RETRO: Home of football legend

A view through one of the arches of the old glass kiln at Catcliffe - 17th February 1975
A view through one of the arches of the old glass kiln at Catcliffe - 17th February 1975
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We’re starting the letter C of our Retro A to Z a little outside Sheffield at Catcliffe near Rotherham, which is famed for an industrial landmark and is also the birthplace of an England World Cup winner.

According to the Friends of Catcliffe, the name comes from Catteclive, which refers to a bank or cliff where wild cats lived. This was most probably on the banks of the River Rother that passes close by Catcliffe.

At one time part of the lands owned by the Furnivals, and then the Dukes of Norfolk, Catcliffe was mainly a small, agricultural settlement until the 19th century, with the exception of the glass furnace built in 1740 by William Fenney.

At one time there were two cone-shaped furnaces.

The works closed in 1884, although there was a brief revival in 1901.

The remaining brick-built cone is 70ft tall. One of our photographs shows archaeologists working on the site in 1962.

According to Treetonweb website, First World War prisoners were housed there and in the General Strike of 1926 it was used as a canteen.

They also say that Benjamin Huntsman , who created the process of crucible steel making, moved to nearby Handsworth because he could benefit from the experience of the glassmakers.

The population grew from 135 in 1801 to 1,232 by 1901 as collieries opened in the area, including one at High Hazels. Our picture, right, shows an explosion as the pit buildings were demolished in 1969.

The area has been hit by many floods over the years.

Our main photograph shows flooding in July 1958, when 30 families had to be evacuated from their homes by boat. The River Don was then nine feet above its normal level.

When serious flooding hit South Yorkshire in June 2007, 700 families had to be evacuated when cracks appeared in Ulley Reservoir.

That danger was averted but the village was still badly affected.

The World Cup winner from Catcliffe was of course legendary England goalkeeper Gordon Banks.

Born in December 1937, after leaving school he joined local team Millspaugh and then played for Rawmarsh Welfare before returning to Millspaugh.

Banks was then spotted by a scout from Chesterfield in 1955, who signed him as a part-time professional. He later played for Leicester City and Stoke.

Capped 73 times by his country, he retired in 1972.