Exciting time for Sheffield silverware workers when the FA Cup came to their firm

Retro columnist Vin Malone has shared some pictures of when the FA Cup travelled to Sheffield for repairs in the 1980s.

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 14th May 2020, 1:13 pm

Vin, who writes the Weer Thi Ell’s That? feature on P10-11, takes up the story here:

These photos were sent to me by an old friend, Bill Justice, who I first met while both he and I were working at British Silverware at the Sheaf Bank Works in Heeley.

Bill is still the competent electrician he was when I first met him. Unfortunately I was made redundant; they realised they had made a mistake, as within a month they wanted me to go back. I refused.

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A proud day for Bill Justice

I lost touch with Bill, but fate did play a hand as my wife, Mary, started working at Roberts & Belk’s at Station Road, Ecclesfield.

Strangely enough, this factory had been George Butlers, where both Mary and myself had worked for about five years before we were made redundant, but I move on.

While Mary was working at Belk’s, she kept mentioning the electrician who worked there, what a decent man he was and was more than happy to fetch him his bottle of cranberry juice.

He was the only one who gave Mary a lift to town or our home, it’s a very long way to travel by a woman on her own.

Bernard Halliwell with the base of the FA Cup, Bill Justice with the cover and apprentice chaser Steve Loxley holding the cup itself

Well, it transpired that it was Bill Justice and we contacted each other by email, something that has continued for getting on for 20 years.

Mary left and subsequently retired.

Bill and I still talk to each other by email, which brings me to the attached photos.

Bill sent them to me in March this year and they show the FA Cup when it was sent to Frank Cobb’s, whose works was Howard Works, Broad Street, sadly long gone.

Bill Justice, left, with Frank Cobb's workmates Doug Richardson and Ralph Moore, who was a hammer man

Bill was the works electrician at Cobb’s and, like anybody who likes football, Bill was chuffed to bits to be able to have these photos taken.

The cup was in for repair in 1984, the year Manchester United beat their neighbours Everton in extra time when Norman Whiteside curled a ball into the bottom corner of the net and Neville Southall was mad as hell.

The tie was the 104th and 100,000 fans had turned up to watch their heroes.

Back to Frank Cobb’s, I think nearly the whole workforce had a photo taken with the cup, but these few are all that Bill retained. They are not up to the digital quality that we have today but they are history. Good on ya, Bill.

Bill Justice holding the FA Cup with Bernard Halliwell, the holloware manager, in the Frank Cobb silverware firm showroom

The first picture, bottom right, taken in Frank Cobb’s showroom, shows Bill holding the cup and Bernard Halliwell, the holloware manager, with the base . The second one, bottom left, shows Bill on the left, along with Doug Richardson and Ralph Moore, a hammer man. The third one, top right, shows Bill holding the cup - he never stopped telling people about this photo. The last photo, top left, shows Bernard with the base, Bill with the cover and apprentice chaser Steve Loxley holding the cup.