Do you know these men? Woman on the search for uncle’s old football team

Uncle Alec's football team. Back row - B. Farrell, L. Bridgland, F. Dennison. Centre Row - F. Briggs

Uncle Alec's football team. Back row - B. Farrell, L. Bridgland, F. Dennison. Centre Row - F. Briggs, G. Lloyd, J. Dixon, A Porri, B. Bacon. Front Row - T. Purdy, P. ONeil, T. Clark, A. Ciniglio, H. Chivers. Picture: Susan Matthews - Credit: Archant

A woman from Forest Gate is on a mission to track down her uncle’s old footballing teammates.

The back of the postcard. Picture: Susan Matthews

The back of the postcard. Picture: Susan Matthews - Credit: Archant

Susan Matthews, 67, who now lives in Boxted, discovered a postcard in a box of photos inherited from her mother, which shows her uncle in a football team, with one player holding a ball saying ‘West Ham Champions, Manor Rd, ARP’.

While he’s meticulously written the names of each player in pencil on the back, Susan is now trying to discover who some of these men were, and, what ‘ARP’ may stand for.

“I’m interested in family history and when I was going through my mother’s photos there were so many where I had no idea who the people were,” she said.

“I found myself thinking, these photos belong to someone.”

The back of the postcard. Picture: Susan Matthews

The back of the postcard. Picture: Susan Matthews - Credit: Archant


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Susan’s uncle, Alessandro Ciniglio, was born in Holborn in 1914 and married Susan’s aunt, Edith Russell, in 1937. His family were Italian, but he grew up in Forest Gate.

His parents owned a business in Sebert Road called the Favourite Ice Biscuit Company, which was sold in 1960.

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In 1939, Alessandro and Edith were living in Dames Road, West Ham, but moved to Cranmer Road in Forest Gate during the war. They had two sons in 1940 and 1944, and after briefly moving to Ilford, returned to Forest Gate, in Suffolk Street, in 1948. Edith died in 1975, and Alessandro in 1998, in Chelmsford.

The photo, however, remains a mystery, with no date or location. Susan believes it was taken during the war, or shortly after.

The back of the postcard. Picture: Susan Matthews

The back of the postcard. Picture: Susan Matthews - Credit: Archant

“It’s a postcard but it obviously never got sent,” she said.

“They all look quite old, so I think they’re older than their 20s.

“I think ARP might stand for Air Raid Precautions.”

Susan’s uncle is on the front row, second from the right. The other names listed include, on the back row, B. Farrell, L. Bridgland and F. Dennison. On the middle is F. Briggs, G. Lloyd, J. Dixon, A Porri and B. Bacon. The front row is made of T. Purdy, P. O’Neil, T. Clark, A. Ciniglio (Susan’s uncle) and H. Chivers.

Contact Susan via susanmary75@outlook.com if you have any information on the mystery football team.

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