No, it's not all good news to come out of Cornwall with the news that two of our footballing heroes have passed away over the past week or so.
Firstly Tony Kellow, not only the non-league followers but also professional football club fans should have heard of the name. A prolific scorer with Exeter City, after joining them from South Western League side Falmouth Town. He came to Bickland Park from Penzance, but it was with Falmouth where he formed a formidable striking partnership with Joey Scott (who also went onto play at the pro level).
He knocked in 65 goals in one season at Falmouth, and with Joey the record goes like this:-
!973-74 Tony Kellow 65 goals from 53 Apps, Joey Scott 36 goals from 45 Apps
1975-76 Tony Kellow 61 goals from 61 Apps, Joey Scott 40 goals from 55 Apps
In two seasons they amassed 202 goals between them.
Just a few days earlier another great name in the 1960s Cornish football left this world with the passing away of Viv Folley. Viv was a completely different player to Tony. Although starting off as a winger, he became more renown for being the “tough wing half”, and despite appearing for a number of clubs, it was at St Blazey where he will probably be best remembered for his ‘never say die’ attitude and complete commitment to the Blaise Park club cause.
I have fond memories of watching Viv play in the 1960s, mainly in evening games at Blaise Park. He left a big impression on me when, as a young boy, I use to go down and watch St Blazey, under lights with my late mum and dad! However, in those days a club with lights was very rare, which was probably why they use to switch them off so soon after the final whistle, leaving the crowd to struggle out of the ground in total darkness!
However, not many might know that Viv actually played for both Bugle and St Austell before winning his first South Western League championship medal at Mount Wise with the Mike Stern and Pollard twin's Newquay side of the early sixties.
Born in St Blazey on the 2nd November 1941, Viv rejoined his beloved Green and Blacks in 1961 for a second spell with the club, and this is when he became best known throughout Cornish football for his tough tackling determined, no-nonsense wing half performances. Capped 30 times for Cornwall, he never shirked a tackle and could unleash a thunderous drive, scoring many spectacular goals for the St Blazey double championship side of 1663 and 1964. You can best sum up how good Viv really was when you’re told he would walk into any all-time St Blazey side. And they’ve had some great players at the club!
However,despite being such a favourite there led to it being a great shock in 1967 when Viv left to join Torpoint Athletic. However, the common belief was that he wanted to pair up again with Lou Dearden, with whom he had enjoyed playing alongside in the County side as well as Dave Ewings, who had also gone from StBlazey to Torpoint.
His full list of clubs was : Mount Charles Dynamo 1955-56, Bugle 1956-57, St Austell 1957-58, St Blazey/St Austell 1958-59, Newquay 1959-61, St Blazey 1961-67, Torpoint 1967-68 and St Blazey 1968-75.
Viv’s greatest regret was not winning the coveted Cornwall Senior Cup Winners Medal despite 7 Easter Monday Final appearances. The story goes that despite George Robertson, Falmouth’s Captain in the 1965 and 1966 Finals against St Blazey, sending one to Viv in the post, it was promptly returned to sender!
I had the good fortune to talk to Viv on a couple of occasions in the recent years when he was always prepared to recall his playing days and relive some great stories. It was just a shame I never got around to take him up on his offer of visiting him at his home to hear more about his playing days, as well as to get a look at his newspaper cuttings and memorabilia etc.
I don’t think we’ll get to see another Viv Folley in today’s style of play – a great shame!