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Essex Shield

Tales from the Boundary

Ted Phillips


Ted Phillips, the former Ipswich footballer, used to play cricket for Colchester & East Essex.  He was not a member when I met him.   Annual membership, in the event of dispute, was decided by the use of red and black balls.  Two black balls were a NO.  I don't know how Ted might have blotted his copy book but there were many happy to have him as their 'guest', which had the advantage that Ted did not pay a membership fee and could not buy drinks in the pavilion bar.   I believe the club are more democratic now.  They even have women's teams!  Ladies, I'm sure.

Anyway, Ted and Ray Crawford were the strikers in Alf Ramsey's 4-4-2 formation, which was applied with great effect by England in 1966.  In 1962, a report in the East Anglian Daily Times said of Phillips: "It is an undisputed fact that he is the best kicker of a dead ball in the game."  For more info, please refer to, and

Ted played for Colchester United in 1965-66 and Ray Crawford followed in his footsteps in 1970-71, scoring two goals in the famous/historic/incredible FA Cup match against Don Revie's Leeds United:, and in colour at

I was playing hockey about half a mile from Layer Road and we could hear the cheers.  Five or six of the Colchester hockey first eleven were at the match.   They were all playing for the second eleven the week after but agreed it was well worth the 'punishment'.

Quite a few of the Colchester cricketers played hockey and quite a few of the Colchester hockey players played cricket.  As far as I can recall the seasons did not overlap, except for Jimmy Neale, who captained GB in the 1968 Olympics and played for Southgate.

The thing about hockey is that only one side of the stick can be used to hit the ball.  Really there's no point in having the other side(!).  This plays against left-handers.   Of course, there is a case for banning left-hand batting and left arm bowling.  It would save time spent changing fields and moving sight screens.  (I jest!).

Modern hockey, however, seems to allow screening of the ball and turning on the ball, which used to be 'verboten'.  I suspect this might be due to lobbying by the 'League of Southpaws'.   Ray East and John Lever might well be members, unless they are disqualified for batting the right way round.

Anyway, one day my school were using the Colchester nets.  I was chatting with Ted Phillips when one of my school team called out "Bye, Ted", as he was leaving.  "Bye" said I.   Ted looked mystified.  "Why do they call you Ted, Andrew ?", asked Ted.  "Ah", says I, "My eldest brother used to watch Ipswich and was always going on about this bloke called Ted Phillips so he was called Ted at school.   In time my eldest brother became 'Big Ted', my middle brother 'Middle Ted' and I was 'Little Ted'".  I never saw the real Ted play, however, ether football or cricket.

Andrew Appleby

Editors Note: The author subsequently sent this link to a video of the Colchester United v Leeds United FA Cup tie shown in its entirety -  (opens in a new browser window).