the last 10 years.

Who were the real characters at Margate during your time with the club ?
Chick Hughes was a very funny man.

Can you recall any funny moments from your time at Margate ?
I got sent off with the Tonbridge full back, big Joe Carolan for supposedly fighting. Laurie Thomson was also sent off for using the 'f' word to the ref, along with another Tonbridge player. We appealed and our case was heard at Lancaster Gate - we met up with the Tonbridge players before the hearing to make sure our stories matched. I convinced the panel I would have been off my head to fight with Joe because he was a giant of a man. Laurie looked certain to be suspended but we said we had never heard him swear before and when he was questioned he told the panel in his strong Scottish accent that he said "hock" referee. We all got let off but the ref was reprimanded for losing control of the game !

Also, playing at Southwood on a frozen pitch when the ball was bouncing all over the place and very difficult to control. We had hardly strung three passes together and it was a bad game to watch in very cold conditions. A plane came over the pitch preparing to land at Manston when some wit from the crowd shouted "bomb the bastards !".

Do you have any regrets about your football career ?
No regrets, I realised when I was a full-time professional I was only going to be an average player and sought a career change whilst playing part-time for Margate and Ramsgate. Football is a short career and in those days you didn't get the money the players get today. I had a lot of fun in my career and met some good people, so no - no regrets.

What do you think about being featured on a website or the fact that a Margate History site exists ?!
I think it's wonderful - especially if you can make me a better player than I really was !

Added to the site in 2003.