But they did so at their own peril, as football in Portsmouth streets in the '˜70s was a far more hazardous affair than it was in the '˜20s.
They took their lives in their hands, and those of the drivers of passing cars, as they released their energy into their play.
Only a few feet away from where theseÂ matches tookÂ place was an empty playground.
But the residents were takingÂ action.Â
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Sponsored events of all kinds '“Â even a sponsored pub crawl by the mumsÂ whose children wentÂ to Binsteed Road School '“Â were taking place frequently.
Pictured were the youngsters themselves,Â gathering waste paper to raise cash so they couldÂ have a proper football pitch to play on.Â
They had the backing of the city council which gave top priority to the play scheme in a list of selected Portsmouth projects for submission to the Home Office.
This broughtÂ in another Â£1,500 to the estimated Â£2,000 cost of opening Binsteed Road School playground as a supervised area out of school hours for children aged seven to 12.Â
This campaign was part of wider play scheme, which affected the whole of Portsmouth.Â Â Â