Grandfather and grandson win same Gosport schools football trophy – six decades apart

A GRANDFATHER and grandson helped their teams to win the same schools football cup six decades apart – and both lifted the exact same trophy.

Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 4:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 4:31 pm
The inscription showing that Brockhurst won in 1955/6 Picture: Sarah Standing (220319-2809)

On March 15, Gomer Junior school beat Elson Junior School 4- 3 on penalties to win the Gosport Schools Cup.

Centre forward, Noah Hawksworth, 11, scored a penalty in helping his team to victory.

Noah said: ‘It was a really good game. We were winning 2-0 but Elson pulled it back to 2-2. I was really nervous about the penalties but it was great to win.’

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The inscription showing that Brockhurst won in 1955/6 Picture: Sarah Standing (220319-2809)

Little did Noah know at the time but 63 years earlier, his grandfather Robert Lihou, 73, who was watching from the touchline, won the exact same trophy for Brockhurst Junior School.

‘I was 10 years old and played as a goalkeeper at the time. We played against Woodcot Primary School and I remember the first game went to a draw and we won the replay 1-0,’ said Robert.

A match report of the first game, taken from The News archive, highlighted that Robert had shown ‘sterling work in goal that had prevented Woodcot increasing their lead’.

Robert had not realised it was the same trophy until it was passed to him by Noah during the team’s celebrations.

News archive report of cup final from 1956.

‘I thought it might have been the same competition but I certainly had no idea it was the same trophy. It was only when I saw the inscription of Brockhurst for the 1955-56 season that I realised it was. It is fascinating to see the trophy is still being played for and amazing to think we both won the same competition so many years apart,’ said Robert.

Noah added: ‘I was surprised when I found out that my granddad had lifted the same trophy but it is also good that I have followed in his footsteps.’

In the ensuing decades, Robert has seen massive changes to the game he loves. 

‘When we played in the final we had the old leather boots and heavy ball. My goal keeper’s shirt was like a thick jumper and we wore tube socks over our normal socks,’ he explained.

The winning team in the Gosport Schools Cup in 1956. Grandfather Robert Lihou is the goalkeeper in the different colour top.

Despite his advancing years, keen Pompey fan Robert still likes to keep up his skills with his grandson.

‘My granddad will often take me into the garden for a kickabout,’ said Noah.

It was double success for Noah and Gomer Junior school, which also won the league.

Teacher and team manager, Neil Willis, said: ‘It has been a remarkable season and to complete the league and cup double was incredible. The whole squad have played so well as a team and really made the whole school proud.’  

Robert Lihou, 73, and his grandson Noah Hawksworth, 11, who goes to Gomer Junior School in Gosport, played in and won the same cup final 63 years apart for the Gosport Schools Cup. Picture: Sarah Standing (220319-3606)