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It's party time for the Parkside boys - and their fans

PUBLISHED: 13:29 08 March 2012

Parkside team picture

Parkside team picture

Archant

They were the Norwich Sunday side with such style. Now Parkside is celebrating its golden anniversary and a top striker is returning from his home in Canada.

The Grant Holt of his day, the hero of Eaton Park in Norwich in the Swinging ’60s, is coming home from Canada and would love to see his old mates again.

It’s none other than brave, bold and combative David ‘Benny’ Bennett, former striker with the one and only Parkside Athletic – one of the best local teams around in the ’60s and ’70s.

Who was it who described them as the Barcelona of the Sunday scene? Certainly not anyone from arch rivals Loke United!

In April of 1962 a group of lads who spent every minute of their spare time playing football on Eaton Park decided to enter a team in the Norwich and District Sunday League.

One of those youngsters lining up for Parkside Athletic for their big competitive match was 16-year-old Benny – a star was born.

He went on to score no fewer than 119 goals in 114 matches for the club, many in a style of Grant Holt, the hero of Carrow Road.

Now, after 40 years living in Canada, Benny is flying home to join his former club mates to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club being founded.

The club was set up by lads living around Eaton Park. Benny lived in Osborne Road and was a printer at Jarrolds before leaving for a new life in Canada. He recently retired from lecturing in history.

Parkside were considered one of the most attractive and stylish sides to grace the Sunday League throughout the 1960s and early ’70s. People loved watching them.

They enjoyed a huge following at a time when the all-conquering Loke United were in their heyday.

A crowed estimated at about 1,000 gathered to watch one of the league matches between these two fine footballing sides.

Parskide finally packed up at the end of the 1983-84 season.

The golden anniversary celebration is being held on Saturday, April 21 at Costessey Park Golf Club and it is hoped to see as many former players and their partners as possible.

Any of the club’s supporters will also be more than welcome, along with referees, Sunday League officials and, of course, any of Benny’s old friends.

If you want to go to the golden anniversary celebration please get in touch with one of the following:

Barry Varnon on Norwich 419988 or email bandlvarnon@googlemail.com

Peter Hague on Norwich 401262 or email nuhagues@yahoo.co.uk

Keith Noller on Norwich 410933 or email nollgol@hotmail.co.uk

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